Writing Journey

What Happens When The New Year Is Hopeless?

It seems that 2021 isn’t the new year we were all looking forward to. And though that statement might sound discouraging, the question we have never asked is why—why must every year be a fresh start? Why are we so quick to disregard the year before when perhaps… a new year isn’t meant to be new, but a continuation of our story?

After an arduous and uncertain 2020, many of us hoped for a better 2021. We wished for a semblance of the life we once had, where the cares and struggles we used to face now somehow seem trivial. We yearn for some form of normalcy without the face masks and the lockdowns—a time when we had some control over our lives. Alas, life has reached a level of unpredictability that attempting to plan, hope, or even survive is a daily challenge. So what do we do when 2021 isn’t a new year?

Many would like to pretend 2020 and 2021 didn’t exist—that we have skipped two years in this lifetime. Unfortunately, these two years are as real as they can be. And maybe… just maybe… these are the years where we learn to appreciate life. Instead of constantly chasing a new beginning every year, in hopes of forgetting what we deem as horrors of the past, we now embrace the continuity of life. Because life… doesn’t restart at every January 1st.

Life is continuous. And a new year is a façade. We believe in better things to come every new year, forgetting that better things do come at different stages of our lives. We shun the obstacles and the troubles of the past, forgetting that those challenges made us who we are. So perhaps, a new year isn’t the answer to hope. The answer to hope is in life itself, where the memories of the years before remind us of our storms and rainbows—both the bad times… and the good times, too. Simply put, it is our experiences in life that give us hope.

So yes, 2020 was bad and we may not know where 2021 will lead us. But if there’s any consolation, the uncertainty includes a brighter and better possibility in the entirety of our continuous journey. After all, if we take some time to look back, we will realise… we’ve experienced it before.

Writing Journey

Finding Inspiration When There’s None

Once upon a time, I posted a story on this blog every Thursday without fail. The only times I skipped a week or two were perhaps once or twice a year when I’d go on vacation—almost as if I took an ‘annual leave’ from blogging. Alas, inspiration is getting pretty hard to come by. What was once a story a week became a story every fortnight, which eventually led to a story twice a month regardless of the weeks. Heck, I didn’t even post two stories last month!

So, what does this mean? The truth is… I’m struggling to find both inspiration and motivation. And yes, this is coming from someone who, I dare say, used to have plenty of those. Looking back at how I was able to write a story every single week amazes me. Now, where did this person go? She seems to have vanished.

Honestly, I’m unsure if this has anything to do with growing older and tired, the current pandemic, or the lack of overall creativity. I’d hate to think I lost my spark as a writer because I still love storytelling—with plenty of stories left to tell! Hence, I often wonder… where on earth can I find enough inspiration and motivation when there seems to be none?

Unfortunately, if you’re asking the same question, I don’t have an answer for you. I’m still searching—sometimes forcing myself to create just for the sake of creating, even when I know it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi without inspiration. Often, I merely write in fear that my skill would stagnate… or worse, deteriorate. And when I do hit publish on those stories, I am well aware that the process was far from enjoyable. I guess, there’s no sugarcoating it—writing is now harder than it used to be. But, if there’s any consolation, I know that I’m not alone.

If you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone, too. And I believe there’s nothing wrong with struggling to find the joy and spark in our art. After all, isn’t that part of the journey? If our adventure is free of wild winds and dry deserts, can we even call it an adventure? Every good story has its highs and lows, its victories and its losses, its celebrations and its tears—it wouldn’t be a story worth telling if there were no obstacles to overcome!

So Jeyna, and my dear reader, fret not. You’ll find the inspiration and motivation again. It may take awhile and you might have to search a little harder. Perhaps, you may even grow weary from the quest. But if there’s one thing you know for sure, it’s that your story… isn’t over yet.

Videos

Stop Finding Comfort!

Disclaimer: I’m not a life coach 🙅 I’m an author.

But… I’ve possibly found one of the best FREE life coaches there is today. So if you’re looking to ‘level up’, this coach might be the one for you!

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Videos

Are You The Hero Of Your Story?

