#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 27) What have you learned over the past 30 days (of this challenge)?

Funny how a little 30 day challenge can get the brain juices flowing again.

So what have I learned from this challenge since I began?

A bunch of things but I’ll just name a few:

  • I really miss the interactions with you all that comes with blogging. But I also know that if I want to concentrate on fiction writing, I will somehow have to come up with a plan to blog less but maintain the exchanges;
  • I am pantser who is afraid of writing an outline for the couple of stories I want to complete first. Even back in my university days, I hated writing outlines. I know that it’s the best course of action for a story but I also fear that I may sit down and all those scenes in my head will not make a clear-cut story;
  • Writing is a stress reliever. Since I started writing these little posts has proven that to me again. Some people run, smoke, drink or do others things to relieve stress but writing really does take my mind of things;
  • Writing every day is important, even if what I write is crap and/or not posted on my blog;
  • Listening to podcasts and scrolling Instagram posts about writing is a form of procrastination for me;
  • I was able to pin down who my ideal fiction readers would be (niche audience). I kind of knew before but now I’m crystal clear. It’s not to say that I will exclude anyone who isn’t part of that niche but I will raise certain topics that they can learn from; and
  • I refuse to leave this world without telling some of my stories.

I’ve also learned a bunch of other things mainly due to our global pandemic situation but I’ll leave that for a future post.

Have you learned anything new about yourself in the last 30 days?

 

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 26) List 12 things I wish I had known earlier in life

Socrates may have said: “I know one thing: that I know nothing” but there are a number of things that I do know and wish I had known earlier in life.

I could easily have broken this list into age categories of when I learned these lessons…but I won’t.

I could also provide examples for each one of the lessons below…but I won’t do that either.

I’ll leave them up to you to consider how they can relate to your personal experience.

Here we go, in random order:

  • Just because someone appears to have lots of friends does not mean that they are liked or even loved – strangely enough, sometimes it could be the exact opposite;
  • Don’t be too envious of the material possessions others may have – wealth doesn’t automatically mean happiness;
  • Life doesn’t begin after graduation, getting married, having kids or any other “life” milestone. Life begins every day you wake up, if you make that choice;
  • Just because you’ve been told/heard certain things over your lifetime doesn’t mean that they are all true. Is it your truth, their truth or their projection?;
  • Boring is not necessarily bad and it’s okay if life is a bit boring at times. No one is swinging from the chandeliers every day;
  • Just because you are from a certain cultural background doesn’t mean that you are immune to stress and/mental health issues. Those who say otherwise are often in denial about their own issues or prefer to place the blame on others;
  • Just because someone loves you doesn’t mean that they always have your best interest at heart;
  • Don’t put everyone’s needs ahead of your own. Being a selfless martyr will result in an outcome that will disappoint you;
  • Don’t blame yourself for not knowing things you think you should have known. You can’t know what you don’t know;
  • You can’t “fix” others. When you fix yourself, others will have no choice but to fall in line;
  • When a struggle is over, take the time to appreciate what you’ve learned and how you can leverage that new knowledge for the future;
  • Never give up your passion, even if it means doing things you don’t necessarily care to do.

What is one thing that you wished you had learned earlier in life? Which one of the above resonates with you and why? 

 

 

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 25) Post 9 little known facts about yourself

You know that I’m an introvert, that I’m a beach addict, that I have a thing for New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream…

What haven’t I told you that you don’t already know?

  • I’m semi-superstitious but it’s more about habit than superstition because of my cultural upbringing. In my adulthood and being friendly with people of other cultures, I realize that I’m not alone in some of the odd things I do (or don’t do). My Brazilian acquaintance never pays bills on Sundays, my friend’s East Indian friend never places her purse on the floor…things that I also do without thinking. If you ask in the comment box, I’ll tell you the “why” behind them.
  • I’m not scared to handle tools (get your mind out of the gutter, not that kind of tool). I’ve fixed plenty of things on my own, like change my own entrance locks, put together my treadmill, painting my entire home…lots of trial and error. True story: Once for work when I had to stay at an old dormitory-style compound that was older than dirt, I found myself locked in my room because the lock got stuck. I didn’t have the front desk’s number in my cell, the phone in the room didn’t work but I remembered that I had a set of pliers in my purse (don’t ask) and I macgyvered my way out. Are you old enough to remember the original Macgyver?
  • I hate rap music, especially when the lyrics and music videos disrespect women of my phenotype. Bring back the kind of rap music that tells a positive story like the good old Sugar Hill Gang stuff and then I’ll reconsider my stance.

