Posts Tagged ‘aspirations’

My manuscript is really progressing as of late and I couldn’t be more excited.  I think what is making it so much easier than before is, well, my attitude.

Let me try to explain.  After I graduated college, I was under a lot of stress (and I still am). All I keep hearing is how hard things are going to be.  Throughout my life, I was never handed anything on a silver platter. I’ve always had to work hard, so it’s not like I was expecting life to be one huge song and dance number.  I admit, I let stress take  control of my life. I couldn’t focus on writing. All I focused on was trying to find a job and trying to pay off my student loans. Everything else was pushed aside.

Until January came around and I realized that I couldn’t just let my dreams and goals fall apart because of one little word. Stress. We all experience it. Even when we’re writing, it’s there, standing right behind you, making sure its presence is known. Sometimes, it will cause a plague of worry inside you, making you feel like you’re going to fail if you even try.

But, the thing is you have to try. You can’t let stress or worry win the battle. I was about to just throw up my hands and let stress win.  But, in my heart, I knew I couldn’t do that because I had a story to tell. This story wasn’t going away.  I’ve learned to take a few deep breaths and clear my head.  When it’s time for writing, I merely shut the door and get to work. Because it’s my time.  I just can’t sit back and not share my stories with the world.

So, if you’re feeling stressed that day and you think you just can’t do it, take a few deep breaths and know that you can. Push all those doubts out of head that you’ll never make it or you’ll never succeed. They’re wrong, you know.  Take a few moments and shake it off. Then, sit down and start writing again.

If I’ve learned one thing throughout this whole process it’s this:

You have to believe in yourself before you can really expect others to believe in you.

It’s all in your mind.  Create some positive thinking and the creativity will start flowing.


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Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be an author. That was my biggest dream in life.  I wrote my first story when I was five (you can read about that here if you missed it..check out the pic at the end of entry. It will haunt me for the rest of my life haha) and that was the start of my long writing journey.  In high school, I managed to complete two novels. Unfortunately, one got lost forever as the computer I was using at the time crashed before I could back up the file. The other I still have, not really sure what to do with. It’s kind of just sitting in my documents, waiting for something. I don’t even know if it’s really good enough to be published.

I digress. When I first attended college, writing fell by the wayside. School work consumed a  lot of my time and when I wasn’t doing that, I was out with friends. It wasn’t the second semester of my freshman year where I found the passion again. A little screenplay set off by a long, epic impromptu story I told to a friend made all the difference. It brought back that reason to write again.

I’ve always told myself that I wasn’t going to be some generic writer who does it just for the heck of it. I’m not setting out to be on Oprah’s Book Club (though if it ever happens, I won’t say no…).

I write because it makes me the happiest. I write because it makes me who I am.

The novel I’m working on right now is about a topic that not everyone wants to talk about, but it’s out there. I want to write this book to open up the lines of communication and get people to talk about something they may have been hiding from friends or family. I want to change someone’s perspective on things, to let them see a different side of life they may have never experienced before. I want to delve deep into those personal issues. Yes, sometimes, it isn’t easy to be so personal. It can get hard to put my characters through such trials, but I really feel it’ll be worth it once people have this book in their hands.

All writers should have a huge passion for what they do. Sadly, some do not, and that shows in their works.  I hope that my passion for writing shines through in my novels. Honestly, I hope it shows in this blog.  I want to be taken seriously and not passed aside as some “wannabe” because that’s not what I am.

I’ve owned up to the title of “writer” now.

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ”

~Arthur Polotnik

Why do you write? What keeps you writing?

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Since my last post, I’ve received some great advice on how to get over my slump. I must say, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about getting back into my writing now. I think I’ll apply what I’ve learned tomorrow and see how it goes.

I’m eager to get back to my characters, back to the plot. I really hope it will hold the same meaning to the readers as it does for me now. No matter what kind of slump I may be in, I know that once I get it all finished, it will be worth all the struggles and hardships. Maybe then, the critics in my life will quit saying “Why are you doing this?” and instead say, “You know what? You were meant to do this.”

So, back to writing tomorrow! Back to continuing my characters’ journeys and seeing how they flourish. It’s time to pick up speed and get to work. 🙂 Thanks for sticking with me and encouraging me to keep going. It means a lot, you know.

Before I end this post for the night, I’m thinking about posting an excerpt from the novel I’m working on. I want to introduce you to my characters and their world. Let me know if that’s something you would like to read.

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Today, well, yesterday by the time I publish this post, was father’s day. Usually, it’s a time when you give your dad the usual Hallmark greeting card and some kind of gift like a tie….or some tools…whatever the department stores are telling you to buy.  I remember as a little girl, I would make my dad’s father’s day cards.  Honestly, I’m no artist nor will I ever claim to be, but my dad was always so happy with my handmade, colored marker filled, construction paper cards.

My dad was one of my biggest supporters. He always believed in my writing dreams. He knew that if I wanted to be a successful writer, it was going to happen. My dad encouraged me to work hard and never give up.  Of course, my mom always agreed (which was odd because after they divorced when I was 4 years old, they were hardly on the same page ever..).  That was something they could always agree on. They both loved me and my brother unconditionally and made a lot of sacrifices so we could accomplish our dreams.

