Category Archives: Writing

Writing

#AtoZChallenge: Plumbers, Passions, and Paychecks

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Depending on your school of thought, you may or may not already know what I’m getting at. Either way, just bare with me.

It all started with The Cosby Show. I’ve been sick for almost a week now and so I was vegging out in front of the TV watching some episodes with my dad. We happened to be watching an episode that really resonated with me but bugged my dad. It was the one where the family scrambles to find a plumber to fix what Cliff tries to fix himself, to their utter terror. They call in a team of young people who all went to Princeton with the eldest daughter, called the Home Healers. They all had gone to school for degrees that didn’t serve yhem in their roles for their chosen career. Naturally Cliff (and my dad) was confounded by this and so talked to the girl in the group about it.

Tahitian Women on the Beach, 1891 -Henri Paul Gauguin

There were some good points on both sides: why go to a school, not to mention an expensive one, only to not utilize the education you received there? On the other hand, how many greats were there that wouldn’t have been great had they stayed in their fields for the rest of their lives? Examples used were Gandhi, Gauguin, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. They had all studied one thing and ended up pursuing something else. My dad couldn’t have wished more to jump into the TV and tag team with Cliff to bombard that girl with questions and arguments. He settled for mumbling quite loudly, “stupid” and “that’s no good!”

Ever the pragmatist.

 

By the end of the episode, though, Cliff had to apologize to the group for harrassing them like he did. They were very professional and apparently did an amazing job.

Which brings me to the second “p” word: passions. It’s not enough by itself for someone’s success, but it’s a pretty heavy contributor. It’s what keeps you going, after all! For example, my passions include art, food, and writing amongst other things. I think about one or the others all the livelong day. I can’t wait to get a hold of my pen and paper or ipad and have at an idea. Do you know how amazing it is for me to share these passions with you and everyone else I know? That alone is compensation enough! And yet, there is the real world to consider…

This kid isn’t working…is he?

” It’s fine to have hobbies, but to make a living out of it? Foolish!” My dad says. He says it because he doesn’t believe the pay from such a life is worth the time. Not when you have a family or lifestyle to support. And he knows that I want to have a family one day. My paychecks have to count.

But you know…sometimes there’s a feeling I get that tells me I can be very successful freelancing and blogging. If I keep at it and manage my time; if I continue to provide my creative services on Fiverr, exposing my talents to the right people and getting opportunities from there while also gaining more and more experience; if I take the time to also work on my jewelry and writing skills…how could I not be successful? How can anyone not be successful financially when they match their efforts with their talents and fuel them with their passions? It’s just a matter of taking the dive, right?

 

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#AtoZChallenge: Inspiration and Improvement

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If you don’t already know, this is my first A to Z Challenge. My entries haven’t been consistent, but I’m still making an effort. I’m learning that if I plan on blogging on a regular and frequent basis, I should know what my topics are ahead of time. I should also do some of the prep and research ahead of time! Especially since I’m trying to incorporate artwork into it, which has proven to be a huge challenge, it’s going to be important for me to plan out my work too. It’s not impossible to do this for the challenge, but it’s not a cakewalk either. At the same time, I am constantly trying to improve my skills and that requires inspiration, too. I can’t practice if I’m not really interested in the subject matter.

So where can anyone draw inspiration from? It should ideally come from everything:

  1. Food (fruit, vegetables, desserts, etc)
  2. Animals (pets, exotic, endangered if you want to send a message; even if you are making up a species, it pays to draw from real animal anatomy to make a well thought-out creature)
  3. Flora (flowers, plants, trees, etc)
  4. Buildings (cottages, sheds, skyscrapers, places of worship, etc)
  5. Vehicles (cars, trains, motorcycles, boats, planes, ATVs, etc)
  6. People ( How many great classic works of art don’t include a person? Not many; often times it’s just what you see while having lunch al fresco or on the beach; it’s a challenge worth taking to try and sketch people in public, in motion, and even one person up close)
  7. Books (when you read, your imagination is working right there to get you immersed in the book; try recreating a scene from Gulliver’s Travels…just try it)
  8. “Ugly” things ( these things are real and unique; I’m talking dried up flowers, rotten food, dead animals, rusted metal, etc; if you like grunge, you would need to find “beauty” in these kinds of things anyway and they’re bound to evoke some feeling)
  9. Do I have to go on? The point is: everything has some inspirational value.

