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Tag Archives: inspiration

The choices we make

Decisions-714972Deciding to live in another country is a tough decision. It comes with a price. It’s a decision to leave behind all you ever knew as right, as safe. It’s a decision to be far away from those you grew up with and love. It’s to know not only that you’re now responsible for your own laundry, your own cleaning, your own groceries, your own toilet paper, but also to know that you’re responsible for taking care of yourself when you’re sick, when you’re sad, and when you need to cheer up. You’ll meet new people, that’s true, but it won’t be the same.

Most importantly, to decide to move to a different country by yourself means to accept you’ll always have this voice deep inside of you asking “did I make the right choice?” In good days the voice will be so quiet you’ll forget it’s there. You’ll have moments so full of happiness you’ll think yourself to be a fool for ever wondering if it was right or wrong, and you’ll know in your heart you did the right thing. But there will be bad days, in which the voice will scream so loud you won’t be able to ignore it. You may find yourself stalking your hometown friends on Facebook and even regretting not being there when things happen in their lives. You’ll regret not going to a graduation or to a wedding, not holding someone’s baby in your arms, and not being there to see them attempting to parent said child.

I’ve been living away from home, from my country and the ones I love, for almost 6 years now. It’s been a long journey and things have not turned out as I planned, but for the most part I’m happy with my decision. Sure, there are good and bad days, but the good tends to outweigh the bad. Or so I choose to believe. What other choice do I have? Sit down and regret? Consider what if…? What good will that bring? 

In life we must make choices all the time. And since there’s no way of turning back time to try both decisions first, there’s no way of knowing which one is best. All we can do is trust our guts and hope for the best. After all, all we have is now. So make the best of it. Free yourself from the weight of guilt or regret, and enjoy your choices. Allow yourself to be happy about them, even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would. After all, the choices you make are, at least at the moment you make them, the ones you want.

And when things seem to go wrong, do not waste your energy on what ifs. Allow yourself to say “Oh, well,” smile, and move on.

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The Plot Whisperer

ImageAs you (probably) already know, I’m a writer. No, I haven’t published anything yet, but that will change pretty soon. But I am, nonetheless, a writer. And in my pursuit of more knowledge on the subject, I read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, by Martha Alderson. Now, you have to understand I’m not the kind of writer who sits down and plots her whole story. I usually have an idea I want to write about and I just sit down and write. After I’m done, then I’ll structure it for the editing process. I found that to be helpful. It helps me see the story as a whole, without limiting me to follow a structure before even starting. That’s because I don’t really know all that’s going to happen in my stories. I see plotting as creating expectations for a story, and not following the plot would seem disappointing to me. That’s why I only plot after finishing my first draft.

But what does the book has to do with it? Well, I read the book in the hopes it would help me understand plot a little more and maybe help me improve as a writer. I was, however, a bit skeptic over the whole idea, since I don’t plot before writing the story, but I found out The Plot Whisperer was a great help. It’s not a book only for those who plot beforehand, and it has helpful tips for all kinds of writers. It talks about “the universal story,” the plot planner, the scene tracker, the barriers we find along the way, and much more. It also has exercises here and there that can help you with your writing.

Anyway, I found the book very helpful, and if you’re a writer (beginner or not) I certainly think you should take a look at this book. Then come back and tell me what you think.

 

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Learning the craft

2756494307_4018808b1b_oI’ve been taking creative writing classes and enrolling in creative writing workshops for the past two years and I can say they have changed me. One professor in particular has been a huge part of it. Before taking his workshop I could read all kinds of books and I was fine. Now I feel like my way of looking into things has changed. Every book I open, every story I read, is different. I see things I had never noticed before. I see little flaws in technique that I wouldn’t be able to identify before. I see what could be done to improve the flow of a story and what is stalling it. And although I might not always agree with his point of view, I am thankful for all he has taught me.

I’ve recently read 1Q84 and my reaction to it was not what I expected. Thank you to my professor I paid attention to details in this book I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ll talk more about it later, in a separate post, but all I say is that my opinion is influenced by all I’ve learned in the past few years.

