Loved this talk! For all of you who still hadn’t found out your passion or know what is your passion but are too afraid to pursuit, then this is the talk for you!
Actually, this is the talk for all the people who want to have a goal in life and achieve it!
Professor Larry Smiths presents, in quite a peculiar way, a talk that changes lives and inspires. He is a professor of economics at University of Waterloo. A well-known storyteller and advocate for youth leadership, he has also mentored many of his students on start-up business management and career development. The most notable start-up he advised in its infancy is Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry.
Invest 15 minutes in this talk and it will be an investment for life!
I try to start my workday with a TED talk. I wish I could say I do this daily, but sometimes I can’t. I usually do it when my work energy level is low or when I feel I need motivation to go with the work routine. Today I came across with “Why do ambitious women have flat heads?” by Dame Stephanie Shirley. The title was enough to call my attention since sometimes when the talk’s title is too predictable, I might just pass it. But this one wasn’t and I’m glad I clicked it.
Dame Stephanie Shirley had it rough. She was one of the Jewish kids saved by being sent to families in northern England during the Second World War . She grew up in an era where women’s only objective was to get married and have kids. There were scarce work opportunities for them. I work in the software industry. Women in the 60’s didn’t just pursuit that area at all. But one woman did it. And this terrific woman showed nothing is impossible. Yes, there was a programming market in that era, believe it or not. If you want to know exactly how it worked, then you have to check the video.
Stephanie Shirley went through all the fights my generation didn’t have too. My generation won’t suffer that gender discrimination again. We have it easy. And what are we doing with our lives? We don’t aim high enough. We don’t dream big enough. We don’t do the fights for the next generations.
I invite you to watch the following TED talk (only 13 minutes of your time but worth your life change).
And I’m back. I’ve missed my blog so much. All this time I haven’t been able to write it because of an extra job. It finished and I’m ready to continue. I must confess it was hard, hard to stay ok these weeks because I was at the point of exhaustion and burnout. And many things in my life were left in a standby.
When you put so much hope into something, into a new career chance, it’s very hard to accept that at the end you didn’t get your chance. But life is like this. And I’m so grateful I had this opportunity because I’ve learnt I’m stronger that I think. I’ve learnt I can achieve everything, even if it doesn’t turn out like I always want. I’ve learnt that I can be as strong as steel and hardworking as million people together, and the most important thing I’ve learnt is that “I don’t give up”. I’m willing to accept those words are no longer part of my vocabulary.
I’ve learnt life is better when you learn things the hard way. It makes you tougher and ready for the next challenges. But mostly, I’ve learnt that this blog should never be left aside. I’m thankful for all the people I shared this blog with. I’m thankful that I have a way to connect to them. I’m thankful that my words are read.
Well, I’m back from one of the most thrilling experiences in my life. For those who don’t know, I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Writers Digest Conference in NYC. It was certainly an opportunity you don’t get to live very often and I’m glad I was able to take a part in it.
What did I learn?
I think all can be summarized to the following points:
- There’s still too much to learn – And it comes with time and experience. I haven’t read all the “must read” classic books or the “must read best sellers” yet, but I was relieved to find that at least I’ve read the most important/famous ones. A good fact to know is that not only it’s about reading the good old classics but also reading the latest best sellers; see what formula they’re using to be highly commercial in recent times. Old time formulas may not be suitable for these days anymore, i.e. you can’t write as Shakespeare anymore…
- I seem to be not that lost – Yeah… this was kind of gratifying actually, because even though I was there to learn new things, it was good to know that I’ve been doing my share of work and that I’m not that lost in this world of books and publishing industry. Basics such as don’t put that your “family and mom loved your manuscript” or that “you’re sure you have the next best seller” in your query letter were already good known facts to me….It felt good to know that I was not swimming in the amateur waters anymore…
- I still have a long way – I’ve just finished my first novel and I’m one hundred per cent sure that I can do it better. I feel confident that I can plot and write better stories. I know the writing process will be easier each time (hopefully the revision process as well, which is the most terrifying one for me) Nevertheless, I feel pretty confident about my first project. There were tons of conference attendees who were already in their fourth or fifth book and still learning a lot…
- I learned I can totally rock Pitch Slams – I think this was the main reason why I thought the conference was awesome. From the seven agents I pitched, I got requests from the seven. It was unbelievable. I managed to control my nervousness, forget that English is not my native language, and speak with confidence. I loved the process.
- I can manage rejection much better now – I’ve already sent my material to the seven agents yesterday. One has already replied this morning saying that “it may not be for him” (I wonder why he seemed so interested in the pitch slam. Was it because he thought it well and decided it was not for him? we’ll never know…) But even if I get these sort of replies from the other six agents, it will only be the encouragement to keep growing stronger, to keep fighting. I made a good decent start, and the sky is the limit. I’ll continue with much force. I’ll do more research. I’ll read more books. I’ll write more. I’ll try harder. I don’t plan to give up, not now when I feel so full of energy 🙂
I read a couple of blog posts I wrote more than a year ago. In these posts I was still looking for my path. I didn’t know where I stood at that point, trying to find out my true passions, looking for courage to do what I really loved. I was trying to tell the people around me that maybe I was meant to do something different from my career; ashamed to share my longtime dreams. I felt unsure of any talents I had. Now, I feel on the right path. Even though it’ll take a while to reach my goals, I know for sure, that I’m on the right track this time. And I’m very thankful to God for that.
Well, this time I’ve been lost like for ages, more than 2 or 3 weeks without blogging. Never have I missed blogging so much. But I have good reasons, but not new reasons (for those who’ve already read my posts), it was because of my manuscript (final revision, this time is the final one). It was taking me too much time and I want it to be over for once. The person who’s editing it is already working on the second part. So that means that yes, in a couple more of days, I will have to go back to it again to go through the revisions done by the editor. But I’m not worried, I’ve managed to review the changes of the first part in just one day, so the second part is not going to take me much (hope so). Well, enough talking about editing. I plan to do another post for that (some new lessons learned as always). I’m here to talk about exciting news. I’m attending Writer’s Digest Conference in NY this July 31st. Yayyyy!!! (insert dancing icons here) No, I don’t live in the US. No, I don’t have loads of money to go everywhere I please. I just thought that it would be a good Life investment and of course good vacations. And here are some of the plans/goals/realizations I have in mind for this trip: – I’m not doing it because I consider myself a great writer. I’m doing it because I’m a new aspiring writer and this step will allow me to compromise myself with this career. No, It won’t be a hobby anymore. – I’m doing it because of the talks and workshops. I know this conference is also about getting to know agents, publishers, etc. But sometimes, I believe that maybe I’m not ready for that yet. So I don’t have great expectations on that side. I’m doing it because of the two full days of talks, sessions, workshops, etc. I’m eager to learn as much as possible and absorb everything sponge-like.
Image source: www.wisegeek.com
– I’m doing because I’m a chicken. Yes, you read that, and not because I consider myself an animal (or I believe the chicken is my spirit animal), but because I’m a coward for these sort of public events. You see, I’m not the most extrovert person you’ve ever known. I’m shy and I feel akward at these gatherings. And there’s a session for pitching agents in this conference where you’re supposed to dazzle them with the magnificent plot of your book. Believe me, I actually considered skipping this part of the conference (which had an extra fee) because I knew I was going to be a complete disaster. I imagined myself trembling, sweating, stuttering, and even running away. And I’m also worried about my English speaking skills, which because of nervousness, seem to flee (that’s why I prefer to write ;)) I get nervous, stumble among words, and forget parts of the language. But I refuse to be a chicken forever, so this is going to be a challenge. I know I have to do it, I have to be brave!
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