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Why Do I Write?

I am a person of few words. Well, not in writing. But I’m a person who speaks few words. I think more than I should, and I keep most of my thoughts to myself. For me, it’s difficult to articulate my thoughts without giving them thought. Hence, often times, I just don’t say them. It isn’t something I do by choice. It is who I am. So, why do I write?

I write to share a part of me. It’s safe to say that those who read my words know me better than those I’ve spoken to – that is if you’re not within my minute, trust circle. I find it easier to express myself with literal ABCs – such is the case. And taping away at the keyboard is a peaceful, freeing, and comforting activity. Perhaps such a notion is incomprehensible for the verbal. But this is why I write: to be heard.

I am a person who lives for today. But, I’m also a person who lives for tomorrow. I worry not about my future, yet I live to leave a legacy. It’s ironic, yet it isn’t. I desire to be someone whose name lives beyond the grave. This is something I do by choice. It is fuel for my passion. So, why do I write?

I write to be an inspiration. I don’t know if my words written today, or tomorrow, would make a difference. But if I can inspire one life, I’m achieving what I’ve set out to achieve. If I can move someone to chase their dreams, I’m leaving a legacy. Perhaps not an astronomical legacy, where I’d go down in history, but this is why I write: to change lives.

I am a person with worlds in my head. These worlds home characters, with great desires for an epic journey. They want me to tell them. They need me to tell them. I cannot stifle my creativity, because it simply cannot be stifled. My mind is already crowded as it is, and clearing it is something I have to do. So, why do I write?

I write to take you on an adventure. My stories will not please everyone. They could possibly bore you. And perhaps, only a handful are worth reading. As an author, I don’t know which stories are good and which stories are bad – I cannot predict a story’s success. But when there’s a story to tell, I need to tell it. I will strife to tell it. This is why I write: to breathe life into fiction.

I am a person who is far from extraordinary. I live in a third-world country, grew up in a middle-class family, went to university for a degree, and now hold a day job like the average jane. To some, it seems like I have it all. But an impression is not reality. I’m not a prodigy. I’m not the chosen one. I’m not even sure if I have talent. And this is my actuality. So, why do I write?

I write to give hope. I am a nobody. And if I can accomplish a hint of success, so can you. If I’m allowed to dream and chase my dreams, so are you. If I am persevering, so must you. I don’t know where life would take me – just like you, I’m clueless – but I’m willing to keep honing my craft. If I can see the worth of my art, so should you. This is why I write: to insist that our dreams are important, and to prove that we can.

I am a person whose journey hasn’t ended. I have a long road ahead of me. Or perhaps, a short road – only God knows. But at where I am today, I know there is much to do and much to experience. Today isn’t the end for me. Today could just be the start. In the unknown, this much I know. So, why do I write?

I write to tell my story. As long as I’m still breathing, I hope – through my story – I’m heard, I’m inspiring, I bring forth tales of wonder, and I challenge you to keep your passion alive. I hope to share what I’ve learned, to give through my words, and to leave an account worth reading. This is why I write: to be a living testimony, and to reflect the one who called me.

So, who are you? Why do you write – why do you do what you do? We all have a reason for our passion. I’ve shared mine – what is yours?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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Dealing with Criticism

dealingwcriticism
Not-so-fun fact: No one can escape criticism.

Whether it is constructive, whether it is for our works, or whether it is based on what we believe in, we will always be judged. The question is: how do we deal with it?

Personally, I receive the most criticism in my written work. Freely putting my work out there has invited many opinions, and some of them aren’t very nice. So how do I deal with these not-so-nice words? My approach happens in 3 phases:

#1 Resentment

What do you know about writing? If it’s so easy, go write your own book. The plot sucks? Well, trying plotting your own novel. Wait, you’re not a writer? Ha! Haha! You talk big for someone without experience. Pfft!

I previously blogged in Does Blogging Help? on how blogging has helped me learn from and accept constructive criticism. But receiving criticism on the blogosphere from people who genuinely want to help me is different from receiving criticism from people who don’t.

When The Battle for Oz was published, advance copies were given in exchange for honest reviews, copies were placed in numerous bookstores for anyone to purchase, and free copies were thrown in giveaways. The more copies sold meant the more copies read. The more copies read meant the more reviews given. The more reviews given, the higher the chances of negative words to be written.

My response toward the first few negative reviews was outright resentment. I ranted and vented about them to my family. I posted passive-aggressive Facebook statuses. I went to bed angry. But the more I encountered such reviews, the number I grew toward them.

I’m not saying I’m resentment-free. I still internalise a sarcastic comeback toward said reviews, but I no longer rage over them. I believe it is normal to resent negative words. That’s what makes us human And that doesn’t mean we’re sour grapes. So if you need to deal with criticism with a little resentment, do so.

*Disclaimer: Please do not act on your emotion in a way you would regret. Do not verbally abuse a reviewer, and do not hunt them down and smash a bottle of wine on their head. As someone who is being watched (even by a few people), you want to live a life that inspires. Not a life that sets bad examples.


