When You Don’t Know, Make A List

When You Don’t Know, Make A List

Sometimes, you just have no idea what to write. Nothing is coming to you. Nothing inspires you. The world around you is noise, the time and place are wrong, conditions are not right.

Too many things can interfere with our creativity. Too many distractions and responsibilities can cloud our minds. But we must write. We must get our hands moving, our minds working.

When you don’t know what to write about, or what to do, make a list. Here’s a rapid-fire list of lists you can focus your attention on, to put some of that creative energy in.

  • List the stuff you have to do and the stuff you need to buy.
  • List the ideas that are popping and bouncing around in your mind.
  • List everything you don’t have time for any more (you might remember something you love and must make time to do again).
  • List the books you want/need to read and the favorite passages of the books you’ve read so far this year.
  • List the people you need to thank and the things/opportunities you are grateful for.
  • List the milestones you’ve achieved and the goals your have for yourself this year.
  • List the stuff around the house that need repairs or need to be donated.
  • List the names of places you dream of traveling to.
  • List the most interesting names you’ve ever heard of.

Make one list now and every time your mind needs a buffer to refuel and recharge. Believe me, from some of your lists unexpected ideas will bubbled up to the surface, to unleash your creativity once more. And if any of this fails…blog 😉

Share one of your “buffer” lists with me below!

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It’s Taking Forever, But Maybe I’ll Finish

It’s Taking Forever, But Maybe I’ll Finish

Forever Maybe is the story of my adolescence and early adulthood. It’s also the title of my upcoming novella. An intimate peek into the “what if” story of Jordi Ventura and Ella.

It was a version of this story the one I began writing over 10 years ago. It was a version of this story the one I dusted off again in 2015 and which morphed into Sweet Abigail. So, the idea got shelved once again to let Sweet Abigail come through.

It’s taking forever to make this original-source-story come to life. Maybe because it more closely resembles a version of my own. The version where the things I thought would be impossible, turn out to be possible, where a long-lost relationship endured, where the time it took for an ordinary girl to find the strength to share the extraordinary within her took just a couple of chapters and around 110 pages.

Update: Currently on the editing stage. It’s taking its sweet time. I’m enjoying every moment of it, and I’ll finish! 2017 will be the year 🙂

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PS: Stay tuned for the release date.

Love and Lost in Sweet Abigail

Love and Lost in Sweet Abigail

**Missing Letter**

Sweet Abigail,

I finally know what love is, what love feels like. It’s sweet…bitter sweet. It’s everything I had hoped for, and everything I never expected it to be. I never expected to cry. I never expected the pain, the frustration. I never expected for things to move at a random pace; too fast, to slow, unmovable at times, going in circles, playing me for a fool.

Distance and time. Time and distance. My enemies and my only hope.

Some nights I wish for a heart untouched by love…I wish for your heart. Strong, willing, forward, unafraid. But my fate is this heart, with all its flaws, weak, anxious and filled with fear. But why would I want to have a different heart, when this is the heart he loves?

Will my fear ever move me? Could my fear of losing him ever push me to find him, to fight back? 

Sure, you say it’s hopeless…but that’s only what you think, it’s not what I feel. I know there’ll always be a chance for Aldo and I. There’ll always be another day for us, another word, another kiss, another letter.

Amelia.

(This letter was given to Sophie by Amelia Luna, before saying goodbye, forever.)

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Hope you enjoyed this “missing letter” inspired by the Sweet Abigail story.

PS: Get Sweet Abigail here!

Remember To Breathe

Remember To Breathe

Sometimes, for some reason, I forget to breathe. I take a breath and get lost between a million incoming thoughts. I build a bubble of air in my chest and hold on to it, and then, I remember I need to let it out, and do it all over again.

I got into the habit of taking quick and shallow breaths. Why? 

I feel like I’m underwater, gasping for air when I reach the surface, then diving back in. Why?

I held my breath, literally, at every word I write, at every sentence. Why?

This way, I’ve manage to survive for years. But this is not the healthy way to live. Because breath is the beginning, it’s the source, it’s the thing we do instinctively, and maybe, because I don’t have to “think” about it, maybe because I take it for granted, it became entangled in a bad habit.

Clear your mind and let ideas flow, like water from your creative well.

I’ve been trying to make breathing a conscious act. A part of my writing and not a cumbersome stop. A tool to quiet the cluttering thoughts in favor of the fertile ideas. A release, a relief and a break.

An authentic breath goes deeper, it doesn’t get stuck to your throat or chest. It should move through your body, fill every organ, surge through your blood and awaken every cell. But what should be not always is.

One way I’m retraining myself to breath consciously is by incorporating a Yoga practice. So far, it has helped me challenge my body and reconnect with my breath. I chant to myself “breath in, breath out” in between the other thoughts that bounce and bump all over my head. It’s not easy. I’m not very good at it. I’m making progress.

I still get a knot on my throat and feel pressure on my chest. I still have to remember to breathe, breathe and write. But I accept that as writing, breathing may feel natural, but is not mindless, it’s a lifelong practice.

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Fashion and The Writer

clothes-blog

One of the best books I read in 2016 was, undoubtedly, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. And one of my favorite quotes from that book is “dress for the novel you want to write.” It’s simple, it’s direct, it makes sense. It comes down to the face (& body) you project out into to the world, before that “world” of readers and supporters even exists, when that “world” is only you, looking back at yourself in the mirror.

