Girl Power Talk interviews Reggie Sison to hear about he r career and life journey as a writer. She shares her insights and unique perspective on:
- Building a future as a writer
- Handling Criticism
- Managing Mental Health
- Handing Rejections
What Role Has Writing Played in Your Growth Personally and Professionally? What Are Your Future Goals as a Writer?
Writing is something that I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I believe we’ve all been asked, “What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
And, even before I became a freelance writer, my answer to that question was always, and will always be, Write. I know I am very fortunate to be doing what I enjoy and that my clients are currently fantastic! My short-term goal is to try to overcome my procrastination so that I’ll be more productive. My long-term goal is to continue doing this for the rest of my life. Even if I won the grand lottery tomorrow, I’d continue to write, though I might relocate to a beach or a mountain resort.
What Are Some Defining Moments in Your Career That Keep You Motivated?
I was extremely proud of two awards before becoming a freelance writer and financial advisor: my Gawad Sinagtala Award for Service and my Customer Satisfaction Award. As a financial advisor, I’m most proud of my Quality Circle Award. They all represent the same thing: exceptional customer service. And every time I have a problem at work, I remember, “I was able to do it then. I’ll be able to do it again. ”
Stress Is an Inevitable Feeling. How Do You Handle Criticism of Your Work or How Do You Take Care of Your Mental Health?
I welcome people who criticize my work. I once interviewed a restaurant manager who told me that criticism is a sign that a customer cares. A client or a critic is someone who wants to see you succeed. If they point out a mistake or an area for improvement, it means they will return and hope that things will be better when they do. It was a refreshing take on criticism, and I’ve personally applied to work.
In terms of my mental health, I have a confession to make: I have been diagnosed with high-functioning depression, which I still struggle with. Not many people around me are aware, but I do have a few people on whom I can rely. They are excellent support systems, for which I am grateful.
Many Writers Face Several Rejections During Their Careers. What Do You Believe They Should Do if They Feel Like Quitting?
These days, it is much easier to find freelance writing work with all the platforms that offer gigs for freelancers. Still, just because there are a lot of opportunities doesn’t mean that the opportunity is for you. For those looking for support, there are actually a few Facebook groups that are a great support group for writers. Personally, I am part of the FB group, Writers Helping Writers. It is a great place not just for emotional support, but also for technical and professional support in your writing career.
What I’ve learned in this field is that there will be clients with whom you will get along, and clients with whom you will simply not match. Freelance writing is much like a relationship. At first you’re clueless. Everything is new to you, and you’re still getting to know each other. It’s alright. That’s something we’ve been through. It will improve.
There will be relationships that will help you grow. Appreciate those relationships. Apply what you’ve learned to future relationships and move on.
Some relationships might just use you. They simply are toxic, so you must learn to let go. What they think of you and what they say to you does not define you. Learn to sift through the negative and pick the words that will help you be a better person. Learn from your mistakes and ignore everything else.
Find a client with whom you are comfortable, one who makes you happy and values what you do. It won’t always be smooth sailing, but those are the clients worth fighting for.
Finding the right relationship is difficult. There may be times when you feel overwhelmed; take some time off, but don’t give up. You won’t give up looking for “the one,” right? If writing is truly your passion, keep writing; eventually, you’ll find someone who appreciates you… and your writing style.
What Message Would You Give to Youth Who Are About To Begin Hunting for Their Passion in Writing?
Read. Read a lot. Read everything. My fascination with the writing world started back when I was in grade school. It was lunchtime, and I noticed my seatmate reading a book. I returned to my seat and attempted to strike up a conversation with her, but she ignored me, gave monosyllabic answers, and continued reading. It piqued my curiosity. What could be so interesting that she’d be so engrossed in it that she would ignore everyone around her?
So I asked her the life-changing question: What’s so interesting about that?
Without saying a word, she handed me another book from her bag and it wasn’t long before the two of us were reading through lunch. She introduced me to fiction. I stumbled upon horror on my own. My husband introduced me to fantasy, sci-fi, and classic novels. My best friend recommended more sci-fi and fantasy books and also introduced me to poetry. Self-help books were introduced to me through my work as a financial advisor.
Through the years, my writing style has evolved because of the books and the articles I’ve read.
In some ways, that is the same question I ask whenever I start a new topic to write about. What’s so interesting about that? and I’d find myself falling down the rabbit hole of whatever topic I was given.
Reggie’s journey highlights the importance of following your dream and passion, and of waiting for something you know you can do forever. Her advice to the youth remains to welcome constructive criticism, keep their curiosity alive, and constantly try to better themselves.