You'd think that after 11 years of writing books, I'd be completely free of fear when it comes to putting my writing into a book and share my works with others, who might or might not be supportive of my works. Some can be highly critical.
Well, not completely free of fear.
I did not take any writing classes before, and I've learned on my own how to write my own books; develop my characters, the complexity and simplicity of plots, the structure of the sentences. I am learning by reading a lot of books, and then I am writing a lot to put my theories into practice.
I have met a lot of excellent users of the language (English). But do not be surprised; not all of them have the guts to share their works with the world. While they are really good with their writing, most of whom I had met were (at least, at the time) chasing perfection. I, on the other hand, am learning from my mistakes.
So, how do you write your own book?
There can be many reasons for you to be coming up with your own book. Either to share your wonderful and exciting journeys in life, or you have a deep desire to create your own world like Joanne Kathleen Rowling (Harry Potter).
Write always. It is one of the most obvious methods to improve yourself. Writing is placed ahead of reading simply because you can improve by making mistakes and learn from them. There is no other way around it. Get used to the idea of Introduction, Elaboration and Conclusion. For every piece you are going to produce, follow this sequence. In time, you will be able to write without thinking too much about them, and in time too, they can help improve your writing structure and eventually, style.
Read. You can either stick with one genre or read a thousand different kind of genres. It doesn't matter. It helps that you read and see how the author's style can be adopted into your own.
Don't chase perfection. The problem with English teachers. They are always looking for perfection in their writing, and this will inevitably lead to their works take years to complete, if at all. Just write away, and once you have completed a book, take a few weeks/months rest and start again.
Share. By sharing, you can improve your confidence-level. Every time you share your works with others, you are helping yourself. It doesn't matter if they don't like your work or some people (like your closest friends and family) buy your book to please you and don't read 'em. You've done your part, that's the best part!
If you continue to write and learn to produce your own books one after another, you will soon realize there are a lot of things to share and write about. It doesn't stop with a book. It starts with one.
My journey as a writer has been transformative and rewarding. You should give it a try.
I have disabled the comment space for my blog from now on. I have decided to focus on less and share my works with all of you. For my next posts onward, the point-of-view for the articles will also change. Thank you for your time here.
We are living in a society where we are judged by the accumulated achievements that we have by the time we are 30.
1. By the time you are 30, you're not married; you're a failure.
2. By the time you are 30, you're still going nowhere with your career; you're a failure.
We are so sold by the idea that if we have not achieved anything significant by the time we're 30, we are hopeless, lost and simply give up. No matter what you and I do, it's no good. We're just not good enough for this life.
With the advent of technology and the dissemination of information have become a lot easier and faster, we see young millionaires and billionaires booming and increasing in number every year. We see young couples get married and some of our closest peers have climbed the corporate ladder much faster than we are, all of a sudden we could feel the sense of inferiority closing in.
But did you know that Leonardo da Vinci came up with his masterpiece, The Last Supper when he was 46 years old?
Sometimes, the closest to us can be our greatest downfall. The fact that we feel most comfortable with them, what they think and say out loud can affect our self-confidence. I remember one particular conversation with a very good friend of mine,
"You're writing? Be real, man! You sure you can write? No one can earn a living as a writer where we live, man."
Perhaps if some strangers, you wouldn't care about it. And the we feel most conscious with the passage of time when we think too much about them. We start comparing what we have achieved to theirs, and this is where the sense of failure comes closing in.
By the time we're 30, our friends are married; we are not.
I did not have the confidence to use the language in front of my friends, let alone doing any presentation in front of a large audience.
But I worked really hard for it. I spent thousands of hours writing and reading. These days, I am spending nearly a thousand dollar every year on books because that is the only way I am going to improve. I am not nearly as good as the native speakers today, but I have come a long way since 9 years ago.
I pursued self-publishing because no publishing houses accepted my works. That is part of the setbacks that I have faced in my life, and that is OK.
I worked really hard on the language and in 2009, I was finally able to muster the courage to stand in front of a large audience and presented in English. Later that year, I went to Berlin and spoke to students in English. Over the years, I have become more confident using the language, I have erased the sense of inferiority by working really hard on it.
