Writing · Editing

What’s The Easiest And Hardest Part Of The Creative Process?

What’s the easiest part of the creative process?

Nothing.

Making time to write. I may be in the minority here, but that’s because I don’t do a lot of other things. I don’t watch movies. I don’t play video games. So on and so forth.

I’m also stubborn, so I will fight anyone or anything that gets between me and my writing time.

With editing, the final round is much easier than the first.

I love having time to write and edit. So I try to give myself plenty of it.

What’s the hardest part of the creative process?

Everything.

For me, getting through the middle is the hardest.

Beginnings are fun and exciting. I love the honeymoon phase of any project.

But overcoming the halfway hump has been my biggest obstacle. If I can grind out the middle, the ending isn’t too bad.

I’m really bad at finishing stories. Like shockingly bad. Over the years, I’ve gotten worse rather than better. My patience is practically nonexistent nowadays.

When it comes to edits, starting is tough.

Hence why I have many written but unedited drafts.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to push myself through these hurdles.

I suppose nothing really comes easy. Words don’t write or edit themselves unfortunately.

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School

An Honest Account Of My University Experience

In September 2015, I embarked on my university journey.

In high school, people told me my grades would drop. And naïve Herminia believed them. So I prepared myself to not do nearly as well. Somehow I did.

During first year, I didn’t think too much about my GPA. I thought about doing the work and being early to everything.

Come the fall of 2016, I learned that I won two academic scholarships.

Instead of thinking I was stupid, I felt somewhat smart.

In second year, I spent less time studying and more time living. My grades were a little all over the place as a result. I remember countless conversations with my best friend about how terrible I was doing. I joked about dropping out.

So I vowed to do better in third year. My fall semester went smoothly. I had great classes, good professors. I liked my grades. I lived a lot. If I could relive those four months again, I would.

2018 arrived. Second semester in the winter started off just fine. No problem. Smooth sailing. Until February when I got hit by a car while walking home from school.

It took more than a month to recover physically. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover mentally. I’m doing well these days.

I never wanted to make excuses. I didn’t ask for an extension on any assignments.

My grades dropped. But I took care of myself. Being forced to listen to my body made me a better human being.

Regardless of my GPA when all is said and done, I’m proud. I learned to listen to that tiny voice in my head, to the body I used to neglect. That matters more than any number on a piece of paper.

Personal Reflection

Working Hard In Silence

I think there’s something to be said about working hard in silence and not always announcing your accomplishments to the whole world.

I don’t want to brag or show off. I also don’t want to show anybody up.

Going forward, I just want to live my life quietly. I’m not sure why, but I don’t feel the need to share my successes with anybody or everybody all the time. Of course, I share some details, but I don’t share a lot.

There are things I want to achieve in my lifetime that I’ve never told anyone. If and when I do accomplish them, I’ll probably keep some things to myself. Then again, I like surprising people who underestimate me.

When I’m working away, I avoid talking about my progress. I’m not the best at selling myself, so I’d be awful at promoting my own work.

I want to be someone who works hard and goes about my business every day. Which is part of the reason why I don’t post much on social media.

I literally enjoy working in silence. Noise will be the death of me.

I like to believe that if I want something badly enough, I will work for it. If I don’t want it, I won’t. And that’s okay.

When it comes to my career, I feel I have a good idea of what I want. I probably have an even better idea of what I don’t want.

All this being said, I’ll talk about big milestones until my dying breath. But the small wins often stay close to my chest. I’ve just never been one for the spotlight.

After all, the strongest people survive battles no one else knows about. The smartest know when to stay silent and just listen.

More than anything, I have to define success on my own terms.

Personal Reflection

Learning To Live My Life

I’m really bad at living my life.

At any given time, I have so many doubts and concerns. A lot of questions and reservations. That’s why some days I hold back. I play it safe.

I need to live. After all, I only get one life.

But it’s okay to take a break here and there. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact I can’t do everything every day.

I like my lifestyle. I like my life. It’s messy. At times, it’s downright ugly. Still, I’m happy and grateful right now.

I can’t imagine living a different life. I realize how lucky I am. I’m able to read, write, blog. I never want to take those things for granted.

Sometimes I think I’m the least understanding person when it comes to my own predicament. I don’t understand why I can’t read 50 pages every single day. I don’t understand why I can’t write 2,000 words all the time. I’m so hard on myself when I fall short.

I need to remember that life isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. Life isn’t about the numbers. It’s about the process.

Besides, I didn’t fall in love with my hobbies because of arbitrary numbers. I fell in love because they made me feel like I was floating on clouds.

At the end of the day, I want to enjoy the little things. So I will do my best to live my own life. I won’t live someone else’s.

Personal Reflection

Feeling Scared To Try New Things

The older I get, the more scared I am to try new things. I feel like I need to stay in my own lane. But I know I won’t grow if I don’t step outside my comfort zone.

