Blogging

Why I Blog

Some people blog for the wrong reasons. I like to think I’m blogging for the right reasons.

It’s not about the numbers. It shouldn’t be. But having followers is nice. Reading comments is fun.

When I first started my blog in 2013, I got so much joy out of writing. Creating. Making something from nothing.

For a time, I stopped enjoying the creative process as much as I once did because I was focused on the wrong things. But the bliss I felt when I first started blogging keeps me going. So I’ll keep trying to have fun as I write and edit.

Everything else is secondary to me. The views, the followers. Fame. Fortune.

I didn’t start this blog with the goal of turning it into a business. In many ways, I initially wanted blogging to remain a hobby, a passion. At least I want to blog for myself. Writing blog posts for others is a different story.

I hope I never forget the happiness I felt when I began in high school. How excited I was at the end of the day while brushing my teeth.

Four years ago, I made a decision to start a blog. And almost every day I’ve decided to stick with it. I want to see where this journey will take me. I’ve already seen and done more than I ever expected to back in April of 2013.

I don’t regret starting a blog. It’s one of the best things I’ve done in my twenty years of living.

I’ll continue to do my best to not regret, to live my life without regrets.

I haven’t always been where I am today. I went many years without a blog. But now it’s such a big part of my life. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t or couldn’t blog.

I have no idea what to expect from this coming school year. But I have a feeling blogging will be a constant. This blog has been a rock for me. It’s been a lighthouse. Everything I asked for and more.

Whatever happens, wherever I go, I’ll likely write a blog post about it.

What else would I do? Take a picture and post it on social media? Please. That’s just not me.

School

Why I Love And Dislike Going Back To School

Hate is a strong word. I love and dislike going back to school for different reasons.

I enjoy learning. I want to learn for the rest of my life. I hope to remain a student even after I graduate school.

Here’s some baseball for you. People often describe ball players as students of the game.

Well, I want to be a student of the craft that is writing and blogging. Creating good content.

There will always be things I don’t know. Stuff I want to learn. And to be fair, school has taught me a ton. Not just facts and dates. But soft skills that are tough to quantify. Life lessons I needed to experience first-hand.

Without the classroom setting, I’m not sure I’d be able to hold a conversation with anyone not in my immediate family.

So I’m excited to learn. I miss being a typical, traditional student. But I don’t miss the stress and anxiety.

I used to dread the moments in the morning between getting ready and going to school.

I felt awful. My heart beat faster than if I had sprinted a marathon. (I’m aware you don’t sprint an entire marathon. I said this more for effect. But if I have to clarify than I guess I didn’t do that great of a job, did I?)

Being late still gives me nightmares. Talking to people, especially strangers is difficult even now. So you can imagine how much worse it was for younger me.

My imagination is wonderful when I’m writing. Not so much when I’m living.

I would play out various scenarios in my mind, some much worse than others. So I tended to believe bad things would happen. Like I’d be late and miss my exam. Or I would participate but say the wrong answer. Come to think of it, what’s the worst that can really happen, right?

At least this year I’m more excited than nervous. I can’t say the same for previous years.

I wish everyone going back to school the best. Send me your success stories. Of course, I’ll share many of my horror stories on this blog, so stick around. Stay for all the humiliation of Herminia to come.

Reading

Why I Love Reading Books

I think it's no surprise that I love books. More than a lot of things and many people in fact. But why exactly do I love papers with ink on them so much?

As a kid, I've always liked reading even before I realized I did. I buried my nose into all kinds of books.

Mainly because I enjoyed learning, and I still do. I'm all for gaining as much knowledge as I can. I especially want to know more about subjects that fascinate me.

Being able to escape from the real world was always welcome for me. Sometimes we just need to get away, be distracted for a little while.

At some point, I wanted to write my own books. As much as I love reading other people's stories, there's nothing quite like telling your own.

Of course, I love words. That's why I'm a writer. Reading books ignited my passion for writing stories.

In elementary school, I had a much smaller vocabulary. Younger me wasn't as confident with the English language as I am now, even more so when it came to writing in it.

I can still recall a memory of myself in class. I always asked this much smarter student how to spell certain words I didn't know at the time.

Interestingly enough, my first language isn't English. I grew up in a Cantonese speaking household. Back then, my parents didn't speak much English. So for several years during my childhood, I felt more comfortable with Cantonese, my mother tongue. After all, it was what I spoke at home.

Only after reading a bunch of English books did my communication skills improve. Over the course of my elementary schooling, I saw my grades in Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication increase little by little.

Nowadays, I still crave exposure to new ideas and beliefs. I may not agree with everything, but at the very least, I get a chance to see the perspectives of others. More importantly, I try to understand.

