Can You Be Your Own Support System?


Happy Thursday!

Thursday

We go through many things in our life where we need and desire support from others. But, when we are able to gain that support from our friends and loved ones, are we able to seek it in ourselves? Yes! It is called determination and motivation. Now, with my writing career, I am sure that there are MANY people who disapprove of my career path. In turn that is okay, but when you have people like that, it is time to rid of toxic waste.  In my opinion being a writer is a lonely world until your readers support your work. In my time as a writer, I have seen some great reviews and even some bad ones. I took a step back and re-assessed the bad reviews. I take into consideration what the readers have to say. My work may look great in my eyes, but the readers are the real judges.

Dream-Big

With that being said, I motivate myself often to make the next book or writing endeavor better than the last one. I wanted to make sure that my words were relatable and valid for anyone who even cracked a page or clicked to see my work. My motivation and determination for myself has to be strong because everyone does not see my dream the way that I do. Sure, you will get discouraged when rejection happens, but use that rejection for fuel to continue to work on your craft and be the best writer that you can be. One of my goals this year was to keep my blog updated and relevant. There were times where I did not wrote for months and I saw the change in that versus now to me writing on a daily basis. I appreciate your support with my blog.  You liking my blog posts makes me feel good about the posts that I will continue to have.  A year ago, I did a vision board with my previous position and I look at it every day now just to motivate and remind myself that I am destined for greatness. Now, I feel like I have to keep my work to myself in a way and not tell everyone my dreams because I will not get the support that I give myself.

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I do have a journal with goals in it. I never look at it. In my mind, I know what I achieve to do. Every time I achieve a new thing, I go back to my goals journal and see how close or far I came to achieving them. Thus far, I am on track because I am motivating myself. Currently, I am motivated and determined to finish this novel for NanoWriMo way before the end of the July. I really believe that this book is going to put me on the map. Never allow anyone to tell you that you can not or deter you from your dreams.

Do You Know Your Worth?


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There are many people in life who do not know what they deserve as a writer and even a human being. Depending on how we are taught on how to love ourselves and not settle, knowing your worth just does not apply to everyone. Well, today, it will because I am going to tell you, You are worth so much! How do you determine what your worth even is?

From A Writer’s Perspective:

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As a writer, we want so much to make it! When I say make it, I mean collect the big checks and write for a living. Can it happen? Sure, it can. It will take a lot of determination, hard work and time. Time is the most valuable to any writer. Most of us work on a deadline, but depending on what type of writing you are doing, it can be a more lenient task as well. Once we have written that book or screenplay, it is time to shop it around. This is where she find out what our worth is. I remember when I shopped my work around I always said that I would take the first offer that was thrown my way. Don’t do this. Instead do your research to learn what your worth is as a writer. You want your work to be appreciated and bought, not just bought. There are some agents who are only about money, because let’s face it, their job is to sell so they can make money. You are as valuable as your work is, do not forget life.

Your Worth With Life

Original image courtesy of Flickr Creatinve Commons, courtesy of Ali Samieivafa.

Men, you can be superman as well! I do not want to count you guys out. Life happens to a lot of people and it is has been said what we put up with what we think we deserve. Well, not anymore! This can be in your personal life, work life, and other relationships. Never allow anyone to make you feel you are not worth it. If you know you deserve that promotion, do what you have to in order to get it. One of the things that I have learned is to not tell anyone my dreams. Granted, many of you ( the readers) and friends and family know that I am writer. But, they do not know how my subjects for writing or what I plan on doing once I finish a novel, blog post, column, or whatever the case maybe. People will only do what you allow. I had a writing mentor tell me this today. It is so true. Do not be a push over. Know your worth! Your worth is everything. You deserve success and happiness.  If you do not know your worth, do not expect anyone else to calculate it for you. Love yourself and allow others to love you the way you deserve.

Are You Optimistic Enough?


Happy Monday! Let’s Be Optimistic and Make It Great!

I Can Do It

But, can we really, you know, do it? Life can get us down, but it is up to us, to keep it together. Now, I am living witness of not being optimistic the last few months. It brings me to shame to, because I’m a Sagittarius and being optimistic is one our main traits. I used to be very optimistic until life started to show me that everything that glittered was not gold. I mean, I wanted it to be gold, well, I would rather that it was. But, let’s face it, the world does not work our way, which leads me to being more optimistic about life.