#2 Reasoning

Maybe you don’t like my book because it’s not what you usually read. Maybe you didn’t know this wasn’t an adult book. Maybe you just don’t get my writing style. Maybe you set too high of an expectation.

The second phase I go through after my ears stop steaming is reasoning. I try to find a reason why someone had something bad to say about my work. This phase is not about justifying the critique, but justifying my work itself. This is where I question whether my work is horrible or decent. And the only reason I reason… is to make myself feel better. But my response toward all the reasoning is crucial.

You see, when you start reasoning with criticism, you start asking the big questions in life: why do you do what you do? Are you good at it? Should you give up? Is this passion worth it?

How you answer these questions determine where you go from there. Your answers will either build a strong foundation in self-faith or torch your dreams to ashes. My own answers have only grown my passion for writing. I am not without self-doubt, but I choose to believe I’m more than a negative review. Reasoning reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing. Reasoning helps me keep the end goal in mind.

#3 Realisation

Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a right to an opinion. But I won’t let an opinion change my dreams, and I certainly won’t let an opinion change who I am.

Some days I reach this phase fairly quickly, some days it takes a while. But every time, I will come to realise that opinions do not have the power to tear me down or force me to change. Opinions are opinions, no matter how tactless they are. They are not a command or a law. They have no control over my life.

I can choose how I want to take a criticism. If it’s constructive, I learn from it. If it’s hateful, I use it to drive me toward my goal. I don’t write for the approval of men, I write for me.

Some people will tell you not to read reviews or critiques, because they are discouraging and they stir unwanted emotions. Personally, I encourage you to read and take negative reviews. You’ll learn to tame the monster within, you’ll discover more about yourself and your passion, and you’ll drive yourself to be better. There is always something positive to take out of negative circumstances. And dealing with criticism (not running from criticism) is one of them. When you come to this realisation, nothing can stand in your way.

So, there you have it: the phases I go through to deal with criticism. I’m not sure if this post is of any help, but if there’s one thing I’d like you to take away from this, is that you’re not alone. I face criticism – I have my own haters – but I choose not to give up and work toward becoming better. I hope you’ll face criticism the same way too.

Criticism has no power to alter your dreams. Only you have the power to do so.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

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5,540 : 3,513

5540

#5,540

I have reached 5540 subscribers today 🙂 Yippee yay! Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate all the comments, shares, likes, and re-blogs, and I’m grateful for your time spent at my little corner of the internet. I’m happy that you have decided to join me on my fictional adventures and I hope you will continue to stay on board. Thank you!

#3,513

makeadreamcometrueAs bloggers, you and I have a desire to share our voices with anyone who would listen. So, you understand me more than anyone else. If you’re an indie writer, you get me even more! Help me amplify my voice to the world. I know I’m asking you to support my dream when you have dreams of your own, but you also know that dreams don’t just come true by wishing on a star; dreams come true when you and I believe.

3513 is actually the exact number of dollars I’m short in completing The Battle For Oz crowd-funding project. I’m more than halfway funded, but I need your help to give me a boost. This is the time where I need just a little more from you.

I hate asking people for money, but to have you back me up would mean a lot. After all, you’ve subscribed because you believe in me, right? I would appreciate if you could have a little more faith 🙂 Trust that this would be a huge stepping stone and it would give me a good kick start to publish more books; books I hope to share with you.

I only have  65 days left to complete the funding project and time can really fly. Please check out the project when you have the time. I would appreciate it. You can also read more about the paperback giveaway should you be interested in winning a copy.

I hope you would give me your support. The world may not need me as another author, but the world could use a fresh conviction that dreams can come true when we stand together and believe 🙂

Keeping this short and sweet, thank you once again for staying with me. I’m looking forward to greater adventures with you!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Others

 

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Win A Paperback Copy Of The Battle For Oz

paperbackwin

Yes, you heard me right! I have decided to give back.

If my crowd-funding project for The Battle For Oz is a success, I would get a few copies of the book in paperback myself. AND I intend to give those books away to 10 lucky subscribers!

I would write you a personal message, sign the book, and mail it to you. I hate going to post offices, but I will go anyway.

Note: This is only open to the subscribers of my blog, why? No legitimate reason. 

So, how do you enter?

#1 Visit The Battle For Oz crowd-funding page and fund a minimum of 5 USD. (Payable via credit/debit cards)

#2 Once you do so, I will receive an email with your name and contact. Since I get contributions from non-blog subscribers as well, I’ll need you to reply to my email stating you’re a subscriber.

#3 You can fund as many times as you like, which will increase your chances of winning the paperback copy.

Once the project is fully funded and the books are delivered to me, I will do a video with me drawing names out of a box to choose the winners 🙂

Now, you’re probably wondering, is this really a giveaway when you have to put in at least 5 USD?

