So You Wanna Be A Writer

So you wanna be a writer.

And with being a writer comes learning to write. Gets your tenses correct. Knowing where to put your prepositions at. All that good stuff. Once you can write clean, compelling copy, it should be a cake walk… right?


Because unless your grand ambition is to have your grandmother and her knitting circle tell you how * wonderful* you are… at some point you gotta learn about the business. Because if you don’t, you’re going to waste a lot of time blundering around like a buffalo in a bookstore.

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Allowing Your Mind to Feel Free

Accumulating oodles of tasks to do can be fun, inspiring, and motivating all at the same time, but then in an instant, all the life and energy you thought that you had can be drained from your soul leaving you looking at the list and the sunshine outside, and thinking about what social media site you want to check in on and before you know it you’re overwhelmed with this once enthusiastic list of tasks you wish to accomplish that continue to stare at you for days and haunt you in your sleep.

This isn’t good. This is bad.

The secret is to find a balance. To create within yourself first and foremost a drive and a direction that you want to explore, and define it with all the knowledge and motivation that you know and have.

Myself, I write a ‘personal mission statement’ that defines my goals, long and short term ones alike, and breaks down tasks that I must focus on and eliminate from my life in order to more effectively reach and achieve these goals. It works for me. I also keep a white board in my living space where I outline it with key words that remind me what to focus on. I like this, it works.

Once I have this firm understanding, it’s easy for me to know which tasks I should focus on, and which tasks I should remove from my schedule, allowing me to feel free from any burdening tasks that slow me down in the progress of my life.

This helps me in keeping my schedule clear and focused, but what about when I’m on track, but just lack motivation and everything on the list looks daunting?

Maybe it’s a problem that you’re doing something that you’re just not interested in? This can be very debilitating.

Some key things to try to help get that focus and energy back are:

  • Meditation – spend 15 minutes or longer just clearing your mind, and then thinking about what you want in life, remind yourself of your goals, and reasons, where you’re hoping to go in life.
  • Read your Personal Mission Statement – Part of the reason of writing the personal mission statement is in your time of weakness you can refer to it to refresh in your mind what you’re trying to accomplish, remind you of the reasons that you had written down in a moment of clear bliss.
  • Go for a walk – Walking helps increase the blood flow in your body, clearing your mind with its rhythmic trance like motion. I often find myself talking to myself and thinking things through with no distractions but one foot forward after the other. I often find myself returning home with excitement and sped up step with a quote repeating in my mind; usually along the lines of “Focus, and believe; I know what I’m doing.”

These are only a few suggestions that work for me. Everybody has different ones, but part of the process is also learning what works for you. Picking up one of my guitars and strumming out a few tunes works for me to calm me down, inspire those creative juices once again. Lifting weights also helps, so does cooking a meal. The list grows.

The key is to believe what you’re doing. Believe in your goals, believe in yourself, and believe in the way that you think.

Yes, one does find themselves up against what would appear a wall of pressured change, people trying to tell you what you’re doing is wrong, but this is a topic for another post. I will conclude with saying that this is another secret to staying true to yourself; understanding that they are just trying to help, and they can only relate ways that they themselves find success.

Take nibbles of their advice, never eat the whole cake.

Good luck!

Being You

I’ve been faced lately with a lot of decisions. Many  of them come down to character defining decisions that wrack the very confines of my soul.

Ok, fine maybe its not as drastic as I make it out to be, but they are definitely things that have warranted deep thinking and pride to be questioned. To me, its all about listening to my inner voices.

I find in these times its always great to have a list that I’ve made up to allow me to see what it is that my goals are. I find in these places a Personal Mission Statement is beyond any value one can measure. For me, its one of the most beneficial things I can do for myself, and any time that I feel confused or lost, I take a look at it and get re-aligned with  my goals. If you follow the link for Personal Mission Statement you will find a great article describing in more detail what it is, and how to write an effective one, but I think before even writing this begins, its a very valuable idea to know what your goals are. Setting yourself up with extremely effective goals will ensure that you are ALWAYS motivated to push further towards your goals no matter what the situation is. A good goal is one that doesn’t let you sleep, that keeps you awake at night thinking about it, that consumes most of your thoughts until you get there. Which further effectively illustrates how important it is to have a personal mission statement so that you can refer to it when you get so distracted with your effective goals.

So all of this aside, assuming its all been done, how do you be you? How are you sure that you are being you, and you’re not living somebody else’s dreams? If you are confused about what it means to be you, then you will not know what it means to follow your own goals.

I will admit, its not easy at all to know what you want to be when you grow up. Its like reaching your hand into a fishbowl and thinking you can catch a fish without looking! And by no means will it ever be the same from last year to this year. In fact, if it is then something has been missed! Every day new things are learned, and new ideas are formed, if you’re pushing your way towards your goals,  you will accomplish some quickly, which in turn will give you the ability to know which tactics you are using to push you towards your goals are effective or not.

