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Category: Witty & Whimsical Woes

TODAY I DON’T WANT TO WRITE

Today, I do not want to write. But here I am. Writing. It feels forced and I should be fine with it. But I’m not. Is this what goes through the minds of writers when the encounter writer’s block? My procrastination and laziness overwhelms me at this very moment and I feel tense about putting every single word down. I like to come into writing mode with a sense of direction of where I am going but today, I am writing on a whim.

As I usually do for most of my writing sessions, I set a timer for how long I should or need to write for to meet my minimum requirement for the day. Today has been set for thirty minutes because frankly, I’d go crazy if I did an hour like I normally would. Is this consider torture what I am doing to myself or am I teaching myself a valuable lesson; to persist even when you don’t want to.

I’ve been reading a book called On Writing Well by William Zinsser and he says that consistency and regular routine in writing is important to becoming a great writer. With practice, concentration and determination every single day, it will enhance the abilities of the writer to churn out good prose and overall skill. I’m still only 20 pages into the book so I don’t know how much I am taking in but Zinsser’s book is doing its best to keep me energized throughout my writing career. In fact, since starting this short post, I’ve glanced over at it multiple times to avoid giving in to laziness.

Have you been stuck in writing dilemma such as myself in the past? What are your ways of overcoming your mentality? Does it get to the point of frustration where all you would like to do is sit down and cry the night away? Okay, I am exagerrating quite a bit and writing can not be compared to mental insanity but still, it does take a toll on your mind.

If I were to describe my brain and mentality, it feels clogged. There is a sense of stuffiness in my head now. I am not sure if it can be contributed to not knowing what the heck I am doing or if it is the stress I am under. It’s a lightheaded sensation that I am grateful I am getting to experience but it is not welcoming.

I am using this post as a way to tighten up my writing. Zinsser says we need to rid ourselves of unneccessary fluff words and get straight to the point. We often rely on words we do not need. In this last sentence, I deliberately put in “often” but the sentence would still be effective if got rid of it. This is a problem I tend to have in my writing as I’d like to expand on my sentences and think the longer the better. In actuality, I just make a fool of myself and use unnecessary vocabulary.

I’m nearing the end of my train of thought and my random ramblings seem to discourage me slightly. But the truth is, with five and a half minutes left on my timer, I am glad that I set out to write this piece. It’s not my greatest work on display but I hope it demonstrates to my audience how I feel as a writer from time to time. There is a degree of aggravation that comes with writing. You honestly just have to go with the flow and see how you can perservere from it. Writing adventures can be tricky and overwhelming but if you want to be in it for the long haul, embrace it as much as you can.

Decompressing After Hard Work

After being on the road for twenty days for a project, I find myself having difficulties readjusting to my routines and life back in Los Angeles. I know the value of decompressing after a strenuous period of time but did not realize how hard it would be to simply relax.

The project I was on, Wayfaring, allowed me to travel cross country with a former contestant of Survivor as he experienced a new environment and adventure every single day. As part of the project, I lived in close quarters with twelve other crew members and had obligations such as staying up with the editor to finish the day’s project and to schedule out the day’s itinerary. In the grand scheme of things, traveling twenty days across America on a project, doesn’t compare to other stories I have heard. I have heard of stories where ordinary citizens were living in isolated communities for years and other traveling road shows who have been on the road for longer than we have. But even though their circumstances and situation may be a bit more extreme and perhaps more lengthy than my own, I am witness that culture shock and the difficulty to decompress can affect everyone.

When I returned from my trip, I found myself still moving at a rapid pace, similar to what I was doing when I was on the trip. I felt this pressure for some reason to tie up loose ends in my personal and business life and did not seem to take the time to enjoy the fact that I was back in my bed. This eventually caught up to me sat of last night, as I found myself breaking down a little, not necessarily emotionally but mentally. I found myself lost, annoyed, frustrated that I was as disorganized and disheveled and other characteristics that was not like me. It took me a while during the night but I found myself accepting that it is okay to feel lost and to take things gradually. As I am typing away this morning and slowly getting back into my normal routine, I find myself infinitely much better than I had felt in prior days.

