Personal Reflection

Life Advice

You’ll figure it out. Adjust, adapt. Sometimes well-laid plans don’t pan out. That’s life. Do the best you can given the circumstances. Put your self in a position to succeed even if it seems the world wants to see you fail.

Don’t blame anyone, yourself included. If you want it badly enough, you’ll work for it. Work hard.

It’s okay to compromise. You may have to compensate. Make sacrifices.

You owe no one anything. Never ask for permission to do what you love. Never ask for approval once you’ve done what you love. This life is yours and no one else’s. Make your own decisions instead of letting someone else make them for you.

You’re going to regret what you didn’t do more than you’ll ever regret all the things you did. Believe in your abilities. You’re more than capable. You can do anything you set your mind to.

Some things don’t matter nearly as much as you think they do. Know who you are. You shouldn’t change for the sake of changing.

You can’t be perfect, so stop trying to be. Nobody else is. Aim for excellence. Do more than you have to. Dream big. Dream bigger. You’re too good to rest on your laurels.

Stay true to your word because that’s all you have. You will reap the seeds you’ve sown in due time. Have the patience to follow through with things to the end. You’re almost there.

Take care of your body. Listen to it. You deserve to be happy. Do what brings you the most happiness. Remember not to feel ashamed about living your life in a way that feels right.

Set the bar high enough that you challenge yourself but not too high that you put yourself in a corner. Nothing is worth more than your health, your well-being.

Go full out, not halfway. Remember all you’ve had to overcome to get here. Count your blessings, your lucky stars. Take pride in the progress you’ve made.

You’ll be okay.

Blogging · Personal Reflection

Blogging Without Knowing What I Want To Blog About

Here’s a little bit about my blogging process.

Most of the time, I’ll write a first draft by hand. Then I transcribe them. I make graphics afterwards. Later I will edit the post. And last but not least I hit publish.

But this time around I wrote a draft, transcribed it, made a graphic, and then deleted the whole post. To be more specific, I created this graphic when I was trying to write a blog post but didn’t know what I wanted to say.

So now I’m writing an entire post on my phone from complete scratch. I almost never do that.

All that to say, don’t mind the not so relevant graphic or this more personal than usual post.

Anyway, I just wanted to get this off my chest.

I’ve been very anxious lately, especially over these past few days.

I feel a lot of emotions. I realize I don’t know everything. I don’t have answers to many things. Which is part of life. But it’s been hard to write or blog because I’m not even sure who I am.

I hate feeling like I’m not good enough. But right now I feel like I’m not enough, like I’ll never be good enough.

I don’t take failure well at all. I wish I did. But my fragile ego hates failing.

I think I feel like I fail because I’m not always on the same track at the same time as everybody else.

It took me a long time to learn that I don’t have to rush life. I can take my time. I am where I need to be. I’ll get where I want to go eventually.

I don’t have to get published by a certain age. I don’t have to get a boyfriend, get married, etc., by a certain time.

I wish I could say everything that’s in my brain more eloquently.

I’m allowed to go at my own pace. I’m also allowed to fail and mess up and make my mistakes. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m not good enough.

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.

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.

Writing

Advice On Breaking Into A Creative Industry

  • Do more than you have to, especially when you’re first starting out. Don’t just do the bare minimum and call it a day.
  • Always find people who will challenge you to improve. Never surround yourself around those don’t care if you stay stagnant.
  • Ask hard questions. Learn how to. And when you get an answer, listen. Sometimes you might not get an answer or you’ll get a no. That’s okay.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. The world won’t end if you mess up or make a mistake.
  • You’re not above anything or anyone. Kindness goes a long way.
  • Deliver on time. Fulfill your end of the deal. If you make a promise, keep it. If you can’t, don’t make one.
  • Chase down chances. No one’s going to hand you anything.
  • Be willing. You may not be the best or the brightest. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to get better, you’ll go a long way.
  • Show up and have something to show. Show up on time. Better yet, be early to events, meetings, etc.
  • Trust the process. It’s a long journey. Keep grinding. Trust your work ethic. Stop making excuses. Stop complaining. Put your head down and hustle. Do the work. Get it done.
  • Differentiate yourself. Embrace your differences. Stand out from the rest of the crowd. You’re not anyone else, so be the best version of yourself.
Personal Reflection

Believe In Your Work Ethic

There’s so much in this world that you can’t control. But you can control your work ethic.

Work hard. Work harder than anyone else you know.

Believe in your work ethic. Believe in yourself.

Put in the time. Pay your dues. You’ll be rewarded soon.

The journey you’re on is beautiful, but it’s also ugly. Keep going.

You will fall down, and when you do, get back up. Brush the dust off. Wipe the dirt away.

You will laugh. You will cry. The lows will make you appreciate the highs.

You’re not alone. You’re not on your own. Others have been there or are there right now.

Share your burdens. You don’t have to bear it all.

Make sure you continue to grow. There’s always more to learn.

You’re doing just fine. You’ll be all right.

Do what you want. Do what you love. Do things your way. Do things on your terms.

Love people, places. Don’t hate. Stop feeling ashamed for loving anyone or anything.

Never settle. Always remember you deserve the best.

Respect yourself first and foremost. You are who you are.

Your scars may fade, but they’ll never go away. You remember. They are a reminder.

Live the life you deserve to live. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You don’t need everyone’s approval.

Learn to forgive yourself for messing up. The world won’t end if you make a mistake. After all, your past doesn’t dictate your future. It gets worse before it gets better.

Walk a mile in other shoes, even and especially ones that don’t fit you.

Have hope. Be positive when negativity arises. Find your confidence when you lose it.

Dig deep. Go deeper. Believe in your work, your ethic, and your work ethic.

Personal Reflection

What I Would Tell My Younger Self

Now that I’m a year older, here are some things I want to tell my younger self.

  • You’re not nice. Especially to yourself. Be kinder.
  • Pay attention to your posture. Sit up straight. It’s not that hard, Herminia.
  • You will fail. That’s inevitable. Unless you don’t try, which is even worse.
  • It’s OK to cry. Even and especially when you have no idea why you’re crying in the first place.
  • You’re allowed to ask for help. Oftentimes you have little or nothing to lose but a lot to gain.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re hungry, eat. After all, you only have one heart, one brain.
  • You don’t have to love everything. Don’t hate everything either.
  • Numbers will never define you. They aren’t a measure of your self-worth.
  • Always challenge yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone. That’s how you’ll grow.
  • Try to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Be realistic though.
  • You can’t live someone else’s life. You can, however, live your own.
  • Don’t be too stubborn, but do you stand your ground. Otherwise, people will walk all over you.
  • You’re going to be OK. You might not feel fine right now. Yet one day, you will.
Writing

Advice On Finishing A First Draft

Am I the best person to give advice on finishing a first draft? No. Will that stop me from preaching what I don’t practice? Nope.

Take a break.

For my first novel, I took a long hiatus but eventually got around to finishing it.

Just make sure you actually return to your unfinished manuscript at some point.

Edit or proofread.

Sometimes, I’d rather edit than write. My mood bosses me around.

Again, you can fall into the trap of only editing your half-finished manuscript rather than writing the ending to it. Hopefully, making edits will get so painful that you choose the lesser of two evils.

Talk to someone.

We all need a friend who will listen to our problems.

You don’t even have to talk about writing. Perhaps all you need is a little bit of encouragement.

I wish you the best of luck in finishing your first drafts. It’s not an easy feat, but the feeling is like none other.

If you have any advice, feel free to tell me. I need all the help I can get.