Oh men! we´d better achieve our dreams or….

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Oh men, If I thought I would had a weekend like the previous one, years ago, I would have laughed really hard. I´ve always envisioned myself writing a novel in the late years of my life. I would say “SOMEDAY I will write a book, when I´m retired, and have time, and blah blah…”, but then one day I just decided to say that is BS!  I will accomplish this dream “RIGHT NOW RIGHT HERE”, not in the near future, or someday when I´m in a retirement house, but NOW, when I have a day job and almost no time. I made the right decision…

For the past months, I´ve been trying to write my first novel. I started writing short stories first but when I got what I thought an interesting idea for a novel, I decided to give it a go. I decided I was going to put ‘writing´ as number one in my priorities list. No more “extra activities” that would drive me away from it. I would write everyday, if possible, until I actually made a habit of it.

Then, to not bore you anymore with the process to achieve this goal, I started to research about the process of writing books, how to build up characters, plots, etc. So much material about it, you wouldn´t believe me.

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Finally, I decided to enroll myself in the Writer´s Digest bootcamp: Agent One-on-One: First ten pages, which basically focused in the first ten pages of a novel. We got a video tutorial from Ms. Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary Agency, who was brilliant, the cleverest person I´ve ever listened to. She gave excellent advice of what Agents were looking for and what she expected to find in the first pages of a novel. She also talked about all clichés, and all the times she got to reject queries from writers. I was “Oh my, I´ve never going to make it!” I did some research about her clients, looked in the web for their books, and believe me , those were quality material, beautiful books, written so amazingly that I was “I don’t stand a chance, English is not even my native language! I´ve never going to be at that level” But I was already registered in the course, with 200 $us invested, which here in my country is a LOT of money.

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So to shorten things, Paula Munier was assigned as the agent who would review my pages (out of five agents in the bootcamp). I was thrilled, maybe she was the toughest one, but the one I´ve imagined myself working with. I sent my pages, expecting to receive a critique that would say “this is not good, you really have to improve, you should consider changing careers, or are you sure you want to be a writer?” I was already mentally preparing myself for that, telling me that I would try not to take it so bad, that I would improve, that this was just a course, and that I was there to learn and to improve.

What I got was: “Nice work, Easy and Fun to read, Engaging premise, Likable hero, Colorful cast of characters, Unique great style” and I was … My god I was stunned.

Of course she also described the parts where I could improve, like improving the flow of the scenes, avoiding overwriting, American grammar and punctuation (the British influence of course), and some issues with my second scene.  But nonetheless, I was thrilled.

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And true, there is still a lot to improve, but it is all about the HARD WORK, and nothing else. If you want to write, you have to do it all the time. You have to read millions of books, if you want to improve your craft. It´s hard work and nothing else. Revision after revision and craziness along the way of course! I usually find myself about to go nuts when I get into one of those hard “revision” sessions, like I would dream with characters and get traumatized with grammar rules. But it is worth it.

In the end, we don´t get a second life, we only have this one, we´d better make the best of it. That means we only have NOW and THIS LIFE to make our dreams come true. We’d better devote ourselves and work our asses off to achieve our dreams, or else when are we going to do it? There is no other way around.

Believe in your dreams and just work the hell out of yourself to make them come true!

 

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Sudden stop and readjustment

Well, yesterday was one of the strangest days of my life. It was a regular Sunday with nothing to do, no many chores at home, not many responsibilities but it was different as well since I also had a Baby shower to attend to. I´m not very social so I usually don´t have many social appointments programmed for the weekends and I really get excited when I find that I have one (yeah, sounds kind of little pathetic right…). I guess this loner may need to shake up her life a little bit more…

Friends are long gone, or at least I have lost contact with most of them. I only see them through Facebook and hear about their news, what they are up too, through the posts on Facebook. I guess this is the new era and I have to admit I have fall prisoner of this new way of making social contacts, really sad, right? jeffonesillustration com

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So what is that I want? I’m hugely focused in my dreams in projects, which are growing big each time more. But at the same time, I have left the “personal life” falter a little bit. On previous weekends I would have gotten very excited to do “my stuff on my own”. This Saturday I got my embarrassed-guilty-passion books: Insurgent and Allegiant (yeah I know is really embarrassing but I was desperate to receive them on the mail). I had new stories to process (read and write) for my fan fiction TV Series (I know I´m such a geek). But nothing worked for me weekend.