We will face setbacks from time to time. But remember, it's the attitude that we show after every setback that really shows the world who we really are.
Are we going to succumb to the pressure and concede defeat?
Or are we going to work even harder to achieve our goals?
If you see life as a short-game, then that's a pity. When we can still breathe and muster an abundance of energy to live, there is no excuse for us not to stop trying. Success don't come overnight (except in exceptional cases). For the rest of us, just because the results that have come knocking our doors so far are mediocre, that does not mean we will remain mediocre for the rest of our lives.
It is too easy to be consumed by the overwhelming feeling of defeats, isn't it? We have heard it many times, the best way to move forward is by learning from our mistakes.
I've experienced my fair share of that bitter taste of life, and I'd be lying if I say those defeats in the past have not left their marks on me.
Let me share with you how dark my life was then:
The Four Poisons
Overslept: I slept throughout the day, and spent many nights just lazying around, not motivated to do anything to improve my situation. Slowly, I knew even back then, that routine was sapping the life out of me.
Weight-Gain: There was a time, when I was not working for anyone and I spent a considerable amount of time at home, I gained more than 5 KG. I was very unhealthy. I was sick.
Depressed: I was depressed. I could see darkness everywhere, I didn't know where to go and what to do. "How the hell am I going to live a good life like everyone else?"
Away From The World: And with the failures, I began to shy away from the world. I could not look at anyone. I was too ashamed of myself. My self-esteem was at its lowest and I didn't know if I could carry on...
Someone once told me, the biggest obstacle that could stop from moving anywhere is the person that I look at in the mirror every morning.
Pull yourself together and be someone that is bold enough to say: I am not stopping myself. What is currently happening to me? Everything, once upon a time, seemed bright and everything felt like they were in place for us to be successful. And yet, I have lost everything. I am lost. I have been...defeated.
I sleep at night, when I don't have to worry about what people think of me. I have fallen into the failure pits too many times, lying in bed in fear and I thought life was at the end-that I am destined for failures for the rest of my life.
Where have I been?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
But, It's Not Over
Of course not. It is NOT OVER until the day comes when I breathe my final breath. I was not born into a rich, wealthy family. I didn't enjoy the privilege some men were born with. I know if I want to achieve something that I want very much, I have to work very hard for it.
I am looking at my life, looking at what I have produced, asking myself 'is my life giving what I want', am I learning something different, am I living my purpose, am I challenging myself...or am I a born failure?
I keep on asking questions. Questions that I would not feel comfortable answering during a job interview. Those painful honest questions that I have to ask myself from time to time, to remind me who I am, what I need to do and who I want to be eventually.
Probably you can connect to how I felt at the time. You probably feel you are at your worst place in life. You feel miserable. You feel like quitting. You sleep in fear.
Then, follow my lead.
Start admitting the problems you are facing right now. Don't hide away. You have no one to impress, you have no one to worry about right now. It's just you and you. There is no body else. You cannot afford to lie to yourself.
Therefore, start asking yourself: what are the problems you are currently facing?
And tell yourself this: you have failed (God knows, you've tried your very best and yet, still you cannot win) and you are on the ground. But what is going to happen if in your own soul you remain defeated, unable to gather the courage to get up to face the world on another day?
If Life Knocks You Down, get up again by not giving up. You get up over and over again. You will not stop trying until you are victorious! Keep telling yourself this.
You could say, it is easier said than done. But I have been there. It's dark and I hated the feeling so much so that not once, nor twice but many times, I thought of committing suicide.
But what will I gain?
By admitting defeat too soon too easily, I would have declared to the world that I really was born to be a failure.
And I am not going to let Life win that easily. Never. If I am going to lose this battle, then I am going to fucking fight for my place in this world.
You Are A Fighter
Someone who grows in adversity and manage to come through will become successfully, eventually. No force in the world can stop you if you keep on fighting hard for the thing you want.
It is very easy for let others to define us and make us feel very little and inferior. These days, I don't care how good I was in the past or what I have accomplished before. They are in the past. But today is my present and I have yet to live to see it through completely.
