Videos

How To Finish What You Started

If we rely on motivation to get the job done, the job might never get done.

Often times, we fall on motivation to help us finish what we started. But… did you know that there’s a more full-proof element? It is something we practice to get our homework done—the same thing we need to complete anything.

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Writing Journey

How To Silence Your Inner Critic

You can’t.

Just like how you can’t silence those ‘outer’ critics, you can’t silence your inner critic. But… what you can do, is decide on how to deal with that pesky voice in your head. And, the easiest way to deal with it, is in the same fashion as tackling those critical comments from the outside world. Alas, here’s the irony: the most common advice you would hear is to ignore the critics. Don’t respond to any of them—good or bad. In fact, don’t even read what people have to say about your work. Sound advice? Perhaps. And though ignoring the external negativity is possible—challenging should you decide to try—you can’t exactly do the same with the whispers and taunts from within. It’s impossible to shut out the doubts and mute the negativity. So, what do you do? What can you do?

Personally, I do not disregard both good and bad comments about my work. Yes, I broke the ‘ignore all reviews’ rule. Yes, I’m setting myself up for disappointment. But as part of my practice—Googling for reviews and reading every single one of them—I choose when to respond. And, there are only two occasions of which I do.

The first occasion is a negative review that contains at least one positive thought. It shows that the reviewer took the effort to find one good thing to say. And with such comments, I thank them for their time. After all, they slogged through my work. And despite disliking most of it, they cared enough to say something nice. The second occasion is a positive review that is of a few hundred words. Again, the reviewer took the time to craft a lengthy feedback—not solely praising the book but offering thoughts on areas I can improve in my future works as well. So, in the same way, these are the two occasions of which I respond to my inner critic.

Whenever that little voice decides to ruin my day, I try to find one positive takeaway. “Your writing is too simple,” it says. Well, simplicity isn’t a bad thing! “Your writing will never win literary awards,” it says. Well, I don’t plan on winning awards—I just want to tell stories. “Your writing will never be good enough,” it says… Ah, that one stings.

All right, let’s be honest, sometimes finding positivity can be tough. But when that is the case, I look for ways to improve instead. “Your writing will never be good enough,” it says. Well, at least I’m working on it. “Your work is boring,” it says. Well, I guess it’s time to spice things up! “Your characters are so cliche,” it says. Well, let’s find a way to make them not cliche. Our inner critic may come across as mean, hurtful, and discouraging, but how we respond makes a difference. In fact, our inner critic may be the voice we need to hear to improve in our craft.

So the next time your inner critic decides to speak up, don’t just listen but respond in a way that pushes you to do better in your art. After all, you can’t silence it. There’s no mute or off button for your subconscious mind. The next best thing you can do is use it to your advantage.

Videos

How To Stop Comparing Yourself

Can’t stop comparing yourself with someone else?

Perhaps this phrase might help! This is something I tell myself the moment I start comparing. It has yet to fail me and I hope it is able to help you too.

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Writing Journey

The Reality Of Fiction

Last Thursday was the 1st year publication anniversary of The Slave Prince. It marked the sixth year of my relationship with Thom. And… looking back at Thom’s life, I realised that some stories will never truly be over.

Prior to the publication of the book, I wrote a ‘farewell’ letter to Thom. Though I knew our relationship had ended, it wasn’t really goodbye. Thom will always be there—somewhere, out there—even while I work with other characters. After all, our history together has shaped my present—there is no way that he could ever disappear from my life.

Funnily enough, I’m not sentimental with all of my characters. It is only the ones I’ve known for years who tend to linger on. And, as I embark on a newer adventure with Robb and Myra—of which their tale might go on for far longer than I had previously envision—I have an inkling that they too will join Thom when it’s all over. Which… makes me glad—thankful they are here to stay even when the work is done.

Truthfully, writing isn’t always fun. And my relationship with my characters is one of the factors that make writing their stories meaningful—it is they who make the experience memorable. Because, let’s be honest… I’ve spent more time with these fictional people than with the friends of my reality. They—Thad, Thom, and Robb—have molded my life just as much as I have molded theirs. They have helped me to understand myself better—to grow in trying seasons—carrying parts of me in their personas. Despite their different stories and identities, I trust them to bear the unfiltered and tangible version of me. Despite their fictional disposition, they are real.

‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’

Ask any author and I’m sure they can name a character that is far more real than reality itself. These characters break the barriers of imagination—the reason why Thom’s story feels like a personal experience, why I sometimes find Robb to be annoying, and why Thad will never be forgotten. But… it doesn’t stop there. At the end of my own story, I hope that these people wouldn’t merely be a part of me—that they wouldn’t die with their creator but will live in you.

I hope their lives will be an encouragement in your difficult times. I hope their stories will be a light in your darkness moments. I hope they linger on because they have become a part of you—as real as they can be… in what we call ‘this reality’.

Videos

3 Things You Should Give Up On

YOU SHOULD GIVE UP!

