Personal Reflection

When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing

Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing. I know I’m not alone in that regard. But I feel like everybody else knows what they’re doing, and I’m the only one who doesn’t have my life together.

I realize I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I shouldn’t rush myself just because someone is doing something I haven’t done yet.

I try my best not to force anything. Then again, I feel like an imposter when I’m being true to myself. Partly because in my eyes the real me isn’t good enough, which is so problematic.

I dislike pressure from other people. I don’t handle it well at all. I’ll be living my life, taking one step at a time and then it feels like someone shoves me from behind. Instead of going faster, I’ll slip or trip. I’ll fall flat on my face.

Rather than rising to the occasion, I crack under pressure. The facade fades away before my failures become exposed for all to see.

I don’t always know what I’m doing. Even when I do, I’m not very confident. Self-doubt and second-guessing will be the death of me.

I lack confidence in many areas of life. That said, I truly believe anyone can get better at anything with practice. Humans have the ability to grow and improve. That’s a beautiful thing We shouldn’t take for granted.

What’s more, everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to be bad at certain things. It’s not the end of the world.

Besides, you can learn. You can turn what used to be a weakness into a strength. Or at the very least, you can strengthen your weaknesses.

I often try to remind myself that so long as I do my best, I have nothing to be ashamed of.

Personal Reflection

On Self-Esteem And Confidence

Some days, I feel I’m not good enough. I don’t give myself enough credit.

But I know what I’m good at, and I know what I’m not good at. That being said, I don’t know much. All I know is I want to write, need to.

I want to get better, do better. It’s tough though. I feel like no matter how hard I work, I’ll never be good. I’ll never do enough.

Being a writer is the best thing that ever happened to me. But some days it’s the hardest thing in the world.

I can’t not write. I can’t bear untold stories inside me. I don’t even care if they don’t see the light of day. It doesn’t matter whether people read my words or not. What matters is I write them, one by one.

I try to refrain from tearing myself down when I write. So writing helps boost my self-esteem. The school system doesn’t do wonders for anyone’s confidence.

I hate that I let grades affect me so much. One good grade doesn’t make me focus less on all the bad ones.

I’m also way too hard on myself. It’s not even because I’m a perfectionist. I just expect perfection in my results. Which is problematic. But that’s who I am.

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.


On Self-Confidence And Writing

I can't be the only one who has confidence issues, especially when it comes to writing, right?

I wonder if I'd feel more or less confident if I wasn't a writer. I'll never know. The word is practically stamped on my wide forehead, tattooed on my black heart.

Writing every day is challenging to say the least.

I have doubts. It feels like I'm always plagued by them. Go away. Leave me alone. I'm trying to tell stories.

I question whether I'm good enough, if I'll ever be enough.

After all, I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to everything, writing specifically. I make things tougher for myself. Creating is so much harder than it needs to be because of me.

Then again, I feel like a lot of people are the same way.

I don't know what to tell you. I wish I had a simple answer, an easy solution.

The best I can offer is this: keep writing. Keep believing in your dreams and visions. Don't stop writing until they're a reality. When you realize your old dreams, chase new ones.

You're good. You're good enough.

You'll get better.

Start and never stop believing in yourself.


So You Think You Can Write A Novel

So you think you can write a novel, huh?

You can.

It’s not going to be easy. But it’s possible.

You can do it. I believe in you. Do you believe in yourself?

When the going gets tough, don’t give up.

Remember it’s worth it. Finishing the first draft of a novel might be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life.

If you take on the creative challenge, you’ll be tested every step of the way. Exciting, no?

When you want to quit, remember why you started. When you’re ready to give up, know that you’re closer to the end than you realize.

Sometimes you’ll think there’s so much work left to do, so many words you still have to write. Don’t forget to look back. See how far you’ve come. How proud you’ll be if you cross that finish line.

If I can, you most certainly can.
We’re at that point in July—I fondly refer to it as Camp NaNoWriMo—where I doubt my ability to write a novel, despite having done so already. In fact, I’ve written my share of them in my short lifetime. I say this as I’m about to turn twenty in one month’s time. I’m old, people.

Self doubt is such a crippling feeling. It kills more dreams than anything else in the world if you ask me.

My dream is to publish a novel. I can’t exactly do that when I have the devil that is self doubt breathing down my neck while I’m trying to write. Hello, rude.

So if you think you can’t write a novel, I know how you feel. I felt that way. Sometimes I still do.

It also took me two years, maybe even longer to finish my first.

Short breaks turned into extended vacations. I’m sure you understand.

For anyone out there who’s confident they can write a novel, I like your confidence. Can I have some?

Writing can really kill your self-esteem. On the other hand, it’s boosted my confidence like nothing else.

I hope after reading this post, you’ll feel better about your own ability to write a novel. If not, don’t worry, I have no plans to quit my day job.

Perhaps you’re 222% confident in your novel writing ninja skills. In that case, why are you still reading? Don’t waste your time on this sorry excuse for a blog.

Can you tell I’m self-deprecating to a fault?

I digress. I do often. I trust future Herminia to edit my ramblings by cutting every other word. And then cutting every other remaining word. 

She clearly didn’t do her job. 

Swriously though, do you think you have what it takes to start and finish a novel?

