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My Mission Statement

After I completed my podcast’s, Zoe The Author’s, pilot, I decided that the upcoming episode would be about how to make a mission statement. I thought the best way to preview this episode and to tell you guys a bit more about me would be for me to share my personal mission statement. Please comment your thoughts, and your own mission statements if you have already made one!

I am a well marketed author who produces outstanding work.

I contribute my love and cooperation towards making my family’s household a true home.

I am a prompt student who works hard and takes advantage of school based activities.

I am a loyal and free spirited friend. I cultivate and build my relationships.

I am an adventurer and a seeker of knowledge.

I am a creative problem solver who gives back to the community.

I let go of the expectations and fears I have surrounding romance. I trust myself to organically find what suits me.

I am a teacher of my knowledge and experiences.

I am an interdependent leader.

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Photo from my Instagram: @zoetheauthor

 

 

Blog

How to Define Yourself

Defining yourself begins with acceptance.

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We are all born with different parts and personalities. Some of us are extroverted yet indecisive, while others are quiet yet confident. Many times, these parts and pieces even contradict each other, or are only applicable for very specific situations. Maybe you are usually more of a follower, but when it comes to your science club you take the reigns and step up as a leader.

You have to accept what mental pieces you were born with, for, by disregarding some and trying to replace them with new ones, you are losing the greater image the puzzle of you creates. While you should accept the entirety of yourself, flaws and all, you still have the power the decide how to present yourself.

Once you have accepted whatever lies ahead, read on, and be prepared for a challenge.

Be Alone

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I have seen countless people thrust themselves into relationship after relationship, trying to find their flow while battling against the waves of their partner. Time after time again, these people are faced with messy breakups and feeling lost in their own bodies.

These feelings of confusion and emptiness make total sense. How do you expect to find yourself when you are entangled with another person?

Take some time to step back from all your relationships, may they be romantic, platonic, or otherwise. We can become so suffocated in what everyone else is doing that we end up drifting away from our ideal path.

Being alone is no easy task, and it shows you what you are truly made of. Think of it as training to build up your skills for the real world. Of course, it’s daunting, and you may not always feel like you have the strength to do it, but, remember, diamonds are only made under the most extreme of pressure. Instead of giving in to fear or self doubt, flourish in it, working hard to battle against it so you can be ready for the ups and downs the outside world has to offer.

By honing in on your skills, you can create a concrete image of who you are, one which can withstand the force of other’s intentions.

Know Your Puzzle

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We struggle with finding our ideal career because we have not taken the time to reflect internally. Most times, we focus on what is going on around us, such as on social media, a show or the news.

Two people can have countless conversations together and still know nothing about each other. This is due to both talking about shallow topics as well as the two being uncomfortable with what actually makes them an individual.

You need to learn to stop just absorbing your surroundings and learn to apply yourself to them. In essence, you need to take back your life.

Meditate on your experiences. See what makes you happy, or, at least, what upsets you. Deciding both what peaks your interest and what paths you would like to avoid can help point you in the right direction. You know more about yourself than you think. You just have not taken the time to realize it.

Change your internal narrator

Everyone has a prominent trait they chose, either subconsciously or consciously, to have oversee the rest of their personality and overall actions. Sometimes flaws, instead of your positives, take control during vulnerable times.

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You must learn to combat that negative critic, for they will only lead you to doing actions based on fear. While a healthy dose of fear is always good, too much of it can cause stagnation and a sense of being unfulfilled.

I subdue my overarching negative trait, anxiety, by taking deep breaths in and out, allowing the breath to take away the thoughts empowering its malevolence. Other ways of releasing these feelings include exercise, sleep, art, and patience.

Find Stability

Having a general routine and schedule for the week allows you to feel productive and truly define yourself based on your actions. You get to decide what actions you build into habits, and what routines lead into completing short term goals, and what short term milestones build up to your long term desires.

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The best way I have learned to kick start the day is to wake up early and immediately do some form of exercise. Right now, I am focusing on toning my abs and doing yoga. At night, I spend a mere 10 mins meditating, yet the small sessions have vastly improved my quality of sleep.

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My tips may not suit your personal needs, and that’s okay! This life journey is about you! You have to pick and choose what you take away from this. You have to take the initiative to implement what you learn. It is all about you! My words are under your power, and only have the meaning you assign to them.

