My Goals For The Rest Of 2017

Since it’s somehow October, I figured I should lay out some goals for myself for the end of the year.

Schooling

I’ve been meaning to be a better student this year. I’m not sure if I’ll do anything differently, though. Work hard, work smart, and work well.

Reading

When I have busy, hectic days, reading tends to suffer more than anything else. I have sort of a binge mindset with books. But it’s tough to block out an entire hour or two to read. My lowball goal is to post at least two reviews a month, meaning I’ll need to read two books. I wish I was a faster reader and reviewer, but when it comes to reading for fun, I want to enjoy the experience. I rather not rush myself for no real reason.

Writing

Honestly, writing sometimes falls by the wayside as well. I’m not too sure what my goal is. I’ve been writing short stories and poems. All summer long, I’ve spent my mornings transcribing old work and editing current projects. I keep sending my babies out into the world. People keep rejecting them. It’s the life of a writer. In a way, I feel a bit lost. I have a lot of doubts, and so I’m not sure what I want right now.

Dancing

I don’t talk much about dance on here, although I really ought to. I’ve been having some great dance sessions as of late. When I told someone about it, she asked me if I’ll ever take dancing to the next level. I won’t. I’ve always danced for myself, and I’m mostly a self-taught dancer. But I’d like to continue stretching, dancing, and conditioning. I feel great. It’s fun. Besides, exercising my body doesn’t hurt my brain.

Blogging

Of course, I save blogging for last. It’s not something I talk about with people in real life. I have my reasons. I also have hit a bit of a weird phase creatively. I seem to fall into routines, ride the same wave over and over again. I hope I’m making sense. I’ve always wanted to write longer posts, but it doesn’t sit right with me. It’s just not who I am to be verbose and wordy. When I edit, I cut out a lot. I’d love to keep posting every day.

These are my goals. What are yours?

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From One Blogger To Another

I have some thoughts about blogging that I want to share.

After being on WordPress for over four years, I’ve come to realize a few things.

I procrastinate writing. I put off editing. It’s not a good combination when trying to publish a post every day. Technically, every night.

I’m hard on myself. So hard.

I hope you aren’t as hard on yourself.

I want a post to be perfect or as close to perfect as possible, which makes me avoid doing the work. But by doing so I give myself less time to write and edit the post.

In short, I’m a bad blogger. But you already knew that.

Write. Edit. Publish. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put off. Don’t be like me.

Staying True To Yourself

I used to be someone I wasn’t. I wasn’t myself because I tried to be what people wanted or expected of me.

I’m not perfect by any stretch. I still struggle to stay true to what I stand for. But it’s easy to give in.

At times, I feel very much like I’m a doormat. Because I let people step on me figuratively. I don’t put my foot down.

I can be firm, say no. I tend to know what I want to do, what I don’t want to do. But I’ve never been the best at vocalizing my desires or opinions, especially if they’re unpopular, which they often are.

When I first sat down to write this post, I figured I’d write about my journey as a blogger. How at one point in time I was not blogging for myself. And because of that, I didn’t feel happy. Or content with my creations.

But recently I realized I’m not always myself around people in general. Maybe that means I need new company. Or maybe I have to rethink who I am as well as who I want to be.

For better or worse, people change. Differently. Some people change faster while others take a bit longer.

Now more than ever before I’ve come to accept and embrace my flaws, quirks, etc. But I can love myself yet still want to improve, get better. That’s life for you.

Humans are not easily content. At least, I’m not. If I was completely happy, I wouldn’t have to do anything ever again. I wouldn’t learn every day. Or read, write, blog.

As I grow older, I hope to mature and become the person I aspire to be. Not always easy, but I’m doing my best. That’s all I ask of myself.

Stay true to yourself. Don’t live your life for someone else.

A Letter To My 30 Year Old Self

Dear 30 year old Herminia,

How are you?

I hope you’re happy. Doing what you love, loving what you do.

Are you well? Healthy?

I like to think you’re still dancing. Maybe not to the extent you used to. But maybe you’re even better.

What book are you reading? You’re reading something, aren’t you? You won’t abandon your first love or neglect reading, right?

I wonder how you feel about dating and relationships. I’m sure 10 years will change your perspective, especially if you’re with someone you love. If you aren’t with someone you love, remember you deserve better. Don’t settle. Don’t ever settle. If you aren’t with someone, in which case I’m not surprised, again don’t settle for just anyone.

How’s the blog, huh? 20 year old you hardly went a day without blogging.

I want to believe with every fibre of my being that writing is still a big part of your life. At least it has some role. Perhaps you’re writing more, maybe getting paid to.

That’s the dream. A recurring one for years.

If you’re stressed or sad, breathe. You’re going to be okay. Whatever you happen to be going through, it will pass. And come on, you’re Herminia Chow.

