Editing

The Experience Of Giving And Receiving Feedback

My brain melted. I spent an evening reading two stories and trying to critique them, constructively of course.

I’ve forgotten how much work giving feedback is, especially to people you hardly know.

I keep going back and forth between I’m being too harsh or honest. Besides, I would want people to be truthful by providing useful suggestions, not tell me my piece is perfect, which everyone did in elementary and high school.

I like to think I have a good grasp of grammar, so I can’t help myself when I see a comma splice or a dangling modifier. But I also realize grammar isn’t always the main issue. Writers want and need feedback on style, flow, etc.

Editing is a lot of work. It’s one thing to edit your own story. It’s a whole other beast entirely when you have to critique someone else’s.

I try to give feedback I’d like to receive. So I do what I can to balance content suggestions with grammatical corrections.

Ideally, I could sit down with someone and talk to them face to face about their work. But when does that ever happen?

On the other side, getting feedback is great but still a challenge.

I hate my ego sometimes for getting in the way.

I don’t always apply every comment. At times, I am dismissive or defensive.

It helps to get an outside perspective on your writing. And I think having strangers critique your story has its advantages. They don’t know you like your family and friends do. Most of the time, they don’t have to go out of their way to protect your feelings.

But I’m careful with my comments. I include question marks following my suggestions. I say maybe and perhaps so many times, it’s not even funny. I tend to add a disclaimer at the beginning or end, saying something along the lines of take what works, toss what doesn’t. If anything is unclear, ask me to clarify.

I guess I’m well aware my ego is big but fragile, yet I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s because I’ve been on both sides of the proverbial coin.

School

Thoughts I Have About The First Day Of School

I’m writing this before I go back to school, but by the time I edit and publish it, I’ll probably have survived my first day. Or not. I don’t know. Even though I want to predict the future sometimes, I can’t. Ever.

(I survived.)

While the first class is an easy one in some ways, I’ve never felt great in the days leading up to it. Nervousness and excitement don’t mix well for me. I’m just a ball of stress in the mornings.

Fortunately, university hasn’t been as horrible as high school.

I think I’ve experienced enough first days to know I’ll get through another one without the world crashing down on me.

I’m going into my third year of university. Been there, done that. Twice. So I’m not as nervous or terrified. I think I’m more excited than scared at this point. I just want to make this year the best one yet. At least better than last because second year is not one I want to relive. Thankfully, I don’t have to.

(Now I only have one more first day to go. That’s insane. I can’t wrap my head around it.)

I’m wondering if I was more worried about my first day of work. Technically, first days. I think not. There’s something scarier about school, I guess.

To all the students who have gone back, I hope you had a great one. To all those yet to go back, I wish you the very best. If you already graduated, congrats on making it through.

I don’t really know what else to say, except that I’m looking forward to seeing what this year has in store. I have no idea what to expect, so I’m not expecting much.

I know it won’t be easy. But challenge makes life interesting.

I’ll write about my trials and tribulations, so you can laugh at me as I wallow in my misery.

I like to think whatever happens, happens for a reason. I can’t control everything, but I can control myself.

Over the course of this semester, I will do my best to look after my health (physical and mental). That’s important to me. And my happiness too, of course.

Here’s to an amazing year. May you achieve all your goals, academic or otherwise. I hope 2017-2018 is everything you hoped for and more.

Personal Reflection

Failure, Fear, And Feelings

This will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, but I don't enjoy failing. And I hate feeling paralyzed by failure even more.

Unsurprisingly, I've failed in my life. Many times in fact. I've made mistakes and messed up. But I try not to let my past failures hold me back.

I don't want to stop taking risks because I feel scared of rejection.

That being said, I'm still afraid of things.

I can get over disappointing others, letting everyone else down. Yet I have a hard time moving past the idea of failing myself again and again.

My memory works great when remembering the bad. Not only do I remember my failures, I also have a knack for recalling my near failures.

