Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Small Steps Lead to Big Ones

My first article that I submitted for publication was finally published.

After going through the publishing process of pitching an idea, submitting, having editors review the submission and make changes, someone decided that what I had created has quality.

This isn’t a paid article. Millions of people didn’t read it. Thousands didn’t share it.

But none of that matters.

What matter is someone else validating my work. It’s affirmation that the stuff I’m putting out in the world isn’t fruitless. I’m not a narcissist that doesn’t have a clue about life. There are others that can relate and want to read what I’m putting out there.

It’s a humbling and grateful experience.

I can’t wait to have more good news. Every small step is a step towards the ultimate goal.

Once my name’s out then I can start giving the voiceless a voice.

Here’s to the first step in speaking for the unspoken!

Self Sabotage: The Perfectionist Defense

I’m an introspective person and love to learn my strengths and weaknesses. Awareness is how you grow into the person you’re supposed to be.

Which is why, after 2 days of uncharacteristic laziness, I started to search inwardly.

I am supposed to be writing seriously and sending books off to publishers. I have the time, the tools, everything is in order, so what’s the hold-up?

The road block is me.

I’m the person who’s the motivator. No one else is going to do the research for me. No one else is going to print the manuscripts. No one else is going to send the queries.

I’ve put in all of the work. This is the moment, I’ve been looking forward to. This is the easy part. So why can’t I find the energy?

I’m a self-sabotager.

We all have a tendency to run from things that scare us. Some of us are scared of failure, so we never start anything. Some of us are scared of rejection, so we never seek other opinions. Some of us are scared of change, so we stay in our comfortable bubble.

I’m scared of success.

I don’t know why but the idea of actually making it is my fear. Not because I don’t think I’m deserving. Rather, the perfectionist in me is scared that the product isn’t good enough. It’s the reason I’ve re-written the children’s books over ten times. It’s the reason I have received ten different critiques.

I secretly don’t want to submit something that isn’t perfect.

Which is irrational, because perfection is not an ideal. Especially when it’s your first time. Inexperience is the reason you make mistakes and why you are able to do better the next time. I’m not going to let myself sabotage the opportunities and gifts I’ve been given. All I can do is be aware of my faults, change my habits, and push forward.

That’s all anyone can do.

So I submitted my book and I’m starting a new one. One does not simply wait, instead, one is productive.

Faith, Hope, and Pixie Dust

We enter adulthood and try our best to fit on the corporate hamster wheel.

We convince ourselves that job security and benefits are the way to find fulfillment in life. Until the day the wheel breaks and we find ourselves tumbling into an unknown abyss.

That’s where I found myself this week. I probably handled it better since I had been preparing all month for this event. I didn’t think it was actually going to happen, but sometimes your spirit prepares you for things.

After always having a job since I was sixteen and working over forty hours a week, I find myself in unknown territory. I have down time. i have an open schedule. I’m learning terms like severance package and unemployment.

Instead of rushing to end this period as quickly as possible, I’m taking the road less traveled. I’m going to focus on my true goal of being a writer. Not many times in life are you able to take time to focus. I don’t want to squander this gift.

Sometimes all it takes is happy thoughts to sprout your own wings.

Opportunity Knocks

People are always waiting. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for inspiration. Waiting for change.

So when an opportunity comes we tend to jump at it. Grab on as if our lives depend on it. Then when that opportunity leads us down a path we don’t want or if the opportunity isn’t granted to us, we go back to our waiting.

I had that scenario this week. A job opportunity was thrown in my lap that would be perfect. It’s my ultimate favorite thing to do with the company I work for. I wouldn’t have to constantly be worried about whether I’ll have a job tomorrow. I wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells by around my boss. I would love doing this so why not apply?

Since I am an impulsive person, I went home and prayed. I know what I want from life. I’ve put it in the universe and so I asked Him, “Is this the path you want me to take?”

Then I started thinking of the cons. I would have to break my lease. I don’t have the money to move. I would have to cancel my two vacations I’m planning. I would lose focus on my dream that I’ve been working on for months.

That’s when the decision seemed pretty clear. Don’t take the opportunity. It’s not going to benefit who you are or who you want to be in the world. Focus on the dream, because either you’ll get to quit the job after earning a publishing contract or you’ll have unemployment to motivate you into earning the publishing contract.

Just because the opportunity is there, doesn’t mean it’s for you. Start focusing on what you truly want from life. Don’t just wait for an opportunity to come, because you might grab the wrong one. Instead make the opportunity you want come to you.

Keep Reaching

It’s been a few days since I returned from the Writer’s conference and I’m still on cloud nine.

There was so much information, my brain was going to explode! Desperate need for some introverted time to let it absorb.

I met so many amazing people and handed out my business card (which I’m secretly proud of since I made it) to anyone who would take it. I whole-heartedly believe that these will be friends and connections will be in my world for a long time.

Despite the amazing fun to be had, there was also work to do.

I had a critique with an established author, who had a few revision ideas, agreed to re-read my stories, then gave me a list of potential publishers.

This is the best news, cherry on top, kind of day!

Now I just have to revise, resubmit, and for real submit.

Voices will be heard.

We will stand up for the bullied children.

We will start changing the world.

Keep reaching for those goals, because dreams are possible.

Unmotivated

Have you ever been on the cusp of success?

You can sense the hard work you’ve put into a project is on the brink of finally reaching recognition, acceptance, accomplishment, or what ever it is you use to determine its validity.

Yet something happens to you.

Suddenly you find yourself unmotivated to finish. You have all these new excuses or events that take priority and prevent you from reaching full completion.

Why does this happen? Are you afraid of success? Are you afraid of failure?