The answer is yes and no.
Yes, because to get a paperback, you need to at least fund 25 USD, but now you only do so with 5 USD.
No, because your 5 USD goes to supporting me in achieving my dreams 🙂

And who knows, when I make it as a best-selling author one day, that book can be sold as the only 10 autographed first editions in the world! It’s an investment worth considering, no?

This contest will run from now till the book is fully funded. So the faster you guys enter this contest, the faster you would receive the book and the higher your chances are of wining it.

Stop hesitating and visit the project page now!

*Jonas L., Douglas R., Kirsten L., & Michelle P., your names have already been added into this giveaway for funding this project before the announcement of this contest. If I missed your name, send me an email 🙂

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Others

 

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It’s Broken

It's Broken

Josh sat staring at the snow globe. The one he loved so much as a child. It was now broken because he was not holding it tight enough and it slipped from his hand. Josh hated himself for breaking it because it held so much memories… memories that were slowly slipping away as the carpeted floor sucked up the liquid from the shattered globe.

As Josh continued staring, he began grasping on to all the memories it carried. This was the last time he would relive them, before they were all gone… before he was gone.

The latest memory he had was 15 years ago, when he was not old and sickly as he was then. His children had visited him during Christmas and they just wanted to have a good time. It was then that his youngest son told him he was contemplating on leaving medical school, and Josh did not like the idea. “What a waste of time and money,” he scolded. His boy was almost done and he could do something with his life if he was a doctor, why was he thinking of quitting? His son told him over and over again that he wanted to be a musician, but he just scoffed. He remembered retreating to his room that night, angry and unsatisfied. His snow globe was placed by the night stand on top of a book he barely read, titled ‘Out Live Your Life’.

The next memory that came to him was when his wife died. She was very supportive ever since the day he met her. She was always telling him to go for his dreams and that he was never too old for it. Even on her death bed, she told him she still believed in him and that he could still do something with his life. “Forget the little store in town and go volunteer where help is needed,” she said. But he remembered replying, “I’m not young anymore.” She didn’t like his answer, but she still smiled at him. Josh wished she was still around because she died too young. On the day she left, she requested to see the snow globe and Josh brought it to her. She held it to her chest and made a silent prayer. He couldn’t hear what she was saying, and the only thing he heard that day was the flat tone from the heartbeat monitor.

The memory that flowed in after was when he was at the peak of his career. Josh was working hard in a company that met all his needs. He was earning a lot and he spent thousands on his house, his car and his family. One afternoon, while he was walking down a busy street, he saw an ambulance rushing to the nearby hospital. Josh briefly thought of donating some money or paying a friendly visit. He was rather well to do and his childhood dream was a good motivation then. But when he finally wanted to act on it, he did not have the time. He remembered giving up that ‘spur of the moment’ desire as he planned his next meeting with a client. His snow globe was on his office desk that night, waiting to be shaken.

That memory soon led to when he graduated from high school. He was smart, but not smart enough. He applied to all the medical schools he could find, but unfortunately, everyone turned him down. He then reevaluated his future and wondered if he should just take the easy route, where one university’s scholarship was already waiting for him, or continue trying to enter medical school. Josh was still determined to reach his dreams but when he graduated from business school, he decided to work for a while before pursuing medicine. That ‘a while’ never ended. When he finally remembered his dream, he wondered if it was even worth it. The snow globe was in his bedroom then, and every time Josh looked at it he wondered. He never acted, he just wondered.

The globe finally pulled him back to his earliest memory. It reminded him of the first time his dad took him on a little trip. His mother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 7, and his dad did not want to see him cry any longer. Josh remembered how scared he was, always staring at his mother’s breathing chest afraid it might stop moving. Sitting next to his mother as she laid eyes shut on the hospital bed was the worst memory he had, and his father put a stop to it by taking him to a fun fair. Josh didn’t want to go as he wanted to stay with his mother, but his father forced him.

Josh remembered hating his father for forcing him. But at the fun fair, he forgotten everything. It was only for a couple of hours that he was a cheerful and happy child, but it was all he needed. His father bought him a snow globe of a little house to remind him that they will always be a family. Josh remembered being so excited to show his mother the snow globe, but on the following day, his father quietly sat down with him and told him that his mother was gone. Josh cried so much he felt himself choking and barely able to breath. His father had to rush him to the hospital and it was there that Josh told himself he would one day make a difference in the world, so that no other child would have to suffer like he did.

Josh remembered that day the clearest. He was holding the snow globe in his hand when he said, “Daddy, I want to be a doctor.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

This story was just me wanting to remind everyone that our dreams are important. No matter what stage you are in life, you should never give up on your dreams.

Each of our dreams have a reason and those reasons could change the world. So even if life tries to rob it from you, don’t let it. You might end up with regret for not chasing your dreams at the end of your lifetime.

Keep dreaming people! And as always, let me know what you think of this story in the comments below!

© 2013 Jeyna Grace

(For more short stories, click HERE)

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Original Works

 

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Protected: DW: The Lost Child – Chapter 16

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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Original Works

 

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Protected: DW: The Lost Child – Chapter 15

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Original Works

 

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