We often focus on the things that happen and are not working in our lives that we forget how blessed we truly are. Not to get all religious on you, but the bible says, ” When you are grateful for little, he will bless you with more.” This has been my new approach of late, being happy where I am. I have a roof over my head and food in my mouth. Things will get better in time.

Being More Optimistic

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The term optimistic means, ” hopeful and feeling confident for the future”.  Understand that you are not your circumstances or your struggle.  This also has to do with our mindset as well. Check out my post about having a positive mindset. Here are some ways that you can work on your optimism. I got some help from Wiki on how to be optimistic.
1. Recognize the good and bad in your life and examine how you’ve been affected by each. Optimism doesn’t mean you have to feel “happy” all the time. In fact, trying to force feelings of happiness during potentially traumatic experiences can be unhealthy.  Instead, attune yourself to the full range of emotions in your life, accepting that the negative as well as positive feelings are a natural part of human experience. Trying to repress a certain type of emotion can cause severe emotional distress. Not focusing more on one type of emotion than the other can actually help you become more adaptive and proactive in future unexpected situations. This will increase your ability to be optimistic and resilient in the face of uncertainty.
Negative feelings can become a conditioned habit over time. Avoid blaming yourself for negative emotions and associations. Blame is unhelpful because it doesn’t look forward to how you can grow; it looks backward at what has already happened.
Instead, focus on being mindful of when these negative emotions occur. A journal could help you do this. Write down when you experience negative feelings or thoughts, then examine their contexts and explore alternative ways of responding to them.
For example, imagine that someone cuts you off in traffic. You respond by feeling angry, honking your horn, and perhaps yelling at the driver even though s/he can’t hear you. You could write in your journal what happened, how it made you feel, and what your immediate response was. Don’t judge yourself as “right” or “wrong,” just write down what happened.
Next, take a step back and think about what you’ve written. Was your response in accordance with your values and the type of person you want to be? If not, what could you have done differently? What do you think you were really responding to? For example, perhaps you weren’t really angry at the driver; maybe you had a stressful day and allowed your stress to explode on that one person.
Look forward when you write these entries. Don’t use them just as a place to wallow in negative feelings. Think about what you can learn from the experience. What can you use to grow as a person? Can you use this experience to inform other experiences? If you encounter a similar situation next time, how might you respond in a way that is in line with your values? For example, perhaps realizing that you responded with anger because of your stressful day could help you realize that everyone makes mistakes and encourage you to feel more empathetic with other people the next time someone shows anger toward you. Having a pre-existing idea of how you want to respond to negative situations can also help you in the tough moments.

2. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a key component of optimism because it encourages you to focus on acknowledging your emotions in the moment without judging them. Often, negative reactions arise when we try to struggle against our feelings, or when we allow ourselves to become so blinded by our emotions that we forget that we can control how we respond to them.  Focusing on your breathing, accepting your body and your feelings, and learning from your emotions rather than denying them can help you become comfortable with yourself, which is important when those negative emotions arise.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown by many studies to help with feelings of anxiety and depression. It can actually reprogram the way your body responds to stress.
Look for mindfulness meditation classes in your community. You can also find guided meditations online, such as at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center[16] or BuddhaNet  (And of course, there are several great tutorials on Wikihow.)
You don’t have to commit a huge amount of time to meditation to see its effects. Just a few minutes a day can help you become more aware and accepting of your emotions.[18]

3. Identify whether your inner monologue is an optimist or a pessimist. Our inner monologue is a great indicator of whether we naturally take a positive or negative outlook on life. Pay attention to your inner monologue over the course of a day and see if any of the following forms of negative self-talk (that is, your inner monologue) are appearing regularly:
Magnifying the negative aspects of a situation and filtering out all of the positive ones.
Automatically blaming yourself for any negative situation or event.
Anticipating the worst in any given situation. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
You see things only as good or bad (also known as polarization). In your eyes, there is no middle ground.

4. Look for the positives in your life. It’s important to re-orient your inner monologue to focus on the positive aspects of both you as an individual and the world around you. Although positive thinking is only one of the steps towards becoming a true optimist, the effects of positive thinking for both your body and mind can be significant, such as:
Increased life span
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress
Improved immune system
Better psychological and physical well-being
Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Some of these situations I witness first hand, especially depression. But, now I have a renewed mindset and better control of knowing I can’t worry about things out of my control. Daily, it is good to speak positive affirmations and surround yourself with positive people. I hope that these tips have helped you a lot as it has for me.

You Are Not Your Struggle


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Happy Sunday!

