The Habit of Side Hustling: Start with Two Minutes

The habit of side hustling is exciting to start, but challenging to maintain. On the one hand, there’s joy in creating something meaningful in any form; on the other hand, at times it feels like there’s so much that can be do but so little time.

It’s still worth the try.

When thinking about habits that develop around side hustling, one specific friend comes to mind. She would say that every day, no matter what, she would sit at her desk and write for three straight hours. She committed herself to do that without skipping a day. Eventually she wrote a book, and it got published.

Her dedication was outstanding. When she told me about her writing process, I hoped to be like her someday.

There’s another case that comes to mind. I once read a series of tweets from an indie writer who shared one of his habits: hitting a thousand words every single day. He would always carve time to reach his goal.

I thought his discipline was impressive. I know for a fact that a lot of writers set goals based on word count and results can be satisfying.

While it’s wonderful to hear these stories of productivity and success, let’s be mindful about one crucial point: every person finds their own system to work on their goals. Everybody has different lifestyles and routines. Therefore, it’s not always possible to focus on a creative project for three straight hours. Word counts vary from person to person. If someone decides it going to be less than a thousand per day, it’s still valuable.

When working on the habit of side hustling, it’s okay to start small. It’s okay to not imitate those who seem super productive in your eyes. Small progress is always great progress.

Building a habit while starting small is perfectly doable. You’d be surprised to know that it’s simpler than you think.

Continue reading “The Habit of Side Hustling: Start with Two Minutes”

Joy at the Core of Your Creative Work

Have you ever thought of joy as a core value in your creative work?

It’s worth considering it. Joy isn’t just confetti vibes. It’s the conviction that you’re creating a piece of work that’s important to share. It’s expressing what you feel needs to be expressed.

I’ve been thinking about a few writer friends I’ve met along my journey. I remember they would read my work, and they would give me wonderful feedback. However, when I read theirs, they wouldn’t always take a compliment. Their reaction was actually quite harsh.

“I’m not that great.” “I’m supposed to be good at this, and it sucks. I write pages and pages, and I just end up with garbage.”

To me, these thoughts indicated that they were trying to achieve perfection to feel like their writing was valuable. Sadly, an activity that was meant to bring them joy had the opposite effect.

When you’re working on your creative craft, are you obsessed with how perfect the end result will look like or are you making sure you’re having fun creating it?

Continue reading “Joy at the Core of Your Creative Work”

The Power of Documenting Your Experiences

This illustration caught my eye while browsing Instagram.

It reminded me of a place I visit frequently in my mind when I need to think. When I was younger, I tried to draw it many times. As an adult, I stopped and didn’t attempt to do it again. However, Iulia Bochis’ illustration made me remember it.

I was so intrigued and impressed with her work that I visited her website. I found out that her art journey began as she was travelling in Asia. She kept a journal to document her inner experiences, and later on, she started sharing her work on Instagram.

It made me think of the importance of documenting experiences in any form. At first, it’s a personal exercise; for your eyes only. Then, one day, you decide to take some parts of it (or maybe all of it) and share it with the world. Without realizing it, you’re touching someone else’s life because it connected with them.

So next time you feel you’re called to share a thought, a photograph, a journal entry, a drawing, a painting, a playlist, a collage…think that it will reach the right people.

Genuine work finds a genuine place. This is the power of documenting experiences.

A Fresh Idea for 2023: Your Time is Not a Democracy

As a new year unfolds, here’s an idea that I think it’s worth reflecting on: your time is not a democracy.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode on The Chase Jarvis Live Show entitled “Your Life is Not a Democracy“. I thought about the same idea, but applied to time and how it’s our responsibility to make the most of it to live a fulfilling life.

Time can be tricky. Time can be a blur. There isn’t enough time for everything at once.

Some days, you wish you had more hours to work on as many projects as possible; however, other days, everything just seems to be moving slowly, and momentum fades away. Regardless of what any given day brings, it’s you the one deciding where your focus is.

Then again, your time is not a democracy.