I owe writers and authors a lot. They keep inspiring me to speak, to share.

Frankly, I have little desire to spend my money on anything that is not a good book.

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

Why I Have A Hard Time Sharing My Creative Writing

Sharing my creative writing with others is a challenge to say the least.

The other day I was trying to pick a story to send to two strangers for their feedback. I had the hardest time emailing a copy of my work to them.

There's something personal about openly sharing your stories with someone else. To an extent, some of my blog posts are personal, and I don't have a problem posting those for the world to see. With creative writing however, I feel as though I'm exposing more of myself.

As I've said, these two are strangers. I think I'd be more comfortable with sharing if I knew them longer, trusted them more. I'm sure they're wonderful human beings. It's still tough to open up and feel vulnerable in front of people you hardly know.

If I had a penny for every times I've said I wanted to get better, I'd be one wealthy woman. Even though I do hope to improve, I'm not the best at asking for feedback. Ditto for applying any feedback I receive.

I'm stubborn. Worse, I have a gigantic ego that loves to get in the way. On a good day, I'm able to shove it aside for the sake of my art.

Every time I've put my art first before my ego, the former benefits greatly.

I say the following not to brag, but to make it clear that I had a different, unusual path when I started out as a writer and blogger. I found success early on in both endeavours. In some ways, I was even more successful a few years ago than I have been recently.

So, for many reasons, my ego was inflated in high school. A part of me thought I always knew what was best, what was right.

Of course, that's not always the case.

Over time, my ego has taken a good beating.

I'm at a point now where I feel confident, not cocky in my abilities. After all, I've come a long way, but I still have plenty of room for improvement.

I can identify strengths and weaknesses in my own work. But having an outside perspective point out certain problems can make all the difference.

What I want to say ultimately boils down to these points:

Sharing your writing with strangers isn't easy. It can be a vulnerable experience. That's okay, though. So long as you don't let your ego stop you from improving your art in every way possible. And sometimes the best thing you can do is to put your ego aside and listen to others.

I think I've reaffirmed what I knew all along. Egos suck.

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.
Journaling

Why I Journal

Why do I journal?

I rant and vent about everything. I do some of my best work with a pen and some paper. 

It helps me relax. After some experimenting, I’ve found I like to journal before going to sleep every night. It allows me to unwind after a long day. In a way, writing st the end of the day is my way of getting closure, to tell my brain that today is over. Another one begins tomorrow.

I used to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I’m happy to report I’ve been sleeping better these days. A part of me thinks journaling has helped in some way, however small. Being able to put what’s in my head onto the page clears some space in my mind. Not entirely but somewhat.

Besides, journaling about my problems gives me greater perspective. Sometimes I realize a problem isn’t as big of a deal as I initially made it out to be. Other times I come up with solutions to my most pressing issues simply by writing about them.

I love having a place to get my thoughts and worries and concerns down on paper. Even better, I know no one will read what I write. So I feel free to speak my mind. I don’t have to censor myself or filter my ideas. I can say what I want, how I want.

I also use my journal as a diary of sorts. More recently, I reflect on my day, recounting what happened to me, how I felt, etc.

Journaling is especially useful to keep track of my daily habits, namely reading, dancing, blogging, and writing. Often times I talk about what I did. Occasionally I jot down what I plan to do tomorrow or the day after or even a week from now. 

Although I don’t flip through my journal and reread my entries all the time, I really enjoy doing so. Just the other day I read an entry I wrote a few months ago. It’s interesting to see what went through my head or heart at a certain time in my life. 

By spending a few minutes every day, I get to make a record of who I am. At the end of the year, I have entire journals filled with bits and pieces of myself. 

Last but not least, it’s rewarding to track my progress. To see where I was and how far I’ve come. After all, I tend to look ahead and see where I want to go, but now I also get to look back at where I’ve been. More importantly, I can remember who I once was.

Writing

Why Writing Is Hard

Writing is hard, tough, challenging. Whatever adjective you want to use. 

It isn’t easy for many reasons.

Words don’t write themselves. You have to think of them. Then you need to string words together to form coherent sentences before arranging what you’ve written into cohesive paragraphs.

More often than not, the creative process is a difficult one. Then again, you can say the same about life.

Getting published takes time. Try to be patient.

You don’t always like what you write. That’s what editing is for.

You also aren’t inspired all day, every day. You might not feel motivated either. Sometimes you just have to push through.

But despite everything, writing is worth it.

I love putting pen to paper. I love creating new characters and worlds. I love telling stories as much as I do sharing them.

I don’t know how to explain how I feel when I’m in the midst of writing. Except to say nothing else compares.