I have decided firmly that I am going to get back up. I am a fighter. I have promised myself that all these challenges and failures would only make me stronger. Because deep down, I am a fighter. I don't care what other people might think of me. They don't decide the path that I am going to take from here onward.
That power, is still and will always be in my hands.
It's part of being a fan of the game. Sometimes you're at the top, and a week later, you feel horrible on your drive home. Last week (for Game Week 5), my team had beaten Queens Park Rangers and I could not hide my pleasure at seeing my team playing with so much flare and energy. Last season was painful and bitter to swallow, yet I was not as angry and disappointed tonight like last season.
Under the tenure of the hopeless David Moyes, the team that I have been supporting all my life was lifeless and not much efforts were put in to make a comeback. It would have been a much easier ride had they put a more Fergie-style of play. Yet, Moyes was able to bring down a Champion to play a boring, long-ball football throughout the season...yes, throughout the season.
Perhaps the players were to be blamed too. But it was down to the "Chosen One" to play out the tactics and according to Ferdinand in his new autobiography, apparently Moyes only played how not to lose matches, rather than win 'em.
That is outright scandalous.
Ever since Louis Van Gaal, the former Holland coach had taken over, things had improved dramatically. I could see their play become more positive and although there were draws and two lost since the start of the season, it was much easier to swallow. At least, Van Gaal seems to be a man who knows what he wants and what he wants to achieve. Moyes, however, was not.
Last week, the team was impressive. But tonight, they were robbed by the referee. Here they are:
Point A: Over the line?
Point B: Did the referee do anything about this?
Point C: I've watched thousands of football matches, and this is an outright foul. Mark, you disgust me!
This bully played it dirty. Just you wait till you come to Old Trafford. Just a few seconds before he won the penalty by falling like a sissy, he had pushed (No, that's not it)...rather, he had assaulted Rafael and there was no free-kick called for that. Blasphemous!
Even so, I'm not blaming the entire collapse on Mark Clattenburg, the referee. The Red Devils were too sloppy with their passing after the penalty, ergo it became the stepping stone for Leicester to overturn the match's outcome.
I was left fuming after the game. But as with all the matches that the team had lost before, I prefer to search for the positive notes instead.
United’s players reacted angrily after referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the first spot-kick for Rafael's foul on Jamie Vardy in the box.
The Foxes striker appeared to barge Rafael off the ball in the build-up and Rooney questioned Clattenburg's decision.
“I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said. “I think it is very harsh but referees nowadays have got a very difficult job to do – we understand that.
“Mark (Clattenburg) had to make a decision on the spot of what he felt was right and we have to respect that.”
Positive Three: Goals start.
Even for Van Persie. And the goals came from Midfield too. A huge plus!
But some areas of the team require more works. The attacks look impressive at the moment, but:
Area One: Blackett will grow
Area Two: Rojo needs time, and Shaw needs to play
Area Three: Possession under pressure
Next week, for Game Week #7, it's against West Ham at Old Trafford. Knowing full well (based on his records) that Van Gaal isn't the type to concede easily, he'll bring the team to their feet again. He did say the first three months are the hardest.
How The Future Can Destroy You & What To Do About It?
by Clive Einstein
I'm nearly 27 and I have my fair share of mistakes that I've (fortunately) made in my life thus far. I am fortunate that those mistakes that I've done were committed; had I not, I would not have learned much about the simplicity of life really.
Life is Simple...
Had I not dared myself to start writing at the age of fifteen and brave enough to submit my works to several book agents and publishing houses, I would have not discovered the thrill and beauty of writing. Had I not dared myself to speak in front of a large audience, I would not have met the great people that are still with me today. Had I not dared myself to embark on an entrepreneurial journey right after college, I would not have discovered my strengths and weaknesses. You see, I was too eager to plan for the future and live the future, I had forgotten to live the present. Even today. In my attempt to escape the harsh reality of life today, I look to the future. I kept on telling myself that 'I still have tomorrow'. As much as the past can be a poisonous disease that eats us slowly, focusing too much on the future can be even more fatal. For we have gone through the past, but the future isn't here yet. What we do have is here and now. I wrote in my previous article that two of my friends had died before they can fully realize their ambitions, and it was a wake-up call for me, personally. I would be lying if I say I have consciously lived my presents, but with that thought at the back of my mind, I am more consciously aware of living the present than focusing too much on what isn't here yet.
