In a workshop that our writing club facilitated two years ago, one of the speakers – Mylene Enrile (content creator for Two Monkeys Travel) – mentioned about making writing a continuous habit: as “ripples make waves”. It lingered to me ever since and sparked an idea of publishing a book for our club.
Ambitious it may appeared to be, we pushed on making the book a reality, in the hopes of resonating to those who are undergoing adversities that they are not alone in their journey. Through literary and visual arts, we wanted to make these individuals feel that there is a shared pain in their mental health concerns, and that there is always someone who’s willing to listen without judgement and prejudice.
“Our sincerest gratitude to the brave souls of our authors, illustrators, and all contributors who used art as a tool to show everyone that we will find light even at the darkest time of our lives. By allowing people to read your masterpiece is a proof that you have made a difference.”
We would like to spread our message to a wider audience, especially to those who might need it. If you share the same advocacy and have talents or connections to lend us in order for us to fulfill this purpose, please feel free to let me know or drop a comment below.
Quill Book (Soft copy)
Keep the Quill Going is the first literary folio of the Quill Club. It is meant to represent the beauty and vulnerability of one’s mental health by telling stories through poetry, essay, autobiography, blog entry, short story and visual arts. (Hard copy: $2.99 + shipping fee)
Words from the Authors:
Virnabe Pelias. As an INFJ, Virn, reserved she may seem, is an advocate for mental health and is highly appreciative of others’ feelings or opinions. She contributed two pieces: a poem and an essay, and wrote the Preface for the “Keep The Quill Going” Book.
“Getting published as a writer is scary. Your thoughts get printed and exposed to anyone who would care to read. They’ll see fragments of who you are. That makes me vulnerable, or perhaps I make it sound dramatic because that’s what we writers do – making extraordinary out of the mundane.
What made me submit an entry despite feeling scared? The chance to tell people who are struggling with their mental health that they are not alone. That they do not need to explain anything to anyone. That what they feel is valid. That they need silence to heal. And that despite the raging storm crushing them intensely, they will come out of it stronger.”
Melissa Bacay. In the book, Mel gave a tell-all memoir with lessons on Emotional Intelligence and Empathy.
For the past several years, I’ve been hiding myself in the box wherein I’ve become comfortable in doing my daily routine for the sake of living -yet still feel isolated and empty. I’ve been ignoring the inner voice telling me to come out, to do what I love, and to reach for my dreams. Although I felt a bit contented of my situation inside that box, I still can’t deny the fact that in my life, something was still missing. My soul was craving for something more meaningful and desiring to satisfy the burning passion of creating something unique for a greater purpose.
Maybe some of us are still confined in a box with only limited option and are afraid of being seen by the world, but if we will go beyond your comfort zone, we will realize that the world is big and that there is so much more to explore and that there are more chances to grow.
When I got the opportunity to express myself in writing, I left the box where I was imprisoned for many years. This empowers me to face my fear of being vulnerable, to share my personal experiences and feel motivated to inspire others. Doing what you love is one of the keys to a healthy mind and satisfying life. I also believe that some of the best writers in the world are not afraid to show their emotions nor scared to express who they really are.”
Aj Cruz. In contrast to Alexithymia, Aj explored what one feels elaborately and descriptively in her honest poem.
“Most people see me as this overly optimistic, busybody, multi-talented, multi-awarded little girl who has close to nothing in terms of life outside of work. Well, most of the observations are true—on the outside. No one has really stepped into the realm of my imagination, the depths of my thoughts, the abyss of my emotions, and the emptiness of my reservations.
I had qualms as to why I seem different compared to other people. Why was I always the choice of people who had grievances in life, in love, in work? I’m not even that experienced—let alone closely related to these strangers who simply come outpouring with their problems, loneliness, and anger. I thought having the charisma to be another human being’s counsel or relief is a gift, a pleasure. My whole existence shouted, “NO!”, “I’m tired; I need attention, too!”. I had began assimilating the negativity, bottling it up, and getting used to it. Until such time I realized that I had numbed myself to the feelings as a form of escape, maybe even salvation. I could no longer fathom why I react too late or not at all even in situations that shouldn’t be acceptable or tolerable. I thought I was ‘going with the flow’.
I was still sane to question, “What’s wrong with me?”. As the introspective person that I truly am, I researched and found that it was normal to be abnormal. Most people who have trouble recognizing their own feelings aren’t aware that there’s actually something wrong. Acceptance leads to a solution, albeit a progressive one. Awareness that there are others out there who could be confused or deadened leads to understanding. Expression and attention leads to hope. That’s why I wrote this poem: to tell you you’re not alone and we can get through this period of gloom together.”