The Baby shower felt really dull. I didn´t enjoy at all, people just seemed dulled for some reason. I´ve been to plenty of social gatherings were I don´t know people may folks around but I always find the way to cope it and I could be very good at small chit-chatting. But yesterday just felt odd, I felt like a fish out of water.  And to top it when I arrived home, I found the latest episode “Game of Thrones” so boring that I didn´t know what to do after. I didn´t feel like surfing the net, reading or watching TV, nothing, I just switched off the lights and went to sleep. I woke up really early this morning. So what is going on then? note sideideas com

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Do I need a complete makeover of my life? Why? I like everything that I´m doing, the job, the projects but the social environment is killing me. Unfortunately, in this little town there is no way to meet people, you may not believe me, but it is true. So do I need a change of cities, countries? I don´t know. Should I go out of my house and live alone? I have considered that, but it´s kind of dull when you think it very objectively, my salary is not high enough for me to pay a rent and live comfortably, should I sacrifice “comfortability and the possibility of traveling” for the sake of living on my own? I don´t know and you have to consider that the house is legally owned by my mom and me, so it sounds weird, but I shouldn´t be looking to suffer for rent when I own 50% of the house right? , I know it is selfish but pretty rational from my point of view.  My Aunt inherited me the 50% of her share, so maybe I´m now trapped, in a good way. So if I ever move, it would have to be out of the city, definitely.

So all this mumble jumble, it is just to remind me that. No matter what your priorities, goals, projects are. From time to time, there has to be a sudden pause in your life and RE-EVALUATE. It keeps you fresh. Perhaps, I need to give it more importance to the social aspect of my life, well I´ll do it now. This loner may need to come out of her shell a little bit more. Not only on the “online world” but on the real world! Friends are already gone, so maybe I need to find a way to find other ones; another crazy travel should be planned? I don´t know…. Could be… should I join some team/course? Well maybe!

Anyway, I´m glad yesterday was yesterday. And that all the happenings (actually the fact that nothing happened) made me realize all those things. I´m glad that I´m a writer that never faces a “blank page”. I´m glad that I question the direction of my life every day. I´m glad that I´m self-aware and I know how I am and where I want to head to. I´m so grateful for that and for the chance that there is still room for improvement, if not life would be pretty damn boring right? washingtonpost com

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  Finally, I´m glad that I wrote this post because it makes me who I am. The writer inside me. The person that needs to write to make it to the next level. And I hope that I have managed to motivate somebody out there to look for their paths and struggle for it. To re-adjust their lives and to look for more growing. Life is a constant battle and I believe that there is never a top achievement at the end of the road. It´s the “fight in between” that makes our lives, and we must try to make of this fight the most exciting and fulfilling we can, even if we have to re-adjust it hundreds of times. So pause and readjustment?

How much should we admire people?

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Most of us, usually admire somebody either because of their intellect, their charisma, their beauty or their skills. But what is the point in admiring if we’re not going to try to replicate those “things” we admire? And let’s be clear, I’m not talking about imitating others without being ourselves, there is a fine line between copycatting others with no purpose and cultivating in ourselves that we admire in others.

The difference is simple, we “admire” those things that we would like to have for us, and with “things” I’m referring to values, skills, characteristics, personal features, etc.  So we would usually like those things that are according to our inner selves, to our personality, in other words, to our uniqueness.

You won’t “admire” a smuggler for getting materials things easily, if you were to admire that smuggler it would mean that you actually admire the characteristic of being a smuggler.  You could also admire a fashion model for its physique but I want to believe that you would admire the fact that he or she manages to have a healthy body and not the fact that the model starves to death to be like that.

Well anyway, I’m mostly sure that you get what I mean. We admire the good things, the things that make us better; we don’t admire the bad things in other people unless we are “questionable” people.  But the important thing is that each time we admire, it should only be a short “period of admiration” and that’s it, period. Because once we recognize that which we admire, we should perform, we should act. We can’t stay in the “admiration period” forever.  We have to start asking ourselves what do I have to do if I want to improve this or want to be able to do this or that.  The true is that probably the person that we admire also had to cultivate his or her skill from scratch and with a lot of effort.  

We are meant to achieve whatever we want; there is no limit to our aspirations and dreams.  The sky is our limit and we should never hesitate about this.

We must look forward to achieve these “things” not because we want somebody else’s approval but because we know we want that change and improvement for us. We don’t improve for others we do it for ourselves. 

I as a loner believe I have a good sense of direction for this; I seek to change and to improve myself always because of me. I thought about this a lot, and maybe my super independent personality and not allowing people influence me directly (of course unless is something good) is part of the reason that I keep the loneliness.  But like I always say in my posts, I always try to get the good aspects of my loner situation; this doesn’t mean that those of you who are not loners should not find the above written also useful.  

Finally a very smart quote for everybody:

“The awe, inspiration and talent you recognize in others are but a reflection of the same thing in you. I highly suggest you do not seek approval or recognition of those you admire but instead cultivate in yourself that which you see in them. There´s a dormant creative genius within you – let them out!” – Jackson Kiddard

And you, how much of this admiring state let pass by you?  Do you take actions to have the same skills and talent you admire in other people or do you just let the admire feeling let go forever without doing anything?