In an ideal world, only positive things happen to us. We have all the time to write and are in the best psychological mindset. We’re free of stress, always in a zen-like state, can jump into our WIP, and immediately get into a flow. We never let anything get us down, have never experienced writer’s block, and are always in a perpetually creative mood.
The truth is most of us have bad days. We have days where we don’t feel like writing. We have days where if writer’s block doesn’t impede our creative process, circumstances outside our control land on our front doorstep. Some weeks we might be on top of the world, and then all it takes is an unexpected traumatic event to tear it down. We saw the unexpected with the pandemic and how it changed the world. There is a whole list of stressors that experts rank as being the hardest to overcome. Some of us have dealt with illness, career change, moving, the untimely death of loved ones, and more. What they all have in common is that life goes on despite hardships. Relying on good times or our feelings is as reliable as driving a 1970s Ford Pinto. The gas tank could rupture during collisions, not only a scary thing but a potentially fatal one.Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2022, was like any other late summer Southern California day. The weather was nice, and my family and I were excited to use our Disneyland annual passes. As we prepared to leave, we noticed our then 15-month-old son was extra clingy and kept wanting to be held, which wasn’t unusual. But soon, clingy behavior turned into favoring one leg, and then he wasn’t willing to walk.
At first, we thought he strained his right leg trying to climb out of his crib. He was normally our little Tasmanian Devil, climbing up on furniture and running around. So, the fact that he suddenly wasn’t willing to walk was worrisome. We almost went along with our plans to go to Disneyland, figuring he would spend most of the day in his stroller, anyway. But we followed our parental instincts and took him into the emergency room. We had no idea what was in store for us. My husband and I expected to be in and out of the hospital, possibly with a prescription for pain meds. We hoped it would be nothing more than our son being needy. While my daughter was advanced and an early speaker, our son was born premature by 6 weeks. He was trying to communicate with Mommy and Daddy as best as he could. He was telling us something was very wrong, even as he couldn’t speak.Read the rest of this entry »
All my life, I’ve been asked ethnically probing questions, and often times people aren’t even correct in how they pose them. They’ll often ask things like, “Where are you from?” I often ask my own question for clarity sake. You mean, which state was I born in? You mean, how long have I lived in California? Or do you really mean, since I’m a Person of Color, what ethnic origin made me a brown person?
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. It’s a month where I reflect on my own experience as a multi-ethnic Person of Color that doesn’t call herself a “Latinx” or an “Asian.” Where are you from?—is a question I’ve been asked at least a million times. What the real question is: What is your ethnicity? Ethnicity is different than nationality. People can be ethnically from a different country than their nationality. My nationality is American. My ethnicity and the ethnicity of other People of Color are no one else’s business. Our ethnicity isn’t relevant to our qualifications for being the right job candidate, and it shouldn’t be a subject of casual conversation. So, why is our ethnicity constantly asked on every single job application? On many applications, they ask if you’re Hispanic or not. I am forced to answer this question with a “No” because I identify with more than one ethnicity. Once I answer “No” on many forms, I’m prompted to pick from other groups of ethnicities. I’ve often seen this option: “Two or More ethnicities (not Hispanic.) See the screenshot below from an actual LinkedIn application.Read the rest of this entry »
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, designed to reflect on our values as a society and honor multicultural women globally. As an aspiring author, creative professional, and multi-ethnic Asian-Hispanic woman, I see the call for diversity as a major focus in the publishing world as it seems to be throughout all businesses.
While wanting diversity is an important step, as a woman of color (WOC), I have experienced the hypocrisy in the call for people of color (POC) to have the same opportunities as white writers and working professionals. Yes, #diversity, #POC, #BLM are all fun, #woke little hashtags, and look really 21st-century-cool. Yet the need for inclusion is more than the preferred pronouns someone lists on their social media. Inclusion goes beyond an antidote to an EEOC claim brought about because an applicant was pre-judged based on their race, age, gender, or sexuality. But the scream for diversity has started to feel like a trendy marketing ploy. It has been my own experience that brown people are becoming exploited in superficial marketing claims from companies to be more inclusive with no legitimate intention of following through.Read the rest of this entry »
We’re in the age of sharing…everything. Whether it’s checking in to Yelp to report what we’ve eaten for lunch to posting our sweaty workout pictures on Instagram just to show off our abs. After all, we worked hard on them, didn’t we?
Oversharing is more than what we post on our social media platforms. Have you ever been in a situation where you’re compelled to discuss your project or goals? Sometimes people feel that by sharing, we are holding ourselves accountable. But, I think there is strength in working hard in silence instead of boasting to anyone willing to listen. There isn’t anything wrong with taking pride in our work. There isn’t anything wrong with sharing our success stories or opening up about our daily lives with the world. Many influencers, content creators, and celebrities out there do just that. In fact, that’s how some creators make money by sharing their every waking second of success or failures with hungry fans.Read the rest of this entry »
When we hear the words “break down,” we automatically think of a nervous breakdown, a mental collapse, or a slump in our life where we reach our lowest point. But breaking down isn’t always so melodramatic. In fact, it can be a simple breakdown in communication, having to relearn how we remotely work with others.