Continue reading “A Fresh Idea for 2023: Your Time is Not a Democracy”

Things that made my year – 2022 edition

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of 2022. Where did the time go? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of things that made my year:

  1. Celebrating my son’s first birthday.
  2. Having my mom around for two months and celebrating my son’s birthday with her.
  3. Publishing my debut novella Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  4. This interview about my novella.
  5. Realizing that, as independent author, learning takes place every day, and it’s scary and fun at the same time.
  6. That it’s important to focus on the step in front of me, not the entire staircase.
  7. Learning about Amazon Ads for authors.
  8. Writing #LetrasDesnudas.
  9. Joining Té de Querer for some great writing workshops and making new friends.
  10. Publishing three articles on Excélsior (Mexican newspaper, all available in Spanish): Carta para la niña que se convertirá en mujer, Promesas de hoy para un mañana seguro, and Urge modelo de salud con perspectiva de género.
  11. Discovering the Curious Fox podcast.
  12. Rediscovering The Chase Jarvis Live Show.
  13. A great podcast in Spanish, Hablemos Escritoras.
  14. Joining Good Reads as an author.
  15. Learning that Depeche Mode is releasing an album next year.
  16. Finding joy in writing my newsletter.
  17. Listening to some great artists: Neo Soul, Toni Braxton, Sade, Tom Jobim, The Human League, Spice Girls, and Alicia Keys.
  18. Castella tarts.
  19. Tuna and salmon poke bowls.
  20. Janet Jackson’s album “Control”.
  21. Learning the meaning of surrender.
  22. Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.
  23. Waiting Game by Junior Boys.
  24. Toda Tercafeira by Soul Quality Quartet.
  25. Deciding that my new NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.


Grateful for all the lessons learned. Grateful for the wonderful people who walked with me every step of the way. Grateful for all discoveries. Looking forward to 2023!

Creating Habits: Ask Yourself Questions to Move Forward

If you’re looking for ways to create new habits, especially as we’re getting closer to the end of the year, it’s worth reframing the way we look at this specific action.

You will find a ton of information on the Internet on how to do it. The advice will be useful, without a doubt. You can get information from a variety of sources and make your own plan to proceed and improve your life.

My suggestion: ask yourself questions that require a mindful answer.

This idea comes from James Clear when he was interviewed for The Chase Jarvis Live Show. When Chase asked him about creating habits, James proposed going inwards to develop what you need.

This makes a lot of sense. You are the expert of your life; therefore, you are the only one who can tailor your habits to advance your career, improve your craft or your life quality.

I came up with a list of questions to help you get started.

Continue reading “Creating Habits: Ask Yourself Questions to Move Forward”

What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money

As you get ready to start a new day, let me ask you: what’s the value of your time?

Something that may come to mind is “I’m worth $25 an hour”, or maybe more dollars depending on your occupation and experience level. While that’s a valid answer, time goes beyond the value of money.

One thing you can’t buy more of in this world and that is time.

The relationship between money and time is peculiar. When you have some cash in your hands, you can either spend it or save it. The same thing happens with the way you use your time. However, unlike money, you can’t get back the time you’ve spent.

Therefore, the value of your time is higher than you can imagine. How are you currently managing it?

Continue reading “What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money”

Ola #LetrasDesnudas

Todo con él siempre es lo mismo.

No sé por qué este es el único pensamiento que anida en mi cabeza cuando vamos en el coche.

Se peina el bigote, enciende el vehículo y prende el estéreo. Siempre en ese pulcro orden.

“¿Está bien si escuchamos este álbum?”. Esa pregunta tampoco falla. Llevamos meses con las mismas pinches canciones, pero tocan en diferente orden, para mi fortuna.

Yo sólo le digo que sí con la cabeza. Ya me di por vencida. Lo suyo es la certidumbre de saber que, sea como sea, va a sonar algo que le gusta y eso lo va a animar para cantar junto con el artista.

Para mí es un martirio. Estoy cansada del concierto no solicitado. Estoy cansada de que hasta un pequeño recorrido en el auto es una extensión de la rutina.

He optado por quedarme callada porque no veo el punto de iniciar una discusión estúpida. Él no quiere cambiar.  No importa lo que le diga.

Empiezo a escuchar su canto a lo lejos mientras miro por la ventana. ¿Hay alguien que intenta hacer cosas diferentes en su día? ¿Existe alguien así?

