Writing

Advice On Starting A First Draft

Outline

Sketch a timeline of events that will happen. Brainstorm scenes using sticky notes and move them accordingly. Create character sketches beforehand, so you have a better understanding of key players in your novel.

Research

Reading articles, essays, or books might inspire you to write your own. Besides, Google is your best friend.

Write

At some point, that first draft needs to be written. Unfortunately, it won’t write itself. So pick up a pen or open your word processor of choice. Grab an idea and run with it.

Relax

Take a deep breath. You don’t have to get it right the first time. Try to silence your inner editor for now. You can always make a draft better, but you can’t if it doesn’t exist yet.

Productivity

How I Prioritize And Time Manage

I don’t. But I try my best.

For me, I prioritize what’s urgent. I also prioritize what’s important. Well, I attempt to anyway.

Obviously, I care about my own health and happiness. Anything that contributes to either is a priority.

I like fun too. Because all work and no play would make me a dull girl.

Sometimes I don’t want to think. Instead, I let myself relax and recharge.

I manage my time because I want enough hours to do some of the things I enjoy. But making time isn’t always easy.

Personal Reflection

20 Goals For 2018

A new year means new goals I’ll try to achieve but probably won’t.

  1. Read more.
  2. Review more.
  3. Write more.
  4. Publish more.
  5. Blog more.
  6. Comment more.
  7. Create more.
  8. Dance more.
  9. Stretch more.
  10. Exercise more.
  11. Sleep more.
  12. Eat more.
  13. Journal more.
  14. Study more.
  15. Work more.
  16. Give more.
  17. Smile more.
  18. Laugh more.
  19. Love more.
  20. Live more.

Less is more, Herminia.

What are your goals for the new year? Let me know in the comments below.

Personal Reflection

Take Care Of Yourself

When I’m not feeling well, I’m torn between doing nothing so I can rest or doing everything in hopes I’ll get better because I’ve been productive.

A part of me knows I’m allowed take a day off from writing or blogging. But another part wants to persevere. The latter wins out more often than not.

I compromised. I didn’t force myself to go above and beyond. Even though I didn’t want to do too much, I did a little. I’ll take it. Some progress is better than none.

My head hurt. It was especially painful to be inverted. So while dancing I tried to keep upright as much as possible. Although I hate feeling ill, I like rebounding from a bad day or three. Knowing I took it easy even out of necessity motivates me to try harder when I’m feeling better.

Unless I’m beyond saving, I won’t nap during the day. I don’t know why. I think my body doesn’t know how to fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon. I could feel awful, and I’d still be awake.

I shouldn’t be hard on myself. I am human after all. Obviously, I would’ve liked to do more. But why work myself until I burn out?

I’m reminded of baseball. It’s easier and better to give athletes a day off even when they don’t need one. It’s worse to push professional athletes to the point where they get injured, only letting them rest too little too late. They’ll take longer to recover from an injury then.

Better to give someone a break before they break something.

I never know if my analogies or examples make sense to anyone not named Herminia Chow. But if you need a sign to take a break and relax a bit, here it is.

Do what you can to prevent yourself from getting injured or ill. Prevention beats cure any day of the year.

Control the things you can. And deal with what you can’t. Always be kind to yourself because if you aren’t, who will be?

Personal Reflection

Going Without The Internet For 6 Hours

So the other day my internet service provider decided to fail me for about 6 hours. It stopped working after 2 p.m. The company got it back up around 9 o’clock at night.

Without access to more modern technology, I read a bit. Then I spent a lot of time dealing with a stubborn kitchen sink. Not exactly how I imagined my day when I woke up in the morning.

About halfway through the baseball game, our TV service was interrupted. So I missed a good part of the game.

During that period, I made several trips to a hardware store in hopes of fixing a leaky kitchen sink. My family eventually replaced the old kitchen sink with a new one.

My original plan consisted of reading a lot and staying at home to relax. Unfortunately, I didn’t read much. Even more unfortunate, the faucet fix was more stressful than it should’ve been.

Life happened. Still, the world isn’t going to end. Somehow that day worked out okay. Not perfect or ideal but then again when is life ever either?

I kept reminding myself the sun will rise tomorrow, and so will I.

I was feeling antsy because I wasn’t sure if the internet would work before midnight. I try to publish a blog post every day, and I hadn’t published one yet. I shouldn’t procrastinate until the last hour. But I do all the time.

It’s been a transitional time for me. I’m doing my best to stay positive by looking on the bright side and appreciating the little things in life. Cliché, I know. But I’m being honest.

I’m glad I still have a safe space with this blog in a crazy world.

Writing

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Here’s a list of 15 things you can do when you don’t feel like writing.

  1. Read. Too many books, too little time.
  2. Exercise. Your body will thank you.
  3. Walk. Jog. Run. Sprint. Whatever works.
  4. Blog. It might inspire your next story. 
  5. Game. Have some fun.
  6. Relax. Meditate for a minute.
  7. Clean. There’s always something that needs organizing.
  8. Sleep. Take a power nap. 
  9. Talk. Call an old friend and catch up. 
  10. Shower. Or take a bath. 
  11. Explore. Go somewhere new.
  12. Stretch. Yoga, anyone?
  13. Journal. Doodle. Scribble. There are no rules.
  14. Cook. Bake too. Make something edible.
  15. Eat. Take-out is always an option.

Sometimes you have to write even when you don’t feel like it.

Reading

15 Reasons To Read

There are many reasons why I read and maybe even more reasons why you read.

By no means is this an extensive list. Just the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Also, the list is in no particular order.

I read:

  1. To pass time.
  2. To escape real life.
  3. To lose myself in a story.
  4. To learn about different cultures, ideas, etc.
  5. To have fun.
  6. To be inspired.
  7. To practice empathy.
  8. To cure my boredom.
  9. To relax and unwind.
  10. To improve my writing.
  11. To remember I’m not alone.
  12. To give my body a break.
  13. To stimulate my mind.
  14. To encounter new characters and worlds.
  15. To get away from screens and technology.

Why do you read? Feel free to answer that question silently. Or loudly. Do as you please.

Personal Reflection

Just My Luck

It’s just my luck to fall ill on a day I have two presentations with another one the day after.

Throwing up is never a pleasant experience. It never will be.

At least the week is over and the weekend is here (finally).

Have a good one.

Use the next two days to rest, relax, and recover.