Here’s to Vulnerability…

You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.

Amy Poehler, Yes Please

I’m 22 years old, a few weeks away from turning 23, and I just feel like I’m wasting away my life. The past couple of years I have literally accomplished nothing. I went to school, so I guess that’s something. But, I didn’t graduate. And may not ever get to graduate (I’ll save that story for another blog post). I have applied and applied to jobs but just can’t seem to land one, which has lead me to seek income from self-employment. So, I work for myself. Isn’t that the dream? It isn’t.

My problem is that I don’t know what I want. Okay, I do. I’m just scared to go after it. Isn’t that a common reason for why most people don’t go after things. Because we’re scared to fail, scared of rejection, scared of change even if that change may lead to a better life.

I’m scared to pursue a life of writing and art because there’s a voice inside my head that likes to taunt me when I’m in the middle of creating. Amy Poehler in her book “Yes Please” called the voice the “demon voice.” Which is the perfect title for it, since its purpose is to cause your self-esteem harm. The voice often tells me how bad of a writer I am, or how childish my artwork looks, or how I’m a liar every time I call myself a writer or an artist. It tells me to not bother entering XYZ contest because I’ll never win. And because the voice is like a siren blasting through my eardrums I listen to it, and let into my soul, feeding it more and more insecurities. I know that I’m not the only one. I’m sure everyone has to deal with it throughout most of their lives. But, I want to know how to stand up to it. Because if I just let the voice continue to shatter my motivation to get better in life then I’m always going to remain in the same place, like I’m treading water in the middle of the sea. Not going forward or backwards just staying in the same place, trying to keep my head above water.

Most of my decisions have come from fear. I worried about rejection (because I’m so traumatized by it) that I just don’t try. Here I am at 23 years old having the same dreams I had 10 years ago when I was a freshman in Jr. High. In my wildest fantasy I am a published author of a bestselling young adult series, and it was picked up by a TV Network (CW or ABC) to become a tv series. I am the show runner and exec producer of the show. Now that I’m older the dream is a little more goal-like instead of fantasy-like. But, the point is that the dream is still alive in my heart today, and I want nothing more than for it to be my reality.

I’ve got a tons of manuscripts that are just sitting in my home wanting to be read by someone else’s eyes, but because I’m insecure about my writing I just keep it hidden. This is why I started this blog a few years ago. I just wanted to put myself out there for once without feeling the need to run away and then actually running away.

Even though I’ve posted sporadically in this blog for the past three years, I’m just glad that I didn’t delete my account like I have in the past.

I’m scared of publishing this post right now because of how vulnerable I’m being in it. But, I can’t let fear or the demon voice have its way with me.

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My Writing Manifesto

In 2007, I was a 13 year old 7th grader who knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, a writer. From the moment I uttered those words to my teachers whenever they asked me what my dream occupation was, I found my identity. I wanted to be a writer so bad that all I could do at home or during free-time or during lunchtime was write. I wrote stories and poems in composition books and spiral notebooks, I built a world in my head and put it on paper. And when it was on paper it felt more real, and I felt less insane.

I always say that writing and reading helped me a lot during my bullying days. I felt different in my world than I did in the real world. I felt more in control, more at peace. They couldn’t touch my happy place. Nobody could. There was a world that needed me, characters that needed me to listen to them. And my bullies couldn’t take that away from me.

I found a purpose and I was content with it. I found a dream that gave me a light inside my dark and lonely soul.

Everyone in my life constantly says that I make fleeting decisions or that I’m a wish washy person. But, I always stayed true to the writing dream. I never gave up on that dream, and I don’t think I ever will.

I dream of being a published author with a couple many New York Times Bestselling novels. I’m not ashamed to admit that. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I want a Pulitzer Prize, too. For a writer to not admit that would be like an actor not admitting that they want an Oscar or an Emmy Award. I want to be a published poet who’s declared as a modern-day Emily Dickinson. (Okay. So maybe that won’t happen. But, one can dream.) And I want to own a production company and produce and create and write many tv shows, that will win many Emmy Awards and Golden Globes.