It is another way of saying “fake it ’till you make it” but more appropriate and meaningful to us as writers. It calls attention to that thing we want to “make”. It’s not “whatever”, it is something tangible and concrete; a novel, a story, an article, a poem, a book, an ebook.

Indeed, the clothes make the man, or in this case, they make the writer, the kind of writer you want to be and are meant to be: if your see it, you’ll believe it, you’ll become it.

Of course, there’s a caveat. You don’t go and spend all the money you don’t have and stack up your credit card purchasing clothes way above your budget. It’s not about buying “new” and expensive items at all. It’s about embodying the writer of that novel, book or story, now! How does she dress? How does she care for herself? What image, what vibe is she projecting with her clothes? What statement is she making? and is this statement consistent with what she is writing?

Thinking that a writer doesn’t concern himself with fashion is a myth. I’m a writer and I’ve always been intrigued by fashion. Though now, I’ve come to understand the fleeting nature of “fashion” and the staying power of Style. That’s what I aim for. And as much as my wardrobe style reflects my personal preferences and lifestyle, it trickles down into my own writing self. I was fascinated to discover, I write like I dress.

Effortless and Minimalist-Classic, with a touch of Simple Elegance 😉

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How do you write? Describe your writer’s wardrobe/writing style below! 

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How To Fill This New Year’s Blank Page?

The Blank Page

As the final countdown began, everybody was getting ready to unfold their new year’s resolutions, that long “to do list” with items recycled from past years* and new dreams for the one about to begin.

The task of filling a new year with exciting and fulfilling accomplishments is daunting. You say to yourself, it’s time to get stuff done, this year would be different. Yet, that blank page standing in front of you seems to extend from here to the next December 31st. Menacing as always. Because, what if another year rolls around and finds your list untouched, unchanged. No check marks, no statements crossed?

Don’t panic! Only a little self-assessment will show that there was a whole lot that did happen over the last twelve months. Focus on that progress. The start of a new year offers the opportunity to plan ahead, to think about what little more you can do, which little steps you can take to move forward. And that means everything, the fact that each year we are not starting from scratch.

Once the confetti has settled and the fireworks have turned to ashes, you have to face that new blank page, and start putting together the outline of that next chapter of your life.

For my fellow writers out there, there’s only one thing that should be on our list of resolutions, the cornerstone of our lives as creatives and the foundation of all other dreams and goals for next year: Create.

What made last year a success for me was the fight against procrastination and the small wins that pushed me forward in the achievement of my goal: Finding ways to let creation be at the center, give it space and give it fuel.

  • Embrace the momentum of the new year.
  • Look out for and be open to the unexpected opportunities.
  • Keep a diary, journal or bullet journal, and track your progress.

Make each hour an important letter, each day a pivotal word, each week a powerful sentence, each month an authentic paragraph and by the end of this year, your page will be filled, every line will make sense.

What are some of the words on your list? Share them with me below and let’s make them happen:)

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*There are some new year’s resolution that have no expiration date. Everything that has to do with your physical, mental and spiritual well-being, every positive habit you’ve incorporated so far, the ever present search for knowledge. And even as the names of our goals evolve and change, behind them should stand your bigger picture, as the backdrop for everything that is possible.

The Tree, The Train and The Star

wooden christmas decoration

I want to close this wonderful year of writing goals and life adventures with a simple story about seemingly unrelated items; a tree, a train and a star.

A tree was rooted to a fine, abundant forest. He stood there comfortable and proud. In his youth, he was delighted to watch the seasons go by. He felt himself changing and growing tall and strong. He felt cozy and secured beneath the thick, leafy canopy of the older trees around him. He felt he belonged.

Then one day, he grew tall enough to gaze beyond the trees in front of him. Their green tops were no longer blocking his view. For the first time, there was nothing standing between himself and the distant horizon that extended in all directions. With wonder and awe, he realized, for the first time, his forest was not everything there was.

For the first time, he resented his nature. With pain, he felt the strain in his roots, as he tried to take a step, but could not. Now, the majesty of his life seemed meaningless. Now that he could see all that he was missing.

On a strip of steel railing that cut through the mountains, a train moved forward with the power of coal burning inside his steam engine. Fast and furious, never in one place for long, his life had been a constant adventure.

Then one day, he realized he hadn’t had time to make lasting friends, and even though he loved how fast he could move, his wheels were fixed to the rails beneath. No matter how  far he traveled, he could never go where he truly wished.

For the first time, he resented his nature. With pain, he felt the strain in his wheels, as he tried to get off, but could not. Now, the power of his engine seemed meaningless. Now that he could feel all that he was missing.

A bright star looked down from above. She seemed to be fixed to a spot in the night sky, yet, she knew she was moving fast, even though she could not feel the force. She could hear the tree’s wishes and the train’s wishes. She had a wish of her own. She wished everybody down there could believe they were also moving, and they were also going where they needed to go. They had a purpose, and as long as they lived that purpose they’ll find happiness.

Her nature was being a symbol of hope. A symbol of possibilities. And even though she led a solitary life, among so many, and even though she was being moved by a force without her control, she saw her light was full of meaning. There was nothing missing.

Sometimes, you might feel like a tree, and hope to be somewhere else, forgetting you are part of something wonderful. Sometimes, you might feel like a train, heading somewhere fast but with no control over your destination, your fate. Someday, I hope you’d feel like a star, and realized your nature is to be of purpose, and your purpose is part of the bigger picture.

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