I am learning appreciate everything that's going on around me, taking in as much as possible. Here are some of the things I have consciously done so far: Travel. When was the last time you had a trip with the people you love and care about, and not being too worried to take pictures and put them on Instagram? Dinner. When was the last time you did not take out your phone while at the dinner table with your friends/ family? Yes. When was the last time you said YES to a gathering or a trip with the people you care about? These are some of the little things that made such a big difference in my life, and hopefully you'll be able to find your own unique spots.
Probably some religious dudes will come and tell me that death is normal, and it is inevitable. I've seen enough to know death is inevitable. Everyone will return to the earth from whence they came.
I've had a good run so far, and I'm not planning to take it slow for the next few years. I thought about death more than I could count. It's beginning to look like "oh another one is gone". In fact, I couldn't remember the last time I cried during a funeral. Don't think, for a second, I'm not sad for their passing- I had had good times with my late grandmother, but still, no tears could trickle down my cheek when I saw her motionless body lying in the coffin. If I force them, wouldn't I look like a hypocrite instead?
So no, I don't cry during funeral.
How exactly do I get motivated by death? It comes rather naturally though.
Here's what I've been learning:
1. Anytime, Anywhere
Oh yes, God does that. The friend that I had lost to the car crash, told me how excited she was about this, and that-there were plenty of things written on her calendar. But, oh well, it wasn't meant to be in the end.
The fact that death can come at anytime, and anywhere got me constantly on my toes. I'm trying very hard to capture the moments whenever I'm with those people I love.
The next time you're hanging out with your best buddies and family, don't rush 'em. Slow down for a sec, and spend as much time as you can. Go on and tell your favorite stories, the good and bad times you've had together.
2. Plan for TODAY, not TOMORROW.
'Uh Mike, maybe not today. Probably next month', said Alicia when Sarah invited her for a get-together at the mall.
You've heard it many times before, live today as though it is your last. Amen to that. Th best evergreen advice.
If there really is nothing that important in your calendar, don't delay what you can do right now, at this moment. You'll thank yourself for that later on.
3. They've moved on
I'm really an Agnostic really, so I'd like to think that there is life after death after all. I prefer to look at this death business is just part of the grand scheme of things.
Probably that explains the last time I cried during a funeral was 19 years ago. I was seven, then.
You could argue I might be wrong in my view of God, life and death. But that will, hopefully (and I'm technically contradicting myself in delaying it for another day) I'll elaborate more on God in my next post. However, to put the record straight-I might die and end up in heaven or hell, depending on how much good I've brought to this world. Or I might be dead, and well...be dead. Perhaps there is God after all, a Supreme Being watching over us all. Or perhaps there isn't. I'd like to believe the former though. It's much more comforting.
There are a lot of ways you can be motivated by death, really. One way to look at it, don't be too obsessed about being remembered after death. Remember Julius Caesar? He wanted people to remember him even in death, even after two thousand years had passed and still, we talk about him. But does he know though? Perhaps his skeleton will be moved in the grave...perhaps.
Don't worry too much about it. It's coming, but who knows when. For now, there's ice-cream.
Clive Einstein is the Rebellious Entrepreneur who spends 8 hours writing (almost) every day. He blogs most of the time, a Martial Arts practitioner of Karate-Do and Taekwando and he is a self-published author with two books under his belt. Currently, he's working on his latest book of the World Of Gordana, started watching Games of Throne and trying to end the Forever-Alone Journey as a Single Man in the world., You can find him on Google+.
His father adopted "Einstein" for his name and that's why he chose Einstein's quote to be shared here:
"God may be subtle in His works,but He does not play dice with our lives"
Book Author.Entrepreneur.CEO of FollowMeJourney. Bookworm.Hopeless Romantic.Check more about me in About.
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.