Otro pensamiento me atrapa: desde hace un tiempo, vivo en un molde de plástico con él. Antes me agradaba la idea. Era muy cómodo. No nos complicábamos con discusiones profundas ni nada de eso. Todo tenía una consistencia simple: cenar, ver tele, cama y luego cada quien para su casa.

Yo cada vez tengo más ganas de platicar, de escarbar en la profundidad de sus pensamientos más íntimos permitir que él haga lo mismo conmigo. De apagar el televisor y escuchar música variada mientras bailamos en la recámara. Quiero descubrir más sobre qué inventaríamos hacer debajo de las sábanas. “Pa’ adentro y pa’ fuera” no lo es todo.

Él puede ser mejor. Yo puedo ser mejor. Nosotros podemos ser mejores amantes. Pero todo siempre sigue igual.

Tras la muerte de nuestra mejor amiga el año pasado, ya no puedo ver la vida igual. Un día estás, al otro ya no. Eso es fuerte. Tenemos menos tiempo del que pensamos.

Lo miro manejando y cantando igual que ayer y antier. Me da no sé qué porque casi no puedo diferenciar un día del otro cuando estoy con él.

Nos paramos a cargar gas y yo salgo a la tienda de conveniencia para respirar otros aires y por un breve instante, considero la posibilidad de no regresar al carro. Siempre estamos a una decisión de cambiarlo todo por completo.

Vuelvo con botella de agua en mano. Antes de arrancar, me mira y sus ojos verdes me hablan antes de que pronuncie palabra. Me da esperanza captar su nobleza.

“Has estado muy pensativa. ¿Estás bien?”
“No…es que me he estado acordando de Andrea…ya ves que esto es reciente.”

Me abraza y el mundo se siente un lugar seguro de nuevo.

Nos vamos a comer una hamburguesa y aros de cebolla. Me cuenta sobre un videojuego que está por salir a la venta y yo me quedo maravillada.

Los textos de este blog pertenecen a la autora Alicia Strathern.

Imperfect creativity: good is enough

Imperfect creativity is natural and good enough.

Anything that requires creativity has a human touch and humans are imperfect. This idea is still hard to assimilate. At some point in our lives, we’re taught to avoid mistakes and get flawless results.

Recently, I thought about my literature teacher in high school. Our discussions in class tended to lead to all kinds of random topics. One day, he expressed his frustration at some students that were obsessed with getting perfect marks. His words were unforgettable:

“In this life, you have to deal with the fact that you’re not perfect.”

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that statement sounded too harsh at the time, but the wisdom is there. If you think about it, life itself is imperfect.

So why is it worth hanging onto perfection?

Perfectionism is connected to your self-worth and is something you probably have to keep working on to overcome.

Creatives Doing Business

That’s another hard pill to swallow. In the Western culture, this is a constant struggle. Aim to be perfect or go home. On the other hand, in other cultures of the world, embracing imperfection is normal.

For example, there’s the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, defines it as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

I love the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect. There’s value in creating, doing your best to give it form, and releasing it to the world and let it be in its full glory with glitches included.

Creations are never complete. There’s always an improvement to make or a new version to start from scratch. After all, wabi-sabi is based on the cycles of nature, which are constantly changing. No creation ever stays the same.

With this concept in mind, how can you embrace imperfect creativity in your daily life?


Temporal #LetrasDesnudas

¿Me estás pensando?
Yo sí.
Sobre todo en el silencio.

Cuando me siento
y me doy cuenta
que estoy sola.
Me faltan tus abrazos.

¿Por qué somos temporales?
Aún si viviéramos
en los mismos lugares,
tendríamos que despedirnos.

Pero hay despedidas
de cinco minutos.
De a la vuelta
de la esquina.

O de hora y media
en carro o autobús.
También las hay
de vuelo redondo.

Unas punzan
más que otras.
En todas se añora.
En todas se atesora.

Por fortuna,
las despedidas
también son temporales.

Por eso
te espero
te abrazo
en cada sueño.

Hasta que volvamos a encontrarnos.


Los textos de este blog pertenecen a la autora Alicia Strathern.