Spotlight Series: Ada Pelonia
This interview was conducted by our Interview Editor, Nazlı Karabıyıkoğlu. We wanted to introduce our staff to our readers. Please meet our Head Reader, Ada Pelonia. She is a writer from the Philippines, and she enjoys writing poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in Porridge Magazine, 101 Words, Germ Magazine, and elsewhere. Some of her works can be seen at adapelonia.weebly.com or on Twitter @_adawrites.
You are a freshman at University of Santo Tomas pursuing a degree in journalism. How did you decide to go there?
University of Santo Tomas (UST) has always been my dream school since I was in junior high school. Given the education system in the Philippines, before my grade 10 completion, I took the entrance exam to UST and fervently wished to pass. Fortunately, I was able to study in my dream school for senior high school and then I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the same school.
How is it like to be a reader for Marias at Sampaguitas?
In the past months since I’ve been a reader for Marias at Sampaguitas, I have learned a lot from my co-readers, the editors, and from those who entrusted their work to us. Being a reader made me realize that learning goes beyond the four-walled classroom and it’s a continuous process I’ll always indulge into.
When did you first realize your affinity for journalism? What is your “origin” story?
The reason why I decided to pursue journalism is because I’ve always wanted to write – may it be fiction, poetry, or nonfiction – talk to people, and get to understand their view on a certain matter and/or situation. Whenever I’d read a newspaper, I’d start thinking how it’d feel like to finally see my name in it and that keeps the raging desire inside me to hope that someday, I’d be able to.
Which is your favorite genre to read? Which is your favorite to write?
I enjoy reading anything that’d spark my interest – whichever genre it may be from. But when it comes to writing, I enjoy those that focus on perspective. I like to view things as if I were a spectator and get to delve deep into every character and how they think.
What is your ‘process’ for writing?
I don’t think I have a process when I’m writing, though I used to follow those routines I’ve seen on Pinterest before like you’d write better in the morning, or the “write every day” thing and such until I realized that it wasn’t healthy for me because I went to the point where I’d only care about the output and not on writing itself. I started overdoing it and all the creative juices in my head went dry. So nowadays, I write when I feel like doing so. I write when I feel the tingles at the end of my fingertips, as if they’re telling me “you’d feel better when you jot this down.”
Which do you prefer more: writing or reading?
I went to a period of succumbing to this writing slump wherein I badly want to write something, but I can’t because I’m afraid that it won’t be good. This was when I kept on thinking solely about writing that I stopped reading anything until a friend told me that in their journalism class before, they’d be asked by their professor to read newspapers for an hour and the next hour they’d be tasked to write an article. He told me that maybe I should lie low on writing for a while and start reading anything that would spark joy inside me till I find the red string that connects me to writing. This advice helped me to slowly get out of my writing slump. To answer the question, I prefer both.
Do you feel that social media has helped writers? Why or why not? If so, what platform do you believe has helped you the most with marketing yourself?
Getting my work out of my notes was a scary thing until I felt the support coming from the writing community on Twitter as I started tweeting my writings and thanking the publication/literary magazine(s) that accepted my works. This is where I’ve felt the support from amazing people, and I believe other talented writers out there have felt that social media has helped them.
A lot of writers struggle with time management. Do you have a day job? If so, how do you balance work, writing (poetry and your novel), family, and personal time?
When it comes to time management, I try my best to balance writing, studying, and conversing with people (family and friends) so I don’t leave one out. There are times when I talk about writing with my friends and family members when I ask them if they could critique my work, so this sort of strengthens our relationship. My personal time mostly consists of writing after I finish studying or vice versa. I agree that time management is hard, but there’s a way.
Where do you expect to see yourself (as a writer/journalist) in the next five years? The next ten years?
I’m not a fan of thinking about my future self as it aggravates my anxiety and induces unnecessary fears, but I’m hoping that in the five or ten years, I’m still writing.
Are there any immediate events or publications that you have coming up that you want the readers to know about?
I don’t have any yet, but you may visit my website adapelonia.weebly.com or my Twitter @_adawrites and perhaps read some of my works.
Nazlı Karabıyıkoğlu is the Interview Editor for Marías at Sampaguitas. She is an author from Turkey, enthusiastic traveler, Feminist activist, and Mother of four cats and countless animals all over the world. Full-time resident in Georgia, escaped from the oppression in Turkey. Has 5 published books in Turkish. For further information: www.nazlikarabiyikoglu.com.