Personal Reflection

My Year In Review: 2018

I don’t even know where to begin. 2018 has been a year of high highs and low lows for me. But I’m happy to say I survived. I’ll see you all on the other side.

Here’s my 2018 in review.

January was great. I had a lot of motivation and inspiration. I started 2018 on a strong note. I began my second semester of third year. It feels so long ago now. I finished three books and reorganized my shelves. I submitted poems but never heard back.

February sucked. I was hit by a car. I spent the month resting and recovering. I read four novels. Fortunately, I felt good enough to attend my friend’s birthday party later in the month. It helped me get back on my feet.

March wasn’t easy, but I managed. I fell in love with baking. One day, I decided to download Duolingo and improve my Mandarin. I got through three books.

April was busy. I had finals. I found time to grab lunch with a friend I don’t see often afterwards. I started working as a digital marketing intern. I read three novels.

May went well. I worked all month. I hung out with some friends. I finished four books.

June wasn’t bad. I kept working. I changed the theme for my blog. I attended another birthday party. I finished three novels.

July felt short. I still worked. My cousin from China came over, so I spent more time with family. I read three books.

August felt even shorter. I attended an event for book bloggers. I finished three novels. I started driving again.

September signalled the arrival of school. My first semester of fourth year to be exact. I learned that my poem would be published in an anthology. I couldn’t believe it. Later I signed an author release form and approved the proof for print. I read four novels, rearranged my shelves. I continued to drive.

October was good. I won an academic scholarship. I had my midterms. I spent time with more relatives from China. I finished three books.

November stressed me out. Life. NaNoWriMo. School. I only managed to get through two novels. To be fair, one of them was fairly long. I drove.

December had its ups and downs. I finished classes and exams. I finally took my road test and got my G2 driver’s license. I finished 4 books too.

Thank you all for an amazing year. All the best in 2019!

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

My Poem Is Being Published

I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been a hard year in many ways. So this achievement feels even more meaningful to me.

Every success reminds me of why I started. Why I haven’t given up. I want to continue. I don’t want to quit.

My poem is being published in an anthology. Funny story that isn’t funny. I thought I wouldn’t hear back, so I made a few edits and published the poem on my blog. But then I got a letter saying they wanted to publish it. As a result, I had to make the post private.

That story says a lot about me. But it also goes to show you just how long the publishing process takes.

I first had to sign a release form. Then I approved the proof for print. Now, everything is out of my hands.

I wrote this poem in 2016. It’ll be published at the end of 2018. That’s crazy to me.

I’m so grateful for all your support. I don’t have many writer friends in real life. Which is why I often don’t share this kind of stuff with them. Thanks for listening to me through thick and thin.

To be honest, I try to blog every day because I want to document the good as well as the bad. Not just the highs or the highlights. I want to récord the beautiful and ugly moments in my life.

I hope I can inspire others. At the very least, I hope you know you’re not alone.

Writing

On Submitting My Work To Writing Contests

I have no problem writing all the time. But submitting is a whole other story. I feel bad but clearly not that bad.

The thought of submitting seems so daunting. I need to break it down into smaller steps. I should start somewhere.

For me, the act of starting anything tends to be the hardest part more often than not. Once I start however, I find that the work isn’t so bad.

I’m not sure how I managed to submit stuff in the past. The first time was about six years ago. I entered a contest just for fun. Little did I know I’d end up being published.

Last year I submitted a story right before exam season. As you can see, I had my priorities straight. It worked out because I got the story published and didn’t fail any of my exams.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any negative consequences if I don’t submit. I have a lot to gain, but nothing to lose. Perhaps I should create my own consequences for being a lazy potato.

I like to think I’ll figure things out. I’m still learning, and I have more to learn.

At the very least, I know what I want to accomplish. Now I just have to get to work.

Writing

Five Things Writers Need To Start Doing

  1. Start believing in yourself. Otherwise, no one else will.
  2. Start growing thick skin. You need it.
  3. Start listening to conversations. Eavesdrop away.
  4. Start taking your work seriously. Especially if you want to be published.
  5. Start writing that novel. Words won’t write themselves.
Writing

Find Publishers And Get Published

Finding publishers isn’t the toughest part of the process. Getting published is.

For what they’re worth, here are my two cents. I imagine they aren’t worth much considering I’m twenty and have nothing to show for it.

In grade nine, I started my writing “career” by applying to contests. I was a naive writer who knew nothing. Thanks to some divine intervention, I stumbled across an essay competition.

I didn’t think much about submitting a piece I wrote for fun on my own. I tinkered around with the essay and made it fit the contest requirements.

My dream of being published came true.

I realize I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t get rejected my first time around.

But I’ve since had my ego shattered about a thousand times.

Throughout high school, I scoured the web for random contests to submit to. I stumbled across a few gems.

Maybe I should have prefaced this post by saying I’ve yet to seek book publishers for an actual novel. So I’m sharing my experience trying to find publishers for short pieces.

Just last year I had the pleasure of attending a magazine launch. Again, I found out about this opportunity browsing the web online. I got rejected twice before I got selected. How’s that for perseverance?

I suspect I’ll have more to say about publishing when I’m older.

Creative Writing

20 Reasons Why I Write

In honour of turning two decades old later this month, here are twenty reasons why I'm still a writer.

  1. I love writing with all my hollow heart.
  2. I'm not horrible with words.
  3. I am terrible with numbers.
  4. Stories have changed my life for better or worse.
  5. I'll face the blank page over boredom any day of the year.
  6. Being published is better than not being published.
  7. Real people aren't as cool as fictional ones.
  8. Every day is an emotional roller coaster I'm never ready for.
  9. Other writers keep me from going insane.
  10. Therapy is expensive.
  11. I can write alone, by myself, on my own.
  12. I've learned more from writing books than reading textbooks.
  13. It's fun to inflict pain on fictional characters.
  14. I enjoy the suffering of others.
  15. I can relive experiences as many times as I want.
  16. Writing provides me some much needed perspective.
  17. I don't want to talk to people.
  18. People interrupt me on the rare occasion I do open my mouth to say something.
  19. Writing makes me happier than anything else in this world.

Why do you write?

Writing

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Quit Writing Now Or Ever

  1. You’re a sadist.
  2. You like learning.
  3. You love writing.
  4. You hate everything else.
  5. You’re bad at things that don’t involve words.
  6. You enjoy creating characters.
  7. You enjoy building worlds.
  8. You don’t know what you’d do with your life without writing.
  9. You rise to the challenge of putting words down on the page.
  10. You think writing is your calling.
  11. You need to escape from the horrors of the real world and retreat to another one.
  12. You feel bad before you write.
  13. You feel like a boss while writing.
  14. You feel better after having written.
  15. You rather write than pay for therapy.
  16. You rather write a story than read one.
  17. You write on your own terms.
  18. You want to be published.
  19. You want to prove people wrong.
  20. You don’t care if no one reads your work.
  21. You don’t care if everyone reads your work.
  22. You don’t want to quit writing.