That is where I find myself. The morning off to finish my soon to be final draft of my stories. They’re already written. There really isn’t any work that needs to be finished, but I still find myself avoiding it. I distract myself with things like reading, exercising, shopping, internet surfing, literally anything that is not the project at hand.

Maybe it’s fear of change. Maybe I have fantasized so much about next weekend that I have made it bigger than it is. Maybe I’m naturally a saboteur. No matter what the reason, I’m sure that it is toxic.

It seeps into your pores, into your mind, into your well-being, so much that it kills you. Maybe not the physical you, but the dreams that make up you, which is worse than the body.

I suppose that’s when you just have to face it. Push through it. Quit thinking and obsessing, instead, just do it! Easier said than done, but here goes.

The worst tragedies in your world aren’t inflicted, but they’re the ones you inflict on yourself. Start believing that change is good. That you can do this. That you’re worth the dreams you have for yourself.

Chance Meeting

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes things happen that appear merely by chance?

I decided to attend a last-minute writer’s group because they were in need of writing to critique, but couldn’t stay long due to a prior engagement. As I’m sneaking out for my alternative plans, I run into an established illustrator that loves to create the kind of images needed for my books.

Coincidence? Fate?

He shows me some of his work and we engage in conversation. Instant connection made! I’m still on the fence whether I want to have the book professionally illustrated or if I want child-like illustrations. I think that a blended version could make for a big impact. We’ll see what he thinks after he reviews my material.

I’m not a coincidence kind of girl. God puts people in your life that you’re supposed to meet. They sometimes come when you least expect them, but always for a reason.

There are still 2 weeks before the writer’s conference, but I believe this opportunity will be for good things. Fingers crossed things will start happening next month!

The Plate is Full

Opportunities have been pouring in from everywhere lately and I have been jumping at all of them. Which is why I haven’t been posting in forever! I have what feels like no time. I’m certainly not complaining about this, I’m just using this as a way to teach priorities.

Being able to do things is a blessing, but if you can’t give your 100% to something, then no one wins. This is teaching me the power of saying no and creating schedules.

I haven’t been going out with friends to both stay money and to get up early for other things that take precedence over socializing, like exercising and getting a full night’s rest.

I was going to sign up for a financial class to help me learn not to live paycheck to paycheck. A responsible move but none of the classes would fit in my schedule. So I have developed my own method and will look into taking it when they offer it again.

I’ve also learned that it’s not always about money. For instance, I turned down a much needed job today in order to blog, do laundry, and catch up on things I’ve been neglecting around the house. Sure, I could have used the extra cash to pay down the bills but I would have been tired and stressing over when I could fit in the rest of my to do list. This would have made me distracted while teaching, which wouldn’t have benefited the children.

These are all great things but I believe you should be fully committed to what you’re giving your time to. Granted this is a lot easier to talk about than to put into practice, but it’s very important. Just part of the lovely life lessons we learn by growing up.

Forget Me Not

I just started taking a new class to better learn how to channel my artistic abilities. As I’m reading the assigned book, I came across a quote from Deena Metzger that struck me:

“We know things when we are very young that we forget as we age.”

This is so true!

Think of all the things we accept so easily or the way we see the world as children. We don’t have to be convinced of faith. We believe Santa’s the man with the presents. We believe we’re all artists. We create and use our imaginations every day. We accept people for who they are. We don’t judge them or discriminate against them, we just befriend them.

So what happens to our brains that make these things that were second nature to us as children, suddenly the hardest things when we’re adults?

We can blame our environments. It’s the way we were raised and the culture we’ve grown up in. We can blame life itself. We learned more, we were hurt, we finally accepted reality. We can say it’s maturing. We’re too responsible for childish games and we don’t have the time.

But reallly who are we fooling? We are the masters of our own universe. The best gift we’ve been given in life is the ability to choose. Our free will is so important, we even founded a country on it. It smatters political ads and is imbedded in our speech. Whenever we can whip it out in arguments, we do. It’s like our trump card.

So why don’t we start taking the free will and admit the truth? We’re to blame for choices and decisions we’ve made.

They’re not all bad. We don’t want to take them all back and personally speaking, I wouldn’t change anything about my life now. Sure there are many things I’ve looked back on and been ashamed of or would do differently, but that doesn’t mean I regret them. If it wasn’t for the low points in life, you couldn’t truly appreciate the highs. If you were to go back to change things, you wouldn’t be the person you are today. Which is not something I’m willing to sacrifice, I love the person I am today.

Sure there are things I want to change but that’s life. We’re constantly changing and becoming new because we have new experiences and learning moments that shape our lives. We just need to start embracing them more.

Here’s to embracing my inner child that I know is still in me. I’m not going to stifle the five year old in me, rather I’m going to shape her into the creative person she was meant to be.

Take a Day

I haven’t had a day off in three weeks and it’s completely by choice. I have a lot that I’m trying to accomplish right now, while working as much as possible, in order to have the funds to make it all possible. Which is why I was annoyed when I wasn’t called into work one day this week.

I found myself with a whole day that I had to do whatever was needed.

I took advantage of the off hours to run errands while avoiding rush hour and mobs of people.

My body took advantage of the down time to demand a nap. Evidently, I have been neglecting it’s sleep needs.

The most important thing that happened, however, was I took the time to focus on my projects that sometimes only get my leftover time. I have these projects that I want to turn into my full time life, but I give them the back burner to focus on monetary ventures of the moment.

You see my error.

If you spend all of your good energy and time to focus on things that don’t matter at the end of the day, how will the things that matter prosper?

Take from my realization and take some time to focus on you. Whether that’s on your values or a project that you’ve really wanted to finish or even just do nothing. There’s a lot of joy that can be found from doing nothing. No matter what you’re doing, just be sure you’re a priority so that everything else can prosper around you.

Happy weekend!