Find Your Voice

How cliché is that title?

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Pretty damn cliché, I know, but I’ve been spending the last month or so trying to write in a way that is marketable and not in a way that is genuine to myself. I’ve been editing myself down into this lackluster form instead of allowing this snazzy personality to shine. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t felt motivated to write, so I went to Youtube. I mean, who doesn’t like Youtube? (My mom, but that’s beside the point) I spent the last few hours watching people talk about their successes and failures, plus what you have to have in order to make it as a blogger. Every single one mentioned passion; so I found myself sitting here wondering why I feel like I have absolutely no passion to write, right now?

I know why.

I’ve been trying to sound more professional than like myself. Can’t I be sassy and fun while being a writer worth reading? I think so and if you don’t well… I guess that’s cool, too. You should still stick around and read what I have to say though!

In the last 1.5 months of writing on this little blog of mine, several hours of watching videos on blogging, and lots and lots of inspiration hunting, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. If you’re bored with what you’re writing about, don’t write about it. Pretty damn obvious, right? You’d think so, but when you’re trying to find content, you’ll write about anything! Or, you’ll end up not writing because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. I’ve been using the short story I’ve been working on as an excuse, but in all reality, I just haven’t had much to say lately. It’s been difficult because I have this innate desire to write, to share my thoughts, but trying to change into this strange form of myself has made me feel like an alien at the keyboard. I don’t know how to say what I want to discuss anymore because it feels so… unnatural. No more! I’m going to say what I want when I want and, by golly, you folks are just gonna have to like it. (Please don’t hate me! I’ve just got some sassy attitude brewing beneath the surface today.)
  2. Writing is hard work, even on the days you’re feeling super gung-ho and those fingers are itching to write; it’s still hard! It’s okay for it to feel difficult. It’s okay to feel have doubts and wonder if anyone is actually interested in what you have to say. If you’re not wondering then either you’re a super snazzy, hella popular blogger who just doesn’t give an eff, or you must not really be all that interested in what kind of affect you’re having (and if that’s the case, why are you writing at all?). It’s scary putting your thoughts out there for all of the inter webs to peruse through, believe me, I get it. But buck up, buddy, you can do it and you can do it well!
  3. Believe in yo’ self, foo! Don’t doubt that you can do it. Don’t think that just because you’re currently struggling, that you will struggle forever. You won’t! I promise. Stick with it; see it through. You’ll end up surprising yourself. If you’re willing to put in the hours of hard work, if you can push through this wall that you’re standing in front of; you will be rewarded! You’ll feel pretty damn great about yourself at the end of a hard day of writing. Genius takes time. We weren’t born able to walk let alone run, so why do we just expect to be amazing at any given skill the moment we put our mind to it? Because we’re impatient, imperfect creatures. It’s true, but writing takes practice and revision, then rewriting and some more revision. It’s part of that “romantic” process we all grew up thinking that writing was, but really… actually it isn’t all that romantic, after all.

All in all, be yourself. Use your voice; no one has the exact same view as you or lives the same life as you. You are so damn unique so embrace it and let that shine through in everything you do.

Keep fighting, we’ll make it!

-LP

P.S. Don’t worry, this might be a post about things I’ve learned, but you’re still getting the weekly blog post of “Things I Learned This Week” tomorrow!

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Life Update: One of Many

I can’t stop smiling.

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My life has been a bit of a mess the last few years, but lately… man, it’s just been so damn great. I’ve been dealing with a lot of problems and issues that I’ve been working through but even with all that, I’m still happier than ever. It’s just amazing. This path of mine has made its way up mountains, down valleys, and through the thickest of all thickets; all the while I was worried about each decision. I constantly wondered if I was making the right decision. It’s really difficult to know that, you know?

I’ve second guessed myself every step of the way, but I’ve learned -through a bunch of trial and error- that, generally, the first thought that floats through that mind of yours is often the right one. Trust your gut. Seriously. Don’t doubt yourself. You’re smart and most often our first decisions are the ones that our heart truly wants us to follow. I’ve had to make so many difficult decisions in my short life and each decision has been riddled with self-doubt, but I’ve finally made it to the other side of pure clarity. Let me tell you, the fact that I feel secure in my decision doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel the clouds of doubt looming overhead; it just means that I know a gust of reassurance is heading my way and soon those clouds will be gone.

I grew up thinking that earning a degree in English would be wasteful. I thought it would be amazing but not worthwhile; I thought I would be happy just writing in my free time, but I needed a “real job” to pay those bills. I spent years taking courses in education, social work, and nursing, and filling in any opening with courses in literature and writing, I finally got to the point where I had one useless degree under my belt and I was looking for something more. I knew I had always longed to complete an English degree; I had known it for years, but it was always just a pipe dream, something that was just for dreamers- funnily enough, I always called myself a dreamer.