Also, have you gotten better at dealing with ink stains? Or do pens still get the best of you?

Is there any chance you wish you could go back to being 20 years old when things were simple? I so badly wish you love life with all your heart. That you’re happy where you are.

Here’s to living with no regrets. Don’t panic. Do you. You’re not anyone else.

Keep going. Your hard work will pay off. A lot of your work has probably already paid off.

I don’t know what else to say except good luck. Remember why you started when you want to give up. The only person holding you back is yourself. Go after your goals. Say yes. Roll the dice. You may be surprised, Herminia.

Sincerely,

A not nearly as wise 20 year old

Being A Bad Blogger Again?

I have said I’m a bad blogger on many occasions. I’m not sure how many. I don’t keep track of all the truths I tell. But as this school year kicks into high gear, I feel the need to claim my bad blogger status again.

To be fair, you can blame my time management, well, lack thereof, for my shortcomings as a member of this lovely community. Still, I will do my absolute best to be my best.

Creating my own original content will always be a priority to me. I appreciate all of you who respect that.

I struggle, some days more than others with writing, editing, etc. I certainly don’t know everything there is to know. With each and every day, I’m learning. I am a student. I will always be one.

I’m well aware blogging is a two-way street. You give and take. You reciprocate. I’m not the best at reciprocating. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve probably gotten worse at giving back.

So with that being said, I want to take the time to thank all of you.

When I first started this blog four years ago in 2013, I never thought I’d still be blogging in 2017. Like with most things I figured I’d get bored and drop blogging like a hot potato. But I haven’t. Part of the reason why I haven’t is because of you.

To all the people who read my posts back when I had no idea what I was doing, not that I have any idea now, thanks for giving a new blogger a chance. Thank you to those who showed me the ropes and then allowed me to grasp them on my own. To everyone who reads and comments, I wish you knew how much it means to me. Your support, your encouragement kept me going even during the darkest winter nights when I thought about giving up.

I can’t make any promises or guarantees, but I can do better. And I will. Not just for me but for all of you who have stuck around.

Why I Blog

Some people blog for the wrong reasons. I like to think I’m blogging for the right reasons.

It’s not about the numbers. It shouldn’t be. But having followers is nice. Reading comments is fun.

When I first started my blog in 2013, I got so much joy out of writing. Creating. Making something from nothing.

For a time, I stopped enjoying the creative process as much as I once did because I was focused on the wrong things. But the bliss I felt when I first started blogging keeps me going. So I’ll keep trying to have fun as I write and edit.

Everything else is secondary to me. The views, the followers. Fame. Fortune.

I didn’t start this blog with the goal of turning it into a business. In many ways, I initially wanted blogging to remain a hobby, a passion. At least I want to blog for myself. Writing blog posts for others is a different story.

I hope I never forget the happiness I felt when I began in high school. How excited I was at the end of the day while brushing my teeth.

Four years ago, I made a decision to start a blog. And almost every day I’ve decided to stick with it. I want to see where this journey will take me. I’ve already seen and done more than I ever expected to back in April of 2013.

I don’t regret starting a blog. It’s one of the best things I’ve done in my twenty years of living.

I’ll continue to do my best to not regret, to live my life without regrets.

I haven’t always been where I am today. I went many years without a blog. But now it’s such a big part of my life. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t or couldn’t blog.

I have no idea what to expect from this coming school year. But I have a feeling blogging will be a constant. This blog has been a rock for me. It’s been a lighthouse. Everything I asked for and more.

Whatever happens, wherever I go, I’ll likely write a blog post about it.

What else would I do? Take a picture and post it on social media? Please. That’s just not me.

20 Lessons I Learned As A Blogger


I'm nearly twenty years on this earth, and I've been blogging for over four.

So you're telling me I'm old and not afraid of commitment?

I don't believe it.

But I do believe being a blogger has taught me some valuable things.

  1. Love words, not numbers.
  2. Give back to the community.
  3. Always be yourself.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. Do your best.
  6. Don't forget why you started.
  7. Create greatness.
  8. Keep it simple.
  9. Practice as often as possible.
  10. Push your perceived limits.
  11. Be your own boss.
  12. Listen to those who matter.
  13. Ignore the noise.
  14. Keep improving.
  15. Ask for help.
  16. Stay humble.
  17. Rise to the challenge.
  18. Chase what you want.
  19. Live life.
  20. Put your happiness first.

What have you learned from running a blog? I'd love to know down below. After all, sharing is caring.

How Being A Blogger Is Like Being A Baseball Player

The other day I had a brilliant idea wherein I change my brand to blogging about blogging using baseball analogies and similes.

I'm joking about the brilliant idea. I'm not joking about the baseball part. Which is why I'm presenting you with this probably bad, definitely weird post about what bloggers and baseball players have in common.

Long hours.

