Writing, Editing, And Watching Baseball

I love writing. But editing is not nearly as fun as baseballing. It’s happening. I’m making up words. If only I could be the next Shakespeare.

I spent the day writing and editing.

I spent the night watching baseball instead of working because procrastination is so much easier than being productive.

When I first started writing this post, I was trying to think of parallels between editing and baseball. I’m sure there are some, but my tired brain can’t think of one.

After writing most of an essay earlier in the day, my brain was ready to shut down. In a perfect world, I would have a lot more time to write and edit all my essays.

I don’t enjoy trying to write an entire paper in one session, which is why I prefer not to procrastinate until the last minute. More often than not, I give myself enough time. After all, I know myself as a writer better than anyone.

It helps that I write every day. I know what I’m capable of, I know how long I need. So I can plan out my mess of a life accordingly.

Editing is tricky though. Again, in a perfect world, I’d have all the hours I want for revisions. Some papers take longer, especially if I wrote an extremely terrible first draft. Besides, the more words I’ve written, the more time it’ll take to make them better.

I know this isn’t the best idea, but occasionally I write and edit while watching baseball. When possible I mostly reserve such moments for shallow work such as typing up text messages or informal emails.

But I’m neither flawless, nor am I a saint.

I still haven’t thought of a parallel between editing and baseball. So much for that idea.

Whenever I need to edit, I want to write. Vice versa holds true too. Sadly, I want to do what I’m not doing.

Anyhow, I can’t wait to have a productive day tomorrow. I need to. Those papers won’t write or edit themselves.


A note from real time Herminia:

Obviously, I wrote this post and many others while there was still baseball on TV. But I realized that some of the sentiments I wrote a while ago are still relevant today. I figured now is as good of a time as any to publish this blast from the not so distant past. Fear not, more will come. I’m horribly behind with blogging and horrible at catching up. Thanks for understanding.

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Making The Most Of Unproductive Days

Unproductive days are okay. Sometimes you deserve to relax. Other times you have to be productive out of necessity.

Regardless, you can’t work all day, every day for 365 days of the year.

Life happens. Unforeseen events and circumstances occur. That’s how it always has been. How it always will be.

We can have the best intentions. We can make elaborate plans. But our intentions don’t always result in the things we expected or desired. Besides, plans fall through.

It’s tough to feel like you’ve let a perfectly good day go by. As if you wasted 24 hours. But if you were happy, if you spent some of the time doing what you wanted, would you say that’s wasted time? Or would you think it’s time well spent?

Perhaps you weren’t productive in the morning. But what’s stopping you from having a productive afternoon or evening?

Maybe you spend 8 hours sleeping and lying in bed every day, give or take. But if you work hard for even just 2 or 6 hours, you can still get a lot done.

Never let one bad thing have a domino effect on everything else. Never allow one negative person to ruin all the positives in your life.

In a perfect world, everything would be optimized all the time. But you don’t live in a perfect world. So one day you might prioritize blogging over reading. Another day it could be writing over editing. What’s the problem?

At least you’re making progress on something. And you’re doing what makes you happy.

Productivity isn’t just about getting a lot of work done. Because there’s so much more to life than just work.

Maybe working easy on the right things is better than working hard on the wrong things.

How To Make Writing A Habit And Maintain It

I have many bad habits, but I also have a few good ones.

This is my advice for building a habit like writing and not breaking it three days in.

Be realistic.

Especially when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to set your sights so high that you have trouble reaching them. That can get discouraging real fast. Look at your life and lifestyle right now. How much time can you realistically commit to writing without letting other things slip or worse, suffer? It’s important you’re honest with yourself when making beginning a new habit.

Block out time.

Whether it’s ten minutes or two hours. Your creative time is sacred. Unless your house is burning down, don’t get up from your seat until you’re done.

Set goals.

Short and long term. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Maybe you want to work for half an hour or perhaps write a thousand words. Besides, it isn’t as daunting to write 500 words every day as it is writing a 50,000 word novel. Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish ultimately gives you smaller benchmarks to hit with each writing session. At the very least, you’ll feel like you’re getting things done slowly but surely. It all adds up over the course of a year.

Track your habit.

There are a number of ways to do this. A notebook. An app on your phone. After a few days, you might feel less inclined to break your streak. Hopefully, you’ll push through and keep going even on days you don’t want to.

Hold yourself accountable.

Better yet find a friend to make sure you follow through with your habits and goals. Have someone check in often by asking you about your progress. You can always return the favour.

Use incentives.

Rewards are a great motivator when it comes to getting work done. Take advantage of the things that make you more willing to put pen to paper.

Have non-incentives.

On the other hand, you can have consequences when you procrastinate or make excuses. Monetary ones work well. Give your mom, sister, whoever five dollars every time you skip out on writing. Suddenly you aren’t as inclined to miss a session, huh?

Although I use writing as an example, the advice above can apply for almost any habit you’re trying to establish.

