What Writing Advice Would You Give To Your Younger Self?

Dear younger Herminia who thought she knew everything but really knew next to nothing,

You don’t know everything. You never will. But you can try to learn as much as possible. 

You can learn something from everyone. There’s plenty to be learned by listening to other people’s stories. 

Give your stories a title. It’s not that difficult. Don’t be lazy. Use your brain. You have one for a reason.

Things happen for a reason. Life gives you lemons and throws you curveballs. 

What you decide to do with those lemons and curveballs will shape your future. Sometimes you mess up and don’t make lemonade, don’t hit the curveball a mile.

You’re allowed to mess up. You’re going to fail. The world won’t end. Learn from your errors and failures. 

Don’t make the same error twice. Especially in front of someone who has seen you commit that mistake already.

Mistakes don’t always mean you failed. And you’ll fail even when you don’t make a mistake.

Besides, failing is better than not trying. At least you tried. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

Try hard. Rejection happens. It’s not personal. It’s just business. Move on.

Move forward. Look towards the future. Opportunities exist. Search for them. You have to capitalize on the chances you’re given when they’re right in front of you.

Give yourself a chance even when no one else will. Believe in yourself even if no one else does.

Find a cause you believe in. Then do good for that cause. 

If you don’t want to do something, don’t. Unless that thing is writing. Then go write. Write even when you don’t want to. It’s the only way you’ll ever get any work done. Don’t do anything half-heartedly. If you aren’t going to put in your best effort, don’t even bother.

If you’re going to start a story, finish it. Do you realize how much you learn from finishing what you start? Take care of your business.

Successful businesses didn’t take no for an answer. Successful business owners didn’t accept excuses either. You’re better than an excuse.

Never excuse laziness. Never rest on your laurels. Resting is fine. Take a break. Sleep every night. But continue to work and practice. Because other writers are too.

It’s not fair to compare aspiring writers to accomplished writers. Comparing accomplishes nothing except take up brain space that should be occupied with positive thoughts. 

To some degree, you are your thoughts. Shove the negative ones away. You don’t need them. 

You do need to stay ambitious. Ambition is good. Set goals you can attain. Set bigger goals once you’ve achieve what you wanted to initially. 

People might tell you you’re crazy for having the goals you do. Or that your dreams are too big. Do not listen to them. You’re not that crazy. Your dreams can be even bigger.

Keep dreaming. Keep hoping. 

Hope for the best. But expect the worst. Deal with the hand you’re dealt.

The hand you have might be better than you realize. 

Realize this: milestones don’t make you happy.

Your work should bring you the ultimate happiness. 

So work hard. Embrace the fact that you’re hard on yourself and probably always will be. Take it easy from time to time.

Writing isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do every day. 

Regardless of how hard life gets, you can either let fear run your life or you can run fear out of your life. The choice is yours.

Yours truly,

Older Herminia who still doesn’t know much but pretends she does

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