Sunday

As I was reflecting and thinking about my life,  wondering where I want to be, this topic came to mind. There are many of us who are struggling, and feel like we don’t know where to turn or what to do with our lives. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m still there.  Struggle doesn’t last always even though we fill it might. This can be affecting your personal, work, or even relationships with friends and family. Don’t allow it to get your down. The rapper T.I states, ” Tough situations don’t last, but tough people do.”   When I read his quote in an interview, I thought, ” He is so right! I am wallowing for nothing.”

The above picture reminds me of where I am and possible a lot of you are. You notice the man with the briefcase as he’s walking. He has a goal, somewhere to be! He’s not looking backward, even through his struggles are following him. He is still pressing on, so why can’t we? What is it about us as people that focus on not being where we want to be instead of appreciating where we are headed? This made me think! Here is what I came up with.

  1. Other Influences – We live in a society today where the media is booming with successful people. It is almost like successful people are throwing in our faces that we are not where we want to be. We focus on that and feel miserable. Well, not anymore! If we focus on what is important and just our goals, we will strive forward.
  2. Telling Our Goals –  Before you judge me with this one, please hear me out. Now, there is nothing wrong with telling someone who has their best interest for you about your goals. But, when you expose it to everyone, everyone does not have your best interest at hear. I know what you must be thinking, ” Who cares what people think?” Actually, some of us do. We as people need gratification and praises of other people, other wise we would do what we choose without having to tell anyone. My point is everything in our lives is not for everyone. Some people want to see us fail and not succeed sadly.
  3. Monitoring Others  – I used to focus on what my friends and other people that I knew was doing. I was envious of their success and them doing things that I wanted to do like travel, write for a major corporation, even down to marriage and children. Focusing on them was taking me off my square for me to be happy. Don’t allow this to happen. Be happy for your friends and associates. Your time will come. When it comes, it maybe even better than what others had going on.

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It’s been said by many people that our struggle is what keeps us going. People are often stagnant when they are comfortable. Could their be truth to this? I think it depends on how bad the person wants to be their best selves. The picture above really captivated and resonated with me because the ball in chain is holding him back, but he is moving through this struggle. It’s almost as if his struggle is keeping him coming. Being able to move on says a lot about your character. Don’t sweat the small stuff and I know it maybe hard, but try no to worry about things that are out of your control. Life is too short. Work with your struggle, do not become your struggle.

What’s My Passion?


Friday Reading

Happy Friday readers! I know it’s been forever, but I at least hope that you are in good spirits. There was something on my mind and I wanted to talk my friends ( the readers) about it. I need some advice if you will or just someone to hear me out. Today, I was talking to one of my friends about what my passion is. She asked me, ” what would make you successful and what does it mean to you?” The answer that I gave was I don’t know. I am passionate about a lot of things whether it’s reading, writing, doing research, or even being a student in school. I get these ideas for books and different ways to make money and once it’s not successful or a ” quick fix” I give up. Why is that? Oftentimes I go to the next thing and then fail at that too. I ask myself, ” why am I unable to have consistency with what I want to do in my life?” My focus is on many things instead of one thing.

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Has that ever  happened to you? If so, how did you find your niche and your way to happiness? This got me thinking about the film, ” The Pursuit of Happyness” starting Will Smith. Will play a father to young boy who lost his way in life with a job. His wife left him with his son and he even went homeless trying to make ends meet. He ended up signing up for a stock broker program and did very well that he became rich. It’s such a passionate story that it even brings me to tears just writing about it. What’s the happiness in my life that I’m trying to pursue? I have a Youtube channel that I enjoy posting videos and I am a writer. Or am I? I haven’t worked on anything in about a month simply because Im trying to get a quick fix of making money since I’m not working. For me, it’s hard to understand the value of yourself if you don’t know what’s valuable. Am I talented? Yes! But, what do I do with the talents that I have? I’m great at writing stories and coming up with things, but once rejection hits, it’s like I shut down. Ghandi said, ” Be the change you want to see in the world”, well, I want to make a difference, but how I am able to if I can’t focus on something long enough to not only see it through, but it continue to try even when its not the quick fix.

