A Day At St. Scholastica's Academy Part 2: What A Time To Be A Creative



Hi everyone! Happy 2018!

Can you believe it's 2018? I'm still trying to come to terms with it because, well, it means that it's been 10 years since 2008. 

10 years, you guys.

2008 was 10 years ago. It makes me want to look back at all the shenanigans we did back then.


You see, life as a creative in Cebu was...improbable those days.


It wasn't impossible but...opportunities were scarce and labor was cheap. The internet was slow(er) and expensive. Wanted to be a writer? Kind of your mom's worst nightmare. A blogger? She wouldn't know what that would have meant then!




Social media was in its baby stages, too. 

Imagine wide-eyed teenagers (whose eyebrows were not on fleek at all) spending time on a dial-up connection or internet cafe beside smelly kids who played counterstrike. Said teens busied themselves writing testimonials on each others' walls. Friendster and MySpace lorded over the internet. Selfies were taken on VGA phone cameras and were edited on an archaic version of Photoshop if edited at all.

Instagram? What Instagram?

Even Facebook was but a place to play stuff like Farmville. 

Being a creative was not much of an option, then.


But that was a long time ago. Now, we're living in a very great time.

In the age where anything can happen, today is actually a wonderful---nay, a perfect--- time to be a creative.

And really, that's what I wanted the kids at St. Scho to realize during my talk back in December.



If you remember, I was invited by St. Scho to give a little talk about reading, writing and a bit of the creative life. You can check out part one here. Later that day, I met up with the school's best writers to conduct a little writing session and a short talk about being a creative in the digital age on the side. 



I did the school paper when I was in high school, too, so I was really excited to meet them. I was giddy as fudge.

And so we were set. I was to challenge them with some random writing prompts to get their groove on. 

But before the writing part, I wanted them to realize a couple of things:

First: the internet isn't the same old clunky thing from when I was their age.


Nope.

The internet of today is alive and it thrives on good content. Given the right timing, hard work, talent and a bit of know-how on how it works, the internet can potentially change one's life, especially if you're a creative. 

Consider this: millions of people can potentially see your work, whatever that work may be. 


One of my favorite writers, Sarah J Maas started out by posting stories on a platform called FictionPress. She now has a massive following and a string of New York Times bestsellers under her belt. 

Funny enough, Charlie Bowater, a Sarah J Maas fan and illustrator from the UK spent a lot of time doing fanart based on Sarah's books. She published them on Tumblr and eventually got Sarah's attention.They ended up collaborating on a coloring book based on the franchise. 

Can you believe that? 

In this time and age, you can start out as a fan of someone and end up as their colleague. Your blog or even social media accounts can even be a virtual portfolio. That's actually how I started writing for other brands and online publications myself...and I have no formal training. 

How crazy is that?  

Being a writer, or anything really, isn't such a far dream anymore...and that's really great news.


Second: if you're a creative, you gotta spend some quality time creating content instead of just consuming it 

I know that lots of us can get sucked into the social media rabbit hole. 

All it takes is one click and before we know it, we've spent the whole afternoon scrolling through feeds and watching too many cat videos. If you're someone who wants an outlet for creativity, you gotta spend some quality time making good content instead of just mindlessly consuming the content of others. 

I love my cute cat videos but if you wanna take advantage of the internets, make sure that you're also creating instead of consuming. :)



Third: That being said, don't be afraid to put your stuff out there

I know that putting your first post (whether it be a blog post, a photo, an illustration, a vlog...whatever it is) can be daunting.

You're always going to doubt and you're going to think that perhaps you're not good enough. That maybe this is a bad idea. 

Austin Kleon is one of my favorite authors about creativity (he wrote Steal Like An Artist--- go read it!) and here's what he has to say:

“Don't wait until you know who you are to get started.”


and

“Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.”


and lastly:

“The worst troll is the one that lives in your head.”

Need I say more?



And last but not the least, this: Even if you decide to pursue other endeavors, don't let the world dull your shine

I know school can be difficult, and I don't want to sound patronizing but...things are only going to be harder when you start working.

Trust me, I'm a professional adult.

And adulting can take its toll on you. So while you're young(er) (*wink*), take time to do the things you love, while you still have time. Especially when you don't have bills yet. Believe it or not, now is the best time to be creative, so take advantage of it. :)

Even if you don't end up working in a creative industry (because it's okay to pursue other endeavors), at least you have this outlet that lets you take a break from life and its pressures. That, my friends, is the advantage of having a side-hustle. I wrote about it here if you wanna give it a read. :)




Wooohoo. There, I've said my piece. :)

And when the writing workshop was over, I must say that I was really impressed and pleased with their work. I loved how they asked questions and gave back ideas. I loved their energy--- because the room was just buzzing with it.

Most especially, I loved that a lot of them loved to write as well.




I know that being a writer--- or a creative in general--- can be difficult in our country. Imagine, people in developed nations even struggle just to get published. The struggle is thrice as hard for us. 

But there's hope for us yet. 

Thanks to the internet, a lot of opportunities have opened for us. Opportunities that weren't here 10 or even 5 years ago. You can never tell who you reach, or how far you'll go, you know? 

All you have to do is take that one little step to find out. :)




That's it for our awesome day at St. Scho!

I hope you had fun reading the series as much as I had fun writing and sharing this story.

Shoot me a message if you wanna talk more about writing! I have a Facebook group called The Write Club Cebu if you want some buddies, and we'd love for you to be a part of it.

Thanks for hanging out with me today.

Share the post if you loved it.


Til the next post,

K x