In all honesty, I did not have proper campus journalism experience before I joined When in Manila. However, I have written stories under the categories of Romance, Teen Fiction, and Fan Fiction on various websites, such as Wattpad and Asian Fanfics. I also have personal blogs that are not open to the public – more like a secret diary.
Last year, I decided to try out writing in a more serious tone. With only a gram of confidence instilled within me, I sent my application and portfolio of my articles to one of the editors of When in Manila, Nicole Villaluz. It was a different kind of environment for me because I was not familiar with the rules, but the WIM family helped me adjust. They guided me by editing my articles, giving room for improvement, and inspiring me to be the best I can be.
5 Ways When in Manila Helped Me Become a Better Writer
I am not a perfect writer. I doubt anyone is. We will make mistakes in terms of grammar and performance, but those weaknesses must not demoralize us. They should not even force us to think that we have nothing to offer because we can offer everything. If you are not open to constructive criticism, you are not open to truly growing as a mature person.
As said by Hillary Clinton, “Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”
When I became a member of the WIM community, I felt like I was also a member of the student publication team with a wider range of events and topics to write about. I was exercised to even up writing Non-Fiction and Fiction – a mix of reality and fantasy. Indeed, a writer should be adaptable and flexible.
Although one might contradict that we are all the same because we have the same roots, I firmly believe that we are all different in a sense. For example, you may not be gifted in Math and Science, but brilliant in Sports. We all have that gift that we can nurture and share with the world.
What sets writers apart from athletes, engineers, and other people from different walks of life is the great influence we have by painting words of black and white and converting them into a beautiful picture.
Like one of my favorite quotations states, “Words are seeds. They do more than blow around; they land in our hearts and not on the ground. Be careful what you plant and be careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.”
Confidence blossomed within me. So, when I read an advertisement on Summit Media’s page, I immediately complied with their requirements. A few weeks later, I got an e-mail saying that I was shortlisted. The manager told me to forward my Curriculum Vitae (CV), so they would know what position I could fill. Native Advertising Editor – hmm… seems like a huge responsibility, huh? I still answered their exam; but unfortunately, they wanted full-time staff writers and I was not in the Philippines at the time.
Another opportunity came when one publishing company wanted to publish my work on Wattpad because of the number of reads it had garnered, yet I still have not finished that story.
You can promote your works and blogs here on When in Manila, which will serve to your benefit!
One year of WIM experience may be short due to the delight and fun, yet one year also taught me the value of discipline, commitment, and patience.
The turning point of my life was probably when I discovered an escape to reality: writing. When I came back to the Philippines, I changed. Being separated from my peers was one of those factors. Compared to how I performed in my previous school, I am now an active Senior High School student in terms of politics and journalism.
Carrying the lessons that I got from the Editors of WIM, I am currently a staff writer for the official student publication of the biggest engineering school in the Philippines. (Take note: during my first interview with the official staff, I mentioned that I am a content contributor for WIM and they were surprised!) Surely, being one of those few writers in a setting full of engineers and architects is an advantage when you need to pass your research papers!
Somehow, everything fell into the right place. Hopefully, being one of the youngest writers here on When in Manila will not have an effect on how you perceive me. It will always be a privilege to represent WIM.
There are many reasons why you should be a When in Manila content contributor, such as recognition, professional experience for your resume, freebies, invites, and of course, a great number of online readers! Plus, you get to do what you love: writing!
Advanced welcome to the family!
“Writing is the painting of the voice!” -Voltaire