My Poem Got Published On Inquirer POP!

Screenshot of my poem published on Inquirer POP!

Happy new year everyone! This is my first blog in 2021. I am sleepy doing this because of sleeping late night as I joined the family in welcoming the new year. I really need to write an entry as what I will share to you are still fresh. Let's get started. 

In the last day of 2020, I found my poem entitled "Thank you, 2020" on website. When I woke up late 6 AM, I grabbed my phone and searched my name on Google. I did that to check if my work was accepted. Based on the instructions I got from my email, the editorial team is not responsible in sending the links of the article and social media post of the work once it is published. Before scrolling, I told myself not to hope too much. I have been sending poems in competitions, literary anthologies, and sites for six years now. All those quests to get published ended tragic as I received emails that my entries did not qualify in their set standards. To be honest, I really feel sad every time my works are rejected. There are moments that I am questioning myself. Do I really write poems? Am I not talented enough to get published? I also had the moments of quitting and contemplating. Maybe poetry is not for me. 

Content writing became my hope in those weary times. My blog write- ups were accepted and I got paid for the articles. I treasure those opportunities as those are the proof that I can write and my works are substantial and worthy to be read. However, there is the thirst to see my literary works being praised. 

The dream does not cease. Last year, several literary circles and online sites called for submission of works especially about the lockdown period. The COVID-19 pandemic has made people to adjust in living. And, literature has proven its use in human survival. The health crisis shocked my life. I got derailed from my academic path. I used the unfortunate season to try my luck anew in poetry writing. 

My time came as my poem got accepted by Kasingkasing Press. I found their call of literary piece submission on Facebook about the lockdown. It was a sweet triumph as I finally had my first poem published digitally. I was overjoyed as I saw my name and my poem in a digital literary magazine. That milestone made me optimistic to submit poems to other literary organizations and websites. 

The magazine was uploaded in May 2020 on Facebook. I was enthusiastic that I searched online where to submit. I made four submissions to various anthologies. I thought I would streak, but I found myself again rejected. I got rejected twice by a writing institute. I understand that my works did not meet their expectations. They wished me luck. I pray that I can be accommodated by them soon. I really need to polish my writing. To be honest, what I submitted are products of rush. I wrote them the night or even hours before the deadline. Because of the nature of my work, I do not have sufficient time to scribble poems. Every time I want to write, my body and does not cooperate. When I am exhausted, I cannot really concentrate. I just need to be in the condition so that I can be acknowledged by the institute. 

What about the other two? I still do not have the news about them. I often check updates online. But, there are no notifications about the progress of the literary projects. I am still praying that my pieces would qualify. However, I do not have high hopes on those ventures. Waiting is a hard thing to do. I just wish to receive emails about the status of my submissions so that if I got rejected, I could easily move on. 

Why is it that I have thirst to get published? As a creative writing teacher, this is my means to certify that I am able to teach the subject. This is my way to say "I am qualified." In the first quarter of teaching the subject in this time of distance learning, I faced perplexities on how to teach poetry. I often share things about the joy of writing poems especially my story. I often gave them weekly tips. As we were about to bring the curtain of the grading period down, there were still students who were not yet done with their output. In the teaching profession, we apply demonstration method. In order to guide our learners, I need to demonstrate the skill first before they do on their own. The night of December 7, I stopped chatting my learners for me to type a poem on my phone that will serve as an example. They were tasked to write a poem about the life in 2020. I wrote a free verse with three stanzas entitled "Thank you, 2020". In that piece, I wanted to relay that there are still blessings we should be grateful despite the gloomy atmosphere of the year. I sent it to our group chat, and some of my learners had the "Aha!" moment of what I want them to do. After that, my learners started to pass their outputs. I was happy that that poem motivated them to work on their requirement. 

Christmas break came and I was thinking if there are still literary submissions online. Last December 24, I thought of Inquirer POP! before lunch time. I remembered that they also accept poems. I searched the site and read guidelines. After understanding the rules, I thought of submitting my work. I encoded the piece on Microsoft Word and read it for revision. Before clicking the send button on my email, I prayed hard. I just thought of doing the task as my way of living. I went back on the reason why I write which is as my my enjoyment and my way to express myself. I told myself, "If they accept it, I will be happy. If not, I am thankful that I am given the opportunity to share my ideas."

I got an email from the Inq Pop that they have received my mail and the team would review it. I was on a bus going back home after renewing my license. I was happy at the same time anxious about that. I was nervous as my work will be judged. Days after the email was sent to me, I searched their site to see if my work is published. There was no update. I felt like I was losing hope that time. Maybe they will post it as a year-end content. I was still holding on that chance. I do not know, but I had that sense that my work would be showed on their web space. I told myself to be patient. 

December 31 came and I was excited at the same time doubtful about the outcome of my submission. I woke up looking where I place my phone. It was on my bookshelf near the poetry books I bought online this year. I went to Google to know the result. My heart was pumping loud as I encoded my name on the search bar. In the first search result, it was my Facebook account. The next results were about my blogs. My fingers discontinued the scrolling when I saw the fourth result. My name was found in the I read that it was published three days ago. I immediately pressed the hypertext and I saw my name and work on the site of one of the leading newspapers in the country. I made screenshots of it. I kept on searching if they posted it on, but it was not present there yet. 

After taking a bath, I told my family that my work is on Inquirer. I posted the screenshots on my Facebook account at 8:26 in the morning. One of my friends asked me about the link, but I told her that I was having a hard time getting it. After few minutes, the poem was officially posted on the Inquirer's pop culture site. 

This achievement is my way to end the chaotic year and to welcome 2021. It was perfect timing. It made to be back on track and to be fearless in submitting. It gave me a lesson that trying is a good thing than not doing anything. There is no regret after trying. Success comes if we are not afraid of using the chance. Thanks be to God. This 2021, I am targeting to have a chapbook or book of poems to be published digitally. I already made a book of poems on Wattpad last 2017. I also planning to revamp this blog to showcase my personal life and literary works. 

Thank you for reading and I hope I can share more poems to you. 

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