create and grow happily

Tag: Writing (page 1 of 2)

What To Do When You Have Zero Inspiration to Write

We’ve all been there. Cracked some knuckles, poised yourself for the shot and hit the ball rolling. And then the ball skidded to a full stop. Stuck and unable to move.

Inspiration to write? Zero.

Quite an erratic thing, inspiration. It comes and goes as it pleases. Which is why heavily depending on it is a big no-no. Especially if you’re like me and you want to build consistency in your blog or writing project. You need routine and a failsafe system.

And when inspiration suddenly slips away from underneath you, you need a backup plan.

Have no inspiration to write? Read on for 5 things to try when you have zero inspiration. #content #writing

1) Change Your Environment

If you’ve been holed up in your room for more than two hours trying to finish that first draft on your laptop, that’s basically your brain telling you, “I’m tired. I need a change of scenery.”

We can only take so much inspiration to write from one place. And I’m not just saying this for show. Our brains need constant stimulation to work – particularly when it’s doing creative work. The more we stay in one place, the less the stimulation our brain gets from it. For the brain, it’s been sensing the same things for hours. This is why we need go to someplace new. The new surroundings will surely recharge your brain in minutes.

2) Read, read, read

As a fully-fledged bookworm, I am all for reading. Leisure reading, academic reading, reading blogs, reading the back labels of products… I love all of it. If I could, I’d read like twelve stuff all at once.

But anyway. Reading is also great for reviving inspiration, yo!

And you don’t have to read a whole book too! There have been plenty of times when I become inspired just from scrolling through Twitter, or reading on someone else’s comment section.

One of the many awesome things your brain could do is take in information – any information – and process it and create lots of data just from that one piece of information. Our brains are literally biological supercomputers!

3) Bore yourself out

Did you know that boredom is deeply connected with creativity?

Yes, you with your eyebrow skeptically raised. It’s true. Plenty of studies have shown that boredom is a key ingredient to creativity. I actually listed down some of these said studies in this post about boredom and creativity.

But the gist of it is this: When we’re bored, our brain goes into Incubation Mode. This also happens when we’re in a shower or sitting in a car in the middle of a heavy traffic. It’s when our mind wanders, sifting through one thought after another. That’s when inspiration to write — or any kind of inspiration, for that matter — is born.

Also, if you’re still skeptical with this whole boredom and creativity connection, Chris of McAdventure blog also has a blog post all about how boredom relates to creativity.

Do you have zero inspiration to write? Yeah, we've all been there. Click on the pin for 5 things you can try when this happens. #blogging

4) Take a break

I feel like in this Hustle Generation, pausing for a while just isn’t an option. Think about it. Do you know any person who hustles so hard, they forget time to take a break? I bet you do. And I bet you know more than one person.

In my household alone, I know three and I’m one of them.

The problem is, we’re brain-abusers. We try to squeeze out every ounce and make use of every neuron of the three-pound lump inside our skull. We try to cram in our day with as much tasks as we can manage to accomplish.

But see, here’s the thing:

Even our brains need downtime. It needs to rest and recover before tackling on another task. This is why adding in white space into your life is important. Even a thirty-minute break in between tasks goes a long way!

Becoming inspired is important in finishing that first draft, be it a first draft of a blog post or a novel. And your brain is right there at the dead center of it all. Take care of your brain, and you’ll surely slay that first draft!

5) Brainstorm with a friend

If you’re really stuck at a creative dead end, then you can always ask a friend to help you brainstorm. I highly recommend asking for a friend who gets it.

Like, if you’re stuck in writing a blog post, seek help from your blogger buddy. If you need help with worldbuilding, call your writer friend. These friends are much more empathetic with your creative woes than, say, your mom. (Though it doesn’t hurt to ask your mom for help too!)

Remember, it is definitely okay to ask for help, especially when you desperately need it.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What do YOU do when you have zero inspiration to write? Share your sage wisdom in the comments below!

XX Kate

Photo from Wonderlass

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What can you do when you have zero inspiration to write? Read on for five things you can try.

Four Blog Writing Lessons I Learned in Four Years

When you’ve been blogging for long enough, you tend to create routines. You have little systems in place that you’ve developed over time. It makes the entire blog writing experience less stressful.

I’ve learned so many things in the four years that I’ve been blogging. And I realize I rarely talk about them on here. So today, I want to highlight on my blog writing journey and the lessons I learned along the way.

