change goals

Shifting focus, ever so slightly…

Warrington College of Business at the Universi...Image via Wikipedia

A quick little note before I head out for an eventful Friday–

This week has been an off-week for my writing. I had a lot of momentum, motivation, inspiration, what-have-you last week and was pounding out stories and feeling rejuvenated reading my drafts. This week, lost that steam as I came to the realization of how I must prepare for my GMAT preparation class coming up in a week and a half. Sigh. Here comes along a slight obstacle in the flow of my writing, but I know it is necessary for me to focus on these classes since I want to improve my GMAT score to get into business school for next year.

Yes, I like being in both worlds, of business and creativity. I suppose they go hand-in-hand in many ways, but the common thread of thought seems to be that people “can’t” be both. Oh, but then again, who wants to be one-dimensional?

There will always be periods of ups-and-downs, but I know I gotta work through it all with the same amount of strength and courage. Onward towards another holiday weekend! I hope you all enjoy Independence Day (if you’re in the US, of course). Have a good one and see you again on Tuesday!

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#amreading goals Internet life project reading the3six5 time

First Third, 2010.

There’s still a week left in April, but still: last night, I came to the realization that the year is almost already a third over. The time that has passed this year–it’s hard to believe how it stays in motion and that the dark period of time continues to edge further and further away.

I’ve been reviewing my journals from the last half of 2009 and I realize that, although many things change externally and internally, a lot of my thoughts stay constant. The goals I had mapped out for this year have been derailed by that unfortunate period of time, but slowly, I’m picking myself back up.

On Monday, I found myself perusing the public library and scooping up a few more books on writing. I can never get enough of these kinds of books; I’m always looking to read and learn more, to hone my craft. Writing has been dormant lately, at least creatively. Sure, I’m drafting emails and meeting minutes at work, but that’s just stating the facts. Reminds me of my days in high school when I wrote articles for the school paper.

In a few days, I’ll be leaving my mark on the3six5 Project, and I continue to feel in disbelief that my time to write my entry for the project has snuck up on me so quickly. I remember when I signed up to be a writer for the project (late last year) that I was already envisioning what I would write on April 24; I had many plans and dreams to build up to that point in time back in December. Now, I see that all those plans I had will not be written about, at least not this year. There are different things happening instead.

Life continues to amaze me with the twists and turns that come my way. Reading my journals has been like reading a suspenseful novel; didn’t know things would turn out this way, but I’ll still persevere. I’m alive today, and I’m truly thankful for that.

goals life Novel 1 Year in Review

2009 Reflections & 2010 Goals

I might as well write my “remembering 2009” entry now, as I may not have much time to reflect during the last days of the year. I’m currently far away from a place I used to call home, and I’ve been contemplating a lot about what this next year, 2010, has in store for me.

This year has been a good year for me, writing-wise, but of course, with any progress, there’s always a few steps taken backwards as well. I launched my domain,, earlier this year to be ambitious about my writing, to get the word out. The website has drawn a decent number of viewings, but I admit that it’s pretty plain in terms of design. I’ve posted short stories on my website and through other outlets such as Scribd and GoodReads; was featured on Scribd for my story, “From Riches to Rags”, which really helped my online presence. Later in the year, I was featured on the “i live here:SF” project. I’d say these two instances were great accomplishments through the online world.

Aside from these recognitions, I’ve also kept myself busy online with contributions to Muni Diaries, blogging on “Cinnamon Juice” (my food blog; currently on hiatus), and writing reviews on Yelp!. I’d say indeed that it has been a busy year on the Internet for myself.

In terms of my writing progress: I began 2009 with a lot of vigor for editing and revising my first novel. However, as is typical of some writers, I began to get distracted with other projects (writing and non-writing related), and have put my editing on hold. I hit a dry spot in inspiration early in the year, and attempted to muster up that Muse through writing exercises found in books. I’ve written a few short stories through online prompts and daily observations, but have yet to get around to finalizing the stories for public reading. NaNoWriMo this year was difficult for me, as November was a really trying time for myself in my personal life. My novel is still unfinished, but I do not feel as sad about it as I thought I would; I understand sometimes that other priorities must take place in my life, and that, sadly, my writing has to take a backseat when it comes to these other priorities.