Learning about writing has changed me. It has made me aware of how to approach it and what I need to do to improve my own writing. It has made me a better writer. And I can’t wait to learn even more.

Photo credit: Nic McPhee

 

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Bad Habits

I just got back yesterday from another amazing SBL weekend in Madison, and I couldn’t be happier. It was great! Better than great, it was amazing! Not only because of the music and of meeting again with old friends, but also because of the news one I met.

Coming back was the hardest part. Saying ‘goodbye’ is too hard, so we just say ‘see you soon’ and pray that ‘soon’ won’t take too long.

Then on my way back home from the airport I started listening to Johnson‘s album Bad Habits and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Anyway, here’s one of my favorites. But I do recommend you go check out his website and full album–you can get it from either Amazon or iTunes, although Amazon is cheaper.

Enjoy!

 

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Writers Write

They do. It’s true. But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

I was sitting here trying to figure out what to write about. I wanted to talk about writing and say something that would be worth it. I wanted to say something that would be valuable to you, but I couldn’t think of anything. Actually I did think of something, many somethings, and couldn’t decide which one to start with. I thought about many tips I know have helped me when writing as well as when editing a piece of work, but I couldn’t decide which one tip to talk about.

That’s when I thought about Writers Write and decided to share with you all about it here. It’s a great source for anyone entering this new world of writing or anyone who think they still have a thing or two to learn. And in my opinion, you should always feel like you still have a thing or two to learn. I mean, no one can ever know everything there is to know, not even in one small area. If that were true there would be no scientists or researchers in the world. They would be obsolete.

Anyway, Writers Write not only has tips that are very helpful and explained in a very simple way, but they also have daily prompts that can spark your creativity and help you out if you ever feel like you’re stuck. They also have other things, like quotes and comics and so on.

It’s cool. Go for it. You won’t regret it. Or just don’t click on it; it’s totally up to you.

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People said it couldn’t be done. But I said, why not?

Often in life we have heard people saying that something can’t be done.

Really? It can’t be done? Who said it? And why not? Can we just sit down and accept it? Should we resign ourselves to the fact that this or that is something we cannot do and just forget about it? Or should we fight for it?

I say fight. I say get up and do it! That dream you had? Act on it! That goal you have in your mind? Go for it! What do you have to lose?

All of us have already made the world a bit more complex simply by existing in it. We changed the rules from what it was to what it is now. We must now take advantage of our position as beings who exist and make that count.

After all, we are beings who live, and as such, may never be truly known. Maybe that’s it. Maybe we are not supposed to be truly known by anyone. Every single person we meet in life gets to see only one tiny piece of the complex puzzle that makes up who we are. Maybe not even I can truly see all I truly am.

How it hurts when you realize I can never be truly known.

 

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Why and how to blog

I constantly see blogs talking about how many viewers they have or how many clicks they got on a certain post or day. I also see the number of likes and comments they get and sometimes it amazes me. Then I come to my humble blog and see my single-digit comments and likes and my double-digit views and you know what? I love it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to interact with more people through my blog, of course. But it’s so much fun when I see that someone liked or commented on what I wrote/posted that I don’t really care how many people did it. Most people will read a blog post and move on, not even leaving their mark in here. And it’s okay. Maybe they didn’t like what I said, maybe it didn’t matter to them as much, or maybe it did.

Maybe, just maybe, what they saw here, be it a post, a video, a review, did make an impression, did make them think. And that, to me, is more important than whether or not they say something to me. I guess that’s the reason why I have this blog, as a way to communicate with people I don’t yet know, and I like it. No, scratch that, I love it!

I’m now thinking of a poem I love by Emily Dickinson that I already talked about way back when I first started this blog. I guess, to me, if I can reach one person, only one, it won’t be in vain. We can’t change the whole world, but we can (and should) try. And the way to do that is by reaching one person and doing one small thing.

Here’s a video by Vi Hart that talks about reaching people and how to do it. I think it has the message I’m trying to convey. Don’t stress over the numbers of views/comments/likes. Do what you want to do because that is the message you want to send. And if you reach one person, great! That means you’re doing it right.

 

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