I don’t always know what I want to do. I have to try new things before I can decide if it’s right for me.

I’m the type of person who has no problem seeking out new opportunities like applying for a job, internship, etc. But I don’t always follow through. Sometimes I have a valid reason. But other times I back down out of fear. Fear of failure. That I won’t be good enough.

I want to be more willing to try new things. I don’t want to let fear stop me from following through on opportunities that could change my life forever.

I should stop making assumptions or jumping to conclusions. After all, I won’t know whether I like something until I try it.

Oftentimes when I have to make a decision, I weigh the pros and cons. Unfortunately, it’s easier for me to think of disadvantages than advantages. Then again, there are positives I might not consider until I pursue something further.

It’s easy to play things safe. I might as well take a risk while I’m young though. I have very little to lose. If I find something isn’t right for me, that’s OK. If I fall in love with it, great. But I will never know unless I give myself a chance.

Writing

Sometimes You Just Have To Start Writing

Don’t worry about getting things right the first time you write. You can always edit later, but you need to write first.

It’s okay if you don’t know how your story is going to end. It’s okay if you have multiple endings. Make sure you get to the end. Finish what you start. You can’t publish a book if you give up halfway through.

You’re still allowed to take a break, a hiatus, a vacation. Take as much time as you need to recharge your batteries.

What works for someone else might not work for you. Find what does. Lose what doesn’t.

Keep your head up. All your hard work will pay off one day. Nothing great happens overnight anyway. Make the most of your time.

Raise the bar higher. Do what you think is impossible.

When you fall down, stand up again. Brush the dirt away. Shake the rust off. Start again, even and especially when you think you can’t.

Take a chance on yourself. Make it work out. Want something badly enough. Be willing to go after it.

Enjoy today because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

You’re better than you think. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Put in more time and effort. You’ll be rewarded.

It doesn’t get easier. But you get better, smarter, stronger.

Sometimes you just have to start writing. So give yourself permission to begin.

Reading

Pride By Ibi Zoboi | A Book Review

Title: Pride

Author: Ibi Zoboi

Genre: Contemporary romance

About the book: It’s a modern remix of Pride and Prejudice that features people of colour.

I received an advanced reader’s edition from Harper Collins Canada.

First impressions: I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, but I was interested to see how the author would give that story a modern twist.

Isn’t the cover so pretty?

Characters: The protagonist, Zuri, is very proud and protective of her “hood” as well as her heritage.

I took a while to warm up to the characters. But eventually I grew to like them. Plus, I love the racial diversity.

Quote:

“We’re not gonna just throw away the past as if it meant nothing.”

Writing: I found the writing simple, which makes sense for a YA novel. That said, the author tackles some important issues.

I’m not a huge fan of romance in general, but I did enjoy the trope of characters who despise each other at first but later start to develop feelings.

The chapters are short, and it’s an easy story to follow.

I also loved the use of Spanish in the novel. Although I didn’t necessarily understand every word, I find it was a nice touch.

Zoboi includes some poetry alongside the prose. The poems are from Zuri’s perspective. I adore rhyming, so I had fun reading them.

Final thoughts: The ending isn’t surprising, but it does provide closure.

I’d recommend Pride to readers looking for a modern love story with characters of colour in prominent roles.


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Writing

On Writing Academic Essays

Writing essays for academia is challenging to say the least.

I will never claim to know everything there is to know about anything. But I think confidence is key when it comes to academic work.

I often find myself faced with the problem of not knowing what my professor wants. At times, it’s tough to reconcile what they want with what I want.

The academic essay is a genre in and of itself. I’ve written my fair share of them. I have my own unique ways of tackling them. But let’s get back to basics.

To be completely honest, I write before I research. At minimum, I brainstorm before I go hunting for sources.

I feel like researching without a plan can be a wild goose chase. That and I don’t want to get sucked down a random rabbit hole.

I think my biggest issue is not being specific enough. Vague is my middle name after all.

Instead of making broad claims, I should give an example or provide evidence.

Word choice is instrumental as well. Certain words don’t convey as much meaning as others.

Sometimes my topic sentences suck. I ought to revisit them after I finish writing the paragraph. It’s important to revise.

Introductions are tricky. I try to review them once I finish writing the paper to make the beginning better.

A lot of people recommend writing the intro last, which makes sense. How are you going to introduce what your essay is about if you don’t even know what you’re thinking until you type everything out?

I tend to write a quasi-introduction to help me get started though.

Another tip that might work is to delete the first few sentences or even the whole introductory paragraph when necessary. In doing so, the hope is you get to the point right away rather than beating around the bush.

I enjoy writing conclusions the most. Of course, I avoid introducing new ideas, but I attempt to say something my introduction doesn’t say. If the paper calls for it, I may ask a question or offer a solution.

I get too carried away with the mechanical aspects of writing that I often overlook my ideas. That’s my Achilles heel.