We go to college, get our degrees, and expect to be done learning. We can be subject matter experts and leaders in our respective fields. But true leadership comes from personal knowledge of self and having the understanding that we’re never done growing.
As someone that has a project management certification from Villanova, I’m excellent with managing multiple projects at once, including juggling professional and personal projects, from short-form content to long-form passion projects, plus #momlife of a precocious six-year-old that’s an avid, advanced reader already wanting her own YouTube channel, and a teething six-month-old that desperately wants to walk before he can crawl, grabbing everything in sight and finally smacking me with the reality that I’m NOT Superwoman!
Ugh…(deep breath)…having a new baby has been hard.Read the rest of this entry »
Change has been on the horizon for many of us, whether we like it or not. If you’re one who resists change and has difficulty adjusting when your routine goes sideways, then you might find yourself struggling with the new norm.
The pandemic has forced us to get used to our living arrangements because, let’s face it, many of us have now work from home. That’s become the biggest change is the new hybrid and fully remote work models. Not only that, there now seems to be a shortage of just about everything. One of my ultimate loves is Diet Coke. After I had my son, I couldn’t find caffeine-free Diet Coke anywhere. Why? There’s a nationwide aluminum shortage, otherwise known as the “candemic,” resulting from more breweries choosing cans over glass. The aluminum shortage is also partly due to China’s crackdown on energy usage to meet its carbon-emission goals. Auto industry experts are now warning of a magnesium shortage because the chemical element is a key ingredient in making aluminum!Read the rest of this entry »
Thanksgiving is the one day out of the year where we survey our lives to uncover what we ought to be grateful for. Some of us have a generic list. Others might like to come up with unique reasons to count their blessings. But if we’re all honest with ourselves, some days it’s hard to see the silver lining, and that’s okay. So as long as we rise from struggle and understand how gratitude can make us better.
Gratitude, in many cases, has become overly used. It truly has become the go-to phrase whenever anyone is upset. There’s nothing worse than clichéd responses to personal challenges, trauma, and real difficulties we face. It’s easy for someone else sitting where you’d like to be in life and is not in your shoes to tell you to “just get over it” and to “be grateful for what you have.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say that, I’d be a billionaire.Read the rest of this entry »
The best gift you can give yourself this season isn’t the latest gadget on a Black Friday sale but the gift to be open to learning new things. I absolutely love to learn, and in all honesty, if college was free, I’d be a perpetual student enrolled forever. However, there are ways to improve your skill set that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Why is it important to keep learning? Being open to learning not only helps you in your professional life but also improves your skills as a writer and helps you become a more self-aware individual. On the other hand, having a know-it-all attitude stunts our growth and can potentially tarnish our relationships. Let’s face it, no one wants to be around someone who thinks they have the answer to everything. While we can be experts in a particular field, things are constantly evolving. There’s new software, innovative strategies to market products, advancements in technology, and a butt-load of skills that we’ve yet to learn.Read the rest of this entry »
November is the perfect opportunity to consider giving back and not just to others but to ourselves. It’s the month for turkey dinner, Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday blowouts, and, for many writers, National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you’re trying to crank out 50k words by the end of the month, it could help bust your tendency to procrastinate.
However, you should also consider working on consistency as a writer no matter what month it is. Some writers need a muse, and NaNoWriMo could offer that to them. It’s a cool and fun challenge to get us all trying to write every day. Other writers wait for inspiration to hit. Many of us often have work, kids, and lives full of distractions. There will always be a reason not to start. Excuses are very easy to make because they’re the quickest way to allow procrastination to get in the way of accomplishing not just our daily word count but any goal, for that matter.Read the rest of this entry »
Admittedly, I’m a very passionate person. I’m passionate about my content producing and social media management expertise, and I’m passionate about my writing goals as an aspiring author. In my professional and personal life, I’ve learned that passion requires management. Sometimes excessive passion can run a situation over the cliff before you have time to—oh shit—stop it.
People often use the word passion quite liberally, but have you ever actually looked up the definition?Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a huge debate in the writing community whether or not having a very detailed plot outline is invaluable or a waste of time. Does it really make a book better? There’s a new story idea I’ve been toying around with and so I’d considered plotting out my next manuscript.
With my last one, I sort of had to do a super light outline because I had multiple POVs and a dual timeline. But it was the second book in a duology, and so I already knew the characters. It’s a lot different if you’re writing out a series and you already know the characters, the storyline, and kind of know what he/she would do next. It’s a lot harder to start from scratch when you are simply going off of a brand new idea that you haven’t quite fleshed out.Read the rest of this entry »
October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a subject that is deeply personal to me.