I digress once more, but I think it shows how valuable knowing and setting your goals are.

To be you is to listen to that inner voice. To be you is to know what  you have inside of you. To be you is to be great. To be you is what you’ve always wanted you to be. I warn her though, make sure its what you want to be and not what you’re imagining you want to be under the influence of pop culture, aka. TV. This can be very daunting trying to figure out whats whats in this world of media and brainwashing, but its also a very good practice to constantly weary of what it is that is actually influencing you in your life. To understand this is to gain a while new insight into your life. Which in turn makes you understand who you are. What interests you.

I’m not saying that being conscientious of certain things like style and global issues are bad, but there are also somethings that just seem to be blatantly a waste of time and a drain on your brain waves.

For instance I sat down after breakfast this morning with my brother in the TV room, and he had a movie on MTV going. It was a show about these sorority girls who had a murder in their place, and were trying to figure out who it was. It was filled with bad acting, much to much makeup and dumb blond bimbos where they had a classic girl cat fight, and Tom Green acting as the hard ass cop. This WAS  a waste of my time. But it was one of those things that was so captivating I couldn’t turn my eyes away from…

A moment of weakness.

Sometimes its good though to have these moments. They act as reminders about what you do not want in  your life, provide you with fresh inspiration to be the real you that you want to be, and also can make you feel proud that you are now aware of what pulls you away from the real you. Not all of you will feel the same emotions I have about this movie, but all of  you will have come in contact within the last 24, 48 hours of something that has gotten under your skin, urked you in a way that you feel uncomfortable that you’re even having to be subject to such things.

Use this. Use this like a wind at your back and remember it, embrace it for it allows you to learn and to grow. But most of all, it allows you to understand you, and focus on what you can do to be the best you. I know I’m trying! Are you?

Do you have any other ways that you find are very effective in making you, you? Allowing you to learn how to be the best you? I’d love to hear.

Remember this if nothing else, what your mind and body tells you is often times right, listen intently to what its saying to you.

Food Insecurity in Developing Nations

My friend Taylor, over at her blog has been doing some studies that I would like to highlight here to hopefully reach a wider audience.

I feel that global environmental, and human rights issues are valid on any platform, so I will discuss them here.

Today I will tackle food insecurities, which are a pretty damn essential part of all of our lives. Were talking the security to go the grocery store and find food in there, and food that we actually have the money to pay for.

Us in North America, at least most of us, are fortunate enough to be able to get into our cars, drive to the closest market, which by the way there are at least half a dozen to choose from, put .25cents into the buggy to push around our green machine to fill up with whatever catches our eye for consumption.

In other developing countries, however, this isn’t the case. It is estimated that in the last two years staple crops like rice have tripled in price mainly due to oil. Transporting, farming, reaping, and delivering are all elements that require the precious oil. With this crisis increasing in scale, it is estimated that an additional 75-100 million people have been pushed into poverty and food insecurity, which isn’t a good statistic at all.

To me its incredibly sad that the USA spends billions of dollars on their war efforts, when they could be fighting a better humanitarian cause and peace. Although, I have just looked up the stats on the Department of State Budget records , and it does look like in total the US is contributing around $1.5 billion USD towards International Organizations and an additional $1.5 billion USD in contributions to various International Peacekeeping Activities. It seems all the number are coming up around $1.5 billion USD however, as they are spending another $1.5 billion USD on USAID operating expenses. Thats one hell of a budget if you ask me. Somebody talk to my boss about this..

Apparently, however, agriculture only receives about 4% of this foreign assistance from the USA, which is matched by most other countries around the world with such funds.

Her classmates and her did some research on an organization called ACDI/VOCA which uses value chain analysis to understand the private sector development in emerging economy settings to jump start economic growth and poverty reduction. I know, its a doozie. Go here to understand more about her project, and to gain more knowledge of the crises our less fortunate brothers and sisters around the world are facing.

Cleaning the House

Today I’ve decided to help my mother clean the house. It’s not my house, I come here once or twice a year since its about a 10hr drive for me. I’ve decided that my mom needs some help.

It makes me feel good to do something that I know my mother resents because she has 3 other men all the time just making a mess. She is working full time, my father is retired, and my brothers are both relatively not working… most of the time.

But the thought about helping mother out, makes me feel like my stay here has been worth while. It makes me feel like I’ve done a good deed to trump all deeds that I have thus far accomplished.

I think its extremely important to forget yourself for a little while, and think about what you can do for the people around you. You make their life just a little bit more free, and you give yourself a sense of worth and service. This doesn’t necessarily mean clean the house, but it might mean going to get the groceries, doing the laundry, mowing the lawn. Who knows what you can think of as a good thing to do to help out the important people.

Everybody likes some help 🙂 .

So what are you going to do today?