  • I speak French most of the time though English is my first language. But don’t be impressed – I was raised in a French-speaking milieu. I have always had a love of languages. There was even a time that I spoke German fluently. I understand Spanish well enough unless if someone is speaking really fast but I often keep that little tidbit quiet. When I realize someone is talking about me in my presence in Spanish, I try not to laugh as they say a thing or two to see if I’ll react. And when I don’t react and they think it’s safe to keep going, thinking that I don’t understand, that’s when I usually pick just the right moment to respond, out of the blue, in Spanish…with a straight face.

  • I don’t know what “fun” means.  I’m not even kidding. I’m boring, practical, careful and frugal to a fault (likely NOT a little known fact if you’ve been around my blog for a while). I could be doing errands and STARVING but I’ll refuse to hit the closest fast food place just because I know that I have coupons at home for it (frugal). I shred EVERYTHING before I toss it into the recycling bin, including my prescription labels (careful). I buy based on what I need, not necessarily what I want (practical). And I’m the one who will usually order the same thing at a restaurant because I know exactly what it’s going to taste like (boring).
  • I follow “systems” and am a planner (for certain situations). My “systems” are usually based on previous (negative) experiences. Sometimes I boggle MY own mind with the Sheldon-like things I do. Like on a flight, I plan my bathroom breaks around the beverage service and exactly one hour before landing (because they don’t let you get up within 45 minutes of landing). Or when I go to a hotel, the first two things I do is run the water in the shower to make sure it actually gets hot and then I flush the toilet a few times (don’t ask why, long story). If something is wrong, I can easily take myself back to the front desk and ask for another room. My friends used to think that I was crazy, until they found themselves stuck with a backed up toilet and a shower with luke warm water in a hotel at full capacity, and almost peeing their pants on a flight because of what I already explained to you.
  • When I used to be mistaken for other people, I just played along. I’m not sure why this used to happen to me a lot but it was usually when I traveled. One time, I arrived in Halifax an entire day early to explore since it was my first time there. As I walked around downtown, I kept getting stopped by people asking if I was I-can’t remember-her-name. By the third or fourth time, I was frustrated thinking, “WTF is going on?” and had no choice but to ask who I was being mistaken for. The story was that there had been a Jazz Festival that same weekend and I supposedly looked like the lead singer of one of the bands that had performed all weekend. Then while I was buying some snacks at Pete’s Frootique (because I usually to the economical route), I stumbled across a Jazz Festival poster and guess what? I looked NOTHING like each other and hence, I guess we all do look alike.  🙂 But from that point on, when someone stopped me, I went with the flow and almost took a photo or two before my senses kicked in…no, no photo evidence. 🙂
  • I’m quite skilled at regulating problems in a diplomatic way so people often come to me for help. Okay, that’s no longer true…Now, I only use my skills for family and exceptional situations because of what I said in this past post. Strategizing is kind of my forte. When my expensive brand name washing machine broke 6 months after its extended warranty expired, it took 6 weeks but I got that major company to completely rebuild it free of charge. The technician was baffled at how that was possible. When an old friend’s husband’s insurance company denied him coverage for a medical device due to some stupid technicality, the letter I crafted for them countered their arguments and the company changed their ruling. I can usually get the end result I need with customer service.
  • I’m usually a nice person but I can and will be that b*tch when I need to. I have the patience of a nun but if you come for me or my loved ones, I will fetch my broom and my hat so fast that you’ll ask where Marquessa went. I posted a funnier example here a long while back.

Go ahead, post a few little known facts about yourself in the comment box.

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 24) Post about your zodiac sign and whether or not it fits you

Libra’s are indecisive, that much I know! Or do I know. I don’t know… LOL

I’m always the last to order from the menu, waiver between 2 choices and still want to change my mind as the server takes my order.

Note to yourself, don’t eat out with me. 🙂

There is so much to be said about Libras (if you believe in astrology) that instead, I’m going to take the easy way out of go with random gifs I found online.

Uh, definitely not me.

I dwell and then dwell some more for a long time. But when I do decide to let a situation go, I’ll strike a match, toss it where it needs to go and walk away without the need to watch it burn.

As I type this, it sounds pretty harsh but like I said it before in a previous post, I have the patience of a nun and when it runs out, that’s it. Sometimes fire is the only way to start over in specific situations.

A little list from giphy.com….#1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (but not in a I-told-you-so kind of way), #7 (if I let you get that close) and #10 sound about right.