Nobody likes being the boring side character. So why then do we feel like a sidekick all the time? 😔

To become the hero of your own story is to embrace your hero’s journey. But what does that journey entail? You’ll be surprised, because it’s not what you think 🦸

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Videos

Can’t Find Your Unique Voice? Here’s Why!

Struggling to find your unique voice? There’s a reason why!

If you want to find your unique voice, you have to stop doing this one thing… RIGHT NOW

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Videos

Can We Ever Stop Doubting?

Is doubt your friend or your enemy? Can you get rid of doubt all together?

From the many years of self-doubt, especially in my art, I’ve found doubt… to be not what it seems.

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Writing Journey

Have You Lost Your Creativity?

Oh, what a scary notion for us creatives who need our wild imaginations and out-of-this-world ideas to create. Yet, sometimes, we feel like we are losing it. We seem to be missing our creative spark. ‘Where did it go?’ we ask. The once blinding light-bulb isn’t lighting up our heads with grand epiphanies. And all that remains is a dull sponge squeezed dry by our reality.

Alas, feeling uncreative isn’t foreign to us. And in certain seasons of life, our creativity dips and dives like an unexpected roller-coaster ride. From moments of great ingenuity to days of zero artistry—what is happening? Why are we failing to concoct anything worthy? Are we growing too old to be creative? Have we, perhaps, lost it?

Let’s be honest, we would like to think that creativity is an eternal engine fueled by passion and determination—if we have enough drive, the sweet juices of our childlike creativity would keep flowing, churning never-ending art that we can be proud of. After all, creativity is second nature. It is instinct. And, we’re right! The good news is… our creativity is indeed eternal. Unfortunately, it is not an engine.

In moments when we feel uncreative—when fresh perspectives and novel concepts fail to surface—perhaps, it has nothing to do with our imagination. Perhaps, it is the result of the ups and downs of life. Or perhaps, our creativity is now being expressed differently—presented in a different mould, through different means. So if you wonder, ‘Have I lost it?’ Fret not.

We will never lose our creativity. It is impossible to lose this hardwired part of our identity. You may not be able to harness it now, but it doesn’t mean you’ve lost it. Your creativity is still there! After all, there is no such thing as an uncreative… creative.

Videos

How To Overcome Your Limitations

Have you hit your creative limit? 🧱🏃

Fret not! Here’s a surefire way to overcome your limitations immediately!

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Writing Journey

Who Are You… If You Don’t Create?

I tried hard to write a short story last week to be published on this blog—pulling up my work file about 3 to 4 times in hopes of completing it. Alas, I just couldn’t get past the 200 words. And it wasn’t because I was lazy. After staring at the page for minutes on end, I knew that it was simply because my mind drew blank.

So, I did what I rarely would do and missed a week of posting. Despite wanting to create, with attempts at forcing an idea into fruition, I was unable to craft. And I wondered…

‘Was it okay to skip a week of posting? Was it okay to… not create? As a creator, who are you if you’re not creating?’

Now, I know that these days, most of my readers are not following my blog for the stories. Yes, despite being an author, somehow… you guys are now into this kind of content—content that is less fictional and more personal. So perhaps, you didn’t even notice the lack of a story post last week. Perhaps… it is only I who insists on being disciplined at writing week in week out. Still, who am I… if I don’t actually write?

I am STILL… an author.

And if you’re asking yourself the same question—who are you if you take a break or can’t seem able to create—this post is for you.

You are STILL a creator.

Yes, discipline is good. Yes, being consistent helps you to hone your craft. I advocate creating and creating often! But there’s nothing wrong with taking a break. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that sometimes… you just can’t create because of reasons you might not have. And it doesn’t mean that you are lazy or that you’re giving up—you know when you’re trying! It simply means that you are human with creative struggles all humans face. And being unable to craft something new doesn’t mean you are any less of who you are.

At the end of the day, doing what you love shouldn’t be a burden. Doing what you love should be an expression of your very being—of who you are from the inside out. And if you can’t create today, fret not. You will create tomorrow… because creating is what you were born to do—it is what you do best, and it is a part of who you are.