Good luck maintaining your habits!

20 Lessons I Learned As A Reader

I spent nearly all my life around books, so here are 20 lessons I’ve learned as an avid reader.

  1. Start.
  2. Try to finish.
  3. Timing is everything.
  4. Read what you want.
  5. Read when you want.
  6. Read how you want.
  7. Just read.
  8. Study what works.
  9. Never stop learning.
  10. Books are great teachers.
  11. Seek out other readers.
  12. Some stories won’t resonate with you.
  13. You can still take something away from a novel you didn’t like.
  14. Give books a chance.
  15. Step outside your comfort zone.
  16. Enjoy the act of reading.
  17. The right book at the right time can change your life.
  18. Leaders are readers.
  19. Make time to read.
  20. Happy reading is the best kind of reading.

What is something you’ve realized as a reader of books? I’d love to know down below.

Reasons Why You Should Quit Writing Right Now

  1. You suck.
  2. You’re bad.
  3. You’re busy.
  4. You’re lazy.
  5. You hate writing.
  6. You love not writing.
  7. You think writing is hard.
  8. You think writing is easy. 
  9. You rather do anything else than write.
  10. You rather do nothing else than write. 
  11. You haven’t published anything.
  12. You haven’t been paid to publish something. 
  13. You don’t have a bestseller. 
  14. You don’t have a movie deal for that non-existent bestseller.
  15. Your mom doesn’t read your poems.
  16. Your dad doesn’t read your stories.
  17. Your entire family hasn’t read anything you’ve ever written in your whole life. 
  18. You have a blog that no one reads.
  19. You have several blogs that no one reads.
  20. You don’t have time to put words on a page. 
  21. You don’t have the energy to lift a pen and place it on a piece of paper.
  22. You read a blog post from an unpublished writer telling you to quit writing and took her words seriously.

Advice For Aspiring Writers 

I love giving bad writing advice. 

  • When you want to quit, remember why you started.
  • You don’t have to get your story right the first time. Or the fifteenth.
  • Your piece should be as long as it needs to be. No more. No less.
  • Read what you want, when you want, where you want. Just read something.
  • Write often. Even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Turn off your inner critic while writing. Turn on the critic while editing. 
  • Let that idea in your head make it into the paper. A bad page is better than a blank one. 
  • Have fun with the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. First drafts are supposed to suck. Editing exists for a reason.
  • Get better and better with every failure. Not trying is worse than failing.
  • Adjust. Change what doesn’t work. Improve what does.
  • Stop worrying. You’re wasting time you’ll never get back.
  • Make the most of what you have. Even and especially when you don’t have much. 
  • Keep learning. Don’t ever stop learning.
  • Live your life. Then relive your life through writing. 
  • Never settle for anything less than your best. Why do anything if you aren’t going to give it your all?

I also love soliciting good writing advice.

Why I Don’t Always Hit Publish

I try to post every day, but I don’t hit publish if…

  • a post isn’t ready yet.
  • I’m not proud of what I’ve written.
  • the poem, story, etc., begs to be longer.

I have more reasons, but the above three are my main ones.

My excuses include:

  • I’m tired.
  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m uninspired.
  • I’m not motivated.
  • I’m horrible at managing my time.
  • I’m amazing at procrastinating all day and posting at night.

I’ll spare you the rest of my excuses.

Blogging isn’t easy. It never will be.

3 Reasons Why I Write

I write for many reasons. Here are three:

  1. To kill time. If I couldn’t write, I don’t know how I would spend 24 hours a day every day. But because I do write, 24 is not enough. It’s never enough.
  2. To kill characters. I hope you read the previous sentence the way I meant it. To kill characters who are based on people I don’t like in real life. Trust me when I say there are many. 
  3. To kill my soul. Writing has taken me to dark places I didn’t know I needed to go. But I’m glad I did.

I’m going to assume you write. Why do you?

    What Readers Need

    Readers don’t need much. They just need more… 

    • money
    • books
    • time
    • space
    • money

    I could really do with more money. Then again, doesn’t everybody?

    I Don’t Have Proper Email Etiquette?

    First of all, etiquette is a word I always struggle to spell.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I can finally get a few things off my chest.

    I’ve sent my fair share of emails in the nineteen years I’ve been alive. And no one has ever complained about my email etiquette. Until today.

    If you know nothing else about me, know this: I dislike wasting my own time, and I dislike wasting other people’s time even more. OK, that’s not entirely true. You get what I mean though. I hate wasting time. I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.

    Since I’m a writer and blogger, I like to think I’m concise. At least I try to be as much as possible. But I guess I also run the risk of seeming rude.

    I finally crossed the line into terse territory by sending an email to my TA without enough “description” to his liking. So he proceeded to tell me what isn’t “a proper etiquette” and what is. His words, not mine.

    Maybe I should teach him a thing or two about you know what.