For those of us who have been traveling or been working in a lot of extreme circumstances, I’m here to tell you it is alright to struggle with decompressing after you are finished with your project or adventure. It will take a few moments to re-fuel your fire and to re-assess your life once more. It will take a lot of time and focus to get things back to normal. But use this time to invest in yourself and learn to relax and enjoy life. Don’t worry about falling behind, like I did, and just let things that are worrying you, fall to your waist side and get that pressure off of yourself. The fact that you had just completed a task or adventure is proof enough that you accomplished sometimes and you need to take a moment to reward not only yourself but your mental being as well.

100 Things I Am Grateful For

I am currently on Day 231 of Jason Harvey’s book Achieve Everything in Just One Year. It is a book separated by days and on each day, the reader is supposed to do a task that Jason lays out. I wouldn’t say it is the best book I have ever read but being able to read a motivational book daily and to do what is assigned, really teaches me to stick to something for a long time. Since I am on Day 231, I am more than halfway there and so there is no point in stopping now.

Day 231 asks the readers to write a list of 100 things they are grateful for. As you may very well expect, I’m in a section where gratitude is a topic that Jason feels that everyone should learn to embrace. I whole heartedly agree with him and feel this day deserves a section on my blog! And plus, I didn’t want to use up 4-5 pages in my notebook with the list. That said, I encourage everyone to list everything they are grateful for, and even though it may not be easy thinking of 100 items, it’s just really nice to challenge yourself and think about all that you have.

So here it goes. 100 Things I am Grateful For:

1. Being alive
2. Having a family
3. My parents and sisters all care for me through thick and thin.
4. I have amazing friends all around the world.
5. I have a job
6. I can read
7. I can write
8. I live in an apartment
9. I have the means to buy food.
10. I can taste food
11. I can see
12. I can smell
13. I still maintain my sense of touch.
14. I have not lost all my hearing.
15. I am physically active
16. I can smile
17. I love the drive that life has given me
18. I live in a peaceful environment
19. I feel safe
20. I can call my parents and talk to them on my phone.
21. I have a cell phone
22. I can watch TV in the comforts of my home.
23. I’m able to access the internet from home
24. People are kind to me.
25. I don’t feel discriminated against on a daily basis.
26. I’m able to pursue my dreams.
27. I ‘m able to learn from my failures.
28. I have freedom
29. Independence
30. I can think
31. I am healthy
32. I don’t have a life threatening illness
33. People respect me.
34. I know I can change the world
35. I can buy clothes
36. I’m wearing clothes
37. I’m able to accomplish my dreams
38. I can talk
39. People understand what I’m saying.
40. I can make people smile
41. I know how to use humor appropriately
42. I know how to be confident
43. I can ride a bicycle
44. I have a car
45. I know how to drive a car
46. I have traveled overseas
47. I have the means to be able to travel the world
48. I can cook in my kitchen
49. I can get groceries from a supermarket down the street
50. I can buy takeout when I’m too lazy to cook.
51. All my immediate family members are alive
52. I’ve been fortunate to not lose anyone extremely close to me
53. I’m able to use a computer
54. I know how to access information when I need it
55. I have the opportunity to have kids if I so desire
56. I’m able to love
57. I am able to overcome my obstacles
58. I can make my dad laugh
59. I can make my mom laugh
60. I have all of my fingers
61. I have all of my toes
62. I am not physically handicapped
63. I do not have any mental disorders
64. I am able to blink
65. I can come up with creative ideas
66. I have health insurance
67. I’m able to have access to some of the best medical technology.
68. I’m able to heal when I’m injured
69. I graduated college
70. I graduated high school
71. I graduated elementary school
72. I can go to more schooling if I so desired
73. I am intelligent
74. I was the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree
75. I have the opportunity to start a business if I want
76. I am ambitious
77. I have not gotten in trouble with the law
78. I have been able to rebound from my mistakes
79. I own a blog
80. I can enjoy most food and can drink pretty much anything
81. I have access to dodgeball
82. I am involved in the dodgeball community
83. I have won championships playing a game I love
84. I ran a marathon
85. I achieved goals in my life
86. I’m able to practice meditation
87. I know the importance of gratitude
88. I can play video games in the comfort of my home
89. I have been able to get influenced by many stories in my childhood
90. Filmmaking is part of my life
91. I have friends who I can call best friends and are there to support me when I need.
92. I’ve been to multiple states in the US
93. I know how to have fun
94. I’m able to challenge myself
95. I am not overwhelmed by extreme issues in my life.
96. People love me for who I am
97. I am able to breathe
98. I know how to swim
99. Life teaches me something new everyday
100. I am grounded in my life and know the importance of being grateful for everything I have and will continue to carry this mindset.

