Writing – The Solitary Art

~Taken at the Singapore Art Gallery~
I've always wanted to post the essay I sent to the Ken Spillman Grant. I think now's as good a time as any. Have a great weekend, everyone!


Writing – The Solitary Art
By Kate Evangelista

Patricia Duncker once quoted that writing is a solitary art done behind closed doors. In an age where the internet has made the world a smaller place, writing doesn’t seem like such a solitary art anymore. There is social media. There are writing groups and critique partners and beta readers. Writers can reach out, communicate with each other. Even I, a writer from the Philippines, managed to contact publishers in the United States via the internet. But even with the internet, a writer can still sometimes feel alone.

Day in and day out, I spend more time in front of my computer than actually interacting with readers and my peers. I devote myself to practicing my craft, to writing the stories of the characters in my head. They say, to be successful at something, you must put in your ten thousand hours. And that is what I am doing now, which definitely adds to the writing is a solitary art philosophy I mentioned above.

Even with my love for the written word, I am still human, and humans crave interaction. I found out about the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and the subsidy being offered by Ken Spillman late one night. I immediately knew I needed to apply. As a writer in the Philippines, it is beyond my current means to attend conferences in the United States. Since the AFCC is being held in Singapore, I thought I finally have a chance to interact with my peers.

As a Young Adult and New Adult writer, I spend most of my time in the world of my characters. Although this is an enjoyable experience, I also crave speaking and connecting with like-minded individuals about my work. The AFCC offers me a chance to interact with industry professionals and other writers. This is an invaluable resource. Being a part of a community is just as important as the writing itself.

I believe attending the AFCC will only enrich me as a writer because a large part of writing comes from the experiences of the author. Through the AFCC, I get to connect, to interact, and to introduce myself. This in turn shows me that writing is not just a solitary art. It is connecting with readers and fellow authors. By being granted the Ken Spillman subsidy, doors I once thought were closed will be opened—maybe even a window or two.

I do not wish to just bring back memories from the AFCC when I return to my solitary art. I want to return with an enriched experience, a pocket full of adventure, and an address book filled with new friends and acquaintances. I want to blog about my experience. Tweet about it. Post my pictures on Facebook. It is my hope that you consider my application at its purest form; basically, as a writer who once in a while likes to leave the solitary practice of writing to share what she knows with others.  

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