Do I regret not writing as much, not featuring as much, from this year? No. Life happens, and, as much as I’d like to focus more on my writing, I understand that I have other dreams and goals that must take my full concentration at times. I already have some plans for 2010 though:

  1. Really, seriously, edit and revise Novel 1 and get it ready for agents. Out of all the first drafts I have written so far, Novel 1 is the most promising for the public. The other novels are still promising as well, but they have a lot of kinks that I need to work out over time. However, ever since writing Novel 1 two years ago, the plot still holds onto me as I think about the story and how it unfolded when I first pounded out that draft. I had begun the process of editing/revising earlier this year, and I had hoped to have the book ready for agents before June. As we all know now, that didn’t happen; I will seriously focus on getting this draft ready by April 2010 at the latest. I’ll track my progress here so you all can keep me on track.
  2. Write/Edit/Revise/Post one short story per month (12 all year). It seems like too little, but it’d actually be a lot for me to do this. It’ll be something to look forward to each month, right?

There will be more goals along the way as the year starts out; for now, I hope you, my readers, will keep these two in mind and help keep me on track.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful end-of-2009 and many great things in 2010.

#amreading challenge community goals Novel 1 Novel 2 Novel 3


I was MIA this past month due to a slew of events: family visiting, new projects at work, and, simply, the continuing Writer’s Block. I didn’t complete Writo de Mayo again; I probably quit earlier this year than last year due to the unforeseen busy weeks in May.

However, this past week I have been trying to get myself back into writing again with some exercises from The Pocket Muse. It’s a good change of pace from reading all the reference/self-help books I’d read in the past month; after awhile, my mind turns to mush if I read too much of similar material. I need to get back to reading fiction again.

This next week, I anticipate finally printing out the first drafts of Novels 2 & 3, Dark Prayer’s Song and Time Abroad. I’ve also revisited my plot for Novel 1, Writing the Past, and realize that probably part of the reason why I’ve avoided revising the novel is because I’m still a little iffy over the restructured plot.

Slowly, but surely, things will get done.

#amreading goals photography Work in Progress

Too many goals? & Author Photos

This past weekend I took some time off from the Internet and a lot of things that might have been keeping me stressed. It felt so nice to relax a bit and not think about things that I “needed” to do. I spent all of Saturday just reading and working out to my Wii games. Sometimes it’s best to just slow down and relax, enjoy the present.

I’ve been reading a couple of self-help books lately, and one line from Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover has struck a chord with me: to successfully accomplish something, one must have focus and take small steps at a time. It’s not the exact wording of the phrase, but that’s the general idea. It’s stayed on my mind for a couple of days because it has made me wonder if the reason why I haven’t made much strides in my writing projects is because I haven’t had focus. I’ve set out a lot of goals for myself in the field of writing, and a lot of them I’ve been attempting to work at simultaneously, e.g., finishing the first draft of Novel 4 and rewriting Novel 1. Aside from those two big goals, I’ve had smaller goals as well: blog daily in each of my blogs (three of them!), write reviews on Yelp! as often as possible, and so on. The smaller goals have become more habitual just because they are daily things for me; however, even with those, I have fallen behind.

It’s probably due to the fact that I keep just giving a little progress into each area, so it feels slow and frustrating right now. I wonder if I should reduce the amount of goals I have and try to just focus on one. What is more important to me right now?

In other news, late last week I finally received my author photos from NaNoWriMo‘s “Night of Writing Dangerously”. I had nearly forgotten about those photos until I saw the email in my inbox; they were initially supposed to be ready by February, but they probably got backlogged in their work. No worries; I was still glad to see the high-quality pictures. I’ll be posting them up on my website and my profiles as soon as I crop them down a little (they are very large files). I think it’s time to update my author photos anyway; haven’t updated in awhile! The pink jacket can only hold the audience’s attention for so long.

Here’s to (hopefully) a productive week ahead.