Personal Reflection

What I’d Tell My 20 Year Old Self

Be kind to everyone.

You don’t know what others are going through. They might be having a bad day.

You’re stronger than you think.

Give yourself more credit than you do.

Listen to the voice in your head.

Don’t confuse it for the voices of society.

Take care of your body.

You only have one.

The world isn’t fair.

Sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s life.

Love without shame.

Fall in love with people and things.

Learn to forgive.

You may never forget, but you can forgive. Do it for your own sake and sanity.

Confront your demons.

You have to face your fears. You can’t live the rest of your life scared to death.

Embrace failure and rejection.

You will learn more from screwing up than from success.

You aren’t always right.

It’s OK to be wrong.

You are not defined by your past.

Likewise, your past doesn’t dictate your future. Your present doesn’t either.

You will get better.

Your situation will improve. Nothing lasts forever. You may not feel fine right now, but one day you will.

Writing

When You’re Feeling Anxious About The Future

When you’re feeling anxious about the future, remember to breathe. Focus on your breathing.

You can’t control everything. Change what you can. Don’t worry about the rest.

Double check. Triple check. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks. Make sure you’re on the right track.

Failure is inevitable. You will fail. You’ll lose. The key is to hold your head high.

Take rejection like a professional. You’re one step closer to success.

Try to live in the present. It’s so much easier said than done. But you only have today. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring, much less next year.

Appreciate your own accomplishments. You’re here because you’ve succeeded in the past. There’s no reason why you can’t succeed again.

Let go. Leave the baggage behind. Your past doesn’t dictate your future unless you let it. Likewise, your current circumstances don’t dictate what’s to come. Things change. People do too.

Believe in your dreams over your nightmares. One day, you will get where you want to go. But you have to take the steps to get there. Take life one day at a time, one deadline at a time.

You can’t do it all. You don’t have to. Everyone has 24 hours.

You’re stronger than you feel. You’re smarter than you think. In fact, you’re better than you know.

You can give something your all or you can get nothing instead.

Do what you want. Do what you need. Do makes you happy.

It’s OK to forget. Sometimes you have to forgive others. Other times, you have to forgive yourself.

Take care of your body now, so you’ll be healthy later. It’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape. Self-care extends beyond exercising.

If you’re struggling, ask for help. You’re not alone. You will never be.

When you’re anxious about the future, imagine a better world. Get excited about new possibilities. You don’t need to have all the answers, just a desire to ask questions.

Writing

Common Fears Writers Face

The fear of no one reading your story. You spent 3,682 hours, 41 minutes, and 9 seconds on one story. But not a single soul will see it. At least your eyes will look upon a masterpiece.

The fear of no one liking your stories. Or worse, everyone hating it.

The fear of failure. Rejection after rejection after rejection.

The fear of success. Some people have a scary definition of what it means to be successful.

The fear of fear. Of course, it’s both a verb and a noun.

The fear of no fear. Imagine not being afraid of anything. Isn’t that terrifying?

The fear of letting others down. Sorry mom.

The fear of letting yourself down. You’re probably your biggest critic.

The fear of losing everything. Especially your dignity.

The fear of losing nothing. Because you don’t have anything to lose.

The fear of losing friends. Then again, you can’t lose what you don’t have in the first place.

The fear of making enemies. It’s like going through high school all over again.

The fear of wasting your time. It’s precious.

The fear of wasting your life. You only get one after all.

Always write out of love. Never write out of fear.

Writing

A Writer’s Essentials To Get Through The Year

Few things in life are essential. The rest is just trivial. But, as a writer, you need:

Thick skin. For all the times society rejects you.

A place to keep your rejection letters. You can store them in a cool, dry place before burning them in your fireplace.

Notebooks. Napkins just don’t cut it.

A playlist for every occasion. It seems like every scene calls for a different song.

Comfortable clothes. PJs are an absolute must.

A box of tissues. If you’re not crying, your readers aren’t either.

Books on books on books. Because when you’re not writing, you’re reading.

A book deal. Every writer needs one.

Chocolate…and more chocolate. Or candy. Cake even.

A pet of some sort. Pets make better company than people.

May you write the next bestseller and make millions this year.

Writing

A 2018 Writing Q&A

Why do you write?

Because I hate just about everything else.

How often do you write?

Every single day. I barely sleep, I hardly study, and I rarely socialize.

What’s the easiest part?

Writing the first draft.

What’s the hardest part?

Editing terrible first drafts.

What’s your writing routine like?

I’ll wash my hands because I’m a germaphobe. Then I start writing until I’m done.

What did you accomplish in 2017?

Next to nothing. I got to attend a magazine launch for the first time. I hope it’s not my last.

What are you currently working on?

I’m writing stories that are too long but also too short at the same time. Send help.

What are your goals for 2018?

I’d like to submit my work to as many places as possible. I know that’s not specific. Give me a break. Vague is my middle name after all.

What are you looking forward to?

I received some exciting news the other day. Nothing is completely confirmed or finalized just yet. Any day now I’m going to do cartwheels until my wrists fall off. I’ll keep you updated.

