Yesterday, I passed the Nursery class after dropping Noah off at his classroom for the day. The kids formed two lines, with their Chinese teacher demonstrating how to, if I understood their gestures correctly, walk properly within their lines. Their hands at their hips, the taller assistant standing behind her, the Nursery teacher spoke her instructions in smooth and fluent Mandarin. I listened to the unfamiliar words, letting them take me back to an older Chinese-English elementary school where the teachers drilled the same language into the students' heads. It's a lot to ask from a seven-year-old, but I couldn't help wishing I had been more mature when I had that education served to me every afternoon. Linguistically limited I read . . .
Over the weekend, I worked on this small fun project to help me achieve two things: enjoy my passions to the fullest and celebrate life through focus and accomplishment. I created this to address and eventually silence a crucial personal issue. For so long I've felt like a lost hummingbird darting to and fro, dabbling in my interests and activities, never really taking hold of what I have and what I can accomplish. Everyday I see people on social media holding up their big ass megaphones, blathering about plans and promises, but never really accomplishing anything significant. I look down at my own megaphone and realize I'm still part of this mob—stuck at the same spot, but doing things silently. There are holes and dark corners that . . .
"If it ain't scheduled, it ain't real." Or something like that. This tip is a guiding light since I started working on improving my personal productivity two years ago. I followed Marie Forleo of Marie TV and can never forget the lightbulb moment I had when she advised to schedule everything onto my calendar. I've since kept Google Calendar, my planner, and a paper calendar close with me so I won't forget what needs to get done. Keeping paper calendars gave me the satisfaction of crossing days off and marking upcoming events. It didn't, however, give me the flexibility I needed when I made a mistake or had to move an event to an earlier or later date. The paper calendar I was using was your typical promotional calendar that . . .
This year, I made a personal commitment to devote 2017 to learning and practicing a new skill. This sprouted from a long-term frustration with my inability to make things. I can't paint, cook, bake build, repair, or craft. I feel useless whenever there's something broken in the house or if we need to nail a picture frame to the wall. I soon discovered leather crafting, and fell in love with the process and the products born out of it. A limited number of classes are currently taught here in the Philippines and Singapore. I wanted to sign up for a workshop, but I'd have to fly to Manila to and pay at least P3000 to register. This is a huge drawback as it meant spending additional money on airfare for this project. While browsing . . .
Blinkist is a go-to reading corner for quick and bite-sized summaries of the best non-fiction books. The library spans a wide range of topics, from productivity to relationships, so there's something for everyone. In my case, I searched and gobbled up as many books as I could find that relate to my current situation as a writer: creativity, failure, rejection, productivity, and self-encouragement. I've picked up 21 Blinkist books that address important aspects of the creative life. You might find quick and actionable answers to problems you've been dealing with for a long time. You need to subscribe to the Blinkist service to be able to access these books. You can try it out for three days. That's plenty of time to go through . . .
"You should get this book," my sister wrote at our THE SCHMEXY SISTERZ Facebook chat room. She then sent a snapshot of Elle Luna's The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion. Reading the blurb on Amazon, I was very interested in this dichotomy and what exactly they mean and represent. Eventually, I did pick up a copy from my local bookstore and dove right into it. It's filled with beautiful photography, inspiring quotes, lovely illustrations, and most important of all, insights on honoring our calling — MUST — and how to live a life driven by what moves us forward. Conclusion: It's a refreshing way of expounding on a classic war cry that many creatives continue to fear and turn away from. . . .
I’ve been freelancing for seven years. I freelance because it supports both my life and my creative writing. Writing poetry, fiction, fan fiction, game fiction, and everything literary in between has and will always be the end goal. There's this growing frustration, however, towards freelancing that's weighing me down. For two years, I wished, dreamed, and brainstormed for ideas on how to establish a more stable and sustainable source of income where I didn’t need to put in writing hours all the time. My first two products I signed up for an account on a platform called Gumroad, which takes the guesswork out of setting up a product for sale. I jumped at the opportunity and created my first product: Catching the Butterfly: 13 Ways . . .
Are the latest writing apps or the most professional-smelling notebook enough to get you writing? Personally, I think these things won't do squat if you don't cultivate and stick to a writing habit or routine. And I'll be the first to admit that it's one of my current challenges as a creative writer. There are plenty of science-backed articles and case studies on building and sticking to habits, but I'm fascinated by a couple of fun and creative writing exercises people have tried to build writing routines. They aren't bullet-proof solutions, but they're seen as opportunities to get the words flowing. In fact, some of these allow you to work hand-in-hand with a community of writers aiming for the same goals and yearning to share . . .
I love creative collaborations. They allow me to work with other creatives to get an amazing project off the ground. Some of the best creative projects were made through collaborative efforts. Refold and Project LOOP, for example, invite artists and designers to transform standing desks and skateboards into works of art. Collaboration is also my theme for this year. I want to connect and collaborate with other creatives on projects that put our work on the forefront and that can make a difference. Fortunately, I'm a part of three group projects, one of which is The Experiment already concluded with the release of our book. Working on The Experiment tested not just my creative skills, but my communication and project management skills . . .
I pulled out and read my copy of my undergraduate poetry thesis again. It's like sitting down and catching up with a good old friend. I read through the acknowledgements till the final page of my exegetic essay. I recalled the many weeks I spent studying scholarly texts and doing field work for the project. I re-familiarized myself with the traditions my poems drew from, reacquainting myself with the arguments of the scholars Berger, Glotfelty, and Malamud. Re-reading my thesis, I remember the bigger WHY behind my project and how this purpose helped me hold on to my goal of finishing and publishing my first collection of poems. https://www.instagram.com/p/Xhwl6ikJE3/ I believe this is something one must fully realize and embed . . .