Blog

Pantser or Plotter? A Discussion

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***In the spirit of this blog and numerous new life decisions, I have decided to not have a set time for when I will post on my social medias. I want to always put forth my best, and do not want to churn out uninspired content. With that stated, here is the rest of the blog.***

I am, as a heavily Type A personality, a pantser. Even now, these words are forming with only a loose outline. I have, many times before hand, attempted to utilize my strong organizational skills to create novels, such as my previous work in progress, “The Star is a Deadly Weapon”. When I finally trudge through detailing the story’s direction, characters, and world, I found I lacked the motivation to write the actual story. Instead of writing, I spent most of my time looking over my world building and plot notes, apathetically piecing them together.

Alongside “The Star is a Deadly Weapon”, a new idea had been brewing in the back of my mind. It was derived from a past dream (dreams are a great form of inspiration-I would highly recommend keeping a dream diary). The days which followed were filled with me pondering the idea, stretching it out like dough and allowing it to organically expand. Eventually, I caved in to my intuition and took a blind shot at the story. At the time, I did not think much of it. Later, when I began writing the first draft for “The Star is a Deadly Weapon”, I became envious of how fluidly the words sprung forth from the other book, irritated that the protagonist and story for my main work was fighting so hard against me. Logically, I knew my main work should be the easier and more enjoyable write, yet, for some reason, my muse was plotted against me. The tug of war between the left and right sides of my brain was strenuous and clogged my creative process. My anxiety fed off this block. I knew that if I did not change course I would be stuck in a sinking ship. I decided, for once, to trust myself and let blind chance guide me towards my heart. Though I am still uncomfortable in these unfamiliar waters, I know I made the right choice.

Pantser or plotter, there is still something to be learned from letting loose. Do not always feel pressured to rely on order and structure. Forging a path through uncertainty is very liberating. You can cut straight into the activity without delay, and without the pressure of expectations or standards. There is still a need for a balance, of course, and you should eventually form a general map of where you are going. But, at the start, no one knows what they are doing. When you are born, you have no idea what your life will entail. Neither does anyone around you. When your ideas are born, there is great uncertainty for how they will evolve based on your gained experiences, the time you invest into them, and the knowledge you attain surrounding them. Even if, as I mentioned before, you are a plotter, you should not solely rely on your plans. If a major plot point or a piece of world building feels wrong, change it. Change is always difficult at first, but, once the product is complete, it will be worth the effort. Stick with it, but also know what to leave behind.

I would have never expected this blog a day, or a hour ago. It is terrifying, relying on a more sporadic thought pattern. It brings about the same rush and form of terror as a roller coaster ride. Take a deep breath, and be open to creative risks. They will be the safest and most rewarding ones you will ever choose.

Blog

How Journaling Can Improve Your Writing

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As I have described in previous blog posts, I have an extremist personality. This is especially reflective in my journaling journey (that’s a fun tongue twister). Sometimes, I would be able to fill a 100 page composition notebook in a week flat. Other times, I would drag through a small, 80 page notebook for months on end. Though it has been an on and off battle, with my younger self trashing a variety of half finished journals, it has been a rewarding experience. While there are many benefits to journaling, today, I am specifically going to discuss the six ways it has affected my creative writing.

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1. Characterization

As the saying goes, reality tends to be weirder than fiction. In your journals, you will describe numerous people who have the potential to be transformed into engaging characters. Take the foundation of the person, may it be their appearance, actions, or the general emotion they exude, and fill in the rest of the blanks yourself to fit your story. When my written works are more plot driven, it is extremely beneficial to have these real life character “templates” as inspiration.

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2. Writing from the 1st Person

I naturally write from the first person. That’s why I enjoy blogging and making YouTube videos so much. However, I know writing from the first person is not everyone’s strong suit.

Especially if your stories are more plot driven, it can be difficult to get into the mindset of a character and truly live through them. Journaling aids in this dilemma, allowing you to observe and understand someone’s perspective, motives, and growth, even if it is your own.

You would think writing about your own life would be easier than writing about a fictional person’s life, but you are surprisingly wrong. People find it most difficult to truly know themselves, and to realistically analyze and observe their actions and feelings. Once you have lived through your period of self development and discovery, it is easier to go over it again through your story and character, since you are already familiar with the process and its end result.