I’m sitting here right now in front of my computer, trying to choose just one favorite memory I have with my dad. There are many since I was quite the “Daddy’s Girl” growing up.  I do think a favorite would be going to his apartment on the weekends and bringing the short story I wrote that week in school. He’ d be so excited to hear what I had written. He would sit in his recliner and let me read the story to him.  Let’s remember here, I was a kid. What I was writing wasn’t Hemingway or Faulkner. It was just a kid in elementary school writing stories about her cat, friends, and one time, a story about Kindergarten class’ pet rabbit.  Her name was Fredericka (I didn’t come up with the name, so don’t look at me), and guess what that story was called? If you guessed “Fredericka”, give yourselves a pat on the back! You won! Yes, all you get is a pat on the back. Sorry. 🙂

Back to my memory. No matter how tired my dad was at the end of a long work day (he was a meat cutter which is a completely disgusting  job, but hey, if that’s what you do, I respect you), my dad would always be a very attentive listener. He would have me show my “illustrations” and ask what brought me to write that story.  That interest in my writing continued for years. When my mom moved me and my little brother to Missouri, he would call us every Sunday and ask if I was writing anything and what it was about. He knew how important it was to be supportive.

All that ended on May 31st, 1999. That was the day my dad passed away from pneumonia.  He had become sober from alcohol for two years before he died. Of course, his many years of being an alcoholic took its toll on his body and he got sick.  I was still in Missouri, so I never really got to say goodbye. I think that’s one of the hardest things I still have to deal with. The unanswered questions.  Losing someone who always believed in me.

I miss the phone calls. I miss those days when I would bring him what I was working on and read it to him. There is a lot I miss about my dad. I would give a lot to have it all back, to just hear his voice one more time. I would love to tell him about the novel I’m working on. I think he’d be proud of me.

It’s been eleven years since he passed away. There are some days where I don’t think about him as much, but on father’s day, I think about him all day. So, this post is dedicated to my dad, William. I’m still going to achieve my dreams, not only for myself, but for him as well.  His belief in me still holds true to this day. I’m not going to forget that.

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Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was emptying a box from college and found my treasured book of Dr. Seuss stories. Of course, this made me happy not only because that book was quite expensive, but also because even at 26, he’s still one of my writing idols. Well, along with that book, I also found my copy of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.

Most of us are familiar with the Chicken Soup book series. They have been published for years now. You’ve got one for the Mom’s, the teenagers, grandparents, couples. You name it, they probably have a book of inspiration for it. This book was given to me a few years ago as a gift by one of my dear friends. He gave it to me the weekend before I was to leave the college we both were attending. I was transferring to another college, so my friends there decided to throw me a “farewell party”. Derek knew how much writing meant to me, and by giving me this book, it was his way of saying “Don’t give up.”

In the book, you have your usual sappy inspirational stories, but hey, sometimes you need that to get you going. At least, I do. There are days when I need a good cry to set the creative juices flowing. The Writer’s book has stories of how to deal with rejection and how you should never give up even when all the odds are stacked against you. Sometimes, I do feel like that. There are many days when I doubt myself and I need the time to think about why I’m doing this.

Not all the stories are the ones that make you want to pull out a Kleenex. Some are entertaining and some are just laugh out loud funny. Some of these people are your average, every day people. They are teachers, cops, parents, grandparents, store clerks, etc. Even though they come from different backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: the passion for writing. They want to help inspire other writers to not be afraid to go for what they want to do.

Inspiring others has always been a great thing for me. It has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I’ve always been told to accomplish my dreams. My mom had to sacrifice a lot so I could have that opportunity. I’m not going to let her down. Accomplishing my dream will be like my gift to her for everything she has done for me.

One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from novelist, Erica Jong:

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

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Lesley, Me, and Sosha after graduation

As I have mentioned before, it’s been over a year since I graduated college with a bachelors degree in English. Even though I wasn’t able to technically go out into the “real world”, I’ve learned about a lot of things. About how the world works in certain situations, how people change, how I’ve changed, and life in general.

Even though I’m constantly plagued with that nagging self-doubt I have, I’ve discovered a dream I buried deep. It’s a constant struggle to prove myself when there is so much disbelief around me, but I’m trying. I know more about myself than I ever have. That’s quite a powerful thing. Yes, I have changed. Quite a bit actually. To be honest, I’m quite content with the person I am now. The person I was when I was in high school was not a happy person. I was miserable because I felt like I had to conform to whoever they wanted me to be. Either way, I was miserable, I guess.

By the time I graduated college, I changed who I really wanted to be. I make no apologies for what I want to do. I’m not going to let anyone walk all over me any longer. If you don’t like me, then that’s your problem. Take it or leave it. I know that may seem harsh, but there were times in my life where I did make the mistake of letting people take advantage of my kindness. I let them knock me down and take away my confidence.

I also rediscovered my passion for writing again in college. One day, people will notice my talents. If I change a few misconceptions about people and life, then I’ve done what I set out to do. It’s not a selfish act. It’s not some trendy thing. You can take that or leave it as well.

So, watch out for what I can do. You’re going to be pleasantly surprised once you see it. Once you experience it.

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Let’s see, what did I accomplish today in terms of writing? A few pages, give or take, and some editing. It is progress, so I’ll take it. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in such a rush to get the novel finished and out into the world that I forget to slow down and really concentrate on what I’m trying to accomplish. Add in the certain expectancy from friends and family and the writing process can feel more stressed than needed.

I have yet to be a published author, but I know in my heart that it’s going to happen. With enough determination and dedication to my writing, I can make it. I always aspire to be better. Not just in my writing, but also in life. One of the reasons why I desire to be a writer is to make a profound impact on someone’s life. Sure, novels can be merely for entertainment, but I want my novels to have more of an impact on someone. Not only do I write from my imagination, I also write from certain life experiences.

I want to make a difference.

If you can inspire and help at least one person in your entire life, then you have truly accomplished a great deal. There is always this constant need to want to impress everyone, but I’m beginning to realize that I may not be able to reach out to every human being in this world. But, as long as I inspire one person to do more with his life, then I have helped make a difference somehow.

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