Jobs For Writers


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Being a writer is hard work. There are many people will believe in your gift, and others will laugh in your face. I’m sure writers like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were laughed at, but look at them now! I would LOVE to be on their level one day and even write for Huffington Post or a great company like it. Speaking of writing for a living, I have been applying to several writing jobs.  Now, I’ve worked as a writer before, but I am looking to do so on a full-time basis. If you read my plea for wanting a career as a writer, I was speaking for us all when I said we wanted to make it through our words. There are many jobs out there that writers can do. To name a few:

  • Content Writer
  • Staff Writer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Creative Writer
  • Fiction Writer
  • Screenwriter
  • TV Writer
  • Contributing Writer
  • Blog Writer
  • Journalist
  • Copywriter
  • Technical Writer

These are jobs that I have applied for in various companies. Let’s hope one of these turns out to be a winner. But, if not, I am still writing. My suggestion would be to ALWAYS write. The more you write, the better you will be become in your craft. But, there is one thing a writer should always do as well. That is to:

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A great writer is also a great reader. I LOVE to read as you know if you’ve been seeing my  Goodreads page, and book reviews. I watched a few interviews with Stephen King and he said that he reads all the time. It helps strengthen his writing.

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Writing is already a job within itself, but sometimes we have to get day jobs, too. I used to work full-time, go to school and STILL would write before I went to bed. Lately, I have been writing a lot of samples for the writing jobs that I have been applying for. My point is that writing should always be precedent if it’s something you plan on doing for the rest of your life. As for myself I want to be like Stephen King and just write for a living. In time I have no doubt that it won’t happen. I am going to re-read On Writing by Stephen King just to get inspiration to keep going. This journey can be a lonely road, but I will not stop climbing. If you want a writing job and to continue your own projects, keep striving. Don’t let or allow anyone to tell you differently.

Dream Deferred


Actual image of Kristen's Guardian Angel

At times in life, our life shifts into different directions that are out of our control. Today I experienced a shift that totally not only knocked me off my feet, but again the wall so hard that I can’t move. Trying to find a job in the writing and research field is hard enough ( hell, a job period), but finding out that you can no longer get the education to continue to try to be on the way of success is a hard blow. I found out that I can’t finish pursuing my PhD. On this blog, I like to keep it real with my readers and give it to you straight no chaser. I know that set backs and things happen. I also know that it’s not the end of the world and I will be able to finish, but right now, in this moment, I feel like someone has taken my air supply for me to breathe. Due to financial reasons, I am unable to finish school at the moment. I know that many have been where I am, and even more have experienced this same situation, but this is my current reality. The reality that I feel like I’ve failed. Parents raise their children to follow the directions, law and get a good education. I have done all of that and yet it seems like it was for nothing. Being a PhD student has taught me a lot about myself and to endure patience in the inevitable. Even though I only have 3 classes until I start writing my dissertation, I guess patience is something I still have to endure before I am able to go back to school. Ah, the irony!

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Not working in a field or job that is tolerable is the worst kind of agony that I don’t wish on anymore. At first it’s like, ” Okay, I’m going to be fine. I have a savings that will hold me for a while.” Then it turns to, ” Holy shit! I’m out of money, what am I going to do?” The unthinkable of not wanting to feel even more like a failure or lame you turn to those parents who taught you how to make it on your own and tell them not only have you failed, but school is deferred. It’s something like a hard blow to the head on the way down to the floor. Now, I’ve never been hit in the head, but I can imagine the pain that comes with it. I know some of you may be thinking, ” It’s not the end of the world, you will go back when you get the funds.” I hope that does happen. Its just an initial shock. I’m still struggling to find work and I’m no longer in school. I have to take a leave of absence for a while just until things change.

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This is currently how I’m feeling. Determine what the next step is for my life, if there is a next step to take. Im doing all I can by applying for jobs everywhere on a daily basis. My dream of successful writer is still in the works because I am writing or at least I will be. I opened up a manuscript that I had started and read it. It’s a love story and yet I just keep staring at the chapter 3 mark. We will not even go there in the relationship department. Granted, I want to be happy and have a successful relationship that will lead to marriage, but right now I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I just keep asking myself, ” Why do good people get the shittiest hands in life?” I understand the concept of life happening and things are never perfect, but it’s like every time you turn around it’s always something. Well, I think I’m done turning. What can happen if I stand still? Oh yea, nothing, lol. At least if I’m turning, I’m moving, right? Prayer has been my best friend and my journal has been my right hand. In due time I will have a good job and school will resume. The dream is not put off, it’s just a dream deferred.