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3. Writing Practice

If you are already good at characterization and writing from the first person, then use journaling as a general way to practice writing. Journaling is a calm way to flex your writing muscles without straining them through extreme formality. If you are ready to make the jump, I would recommend starting a blog, which is like having a public journal.

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4. Retain Life Experiences

Direct experience supplies you with the most powerful form of knowledge. I discussed this in a previous blog, titled “Experiencing Life as an Author”, and am going to expand upon the ideas mentioned there here.

Without my past journals as reference, I would have been at a lost to how I felt in past moments highlighted in my memoir style poetry collection, “My Heart’s Metamorphosis”.

If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming collection or my in progress science fiction novel, then click on my website’s tab titled “Published Works”.

Also, if you ever become famous, how will someone write your biography without these precious daily entries of your oh so fabulous life?

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5. Brainstorming

Meditating and journaling are similar in the sense that they both clear your mind. One directs you away from your thoughts while the other drains you of them. Personally, it easier for me to put everything out in the open instead of just letting it pass by. Of course, both methods are very effective, and I highly recommend implementing them both.

By clearing your mind through journaling, you become more open to light bulb moments and expansive new ideas that filter directly onto the page after you finish writing about your day.

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6. Reveals your Core as an Author

What you choose to write in your journal shows the prominent or valued parts of your life. This can give you a sense of your identity as an author and what types of themes or ideas you wish to explore through written fiction.

If you tend to write love letters to your crushes or muse over interactions with that attractive person of interest, then you may want to write fictional romance and giving people the same love based experience you desire. It may not be a sure fire way to discover you to your writing nitch, but it can still point you in the right direction and allow you to think critically of what you enjoy writing.

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Conclusion

Journaling is its own unique art form, one which should be implemented by everyone, whether you are an author or not. Nonetheless, the act of keeping a journal has some rather specific appeals to us writerly folk. I hope these tips aid you in your craft. Please comment down below your own thoughts on journaling, and how it has affected you as a writer!

 

Blog

Reminding Myself How to Adult

Introduction

This is a bit off topic from my usual work. However, it was something I needed to write down, more for myself than anything. I still include some “adulting tips” for writing, since that is a career path I wish to pursue.

I may have specified that this is how to “adult”, but, even if you are not an adult, these are handy things to know for now and the future.

Clothing

  1. Iron anything that isn’t polyester, and especially if it is a dress shirt.
  2. Separating dark colored clothing from light colored clothing is annoying but beneficial.
  3. Wear what you want, but remember that even though this shouldn’t be the case, you will be judged by it.
  4. Trying to dress younger usually makes you look older.
  5. What clothes you wear on a daily basis should not be a costume hiding who you truly are.
  6. Jumpsuits are a great way to dress nice and quickly.

General

  1. Living under your means and having extra money to spend on other things is better than living at your means and being unprepared for a sudden financial need.
  2. Insurance is really, really expensive.
  3. One impulse can set you onto an entirely new course with no going back.
  4. It is better to try and fail than to live in complacency. Might as well go out bold and proud!
  5. Not everything is as big of a deal as you make it out to be, especially when it comes to social interactions. Be confident and take a chance. It may be uncomfortable now, but your future self will thank you for it.
  6. Budgeting is your best friend. It helps balance short term desires with long terms ones.
  7. BE PATIENT!
  8. Don’t force something at the wrong time or with the wrong person. Put your intentions out there, do as many steps as you can in the present, and then trust in the future to bring you what you want.
  9. Don’t let your memories be downcasted by anxiety. Most of the time, what we worry about is not that important in the grand scheme of things.

10. There are no set rules to life.

Writing

  1. Stick with your project. Even if you take a break from it, always come back to it. If you can’t persevere through the process, how will you be able to get anything published?
  2. The first time you share your writing is always difficult. Avoid the urge to automatically delete your first social media post, or to dely setting up a writing based online account. Do it quickly and efficiently, like peeling a band aid off.
  3. Keep yourself on track and focused by telling your followers your goals and intentions. It keeps you in check, builds up your confidence, and keeps your audience engaged.
  4. Don’t take on too much at once. Slowly build up your content and don’t be too hard on yourself.
  5. Most importantly, don’t make simple spelling or punctuation errors within your posts! It looks very unprofessional.
Blog

Experiencing Life as a Writer

Before I begin discussing the main topic, I just wanted to apologize for not uploading a blog post this weekend. Since I was busied with other obligations, I had to push it back to Monday. Still, I hope you enjoy the post.