What compounds the problem is my own perception of failure. My personal definition doesn't match up with any found in a dictionary. Some definition I have.

In the past, I used to tell my friends or classmates I failed a test. Most took that to mean I didn't ace it. I don't blame them.

For a while, I deemed any grade less than an A to be an F for failure.

When I think about my academic career thus far, I wonder how much of my success in school was because I felt so afraid of failing, I worked as hard as possible to ensure I wouldn't.

And although fear can be a great motivator, it can also be a dream killer.

The thought process for some may be if I'm going to fail anyway, why bother trying at all?

I hate that sort of mentality, but I also fall into this trap from time to time.

On certain days, I genuinely believe I'm not any good. (Writing the aforementioned sentence has made me emotional.)

I think I'm not enough. I'll never be smart enough or good enough or beautiful enough.

I have not been this emotional writing a blog post. Ever. Four years. One thousand plus posts. And I finally break down while writing one. About time, huh?

A part of me wishes I could rewind my life and go back to the days I felt fearless. A time when the idea of failure didn't cross my mind. A moment when it didn't matter to me what anyone else thought.

I'd also like to have my almost-started-crying-while-penning-a-blog-post card back. Oh well. I can live without it.

Blogging

Blogging Thoughts And Feelings

Sometimes I have an idea but feel like I can’t do justice to it. So I’ll come up with something in my head, yet that thing never translates onto the page the way I initially envisioned it.

When it comes to creativity and originality, I realize I don’t say things that haven’t been said or thought of before.

Also, no matter how long I work on a project, I can’t shake the feeling that it can be better. Worse, I can’t help but occasionally wish my blog post were perfect. At least I’m beginning to see nothing I write will ever be the most creative, the most original, etc.

That won’t stop me for putting out less than perfect posts. In other words, you’re going to have to accept my awesomeness.

Personal Reflection

Restored Faith In Humanity

Something happened today that restored my faith in humanity. Well, in 0.0001 percent of humanity.

Actually a lot of things happened. I’d be here all night if I tried to describe my day in detail.

So you’re going to have to deal with my vagueness and the fact that you’ll probably want answers to questions but won’t get them.

I just want to thank the kind lady who was so generous. To me of all people. I’m a bad person. I don’t deserve good deeds to happen to me.

I don’t really mean that…

Anyway I’m writing this as a way of saying I’m beyond grateful. For her. For you. For everyone who helped me in some way, however small. I’m here because others helped get me here.

I didn’t get a chance to express my gratitude beyond saying two words.

Sometimes a “thank you” just doesn’t cut it.

As much as I love words, they don’t always do justice to my feelings.

Writing

Feeling Like A Fake Writer

There’s no such thing as a “fake writer”. You’re a writer or you aren’t.

Stop feeling like you’re a fraud. 

Don’t let yourself believe you aren’t a “real writer”.

It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been writing or how much you write every day.

It doesn’t matter if you have one book published, ten, or none at all.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t write the same way as someone else or that someone else doesn’t write the same way you do.

You’re a writer if you write.

Personal Reflection

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies.

I want to thank you for supporting me and maybe, possibly loving me as well. If that’s the case, the feeling is completely mutual. And I hope it will remain mutual for years to come.

I spent most of my day reading, writing, and of course, blogging. What else would I be doing on this fine Saturday?

Did you spend your Valentine’s Day doing what you love? Did you spend it with the people you love?

Writing

22 Post NaNoWriMo Feelings

  1. Indecisive
  2. Perplexed
  3. Calm
  4. Fatigued
  5. Distressed
  6. Restless
  7. Relieved
  8. Pessimistic
  9. Lonely
  10. Worried
  11. Satisfied
  12. Anxious
  13. Weary
  14. Cheerful
  15. Alienated
  16. Nervous
  17. Excited
  18. Frustrated
  19. Amused
  20. Fatigued
  21. Paralyzed
  22. Jubilation