I wish I could say that I wake up every morning smiling from ear to ear. I wish I could say that I have an infectious laugh, a bubbly personality, and skip everywhere I go.
I wish I could say that winter weather doesn’t affect me and that COVID didn’t affect my mental health. I wish I could say that I don’t mind isolation, that I can celebrate everyone else’s success with a huge fucking grin on my face, even though all the while I’m feeling like a big fat failure.Read the rest of this entry »
The hardest part of writing a novel isn’t starting but knowing when to stop without perfectionism stalling progress. It’s easy for people to start something and fiddle around with it for years. I’ve spoken to writers who have taken 10-15 years and are still tweaking the same novel. Meanwhile, I’ve read drafts where I can tell the writer rushed through the process, and the manuscript requires many more revisions.Read the rest of this entry »
Sometimes writers intentionally want to create big worlds, so they go out of their way to write a huge cast. If you’re like me, you might’ve unintentionally done so. During the revision process, I discovered that I had named too many minor characters. Many of these characters never return.Read the rest of this entry »
When my husband and I were trying for our second child, we thought it would be simple because we conceived our first child on the first try. Little did we know the long road we would have to endure ahead. Being the creative person I am, trying to breathe life into my manuscripts and a little human at the same time was the hardest period of my life. It felt like my body was rejecting me at every turn, and so were traditional publishing houses.
I admit it as a creative soul, as a writer I’m quite the escape artist and there are many forms of avoidance. A glass of red wine or two. A mind-numbing videogame on my cell phone. Even a good book. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone says that confidence is a make-it-or-break-it trait. A lack of confidence shows in everything that you do. It is as if people can see the “L” for loser branded on your forehead. If you don’t have confidence, you’re doomed. You’ll likely never reach your goals, you’ll never amount to the success you’ve been trying to reach. Read the rest of this entry »
Productivity often feels better when we’re going at warp speed, but manic levels of workaholic loads come with a price. Here’s what I’ve learned in a crash course of Go! Go! Go!: What comes up, must come down. At the end of our long day, what we could all use more of is a little something called balance. Read the rest of this entry »
Caution: This post contains purposed run-on sentences and fragments. Grammatical freaks read at your own peril.
Having a minimalist approach to success means understanding how to quantify your wins. Success is often measured on a large scale, but you don’t have to win the Nobel Prize to feel like a winner. Read the rest of this entry »
Of all health awareness issues and causes, mental health remains an under-represented topic.
World Health Day is more than an opportunity to complain about our rising health insurance premiums. Health coverage differs all around the world, and of course, the U.S. doesn’t rank as one of the best. This includes the lack of mental health services. Read the rest of this entry »
When I think about the difference between women and men, the first thing that comes to mind is childbirth. But, there are many fascinating facts about women that I bet you didn’t know.
There is nothing that weakens the human spirit more than discouragement, and there’s also nothing more powerful then gifting unconditional love. While Valentine’s Day tempts romantics to binge watch Hallmark movies, re-read favorite romance novels, and swoon at the drop of the slightest amorous gesture, there are those of us who cringe at the sights and sounds. Read the rest of this entry »
My New Year did not start off as planned, I found myself faced with issues of mortality. The choice between life and death doesn’t always get placed in our hands. However, I soon found myself having to play God and forced to make a very personal and sensitive decision. Read the rest of this entry »
December is a perfect time to reflect as we enter into the New Year. Whenever it comes to goals, most of us can say that we’re not quite there. While there are rare individuals that can boast that every area of their life is absolutely perfect, it’s not common. Read the rest of this entry »
While I slept peacefully, thanks the Seroquel I take for my insomnia, hundreds of people were running for their lives. As a deadly massacre took place in the city I once lived in for more than 10 years, where I went to high school. The city of sin and lights…Las Vegas.
This is a city where my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews still live. While I am not a big country music fan, my sister and her family are. Luckily, they were not at the concert that night, but many others were. But what if they had made the Route 91 concert a family event? What if they all had gone that night? Read the rest of this entry »
My face hit the floor, as I was literally brought to my knees, begging and pleading with snot and tears running down my face. I might as well have been kissing his feet, and all to make him reconsider ending our marriage.
The response I received started as an arrogant scoff that accumulated into explosive laughter. He rolled his eyes at me with not an ounce of sympathy or concern and mockingly spit out, “Get up off the floor and stop making a fool of yourself.” Read the rest of this entry »
At 32, I entered one of the worst relationships I have ever been in. The man was manipulative and yet a smooth-talking charmer. He was younger than me by four years, which is not much but still enough to boost my ego. His blue eyes and sweet boy-next-door looks swept me off my feet. Read the rest of this entry »