Behind the Face of Project TIMES
by Marigold Uy
If someone asked me why I created Project TIMES, I know I said it’s a group to inspire other writers and authors but to be really honest? Looking back at the first of February this year, I think I invented the group because I only got curious.
And because I have a habit of collecting short stories in one document and formatting them with pretty designs.
Project TIMES is a product of one of my snap decisions. Everything actually is. From the issues, to random posts in the group. I was too excited about the idea, too engrossed of the outcome that I even had stop myself and say, ‘what the fudge am I doing?’ And to think I was doing all the inviting and planning at the same time. In the car. While travelling to Claveria, Cagayan.
Authors and writers alike have already signed up, agreed to be a part of my crazy idea that I couldn’t just tell them ‘okay, I know that was stupid and ambitious, let’s not get on with it.’ I couldn’t, now could I? And besides, they loved the idea so much and that fueled my enthusiasm more.
Project TIMES was just supposed to be a single anthology about love because when I first invited authors, it was almost Valentines’ Day. And the fact that I wrote something about love, I thought, ‘why not share this with others and then they share something to me?’
What was supposed to be a single issue, suddenly became a part of a ‘huge’, experimental scheme and hopefully a successful imprint.
There are many groups like us–bigger ones, smaller ones–all with the same goal and I have thought of times when I thought I should give up on the group. I had reasons: lack of feedback and my personal bitterness of not having a better place in the industry. It’s a crazy roller-coaster of emotions, really.
But the love for writing and reading always gives me inspiration to continue the project. I have plenty of ideas, some of my members can attest to that and I just can’t help sharing them.
When I first launched Hearts for Sale, Project TIMES’ first two-part issue, I had mixed emotions for it. First, I was worried if someone would actually buy it. What if they don’t like it? What if all the money I spent for it will all go to waste? I had worries that I thought would bug me until I get forty.
But more than that, I loved the books. I cried tears of joy, even. And I was nervous because it was the first two books that will carry the name of Project TIMES. It was like sending your son off to college and you keep on worrying whether he’s doing well or not.
Mine isn’t an extravagant group. I don’t usually post anything outside of it. I seldom promote it even. And I don’t hold events that feature it. We don’t have writer forums. We don’t have mentors. We’re simple like that. I even remember saying it’s just a freewheeling group.
All I actually want is for us to be productive.
And perhaps the most important feeling I have for the group is that I love it. Despite not being an active one. And not just because I found it either. But perhaps the fact that something I created is there and thriving could affirm that, despite thinking of it as too ambitious, I may still be sane. And it somehow brings a sense of achievement too. That’s actually good news, especially for someone like me, who has forgotten the feeling of ever accomplishing anything once upon a time.