Alot of these items can contribute to writing as well. How articulate are you in describing the contents of your refrigerator? It might sound boring, but what if you were able to write so creatively that you blow the reader away when you finally reveal in the last paragraph that this “world” you’ve been describing was just the inside of your fridge? Hey, it can happen.

I think by adopting this kind of thinking should make it easier for me to handle the challenge, considering I haven’t planned ahead. It’ll improve my speed at the very least.

For the Love of Writing!

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A quick doodle I did for this post.

The beginning of this story isn't much different from anyone else who blogs.

I've been writing since I was young. Maybe 10 or 11 years old. It started out as fanfiction, then just branched out to original stories. I wrote every single day for hours. Family gatherings or special events were no exception, either. I always found myself in a corner with my face in a notebook. If memory serves me, I was 16 when I stopped. I was going through a really deep depression and after so many years of discouraging remarks and looks from my mother on top of it, I had enough. I lit up the fireplace and burned all the notebooks I filled up over those years. I didn't even look back, I was in such bad shape.

When I wasn't writing stories, I was also writing in my diary. You may be tickled to know that my main intention of starting one in the first place was so that I could refer to it in my adulthood when I was a mother. I wanted to have a record I could use if I ever forgot what it was like to be a kid and teenager. I stopped that, too. Do you know why? Because my mother read it and was furious with what I had written about her. It just wasn't ok for me to feel frustrated or angry towards her. It really wasn't ok for me to express those feelings in the privacy of a leopard-pattern diary with stickers on it.

So by 16, my writing stopped. With the exception of schoolwork, I wasn't writing at all. College certainly never allowed me the spare time to do it either.

I'm finding that by writing about such personal life experiences on this blog (as you can basically tell, I've started writing for myself again), I recall old times and start to make connections that help me realize myself. For example:

  1. I enjoyed doodling alot as a kid; I stopped for what I thought was going to be forever, and now I've picked up where I left off with my artwork.
  2. I enjoyed writing and the journey I took in finding my voice, only to silence it in my teenage years; now I've reignited that passion for the written word as well!
  3. In both these cases, I suffered more for stopping.
  4. In both these cases, I battle the shadows of my childhood that linger, telling me that I suck; that I shouldn't be wasting time on these things that don't pay the bills; that I will never get anywhere if I don't listen to my mother…that I'm a disappointment to her and even my dad…
  5. I've clearly had a lifelong love and aptitude for both and realize now that I should have never allowed myself to stop.

In fact, I may be haunted by thoughts of what could have been for a long time. I could have really established myself as an authority in these fields earlier. I could have even won some sort of award or large-scale recognition. Some sort of validation and support would have gone a long way for me at such a young age.

Here comes my point (yeah, I took the long way round…you don't like it, start your own blog!):

Don't let anyone…anyone convince you that you're no good. Don't let anyone make you feel like your passion doesn't matter. If you have been dealing with disparaging remarks from people, including your loved ones, you're certainly not alone. Most importantly, know that they're wrong. In fact, tell these naysayers to find dreams of their own to focus on instead of trying to stomp out yours!

Your passions can take you places you never thought existed, so don't give up on them.

Write for the sake of writing. Do it every chance you get! It doesn't matter what you write about! Nobody has to see it if you don't want them to. Spite the jerks in your life with every line of poetry, every blog post, every short story! Do it…because you love it!

 

Trying out Blogsy

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I’ve done it again! I’ve neglected my blog of over 3 months! For shame!

 

Even though it was due to being so busy with other endeavors, they were definitely noteworthy. They were worth blogging about! But now that I practically live on my iPad mini, I struggled with having to use my laptop just for one thing. It’s so old, it takes forever to boot up on top of it. Even when I was logged in and online, I struggled getting my posts just right for publishing. Heck, I’m still not totally thrilled with them! It felt like I still had to refamiliarize myself with the dashboard and tweak posts because they didn’t appear right when I published them!

 

Enter the Blogsy app. It’s supposed to be a big help for any blogger from most of the popular platforms, including WordPress and Blogger. At the time of this post, it costs $4.99 in the App Store. Is it worth every cent? So far so good! Not only can I write my posts and format them the way I want, but I can access whatever media I need from my photo gallery, YouTube, and even from the internet through an in-app browser. It’s pretty darn encouraging for anyone struggling with having to find everything they may need to post regularly, especially if they’re on the go! Have I just retired my laptop?…well, yeah.

 

I’m pretty excited about this!