If you didn’t answer I’m the affirmative, I want to smack some sense into your head. Of course you can. You’re a writer. A competent one, completely able to scratch across 50,000 words in a month. Or whatever your word count is. 100,000 words are for non-humans and monkeys. 

I can’t wait to see what you’ll create. I have a feeling you can’t either.


When In Doubt, Blog It Out

I doubt just about everything and everyone, especially myself. 

The older I get, the more cynical I become.

Even though I try to appear put together and self-assured on the outside, inside I’m full of doubts. Usually they surface in the form of questions. 

Can I do this? Will it work? What if I fail?

Yes. It might. There’s nothing wrong with failing but everything’s wrong with not trying.

Sometimes when I’m not sure of something, I’ll blog about it. Blogging doesn’t solve all my problems. But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t helped me get through this complicated journey that is life.

When in doubt, blog it out. Or write. Or journal. Whatever works.


A Serious Blogging Consideration

I’m considering the idea of reducing my blogging activity. At least once school starts. Because I’m going to be lazy and not manage my time properly.

I don’t know if I will for sure, but I just wanted to warn anyone who cares. I also want to look back on this post one day and laugh at my naïve self.

Okay? Okay.

Interesting fact, I thought about doing this exact thing on September 20th, 2014. But I never published those thoughts. I somehow managed to balance blogging with school just fine in previous years, even though I had little confidence in myself. If I had little confidence then, I have even less confidence now.

If this blog is dead in a month, you’ll know why.

Still, I will do everything in my power to ensure this blog doesn’t die before I do.


Be A (More) Confident Writer

Another Tumblr ask and answer.

Hi, I was wondering if you could answer how to gain confidence or be more confident about writing. I know that writing every day is a key step, but sometimes I get so unsure about what I want to write that I can’t even write it for myself. Thanks!

I can certainly answer based on my own experience. Keep in mind this is what has worked for me, so it may or may not work for you.

As usual I’ll bold the main points and elaborate on them. If you’re lazy or lacking time (who isn’t?), you can skim over the non-bolded text. Or skip this entirely. I don’t care.

Read (and write) every day.

You’ve already mentioned writing every day. It’s worth noting I read every day. Some days, I don’t get as much reading done as I’d like. But a little work over your long lifespan adds up. Read a bit every day if you can, so you subconsciously pick up new words, strange ideas, different phrases, odd concepts, etc. Making it a habit to read and write daily has helped my confidence tremendously. Reading especially. Books are arguably the best teacher if you’re willing to be a disciplined student.

Be independent.

Do what you can on your own. There’s nothing like conquering the world by yourself to boost your confidence. Of course, ask for help if you need it. But writing requires you to wear many hats and put on many pants alone. Without someone else holding your hand, feeding you food. Just know you’re more capable thank you think.

Wear Write what makes you feel confident.

Heck, wear what makes you feel confident while you’re writing. Write what you know isn’t terrible advice either. Though I wouldn’t stick to writing what you know all the time. If you know what you’re writing about like the back of your hand, you should have a greater command of your subject. Therefore, you should be more confident. If not, the Internet is your best bet. Allow yourself to feel comfortable. Maybe that means having a cup of coffee by your side. Perhaps you’ll put on makeup before heading to your desk. Or you might stick to a genre you love for your first novel. Comfort leads to confidence, at least in my experience. So get comfortable physically, mentally, emotionally. Confidence will follow.

Let yourself fail.

Failure sucks. But fear of failure sucks even more. I want to address the remark you made of being “unsure”. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I wonder if you’re afraid of something. Afraid of failing. Afraid your story won’t be what you hope it will be. Afraid you’re not good enough. Whatever. I want you to fail. I want your story to not be perfect. I want you to feel like your writing isn’t good enough. So long as you use that to your advantage. You failed? Keep failing until you succeed. Your story didn’t turn out right? Write until you make it right. Your writing is nowhere near where it needs to be? Then keep your butt in that chair and work away. Every time you’re rejected, either start on something else or rewrite that story. Send your story into the world as many times as it takes. And never stop learning from your mistakes. It’s not easy failing again and again. But the more you fail, the better off you’ll be from it.

Get published.

I’m not saying you need to publish a book in order to be a confident writer. But there’s something about seeing your name in print that nothing else can quite rival. I know it isn’t easy. I’ve been there. I’m still there. If I can do it, you most definitely can. Take baby steps. Enter a national or regional writing contest. Then keep at it until you’re accepted for publication. Someone somewhere will publish your story. Or poem. Maybe try your hand in writing a blog post for a business or organization. I’ve done both. Tiny successes like those plant and/or water a confidence seed in your head. If your work is good enough to be printed, you’re on the right path. If you can get something published, you can certainly do it again.

Care less.

I used to be very paranoid and sensitive. But ever since uni started, I’ve stopped caring about the stupid things and I care a lot less about not as stupid but still senseless stuff. Guess what? I’m more confident today than I ever was before. You’ll just have to take my word on it. Don’t stop caring about everything. But do care less about the not so important crap life throws you. I hope you feel better and more confident as a result.

Happy writing confidently!

Ask me anything if you want to read more of my advice.

Are you sick of these already? I promise once exams end, I’ll be less of a lazy blogger who complains about lack of time. Key word: promise.