There are 3 things that you should give up right now because they’re holding you back from doing and achieving more in your creative journey. These are the 3 things I’m constantly giving up on and I believe you should do so too!

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Videos

This Video Is A #FAIL

I’m a failure. This video is proof.

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Videos

How Do You Accept Your Flaws?

IS YOUR FLAW HOLDING YOU BACK?

The only way to stop your flaw from holding you back is to learn to accept it. And here’s the fastest and easiest way to do so!

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Writing Journey

To Everyone Who Has Ever Doubted

The world is full of voices but none as loud as the villainous whisper in your head—relishing in your insecurities, jabbing at your failures, and empowering the cynic within in the absence of self-confidence. Your inability to perform, though only in theory, feels like your destiny—a fated inescapable moment where your future is but a disappointment. So why bother trying? Why subject yourself to false hope? You can’t escape the antagonistic voice, surfacing at every one of your attempts to prove yourself worthy—punishing you for wanting to believe.

But there, in the destitute of faith, you see a light—faint as a lonely star on a cloudy night. Its glimmer far from your reach. Its glow barely grazing your wet cheeks. You can’t feel its warmth but you can see it. It is the hope in the enveloping darkness—the dawn of a new beginning. And so you choose, hushing the rustle of skepticism, to give credence to a possibility—that perhaps you are capable. Perhaps, you will one day succeed. Perhaps, you are not a lost cause after all.

At that resolve—giving yourself one more chance—an ally rises from your misery. It wields the stubborn boldness of a hero. Unlike the challenger of your potential, its voice bestows a profound courage. It names itself the champion against the beast that means to destroy you. And in the presence of a formidable adversary, it bears only a fearless demeanour—a commanding and unwavering disposition. You didn’t know—when you choose the light, you awaken the warrior inside.

As defenders of our dreams, desires, and self-worth, we will always be at war. There will always be a voice, echoing our doubts, blunders, and shortcomings—feeding on our vulnerabilities. But that doesn’t mean the battle is lost. We all have a warrior within us—a spirited fighter who, in the midst of uncertainties and difficulties, will push forward until the very end.

If you have ever doubted, you are not alone. None of us are free from the discouraging questions that linger in our heads. But know that you are more than those pessimistic whispers. You have the strength of a soldier, the perseverance of a victor, and the heart of a believer. The fight will not be easy—you will take painful blows and tend to deep wounds—but you cannot be defeated. The moment you choose to hope—a source no darkness can overcome—you’ve already won.

Videos

Who’s The Most Successful Person In The World?

YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO GUESS!

After spending ZERO time on research, I’ve found the most successful person in the world. And, you’ll be surprise by whom it is.

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Writing Journey

[Newest Novel] Read ‘Whispers Of The Wind’ For FREE!

Yes, you read correctly. You can now read my complete novel, Whispers Of The Wind—Book 1 of the Raindrops Trilogy—on Swoon Reads for FREE! Yes, all 61,376 words of the novel for FREE!

But wait… what is Swoon Reads?

Swoon Reads is like the X-Factor of publishing. They publish under an imprint of Macmillan—their publishing decision weighing heavily on reader feedback. So YOU choosing to read and rate my book will help me land a publishing deal! But do note that Whispers Of The Wind will ONLY be on Swoon Reads from 28 January to 28 July, 2019. After which, should the book be not of Swoon Reads’ choosing, I’ll remove it from the site and use the comments gathered to improve the manuscript. So… if you want to read my newest novel, here’s your chance!

Now, what is Whispers Of The Wind about?

“Seventeen-year-old Robb is the king of Zeruko. He, and his twin sister Myra, ascended the throne after their father’s passing. According to many, King Daemon—arch-nemesis and ruler of Tentazoa—murdered the late king. But despite the claims, Robb believes his father is still alive.

With a desire to bring his father home, Robb leaves Zeruko with his trusted friend Spion. The pair travel to the realms of the universe through the magic of raindrops. From the hazardous trip behind enemy lines to the festive East Asian-esque Meihua; from the kingdom hovering above the clouds to the military-driven Bevattna; from the heterogeneous society of a tunneled realm to Robb’s duel with the heir of Tentazoa, every step in his journey uncovers a gem of his past, present, and future. And in one foresight, Robb learns of the daunting fate of Zeruko.”

Whispers Of The Wind is a book I’ve been working on for the past few years. The first draft was completed in November 2015 and has since been rewritten and edited countless times. The book has even gone through a title change! This year, I intend to finish Book 2—its sequel—with hopes of landing a publishing deal for Whispers Of The Wind at the same time.

Okay, so how does Swoon Reads work?

It’s very simple! All you have to do is sign up for an account and you’ll have access to the entire book. Once you’re done reading, please, please, please leave a rating and a comment—if you enjoyed the book, please rave about it! The publication of this book, and possibly the entire trilogy, is in your hands. As you know, I cannot do this on my own.

Remember, the book will only be available until 28 July, 2019. So for all those asking what’s next—what am I writing and what is it about—you can embark on that adventure right now!