It is an age old stereotype; a highly introverted writer, cooped up in their room, pounding words onto a keyboard for hours at end. If they are not busying themselves with their fictional or nonfiction work, then they are most likely scrolling through social media or watching TV. Of course, not all writers fit such a stereotype, but, from what I have seen of this community, many are an alarmingly close match. I tend to fulfill such a role myself.

The problem many of us run into, especially if you are new writer like me, is a lack of potency, or realness, to our descriptions, plots, and characters. This is not merely due to a limiting vocabulary or a lack of creativity. Instead, it falls mostly on a lack of experience. Not writing experience, but life experience.

I originally heard about this concept through a YouTube video Jenna Moreci made which was dedicated to new writers. Ever since then, I have pondered the idea in the back of my mind.

It makes sense. How can you write a thrilling, romance novelette without having been in a romantic relationship? How can you write about a powerful friendship when you have not had one? I feel like if you can experience it, you should try to. Of course, some things in fiction are unrealistic or even harmful to go out and try to experience, but you should still attempt to research them.

The act of valuing life experience for writing especially hit home for me when I went on a recent vacation which involved scalloping. I had never done such a thing before, and, without the experience, the entire event would have been indescribable.

Before, I never knew what if felt like to jump off a boat and submerge oneself into the murky brown ocean, to hover above the surface with a snorkel, to dive down into the grassy and sandy plains as you retrieve a scallop, its mouth slightly agape with blue eyes.

It would never have crossed my mind to write a short story surrounding the experience, to write a blog post highlighting the event of shooting across the ocean on a boat, with bubbling water swirling around the engines like a fan turned on at high speed.

By opening myself up to new life experiences, I have unlocked newfound knowledge which will serve me well as I continue to embark on my career as an author. Do not let the fear of leaving your comfort zone or of not being a “productive writer” hold you back. Writing is a passion and a major part of your life, but it is not solely your life. After all, if your life only encompassed writing, what would you write about?

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Getting out of a Writing Slump

I already shared some thoughts about this topic through my YouTube channel. However, I had to simplify things while discussing it there due to time restrains.

Now, I can explain more thoroughly the steps I took to get out of this slump.

The reason I am calling this a “writing slump” instead of “writer’s block” is because I was fully capable of writing. My brain is rarely stagnant of thought and creativity (which poses more problems than you think).

Still, this does not make me super-woman. I frequently experience burnouts, and, most of the time, I just don’t feel like writing. What usually causes my lack of passion towards the craft is my fear of not meeting expectations.

I am an all or nothing person. If I cannot write 24/7, 365 days a year, then why bother? I am never going to be truly productive anyway.

I know this thought process sounds irrational read aloud, but, inside my brain, it made perfect sense.

Recently, I have taken a step back and reflected on this philosophy, and realized that my constant need to be at extremes is not healthy. It was hard too admit, but eventually, I came to terms with the fact that I needed to find balance in my life.

Instead of focusing on all the things I shouldn’t do, such as to never watch TV or even glance at the YouTube home screen again, I decided to focus solely on what I wanted to accomplish during the day. I decided that as long as I set realistic goals and worked hard towards them, I could do whatever leisurely or ‘unproductive’ activity my heart desired.

Of course, keep in mind I am not working through any bad habits at the moment, so if you are focusing on changing such things, then I would not recommend directly implementing my advice. This is just what works for me. Nonetheless, I still feel like you should try shifting towards a more positive mindset, focusing on what you are capable of instead of what you are unable to do.

But, if you are in a similar situation and experiencing your own ‘writing slump’, then an app I would recommend to aid you during this venture is “Habiticia”. It is available through your phone.

The app operates similarly to a video game, having you level up with the more tasks you complete, and having your health deteriorate with the more tasks you fail to finish.

There are three different types of tasks. One type are the “Dailies”, which I use the most. “Dailies” are tasks you repeatedly have to do on a set schedule, may that be daily or weekly. Next are “Habits”. These tasks are given a positive and negative sign you can press throughout the day depending on the condition of your habit. Finally, there are the classic “To Do’s”, which are pretty self explanatory.

Overall, the reason for someone falling into a writing slump is very personal. I am merely sharing my experience.

I hope you found my advice helpful or at least entertaining to read. I will upload another blog post about my writing journey this weekend.