I want to write stuff that everyone can relate to. I want to write stuff that are real and true. I want my readers and viewers to identify themselves with my characters. I want to send a message. I want to touch people’s hearts. Those are the best kinds of books, movies and tv shows. The ones that touch people’s hearts. And I know that one day I will make it happen. So, I am not giving up. No matter what.

Let’s Talk about Journaling

To me, reading through old letters and journals is like treasure hunting. Somewhere in those faded, handwritten lines there is a story that has been packed away in a dusty old box for years.

-Sara Sheridan

Journaling is a perfect way to express yourself; let go of negative and positive emotions; remember important details of your life that will be forgotten; to be more creative, and gain more perspective in life

For the past two years, I have been a hardcore journaler, I have completed about 9 journals so far, and am on my 10th one right now. I even created sub journals for different categories. I have a listography journal, which is journaling through list making; a gratitude journal, writing the things I’m grateful for everyday; a novel journal, writing about my progress in my novel; a tv show journal, writing about thoughts and opinions on tv shows; and an art and collage journal.

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Writers should have a journal because it allows them the opportunity to write everyday. It’s an effective way to eliminate procrastination from your writing life. And if you’re a writer you know that procrastination is a writer’s worse enemy. Journaling allows you the opportunity to write as freely and messily as you want, there are no grammar or punctuation rules. There aren’t deadlines you need to adhere to, there aren’t any word count goals or page count goals. There are NO rules! You can write one page on one day, and then two pages on another day, you can even write 13 pages the next day. You can write whatever you want, anytime you want.

Also, journaling allows you the opportunity to find yourself, contemplate your thoughts about the day, or a situation that puzzled you. And who knows maybe those thoughts can lead to future projects like a story, or a poem, or a book.

It can be like an inspirational playground with your material.

And that’s my stance on journaling for writers.

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Why I think you should have a journal?

Why not have a journal? It’s a place for you, and your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories and yada. A journal is a place for you to explore who you are, what you think, what you feel, and what you have to say. It might be comforting to write a journal entry on a day where the sun just isn’t shining, or on a day where everything isn’t going your way. It is a better alternative to bottling things up, or letting it go through self destructive ways. When I’m having a bad day, I write it down in my journal – sometimes those pages go on for, like 13 or more pages because I’m writing it all down and just letting go. It helps clear my head, and helps me become more honest with myself and what it is I’m really feeling. And if someone pisses me off, I write it down in my journal, it helps calm the part of me that wants to lash out on the person.

Another reason why journaling important, is because of the big and little memories inside them. Don’t you love memories? I know I do. A photograph is great because you can visually see it, and it brings you back. But, haven’t you ever looked at a photograph and not remember when or where it was taken? Or why it was taken? Or what you were doing when it was taken? You have this nice beautiful photograph and you don’t have any memory of it. All you have is this picture to tell you it happened. What about the details? Aren’t details important?

But, journaling is a different story because you’re writing details down. Details that are descriptive and specific that can pain a picture of what it was you were really seeing. You write down what you saw, heard, touched, did and even felt.

It’s the perfect place to store your secrets, or innermost desires that you aren’t comfortable sharing with the world. Think of it as a safe haven for your private thoughts and feelings.

Just think about how nice it would feel to read your journals when you’re older. I was reading my older journals and I had a lot of laughs at how random my mind was, and how overly negative I was in school. Imagine what it would be like to read what past-you wrote 10 years ago. ‘Cause trust me, the way you think now will be different from the mindset you’ll have in the future.

And journaling helps you articulate what you feel and why you feel it. So, basically it be like a therapy session with you and your self. Doesn’t that sound…therapeutic?