Well folks, yesterday I got my official acceptance letter into the English program and I was able to register for courses. I furiously clicked through classes while slouched into the sofa, excitement building with each press of the button. The list of classes that I had to choose from overwhelmed me with pure joy. I squirmed excitedly in my seat as I read through the courses that I get to take and immediately bought and began reading the required text  upon selecting my courses.  I’ve always loved school, but now I am finally pursuing something I am so beyond passionate about. I know that I’m blessed to be able to at only 23 years old, but it’s been a lifetime of thinking that it just wasn’t practical to follow this dream of mine.

Not only am I able to pursue something I absolutely love, I have the support of someone who encourages me every step of the way. The boyf and I are just two peas in a pod. Honestly. I’ve never had a relationship in which I can be my true self. I’ve often found that I have to give up pieces of myself or push down the things that make me, me in order to be more palatable, but not with him. I can be excited and bouncy or sassy or sweet. I can be who I am every moment of the day. I can love things that I love and appreciate the things that he loves. It’s just spectacular.

Life is grand.

-LP

One of these Days, I’ll Get it Right

I used to take everything so personally.

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I’ve learned to  just let all the crap that comes my way roll off my back. For instance; today at work, my boss told me he wanted to hit me in the head with a baseball bat for making a simple, easy to fix, mistake that I, a brand spanking new employee, had never even been talked to about before or taught. The old version of myself would have probably cried on my drive home from work, but not today. I’ve learned to let that crap go. I’m honestly more annoyed than upset by it and even with that, it’s like minuscule compared to how I would have felt like a month ago. I’m home and I’m happy. It’s crazy to think about where my life was just a short while ago; I guess it goes to show that when you’ve got joy in your life, even shit doesn’t smell so bad.

When I was younger, I was that optimistic person who wasn’t afraid to take risks; as I grew, I got scared. Instead of having someone to push me to be brave and to be myself, I had someone who babied me and told me to basically run from what was scaring me; it’s definitely not what I needed, but I took that advice anyway. It took me a long time to get to a place in which I could appreciate someone showing me a bit of tough love. I’m insanely grateful for the people who give that to me; truly. I’m the kind of person who might complain about something, but I get more from the experience when I’m basically told to suck it up and move forward than when I’m sympathized with.

I’m a tough love kind of person; I can dish it and I’m thankful that I can take it. I like that constructive criticism because it gives me a chance to grow. So when someone comes to you and tells you about all the things you’ve done wrong, take that as a chance to become better. Did your essay turn out horribly? I guess you should that editorial process my boyfriend keeps talking about. (I hear it’s helpful.) Are your fingers fumbling around the strings of your guitar? Practice. Does your painting look muddy and lackluster? Pay attention next time and be deliberate with those strokes. Learn from what you’ve done and what people think about your work.

But, remember to take it all with a grain of salt; sometimes people just wanna be dicks. It’s cool. Let them be jerks and then let that crap go. Who cares what they think if they’re only expressing an “opinion” to be hurtful? I sure as hell don’t. They’re lame lint lickers anyway! Anyway, stay positive and stay true to yourself. If you’re like me and you just love to write, spit it out, and see what people think without revising it all that much; then do it. Even if your boyfriend keeps singing that sweet song that the editorial process is part of being “professional;” darlin’, please. I’m too young for that speak. I’m going to make an attempt to grow up someday soon, but we both know it’s going to take a bit of work on my side and patience on yours.

The moral of the story is: if crap comes your way, let it go, but appreciate the fact that it did and learn from it. Life is nothing but a whole lot of trial and error.

Keep on tryin’.

-LP

You Get Good at What You Do, Not What You Dream of Doing

Stop dreaming your life away.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a day dreamer. I always have been and I’m certain that I always will be. I find myself zoning out in the middle of the day thinking about random scenarios that pop into my head. I’ve always been filled with ideas and pipe dreams. I’ve dreamt of publishing poetry and stories for so long that I truly thought it could only ever be just a dream. But you know what? I’m done with wishful thinking.

I want something come out of these dreams that I have, but in order for that to happen I have to start doing something about it, and so do you! When you’ve got something in your mind, something that you just truly cannot shake; something that is constantly in your thoughts, take a  step back and figure out why you’re still just dreaming about it? We don’t need to keep up with the fantasy, we need to actually put our plans into action and make those dreams a reality.

If we want to see a change in our lives, we have to make that change. We have to determine what we want our lives to look like. Do you want to be old and frail, thinking about the dreams you had that you could have actually experienced, but instead you just kept envisioning them? No. No one wants that. You want to be able to look back on this life of yours and feel proud of what you’ve done, so make yourself proud!

If you want to become an amazing artist, musician, writer, literally anything, then you have to work at it. Each day will be hard work, but when you’re working on pursuing your passion it doesn’t feel like work. Each day is exciting and enjoyable. Each day you learn something new or you challenge yourself to be better. Who is truly content being mediocre? Not me, that’s for sure. I want to be more than just “okay” at something. I want to be great. I want to make myself and those I love proud of me, so as crazy as it seems, I’m going to work hard. I’m going to stay up late and slave over the things I love. My passions will become more than just day dreams; more than just hobbies; they’re going to become my life.

