Personal Reflection · Writing

My Biggest Fear In Life

My biggest fear in life isn’t failure. It’s not trying.

I somehow convince myself that I’m not good enough. As a result, I don’t try sometimes.

It’s 2019, and I’m still just as hard on myself, if not even harder.

I have to try. I have to try my best.

I know I don’t handle failure well though. I’m working on it. I wish I could easily embrace mistakes.

I’m aware that by not trying, in a way I avoid failing. Still, I fail in a different way. I fail if I don’t try.

This year, I want to take risks I haven’t before. If I don’t try, I’ll never know. If I don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

When I was younger, I was more fearless, less afraid. Back then, I felt like I had less to lose. But I don’t have much to lose now either.

Ideally, I’d publish a book before I have kids. Now that I’ve put my intention out into the world, I hope to follow through. The first step is trying to tell the best story I can. I’ve given myself a somewhat flexible due date. Without a timeline of some kind, I could spend my whole life writing novels but never publishing them. At this point, I just need to start somewhere. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, starting is the hardest part.

Tweeting

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

As a writer, I feel I should like Twitter. Of all the platforms, Twitter seems the most suited for writers.

I’ve just never been much of a social media user. I don’t always know what to say or share, especially online. Sometimes I think about sharing something but then stop myself for some reason.

In a way, tweeting is similar to blogging. I guess I’d rather spend more time writing or reading.

Also, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be everywhere and to do everything.

Perhaps I need to tweet about something unrelated to me. I’m not one to share personal details about myself in real life or on social media.

I’m better at writing than I am at posting. I have no problem drafting a tweet. But sending it out into the world is a different story.

It’s not easy to create content on a consistent basis. It’s even harder when these days almost anyone can criticize you.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get into Twitter. Don’t get me started on Instagram. I suck at social media. Big surprise, I know. So kudos to everyone who doesn’t.

Some days, I wonder if I was born in the wrong era. I need a time machine. Take me back to the days before social media existed.

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.

Blogging

Why I Try To Blog Every Day

When I first started blogging, I had the goal of publishing a post a day. Now that I’m older and busier, I wonder why I set future me up for failure.

On a serious note, I don’t have to publish something every day. But nowadays, it feels wrong not posting.

I think 15-year-old me was wise in some ways. Trust me when I say she was not wise in many ways.

Still, she knew practicing every day does a lot more good than practicing once a month. But she also knew that without a goal, Herminia will do nothing. She’d sit on her hands. She would wait for opportunities to fall from the sky into her lap. She’s also lazy. She comes up with excuses.

I’m also realizing now that if I let myself try to write the perfect novel, I would. But you can’t make anything perfect. You have to write a lot of bad before you write anything good.

I’m not aiming for perfection every time I hit publish. I’m aiming for progress. I want to learn and grow. I can’t do that if I spend my whole life trying to plan the most perfect post or the best novel.

There’s still so much I don’t know. But I do know I enjoy the challenge of creating content. I like having a place where I can be less academic, formal, professional, etc.

I’m allowed to do whatever I want, however I want. So maybe just maybe I can go back to being that naïve girl who fell in love with blogging and never looked back. She made her own rules, found success on her own terms.

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.

Writing

Where I Am On My Writing Journey

When it comes to writing, I feel like I hold myself back. At least I’m not letting others hold me back too much.

I think my problem isn’t so much that I’m terrified of trying. But rather I try and give up. I’ll attempt to write a story only to abandon it halfway through.

I know I don’t have to stress about my writing career so soon. After all, I’m still in school, and I will be until 2019. But thinking about graduation freaks me out. What am I going to do after university? Where will I work?

I’m borderline unemployable, so I hope writing works out. Ultimately, I want to write full-time, all the time.

Imagine eighty year old me sitting in a rocking chair by the fireplace and squinting at a screen. I kid you not, I already have the eyes of a sixty-year-old. That happens when you don’t win the genetic lottery.

Because I’m lazy, I haven’t done a ton of research up until this point. I’m still trying to improve my writing. First, I need to finish my novels. Once I do then I’ll figure out my next move.

I’ve always dreamed of being traditionally published. I’m kind of on the fence right now in terms of which route to take. I’m not sure what to pursue anymore.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind self publishing. I won’t shy away from the work. I’d welcome the challenge with open arms.

There’s a part of me that wants to try the traditional path though. If I fail, I can self publish. And if I fail to publish anything, please shout at me. Talk some sense into my thick head.

There’s so much to think about and work through. Like I’m so fond of saying, I’ll take life word by word, day by day. Maybe down the road, I can look back and laugh at my past self.

Writing

My Novel Writing Process

I’ve written some novels in my lifetime. But whenever I undertake a new one, I’m not sure how I’ll make it to the end. This is a glimpse into my writing process.

Brainstorming

I’m a character-centric writer. Always have been, always will be. So I tend to come up with an interesting person and throw conflict at him or her as I go.

Outlining

Based on past experience, if I had to outline every novel for the rest of my life, I’d be on pace to never finish another one ever again. I sort of outline in my head. Depends on your definition of outlining though.

Writing

It isn’t too bad once I get past the beginning and middle.

Researching

I tend to research after I finish an initial draft where I brainstorm my own ideas first.

Waiting

I like to wait a long time in between writing the first draft and all that follows after.

Transcribing  

I handwrite most of my novels, so at some point, I have to type everything up onto the computer.

Critiquing

The one novel I sought feedback on was incomplete at the time, and it still is about six years after the fact. At least I like critiquing my own work. I’d much rather crush my own ego than have someone else do so.

Rewriting

I enjoy losing my sanity and seeing improvements at the same time.

Editing

Some stories don’t even get this far. What a shame.

Publishing

Obviously, I’m not at this stage yet. If my dreams come true, I don’t know how I’ll refrain myself from talking about my books.

Procrastinating

I procrastinate so much it’s a miracle I get anything done on time. Sadly, I put things off at all stages of the novel writing process. Nothing like consistency, am I right?

Reading

Even when I’m writing a novel and it’s a priority like during NaNoWriMo, I try to read as much as I can. Books inspire me. Other stories have inspired my own.

Celebrating

I celebrate the small victories as much or maybe even more than the big ones. I believe in rewarding myself. Otherwise, my motivation would be six feet under.

What’s your novel writing process like? I’d love to know.

Blogging

Publishing 1,458 Posts

April 2, 2013: I published my first blog post.

April 2, 2017: I’m publishing my one thousand four hundred fifty eighth post.

That’s a lot of posts.

I know many of them are bad, imperfect, etc.

They’re short.

They aren’t life-changing or mind-blowing.

But that’s okay.

I still remember the days I had zero posts to my name. At one point, I had no followers and no views on this blog. Even though numbers don’t matter, I still can’t wrap my head around any of this.

It feels like I just started blogging yesterday but also like I’ve been blogging ever since I was born.

It’s insane to think I’ve had so many ideas. What’s even more insane is the fact that I’ve published a great number of them.

As for those 500+ drafts I have lying around, some will never see the light of day. Others, with a lot of tinkering, just might.

I can’t say it enough—thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I hope you continue to.