The creative process to write books: a series of changes

As I published Kaleidoscope Eyes, I’ve been thinking about the creative process to write books.

There’s all kinds of strange highs and strange lows. On the most challenging days, blocks fill you up with negativity: “Is this good enough?” “Is anybody going to be interested in this?” “Why would someone want to read an unknown author?”

While writing my novella, I went through stages where I thought my work had no potential. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish the job for not having a compelling story. Self-doubt was a huge obstacle.

However, part of the creative process to write books involves finding ways to overcome those blocks and stay tuned to your creative seasons. I’d like to share my experiences here.

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Personal fears: An exercise for self-reflection

I want to write openly about my personal fears. Since fear can be used as a GPS, I think it’d be a good exercise to see where it’s leading me. On the other hand, it’s difficult to be vulnerable in public. It’s a common belief that the more you hide your flaws, the stronger you will look.

It’s time to get rid of that belief and let my authentic self show. I’ll start by naming three of my greatest fears while elaborating a bit on them. I’ll mention where they come from and how I can overcome them.

Let’s see how this goes.

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20 things that made my 2021 interesting

We’re just about to finish 2021, a year full of life-changing events. I’m grateful for all the experiences I had, and all the opportunities that came my way, especially for writing.

New priorities redefine the way I live my days, but there’s always a chance to make room for all the things that matter to me. I’m confident 2022 will teach me how to become better at it.

Here’s the list of 20 things that made my 2021 interesting.

  1. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby boy
  2. My mom’s visit for two months
  3. Publishing an article on women’s empowerment in Excelsior, one of the most prestigious newspapers in Mexico. (The article is available in Spanish only).
  4. Collaborating as a blogger in Apocrifa Art Magazine. I wrote about indie authors, creative entrepreneurship and writing life in general. (All articles are in Spanish).
  5. Taking a course on creative writing for the first time in my life. It was wonderful.
  6. This video on the importance of being yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched on YouTube.
  7. Reading more in Spanish. This year I read El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, Ficciones, Cuentos Naturales, Plagio, La Ciudad Oculta 2, and Mucha Madre.
  8. Discovering the following musicians: Chet Baker Quartet, Debussy, and Vangelis.
  9. This song
  10. Finishing my book!
  11. Dave Gahan’s Imposter album
  12. Depeche Mode’s photo book
  13. A playlist I made to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day
  14. Discovering that I want to explore folklore through dancing. Watching Amalia Hernandez’ ballet was inspiring.
  15. Deciding that, someday, I’d like to become a judge at the Olympic Games
  16. Playing Mario Kart again
  17. Meditation as a more regular practice
  18. Writing about beginnings
  19. Writing more in Spanish
  20. Buying books for my son

Post-pandemic world: readjusting priorities

As days go by, and as we feel that it’s a little safer to go outside, the post-pandemic world brings a few questions to mind. What’s really going to change for us? What if we’re more comfortable in my personal space than in a public one? What if some of us don’t want to return to the office and share a desk with others?

New realities require changes, but every person and every company is going to take a different approach. And that’s fine. However, we’re free to choose our own way according to new priorities.

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Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works

Writing on paper is one of my favourite activities. It allows me to slow down and think better. Seeing my hand in motion as I scribble down is still a fulfilling experience.

I can strike out ideas on the go and stop at any time to find out what comes next. On a digital format, I find this process a bit more intimidating. The text box is blank, and all I can see is the cursor blinking; waiting for you to come up with the perfect words to type. It’s a lot less spontaneous.

It’s almost an obligation to come prepared to work at the computer.

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20 things that made my 2020 interesting

An unforgettable year is ending. In spite of all the terrible events that took place around the world, I found value in highlighting 20 things that made my 2020 interesting in my personal life.

This exercise gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it’s also a great way to practise self-reflection. From now on, I’ll do it every year to see where my focus has been and celebrate my own efforts.

Here’s the 20 things that made my 2020 interesting:

  1. Reconnecting with myself through therapy. Yes, this was the year I finally realized I needed help to solve issues from the past. The pandemic moved all my emotions and decided to pay attention to what was happening. Fortunately, I’m in a much better place right now.
  2. Knowing that my family has been supporting me throughout this process. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.
  3. Discovering the orange book on Twitter. This account was quite the discovery in the middle of my personal crisis. Whenever I read this person’s tweets, I always get new ideas and feelings about life. It’s simply that powerful.
  4. The 99u conference. This year, it adapted a digital format and anyone in the world could access it for free. In spite of the circumstances, it was wonderful to gain knowledge in every conference and meet the brilliant speakers who make things happen. My two main takeaways were: an hour of your time can make a difference to nurture your creative self, and noticing the world around you can fortify your creativity.
  5. Writing my first book! I’m taking the self-publishing route and, if everything goes well, I’ll publish it next year. Whoa.
  6. Speaking of self-publishing, my personal journey is allowing me to learn other aspects of writing. The editing process is crucial, and it’s important to invest in it and learn what kind of editing you need.
  7. Rediscovering bossanova music. Every difficult moment got better as soon as I listened to happier and more energetic tunes, such as Magalenha by Segio Mendes.
  8. Music always makes a difference under any circumstance. Here’s a more specific list of songs that defined the sound of 2020 for me.
  9. With strange highs and strange lows, these things helped me find light in times of darkness.
  10. Learning about compound knowledge. It’s a mindset worth adopting, and something tells me it’ll define how 2021 will unfold for me.
  11. Watching Sailor Moon with the same enthusiasm as my six-year-old self.
  12. Joining Tim’s listening party on Twitter when A Certain Ratio was featured. I missed the one with Friendly Fires, though.
  13. Speaking of Friendly Fires, “Sleeptalking” is one of their most perfect songs.
  14. In terms of music albums released in 2020, Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams and Freeze/Melt by Cut Copy were outstanding.
  15. Getting to know María Félix through her movies.
  16. Blogging in Spanish again.
  17. Paying off student loans.
  18. Deciding to diversify my personal library. From now on, I’m reading genres I had not read before. Here’s a list of books I’m hoping to get next year.
  19. Getting Live Spirits by Depeche Mode delivered to my home after waiting for it for six months.
  20. Being able to create my e-newsletter.

Independencia creativa: preguntas y reflexiones

La independencia creativa es un acto de fe. Es creer que puedes sacar magia de tus venas, de las palabras que salen del corazón. Es exprimir el contenido simbólico adquirido en todas aquellas vivencias que han influido en tu persona, tanto en el presente como en el pasado.

Recuerdo cuando creía que la libertad creativa se podía alcanzar trabajando para alguien más. Recuerdo la firme convicción de que el camino hacia el éxito profesional consistía en demostrar mis habilidades a los altos mandos de una empresa y así ganarme su confianza. Y así ganar más dinero. Y así hacerme de una reputación que me permitiera ganar más dinero.

Recuerdo el día del desencanto. Recuerdo la frustración de trabajar en proyectos que no me interesaban. Recuerdo la pesadez de darle gusto a alguien más. Recuerdo la renuncia a mis propias ideas. No podía expresarlas porque no se alineaban con los caprichos del cliente o del jefe.

También recuerdo los primeros pensamientos que contemplaban el día de la independencia. Un día que sí llegó.

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The sound of 2020: tunes that helped me get through the year

What’s the sound of 2020? I recently discovered a fantastic online time capsule of music. It’s called “2020 IS A SONG“, and it has a simple objective: sharing with the world the one song that got you through this crazy year.

While it’s hard to choose only one song, for this time capsule I decided that mine had to be Sleeptalking by Friendly Fires.

I’ve written about the importance of noticing the world around. In an attempt to explain to myself why certain songs helped me more than others, I’m sharing a list of the tunes that brought me solace, peace or joy and why. Here’s the sound of 2020 for me.

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Life lessons from the mysterious Orange Book

What else can we say about 2020?

It’s going to be an unforgettable year. It’s hard to visualize what 2021 has in store for humanity, but all we have is the present. This moment.

There’s still a lot to do to reshape our mindsets and move forward and navigate turbulent waters.

One of the sources that kept me grounded was the Orange Book on Twitter. The person who owns this account is brilliant and mysterious at the same time. No one knows who he or she is, but every thought that he/she posts is deep and meaningful.

I want to share how these posts helped me know myself better.

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En búsqueda de la voz interna

La idea de encontrar una voz propia no es tan nueva para mí. Recuerdo que en la universidad, algunos profesores hacían hincapié en este punto para la redacción creativa y todo lo que tuviera que ver con el desarrollo de conceptos innovadores.

Más tarde, en el mundo laboral, este tema seguía latente pero más que nada, la meta era satisfacer las necesidades del cliente y hacer que su discurso de marca sonara bonito e interesante.

Un buen día me pregunté “¿y qué hay sobre mi propia voz?” No la voz de la redactora de copy que alguna vez fui en agencias publicitarias. Tampoco la de la coordinadora de mercadotecnia que lleva las redes sociales institucionales. Me refiero a mi voz personal, mi voz real.

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