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!

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?

 

Special Needs

Sometimes, I don’t want to talk.
I don’t want to share
what you won’t understand.
We shouldn’t waste our time.

Playing devil’s advocate
doesn’t cheer me up
on a day I want to give up.
You don’t know, but I suffocate.

I just want to be okay again.
Life should be simpler than this.
So listen to my truth and believe me.
Pain does exist.

Do you know what that means?

Ideas to nurture your creative self: How an hour of your time can make a difference

The more you reinvent yourself, the more you become you. This is one of the ideas that resonated with me the most at the Adobe 99U Conference. For a few years now, I’ve been dying to attend this conference, which usually takes place every year in New York City. In 2020, though, organizers adapted all keynotes, master classes and workshops in a digital format.

We’re still getting through the pandemic, but it hasn’t extinguished our desire to lead a creative life. In uncertain times, redefining ourselves is the best way to find solutions to our challenges at personal and professional levels.

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Finding the light in times of darkness

The past few months have been really challenging for the world. At a personal level, the shock of living in times of a pandemic has impacted me in ways I never imagined.

As confinement began, it became clear to me that it’d be important to take breaks from information to protect my mental health. It was overwhelming to read so many articles related to economies collapsing, layoffs and increasing number of of COVID cases.

I remember reading a headline that suggested that the world would never be the same again. It was scary to think about that possibility. Nowadays, the term “new normal” starts to be more common. It’s difficult to imagine how the aftermath is going to look like for each one of us. Even when COVID goes away, the collateral damage will still be around in our personal lives.

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Journals for thoughts, journals for life

Sometimes, your thoughts can’t stay in your mind all the time.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust. We all need to rant from time to time to get rid of all the things we’ve kept to ourselves.

Other times, thoughts are so private that it’s hard to share them with someone or in a blog. That’s when journals come to the rescue. I’ve been journaling for 23 years, and even when it seems that I’ve lost the habit of composing my private notes, I retake it, and my mind finds peace again.

There’s a place where the world can’t reach you and judge you: the pages of a journal. I find that introspection is therapy for the soul. When you write down your emotions and thoughts as you feel them or as you mean them, you create a new self. You get rid of all mental blocks and think clearly.

You’ll be surprised of all the answers you can find in your own words. You can be as bold as you like, and no one will be offended.

If you manage to maintain this habit for years, it’s useful to read past entries from time to time to remind yourself how you overcame tough situations. You can also remind yourself what things made you happy at a certain point and retake them.

What do you think?

 

Opinions that matter

The other day, I came across this post on Twitter:

This short video contains a piece of advice that is truly thought-provoking. Whose opinions really matter to you? The idea of making a list is brand new to me. I have never considered an initiative like this, and now I see great value in it.

There’s always a small group of people you trust. Whenever you are working on new ideas, you ask them what they think, and you find their feedback useful. You respect them, and they respect you. There’s a reason why their opinions matter.

In a digital world, where anyone can criticize your work mercilessly, you have to learn who to listen to. Not all opinions matter. It’s unfair to let trolls influence your every move and your every thought.

Those whom you trust are the ones that can offer you solid comments. You know you can only expect honesty from them. Listen to them and nurture meaningful conversations.

If you were to start that list right now, how many names would there be on it?

New Year: Planning your progress

The beginning of a new year is one of my favourite seasons. Everybody is genuinely trying to be a better version of themselves. I think this is a noble cause. We can affect our environment a little bit by bringing some positives vibes.

At the same time, we wonder how long we’ll be able to maintain our goals and turn them into a reality. While it’s a long journey that requires a lot of energy, I recommend focusing on solutions rather than resolutions to obtain realistic results.

Here’s a few more thoughts and my list of personal objectives for 2020.

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What mom taught me about writing

Today my mom is coming to visit me. She’s staying for three weeks, and I’m writing these lines as she’s making her way through the airport in Vancouver. Then, she will fly to Calgary.

I’m getting married next month. Her presence, support and guidance means the world to me. There’s a lot of things going on in my life right now. Big and exciting changes are coming my way, and I wouldn’t be able to get through them without her.

I’m thinking this is also the case for writing. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be motivated to be a writer. Here’s four tips she gave me to get started.

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Writing fanfiction: A cure for writer’s block

In my teen years, I used to read a lot of fanfiction about anime characters. I remember spending hours online discovering stories and making sure I reached the final chapter.

A few days ago, I retook this habit and decided to read with different eyes. I realized that fanfiction is a type of creative writing with tremendous potential to cure a case of writer’s block. Here’s why.

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