Book Review: How To Get Out of Your Own Way by Tyrese Gibson


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Title: How To Get Out of Your Own Way

Author: Tyrese Gibson

Publication Year:2011

Pages: 274

My Version: Kindle

My Rating: 4 stars

Review:

This was my first book that I’ve read by Tyrese and I must say it took me a while to get through it. What I mean is that I’ve had this book on my kindle since it came out and I’m now just reading it! I think it was time to read this book as I have been having some reflections and feeling about my own life. This book spoke to me in a way that my friends or family never will. I was able to relate to a lot of what Tyrese is explaining in his own life dealing with an addictive parent, siblings and wanting to get out the hood. I can respect his advice toward teenagers, women and men for that matter. In this book, the author was able to ” keep it real” and ” tell it like it is” to his readers. He gives some the truth to the game, learning about yourself and how to handle yourself in all situations especially business. His confessions of his life made me tear up because I feel like I’m going through what he had once been through. I highly recommend this book to those who may not know the answers at the time. Maybe you are just in your own way.

 

Being Discouraged


Thursday

Hey readers! Happy Thursday! I know you are so excited for tomorrow and believe me, I am too. This week thus far really dragged for me. I was on the internet too much and got hardly any writing done. But, today I am back on it. I am gotten an accountability partner with my writing. I find that I work better on a schedule with someone knowing it. My accountability partners are Beth and Jennifer. I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders now that I have them.

Discouraged

clear-your-mind-and-soul-of-negativity-step-04In my personal life I am still struggling to find a job. Well, today I applied for tons of writing jobs. I re-vamped my writing resume and now I’m hoping for the best. My goal is to work in research/writing field. Even if I’m a full-time writer of my own books that will be SO much fun and I can do research when I want. My dream is to be traditionally published. So, after I finish this next book, I will work on another project that I will get traditionally published.  But, life happens and it’s hard to stay positive. Maybe I am supposed to write for myself or work for myself. But, it’s hard to get that going when it is hard to get clients. I will keep trying. When you are discouraged just take a deep breath and keep trying to fulfill your dreams.

 

Excerpt: I’m Your Angel By Krystol


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Coming in August of  2017

Here is an (unedited except)  of my next project. Feel free to give feedback in the comments!

 

“ Angel! I can’t do this with you right now.” I yelled as he was driving through old Baltimore Pike.

“ Miracle, I told you that I was sorry. How many times are you going to continue to punish me?” He yelled back.

The snow was coming down hard and he was speeding. I was scared and my heart started to panic.

“ You had her pussy smell all over you!” I barked back.

“ Mamita, I don’t want us to get a divorce. I am going to get help.” He said.

“ Angel, you had the last time. Just tell me how many more did you fuck?”

“ Miracle, it was just the two times and that was it. I love you and I’m committed to you.” He retorted.

“ How are you committed to me when you fucking cheated twice. We aren’t in high school anymore, Angel.”

I started to cry.

He hated when I cried.

We stopped at a red light and I looked out the window at the Christmas lights. Christtmas was my favorite holiday of the year.

“ Look. I love you. We are not getting divorced. This marriage is going to work and it’s going to last. We had vows, Miracle.”

“ Vows that you broke. Just tell me why? Is it because I work so much?”

“ No. Baby.”

He sighed.

“ She came on to me in the office. I told her I was happily married. We had the Christmas party last year and both were too drunk to drive. She kissed me. I called her Miracle and she played along with it.”

Tears started to roll my down my eyes even harder.

“ Since you were drunk the first time, how the fuck did it happen again?”

This go round I was furious. I wanted to grab the wheel and make him feel the same pain that I am, but I couldn’t kill us.

“ Miracle. Please calm down. I don’t want your asthma to act up.” He said trying to hold my hand.

“ Fuck you and your damn asthma.” I yelled.

“ Please stop crying.” He said as tears started to stream down his eyes.

“ We don’t need this shit.” I said.

“ Who the fuck is we?”

Cars started to pile up behind us and were blowing the horn.

“ Angel, I’m pregnant!”

Before I could say anything he stared at me and his foot hit the gas on the car.

“ Angel, look out!” I screamed.

I could hear the crash, but after that it all went black.

***

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Stephen King ( my favorite author)

Thoughts and Tips: I wrote this prelude with the thought of NEEDING a dramatic beginning in order to grab my readers attention. I hope I did a good job. My style of writing is to always have a problem with a solution. I like to write about things that people can relate. My love is YA then Adult or New Adult as some readers may say. The names Miracle and Angel came to me because I used to have a big crush on someone and I always called him my angel. He never knew that, but it always stuck with me. I look forward to see what Angel and Miracle are going to become. Do you?