If you’ve got an ounce of determination, you can do it. If you’ve got something that you love; if you have something that you keep thinking about doing… DO IT! If you want to paint, paint! If you want to be an amazing musician, be one! If you want to quit your job and dedicate your life to your children, your passion, your family, or to whatever, do it! Don’t let fear, worry, or laziness hold you back from your goals in life. Don’t let your dreams stay dreams. Work hard at making your life something worth living. Something worth being proud of.

I’m not sure why, but the song Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell just really makes me think about this; I’m currently listening to it and it is just filling my heart with excitement.

Grow old with me
Let us share what we see
And oh the best it could be
Just you and I

Maybe it’s because the boyf and I are both pretty passionate people who want to pursue our dreams of becoming something wonderful both as individuals and as a team, but this song really just makes me think about the future. I can’t help but imagine working beside him on my latest post, short story, or poem and looking over to him as he strums away at his guitar. His brow furrowed in concentration and fingers dancing across the chords. That life… man, that life in which we both get to do what we love… it seems far-fetched doesn’t it? It might be, but I’m going to work my hardest to make it a reality. I want to live a life I love even if it is the road less traveled, I’m gonna make my way down that path and never look back.

I know you’ve got dreams, now it’s time to turn them into something great. It’s going to be hard work, but when you are living that life and enjoying the crap out of it… well, simply put, it’s gonna be great.

-LP

P.S. If you want to own Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell, and believe me, you do, click the link below to get that cool cat’s tunes into those ears of yours while supporting this sassy, cat loving, baby blogger.

 

The Freestyle Writing Challenge

I was hunting around online for something that would get me excited and get those creative juices flowing. Luckily for me I clicked on Unbolt me, hunted through their pages for a bit, and came across this bad ass challenge.

You can check out the post here to see their awesome work and where I got my topic!

So here goes the RULES of this challenge:

  1. Open an MS Word document
  2. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.
  3. You topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
  4. Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. once you began writing do not stop even to turn.
  5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)
  6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However if you do, it would be best.
  7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. Of words =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new Topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).

My topic was: The Train Journey

So Here it is:

I had always thought that I would arrive to my destination in the simplest of ways, but unfortunatelyy for me, life just wasn’t like that.

I hopped on a train and hoped for the best. No luggage, nothing but the clothes on my back, a pad of paper in my hand, and pen behind my ear. I was ready for the journey. I wanted to see where life would take me. That one way ticket was my only option, there was no going back. Nothing was left for me there.

When the wheels beneath me groaned as they began turning down the steel beams, I realized I had made a crazy decision. I mean, who just leaves their home with absolutely nothing? I guess I do.

Well, now I do.

I had always been waiting for adventure to strike, but last night I realzied that I had been spending my life waiting and not actually exploring or seeking out an adventure. At 10pm, I realized I was done living in such a way. I. Was. Done.

I wanted something new. I wanted to experience something different. So I ran to the train station and grabbed a one way ticket with only one stipulation: It had to be somewhere I had never been before. I couldn’t keep “exploring” places I had already seen.

Where’s the fun in that?

Where’s the adventure?

That’s not me. Not anymore. Now I’m adventurous; now I’m… well, crazy. I’m okay with that, too. I just want to discover something new. Something worth writing about. There’s nothing like that around me any longer. Let’s be honest here, I can’t be a strong writer if I’m only writing about my lack-luster experiences. That’s just lame. I want to be the brave person that puts it all out on the line, the kind of person that chases the story with no concern for where life will take her.

So here I am.

Sitting beside a man on a train headed to somewhere I’ve never been. Hopefully this journey is worth the risk. Not hopefully… It will be. I will make it worth the risk. I left it all behind and I’m not going back until I’ve discovered something new. Plain and Simple. It is what it is. I can’t go back. I won’t.

I left him.

Yeah, you know who I’m talking about, I’m sure. It’s always the same person regardless of who is telling the story. It’s the person that should be enough for you, but just never is. I don’t blame him for that; he’s nice enough, but he’s just not enough. He makes me feel like the wind that blows within me is wrong. That I need to sit down, fold my hands together, and be a good, obedient woman. But I’m not. I never have been and back in the day he used to like that about me. I was “exciting” and “new.” Now I’ve become someone who just bothers him. The excitement has turned into something that’s nothing more than an annoyance; I’m no longer shiny and new to him, I’m a bit roughed up and something pretty to sit on his shelf.

I refuse to be that any longer.

Hopefully he takes care of my cat.

If not, well… I’m sure mom will stop by to check on him. Speaking of which, I should call her… She might worry. But I think she should understand, she saw me as a child. She knew the colors I had within me and the fact that I need to express them in any way possible. I’m not afraid of splashing colors on the ground or running my fingers through the wind, because I am the wind. I’m free. I’m so fucking free.

Time: 10 Minutes

Words: 629

Comments: Holy hell, my hand was cramping like a mother. Also, typos up the wazoo and a bit of grammar issues. It was so much fun though. I can dig it.

Nominations:

  1. Anyone who wishes to try it out!

Your topic: Morning Dew

-LP