Writing this list was very challenging and at times, I do feel like I repeated myself or phrased things differently, over and over. In the end, I feel like what matters is that as readers, and as someone living on this planet, is to be constantly self-aware of all that you have during your hard times and struggles. It makes things much better if you are able to put things in a more positive perspective.

Learning to Take Risks

Well, it seems like my pursuit of getting a teaching credential may soon be coming to an end. After experiencing a classroom of kindergarteners since January, I discovered that I may be heading towards the wrong field. As much as I love working with the students and seeing their progress throughout the years, I have to admit that my desire to get into the education field has subsided and I feel like I was entering it for the wrong reasons. I have to admit that a part of me is embarrassed by my lack of persistence into this field. I have been telling family members, friends and acquaintances of my eventual becoming of being a teacher for many years now. And to back out of that career may seem like I am quitting but I like to see it as I discovered what I do and do not want. I was getting so burnt out by the entertainment industry but when I got away from it for a little bit, it made me want to go back and I reclaimed the fire that I had lost so many years ago.

I had a true evaluation of myself and I found that the luxury of the teacher’s schedule, meaning the time they are physically in the classroom, was appealing. I found the summer hours off quite beneficial as well. But to say that you want to get into the field of education because of the schedule just feels wrong. There has to be an innate and strong desire to really put your passion into this occupation in order to succeed. I would feel like I would not do my job properly and it would just be utterly unfair to the kids.

Luckily for me, I chose a program that was on the inexpensive side. It was an online based course but I had to clock in observation hours at a local elementary school. To finish the program, it would have cost me $10,000 but because I only did one term, I shelled out $4,500. Granted that this was an investment in finding out that education was not for me, I like to say I am happy I took the risk and discovered something that had been lingering in my head for quite some time. The “What If” and my original desire to become a teacher no longer persists in my head. I think that is the joy of taking risks because you end up figuring out something new about yourself and whether you truly have the values you thought you had.

I realized that the main reason I wanted the schedule of a teacher (even though they clock in a LOT of out of classroom hours) was to pursue my passion in television and filmmaking. I wanted to use that flexibility I thought teachers had in order to make my own production company and to shoot a wide variety of videos, because I felt like I would have the time. FALSE. I realized that the job of a teacher is so draining during their 6 hour day that by the end of my observation days, I would want to just simply rest and not focus on anything else. I feel like if I had entered the profession, I would put my dream of being a producer or a director on the back burner and as a result, hurt my path to achieving my dreams.

This brings me to another risky venture I am now going to pursue. Instead of following my path to become a teacher, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and start investing in making a production company. I have so far spent about $4500 in terms of setting up my studio filled with a professional camera, audio equipment, lighting and other essentials. I am reading about how to start a small business and getting inspired by a wide range of filmmaking books. Although this venture can be quite costly, it is a direction which I truly feel strongly about. I’ve always been hopeful to be in a position where I can have creative control in life and to be able to collaborate with other filmmakers to pursue art. The production company, starting out, would be focused on weddings, corporate videos and freelancing gigs that could earn some income, build its brand and their client base. Eventually, I hope that the production company can invest more into their short and long form narrative pieces of work and have more reputable clients.

Who knows for sure if my production company will succeed. I know I don’t. But the idea is that I am taking a risk right now into pursuing something I had been afraid of doing for 5-6 years now. It took me trying to get away from the entertainment industry and into a new field, to make me realize that I still love visual media. I hope that my risk taking will pay off and that I learn a lot throughout this start-up. But I know for a fact that taking a step towards your dream, is one of the best risks that one can take because it will show you how passionate you can become.

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