A few months ago, Conchitina Cruz (aka Chingbee) wrote an entry entitled On Writing & Value which talked about how poetry is perceived in the Philippine setting and how the value of poetry (and literature in general) is often equated to nil because “value equals money” is the mainstream form of thought when in truth what literature has to offer is something more than that; the money is beside the point and somehow by making it about money, there is the ironic result of currently not being able to make money from literature in the Philippines. (She explains it better, so please go and look at that entry in the link above.)
Reading Chingbee’s blog entry really got me thinking about how I’ve been treated re: my writing, thus far. On one hand, I’m grateful for all opportunities I’ve gotten when it comes to publication but on the other hand, I am sad that almost all of these opportunities have been presented by international (read: not local) literary outfits. That got me thinking about the dynamic of creatives and consumers, the act of buying something or having it made and what would happen if that dynamic were flipped on its head? What if based on whatever is given for payment, I would write a story or two or three or four or five?
As a result, I’ve decided to begin this experiment called The Story Shop wherein every Friday, I’ll be opening up shop so to speak to accept orders and payments for stories which I will write and send out throughout the week. Guidelines are up and yes, the shop is open. Order form here.