 

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Here are the Reasons Why I Journal

  1. It clears my mind, especially during times when my head feels so cluttered and foggy.
  2. It’s freeing. I can write anytime I want, I can write about anything I want. And I can write as much as I write. There are no rules.
  3. I don’t have to self-disclose appropriately.
  4. I can be 100% honest with myself…and there’s one person in the world I need to be honest with, it’s myself.
  5. It’s the perfect place to store things I find interesting like magazine ads and cereal box cutouts or letters.
  6. Memories. I love going back and rereading my old thoughts.
  7. More affordable than a therapist.
  8. Those moments of self-discovery.
  9. Perfect way to alleviate stress, that doesn’t involve hurting myself or anyone else.
  10. Those moments when I’m bored and I doodle. Doodling is the best.
  11. It’s the best way to engage in intrapersonal communication. I can talk to myself without actually talking to myself.
  12. Those moments when my sense of humor shines.
  13. I never have writer’s block. Because all I’m doing is writing down what I feel.
  14. Speed writing. There are times when I finish two pages in less than 10 minutes.
  15. Venting for as much as I want without sounding obnoxious and obsessive.

 

A Little Voice in my Head Whispers: It’s Time to get your Blog On

I’m having a serious case of writer’s block as I’m crafting this post. I’m not sure how to start or what to say (I don’t even know what the main focus of this blog is yet), but I’m going to try to get through this as painlessly as possible. There is no conceivable reason that explains why I’m so nervous right now. Probably because I’m going in here blind and I’m not sure what it is I’m doing, exactly.

Writing this post is more than difficult than I anticipated. This is the first post-the first step I’m taking to embark on this new blogging journey. I want it to be a good step. I want this post to be worth reading. Not the kind of post where you read for three seconds and close because you’ve lost interest. I want you to be interested throughout the whole enchilada.

For about 2 to 3 months I’ve been tempted to create another blog, but I’ve been fighting it; but, there was this relentless voice in my head that kept bugging me to give it another try. Honestly, I didn’t want to return to blogging. I guess I believed it wasn’t for me. But that persistent little voice appeared at all times; my sleep; the shower; during all my leisure hours. It was in my head all the time. It was so headstrong that I couldn’t fight it anymore. I finally surrendered and waved the white flag as I registered for a wordpress account

But, then a sort of nostalgic thought popped into my head: remember the old and deleted account you once had and why you deleted it in the first place?

I do. And the reason was…

The site wasn’t getting an iota amount of attention that I truly wanted and maybe even desired. It may seem kind of trivial and juvenile, but there petty things like the comments and the likes and the followers mattered even if it shouldn’t have. Hitting published on a post and seeing no likes or no comments on it translated to ‘you suck,’ ‘you’re boring,’ or ‘you’re a terrible writer.’ Even though it’s a not a legitimate translation it ate away every bit of confidence I ever had and that was enough to push me back into that shell I always hid in to protect me from the world.

I don’t want to go through that again, the plethora of inanities and insecurities and the fallacious translations – I also don’t want to hide anymore. I’m tired of this shell, it has basically built from my and self-doubts, and all its done was keep from the world. It has scared me into giving up on my dreams because it has inundated my mind with thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough or smart enough.’

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Blogging isn’t about the spectacle of comments, or the massive number of likes a post is lucky to have nor is it about the millions of followers. Those are just bonuses. It’s about getting yourself out there – for some people it’s the first step. It’s also about networking and being socially interactive with people who have common interest as you. It may seem minuscule but it’s worth a try – you may find out more about yourself and the world in doing so.

For me, I just want to get writing, it has always been my first love and I want it to also be my second to last (I’m saving the last spot for my future husband). For a while I sort of fell out of love with it, I giving it the attention it needed. I was too busy with school and trying to figure out what the next step was, and writing was no longer the top of my ‘To-Do List.’ Even though it’s unorthodox and frowned upon, blogging might help me find the passion writing and I use to have. Blogging might even build me some tough caliber of skin.

I don’t know who’ll be reading this or if anybody will even read this. But, despite those odds I’ll be sure to keep writing just the same as a fish who keeps swimming.