What’s your dream?

To be a published author. To make a living doing what I love. I just want to work with words. Is that too much to ask for? Probably.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself trying to write the next bestseller while squinting at a screen.

Any last words?

Thank you for coming along with me on this wonderful and woeful journey. I hope you experience even more rejections than I do.

Personal Reflection

22 Things I’m Terrified Of

A list of things that scare me to some extent.

  1. Driving. It still terrifies me.
  2. Failure. I hate failing.
  3. Rejection. Not as horrifying as it used to be.
  4. Being late. I have nightmares about this.
  5. Getting drunk. I like being sober and in control.
  6. Living in a world without baseball. I wouldn’t want to live in such a world.
  7. Noise. Loud noises to be exact.
  8. Heat. I don’t want to burn myself.
  9. War. Any kind of violence.
  10. Blood. Other people’s specifically.
  11. Band-aids. More unsettling than anything.
  12. Germs. I’m a germaphobe.
  13. Forgetting. Especially anything important.
  14. Twisting my ankle while walking down the stairs. Happened one too many times.
  15. Being out at night. I feel unsafe.
  16. Darkness. I used to be afraid of the dark.
  17. Dying before I realize my dreams. No need to elaborate there.
  18. Dropping money. I’d prefer not to.
  19. Losing IDs. What a hassle to replace them.
  20. Drowning. Let’s hope I don’t die in a body of water.
  21. Getting lost. I’m terrible with directions.
  22. Car accidents. This might explain my first fear.

What are you terrified of?

Writing

The Life Of A Writer


The writing life is a unique one to say the least.

Being a writer teaches you how to be patient. Especially when all your characters take one look at your outline, laugh, and do the exact opposite. I don’t outline for this reason. I’ve been burned many times.

Eventually, you lower your expectations until you no longer have any. Can’t be disappointed if you don’t set yourself up to be, am I right? Besides, the best moments are the ones you never see coming.

What do you mean you’re publishing my story? That’s impossible! You must be mistaken.

You learn to reject rejection.

You rejected me? No way! That’s your loss, not mine.

This post is already trending in the direction of a certain bad writer being in full denial.

Over time, you hone your stalking, er, observing skills. Stalking isn’t ok. But observing people is a fine skill to have in your arsenal. It’s better than watching paint dry.

Obviously, you constantly deal with things not going your way because life never goes the way you expect it to. What’s more, other human beings do a great job messing up your well-laid plans. Yes, fictional characters are people too.

There’s a beauty in being a teacher and student at the same time. After all, you become an expert at whatever you’re writing about. Hello, Google.

Sooner rather than later, you’ll get ink stains on everything. I literally mean everything. Your fingers and hands. Your legs and toes. Your wallet and bag. Your desk and bed. But you embrace them because what kind of writer doesn’t have ink on some body part at any given time?

This universe bestows upon many greats the secrets to handling hand cramps. In fact, you might even strengthen your hands so much you never feel pain ever again. When’s the last time you had a hand cramp? Surely cramps are a sign of someone who doesn’t write often.

Can you tell I was in some kind of mood while penning this post? I’m half joking. Please don’t flay me alive.

Writing

Face Your Fears As A Writer

I like to think I am more fearless while writing as opposed to when I'm not. What a surprise.

I wouldn't compare myself to a chicken because I'm worse.

In real life, I hold myself back from doing things because I'm scared. And I wonder if my fears also faze me in creative pursuits such as blogging.

I know I can take bigger risks and push the envelope more so to speak. But I don't.

Is it because I'm terrified of the unknown? Am I afraid to depart from what I'm used to and do something different?

Yes. And yes.

Sometimes I feel as though I'm only taking small baby steps. It's still better than not taking any, never moving forward.

What gets me is the fact that at one point in my life writing was risky.

I didn't always write. I wasn't good at it. Even though I had no idea what my future held, I figured writing wouldn't work out for me.

So many years ago, I took a risk one day by picking up a pen and putting words on the page.

Now all I want is to create better content, tell greater stories. Tough to do so if I'm scared of failing or rejection.

Maybe your definition of risk is different from mine. That's fine.

But isn't it insane to imagine how the things you do now were a risk or a fear five years ago? That what you consider risky now might be totally safe, even routine a month from now?

I guess what I'm trying to get at is our fears change. Our definition of risk does too. Almost everything and everyone changes. Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it.

After all, you can live your whole live letting fear hold you back or you can show fear what you're made of.

Here's to conquering our fears. Face the page and take risks. You have more to gain than you have to lose.

Life is a journey, after all. Might as well enjoy where you are right now.

Doing more, doing better happens gradually. You don't make leaps and bounds in progress overnight. But every time you face your fear, you're improving yourself.

It's okay to be afraid. But it's not okay to let your biggest fear hold you back.

I don't have an easy solution. The best we can do as writers and human beings is to confront what's holding us back from reaching our full potential.

Dig deep. Find the strength you need to overcome your greatest insecurities.

Realize there's no feat quite like facing your demons and coming out victorious.

I raise my glass of water to all of you. Keep taking risks. Remember you're better than you fears.