Hell no to #8, even if the kidnapper looked like “Massimo” from “365 Dni”.

#9 – I don’t know about having taste – it depends on the situation. Not so much when it comes to fashion – I hate shopping and would love for someone to do it for me. I do have taste when it comes buying gifts for others or making my living environment “pretty”.

I do like things well-balanced, orderly and aesthetically pleasing.

I like peace and I’m fine with compromising so I guess “diplomatic” does suit me?

Am I fair? Yes. Clever? Yeah, I’ll take that one too. Non-confrontational? Usually yes.

 

Do I sound like a Libra? Click here and tell if your sign sounds like you.

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 23) What is the best writing advice you have ever heard?

The best writing advice I’ve ever heard was not 100% related to writing. It was entire book about creativity.

Elizabeth Gilbert‘s Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear was an amazing and inspiring read for me.

A few years ago, it was my by-the-beach-read book and I remember thinking, “Wow, I could base a year’s worth of blog posts on this book!”

I enjoyed it so much that I forced myself to slow down my reading pace just to absorb and relate it back to my own writing struggles.

It spoke to every thought that has ever crossed my mind as a writer and as someone who allowed fear and the opinions of others get in the way of pursuing my passion.

If you’re looking for great read to inspire your own creativity, you should consider reading it.

I was even happier when I discovered that there was also a podcast based on it, Magic Lessons. I spent many Sundays listening and re-listening to the stories of creatives sharing their fears and issues.

That chapter on “Permission” was especially good and one piece of advice stuck out to me…

Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own f*cking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.” (page 125)

If you are a writer, what is the best writing advice you ever had?

Bisous,

M xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#30DayWritingChallenge (Day 22) Write about a lesson you learned the hard way

I’ve learned is to always follow my gut instinct.

It has never guided me in the wrong direction unless I’ve turned a blind eye, given someone another chance or the benefit of the doubt.

And I’ve always paid the price for it in some way.

Without getting into detail, the last time I didn’t follow my gut, I found myself locked inside a vacation home with no way of getting out unless I jumped from the window and wanted to risk breaking a body part.

To explain, the lock on the entrance door had a double deadbolt, which means that if someone locked the door from the outside, you would have to use a key on the inside to unlock and get out.

The problem was that the person I was traveling with had the key, had left to go God-knows-where while I was still asleep and had locked the door, never thinking twice that I wouldn’t be locked in if there was an emergency.

It was at that very instant that everything my gut had been telling me for months about the person I was traveling with became crystal clear. I started to panic, seriously thinking that I had been locked in on purpose…

Pre-trip, my gut had told me to:

  • simply not go for a multitude of reasons;
  • pack light and ensure that I had a list of local taxi numbers just in case I had to make a quick exit;
  • make sure that everyone knew who I was with and where I was in case something happened to me; and
  • pre-planning with a few friends to call me at specific times during the day to make sure that I was okay.

If I had followed my gut instinct in the first place, I would not have put myself in that precarious position. Even as I write this, it boggles my mind at how stupid I was.

The thoughts that raced through my mind that morning were enough for me to promise myself to never, ever go against my gut again.

And I have kept that promise to myself ever since that day.

(Side note: After the fact when I asked the vacation home owner “why” a double deadbolt was installed on the front door and she explained that if someone broke in when the place was unoccupied between guests, a thief wouldn’t be able to get out the front door.) 

What lesson have you learned the hard way? Share with me in the comments.

Bisous,

M xoxo

#30daywritingchallenge (Day 21) Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Do I really need to answer that question?

You should know what I’m going to say already.

I don’t like people.

Okay, that’s not 100% true.

I like people who I like.

Hmmm, that doesn’t sound much better either but you know what?

It’s true.

But I do like YOU. 🙂

I’m a people person when I like the people I’m around.

You know, normal people who have no airs, minimal fakeness, who aren’t trying to show off or one-up others. People with whom I feel less of a need to keep my guard up with.

If I can’t have some of that, please don’t invite me.

Well, you can invite me but please just let me politely decline or accept my excuse not to go.

If I feel forced to go, I’ll be watching the clock until it’s time to politely excuse myself or I’ll take a drink and a few of your snacks and quietly slip away somewhere, hoping that you forgot that you invited me in the first place.

I’ll also be the one trying my best to be engaged in a conversation but all the while thinking about what I could be doing in the comfort of my own home in my pyjamas with my own snacks.

So if I really need to answer the question – yes, I’m an introvert.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Share with me in the comments.