Weekends and holidays, what are those? These don't exist when you're a pro baseball player, and they certainly don't exist for bored teenagers who decided to start a blog with the goal of publishing one post once per day.

Thick skin.

Otherwise, you'll break like a breaking ball. Get it? Because breaking balls break. I'm so helpful. I know. My friends tell me that all the time.

Constantly thinking.

About blogging or baseball even when you aren't blogging or baseballing. Allow me to butcher words as I please.

Continually failing.

If you get a hit three out of the ten times you come to the plate, you're considered an above average hitter. So it's okay to fail more than you succeed. Now if only I could publish one half decent post for every hundred that I write. Then a certain girl might be able to blog about baseball for a living.

Messing up.

Even professional baseball players make errors. News flash: they're human beings too. Last I checked, so are bloggers. Everybody and their moms screw up, but there's no need to beat yourself up over a minor mistake.

Hard work.

They say baseball is a mental game. People have said that, right? I can't afford to pay anyone to fact-check my content. And I'm too lazy to do it myself. Blogging is very much a mental game, if not even more so than any sport. After all, bloggers don't actually have to move anything but their fingers.

I probably struck out on with this post. Next time I'll write a hit.

Why I Have A Hard Time Sharing My Creative Writing

Sharing my creative writing with others is a challenge to say the least.

The other day I was trying to pick a story to send to two strangers for their feedback. I had the hardest time emailing a copy of my work to them.

There's something personal about openly sharing your stories with someone else. To an extent, some of my blog posts are personal, and I don't have a problem posting those for the world to see. With creative writing however, I feel as though I'm exposing more of myself.

As I've said, these two are strangers. I think I'd be more comfortable with sharing if I knew them longer, trusted them more. I'm sure they're wonderful human beings. It's still tough to open up and feel vulnerable in front of people you hardly know.

If I had a penny for every times I've said I wanted to get better, I'd be one wealthy woman. Even though I do hope to improve, I'm not the best at asking for feedback. Ditto for applying any feedback I receive.

I'm stubborn. Worse, I have a gigantic ego that loves to get in the way. On a good day, I'm able to shove it aside for the sake of my art.

Every time I've put my art first before my ego, the former benefits greatly.

I say the following not to brag, but to make it clear that I had a different, unusual path when I started out as a writer and blogger. I found success early on in both endeavours. In some ways, I was even more successful a few years ago than I have been recently.

So, for many reasons, my ego was inflated in high school. A part of me thought I always knew what was best, what was right.

Of course, that's not always the case.

Over time, my ego has taken a good beating.

I'm at a point now where I feel confident, not cocky in my abilities. After all, I've come a long way, but I still have plenty of room for improvement.

I can identify strengths and weaknesses in my own work. But having an outside perspective point out certain problems can make all the difference.

What I want to say ultimately boils down to these points:

Sharing your writing with strangers isn't easy. It can be a vulnerable experience. That's okay, though. So long as you don't let your ego stop you from improving your art in every way possible. And sometimes the best thing you can do is to put your ego aside and listen to others.

I think I've reaffirmed what I knew all along. Egos suck.

Doing Better Than Others Versus Doing Better Than Yourself

Although I was obsessed with doing better than others for one year too many, I'm more focused on myself now. I'd like to stay this way moving forward.

I remember a time when I looked at a blogger's stats (followers, views, etc.) and felt discouraged. Defeated even. I wanted to do better than others instead of trying to improve myself.

Even before I made this blog, I strived to beat out the students in my class. For a while, I stopped being concerned with my personal goals because I concentrated so much on the success of other people. Strangers, friends, acquaintances alike.

At some point, I realized doing better than others didn't make me happy. I shouldn't have cared how everyone else did in relation to myself.

So nearly twenty years after I came into this world, I've come to a few conclusions.

I have to define success on my own terms. I won't steal someone's definition and settle with it.

I want to do better than me, myself, and I. Which is why I need to strive to beat my personal best, not the best of another blogger or student.

After all, I'm on my own unique journey. And everyone else around me is on a different one of their own. It's unfair to compare.  

We're all human beings, but we aren't exactly the same. Like comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruits but apples aren't oranges. I'm not you. You are not me.

Besides, I'm happier when I focus on what I'm doing and how well I'm doing. Also, the time I spend asking a peer what they got on a test or peeking at a creator's numbers is better spent practicing my skills. I could be studying harder or blogging more to improve my abilities.

Interestingly enough, I constantly write in my journal that I can do better. One because it's true. And two because I want to. More than anything. I would love nothing more than to become a better writer and blogger. To grow as an artist.

Every day I should do something to ensure I'm moving forward rather than fall behind or stay stagnant.

Going forward, I hope I'll make a conscious effort to be better than I was yesterday.

My goal is to beat my own goals, best my personal records, not those of others.