Category Archives: Writing

Resolution

Where opportunities lie, we must tell our fears goodbye.

I am one of those people who want great things in life. Yet, I am the same variety of people who wait for the world to present opportunities to them.

I can say that I may have let my fair share of opportunities pass me by simply because I am too afraid to take the necessary risks. Too fearful of rejection and feel like a nothing — tortured by the failures abound. Unfortunately, there is no way to escape failure or rejection, it is an integral part of life. They are the ingredients that help build character, set inner strength aflame, and most importantly, encourage perseverance.

I have big dreams. I have dreams of starting a non-profit organization and to become a published author. I have dreams of the white picket fence in a quiet suburb with a loving husband, four children and a dog. I desire all the things that people would call impossible. I may be a hopeless romantic, an idealist, but those are the most basic parts of me. I want things beyond what most people believe are within reach. Still, I let fear cast a shade over my dreams, and set me into the cruel reality. A reality that tells me that I’m not good enough, that no matter how hard I try, there will always be obstacles in my way.

I wish I could say that I easily push those naysayers and negative thoughts aside, but I don’t. I have little belief in my self-worth and my capabilities. My confidence is shot, and no matter the encouragement I receive I do not believe it. Why? The easy way out would be to say depression, but even at the root, it’s fear. I am afraid. Afraid to let others down, afraid that my dreams really are too far out of my reach.

I am taking a semester off from school so that I can work toward my goal to become a writer. Every day when I wake up, all I want to do is register for classes. All I think about is to get that stupid degree and get a full-time job, dead end or miserable as it may be. I just want to follow the typical path, the one everyone expects me to pursue because it is the norm. But I want more than that, I know in my heart that I am meant for more than the typical 9-to-5 job. But I also know that in pursuing my dreams, I am walking straight into rejection central.

There is no person who made it to greatness without struggle, without insecurity, without rejection. We live in a world of handheld devices, computers, and the Internet. But not long ago, the idea of a personal computer was impossible. There was a time when social media was just a dream. It took capable people who believed in their dreams to make it come true. They overcame adversity to create what they saw in their dreams. Just as all writers, each one has received at least one rejection letter telling him or her that the writing was not up to par. I’ve received a rejection before, and to say that it hurt would be an understatement. It was nearly crippling. Yet, the names we throw around in reference to most accomplished or successful, started off in the bottom too. They had to climb their way up, they saw opportunity and jumped towards it.

I want to be one of those people. I want to be able to say goodbye to the anxiety and fear that hold me back. And because I want it so desperately, I am sure that I will be able to do it. Not to say that doubt won’t be a constant companion, but I will be stronger and I will push through and prevail.

2015 is a new year, and it is this year that I stop putting my pursuits on hold. Instead of saying I want to do things, I will do them. It’s the only way to get to where I want to be. Fear is the most potent deterrent there is–it’s harder to overcome than lack of money and support, it’s harder to avoid than harsh critique and negative people. But my resolution, not only for this year but life, is not to let fear get the best of me.

Hello, Opportunities.
Goodbye, Fear.

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Self-Doubt

One of the toughest hurdles anyone can come by is self-doubt. A gripping fear that leads to a torturous cycle of questioning whether or not you’re good enough, whether or not you should just give up.

I’m not a stranger to self-doubt. In fact, it might as well be the closest companion to my heart. I doubt so many things about myself ranging from my abilities of being a good friend to whether or not I’ll ever be a good writer. The worst thing about self-doubt? It doesn’t just go away, you have to actively challenge it like you would a bully. You have to face it, and stop letting it scare you, stop letting it take advantage of your weakness.

I lost my ability to write essays and papers because of self-doubt. I would stare at the empty Word document and panic. All the information I knew, all the knowledge I had would just vanish as soon as I saw the cursor blinking in front of me. What do I do? Where do I start?

And when I fail to put a single word on the page, I feel the self-doubt eating at me more. It confirms that no, I cannot write a proper paper anymore. I almost gave up writing in general because of my self-doubt. I almost gave up poetry, fiction, and academic writing. I just couldn’t handle it… no matter how much others believed in me, I couldn’t see past my own insecurities.

I was only able to move past it because I decided that I would give it a shot again. I wanted to see if writing was a fluke for me. As soon as I pushed past the hurdle of self-doubt, I didn’t care about whether or not my writing was good enough, I was just happy I was writing again. And since, I’ve been continuing to encourage myself–refusing to give up my passion because of fear.

NanoWrimo 2013

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month aka November.

I don’t normally participate in NanoWrimo, I never have the time… or at least that’s what I tell myself. So this year, I am making myself participate. Why? I have two unwritten novels that I am just bursting at the seams to get onto paper or a Word document.

It may not be the most opportune time, I have a Senior Thesis due in December, I’m still in the midst of my last Fall semester, I really shouldn’t be participating. So why do it? Why stress myself out and spread myself thin? Because if I don’t do it now, will I ever?

I want to be a published novelist one day, but if I always put my novels in the back of my mind they’ll never be published, and it will just be a dream. I may not finish the novel within the month, but I would have at least started it.

If I don’t actively pursue my dream, that’s all it will ever be, a dream. So here’s to NanoWrimo being the first step to a dream come true!

How to Start?

One of obstacles I face when writing is figuring out where to start. Or better yet, how to start. Whether it’s a story, a blog, a reflection, or a poem, I always grapple for a perfect beginning. Half the time, I know the ending, I know what everything will lead to, and filling in the middle isn’t so hard when you have an end point. But trying to figure the starting point, well… it’s nearly impossible.

I’ve read on writers’ forums that a lot of people don’t start at the beginning. Some people work their way backwards, starting with the end goal in mind. One of my friends told me that starting her novel was the hardest part, and she had to return to the beginning after finishing it.

I don’t know if I can work like that. But something I realized is that writing a novel is hard, and finding a perfect beginning for it is even harder. What I’ve been doing is writing my tidbit of ideas, the scenes that I picture in my head, and filling in the blanks as I go along. I have a rough beginning, and a clear idea for the end, so I will just go back and tweak everything when I finish to make it perfect.

The starting point doesn’t have to be the beginning, it’s just the place where you begin.