My Writing Voice Metamorphosis: From Cynical Caterpillar to a Better Butterfly

I was one of those early teens in the internet who is angry at the world 24/7. Shocking, isn’t it? But it’s true.

My username was literally Cynical Kate or something. I know it’s hard to imagine now since my personal brand, and by extension my blog’s brand, is spreading positivity and love. (Create and grow happily, yes?)

But that’s my origin story as a blogger and writer.

Somewhere along the way, I realized how emotionally taxing it is to be angry all the time. My fingers tapping onto the keys could sometimes feel more like slamming doors after doors. And I know there are people who thrive in that energy, but I’ve come to find out I wasn’t one of them. I found that there is, on the other hand, so much joy in writing with a happy vibe.

So I did.

Finding the Right Blog Writing Voice

Writing with the right happy vibe was a journey in itself, though. A sub-plot, if you must. I’ve been that blogger who uses lots of exclamation points and making words suuuper looong. I have used gifs and memes. I’ve abused the capslock and emojis.

And while there are also bloggers who are so natural at this, writing this way didn’t feel normal to me. It felt inauthentic and forced.

I didn’t feel like myself.

It wasn’t until I first stumbled upon the Yes and Yes blog that I found inspiration and clarity. I LOVE the way Sarah writes. It’s like your best friend talking to you and the way she put in humor and stories in her post are clever.

That’s the kind of happy vibe I want. Like your funny and clever best friend talking to you.

That, plus my love for analogies – that would go so far as comparing getting past obstacles to a chicken – and adding pop culture references, is my current writing voice.

So what did I take away from those four years of searching for my writing voice?

Blogging for four years meant I've learned plenty of blog-related things. Here are the four biggest blog writing lessons I learned in four years.

1) Read as much as you can

This isn’t just me being a bookworm and promoting the beauty and importance of reading. (Although, I’m all for that!) But seriously. To improve as a writer you have to read.

There’s only so much you know and ideas you can come up on your own. I know this because I myself don’t have lots of mindblowing ideas coming out of my brain everyday like how scrabble relates to not giving up on life. I need outside perspective too.

And when I say read a lot, I’m not pressuring you to read 300-page novels either. You can read an online essay on Longreads, or scroll through an article on Medium. Heck, even reading a comment in one of the Facebook groups you’re in goes a long way.

2) You are an important part of the writing equation

You know how most blogging advice on writing a good blog post centers on what your readers like?

Well, that’s true. But I don’t think it’s the entire truth. What your readers like to get from reading your blog is important, sure. But you also need to consider what you like to write.

Think about it:

If you forced yourself to write something that your readers like but you don’t quite enjoy writing, what do you think would happen? The post will come out unnatural and inauthentic. And your readers will sense this.

Blogging for four years meant I've learned plenty of blog-related things. Here are the four biggest blog writing lessons I learned in four years.
Blogging for four years meant I've learned plenty of blog-related things. Here are the four biggest blog writing lessons I learned in four years.

Format how you like to format your posts. Make use of lists. If you like long paragraphs, don’t be afraid to use them! One way to be authentic online is through doing what you prefer. It’s honestly more enjoyable to read a blog post that’s so real. I talked more extensively about writing a great blog post on the Blog Buddy Program website, if you want to check it out!

3) Learn how to balance self-acceptance and self-improvement

There’s room for improvement but there’s also lots to love about your writing now. This is something I struggled in my first year blogging.

I always thought my writing sucked. I had the habit of publishing impulsively and then reading back what I already published and finding flaws that I edit right then. And I would spend hours doing this. Looking back, that was such a perfectionist Kate thing to do. But it was also very counterproductive.

I talked about this before:

When you choose perfect over finish, you leave zero room for improvement.

Spending so much time trying to fix your work will end up in you getting stuck on doing only that one thing, for-freakin-ever. I’m all for editing, but you need to give it an end time.

4) Finding your writing voice takes time

It could take months or, in my case, years to find and develop your writing voice.

This isn’t to say that your writing right now is awful — not at all! It just means that you aren’t there yet. You aren’t in that place you wanted to be yet. The way I see it, it’s kinda like how an artist’s skill develops and progresses over time.

In fact, both writers and artists (and all kinds of creatives, really) follow the same creative principle: improvement requires hours and hours of practice. This is why it’s important to show up and write stuff and finish writing said stuff. It’s how you improve as a writer.

Remember: even the masters were once novices.

We all have to start somewhere. And really, the only other way to go is up. So enjoy where you are right now. Relish in the things you are proud of, and be excited for a better you ahead. Because there will be a better you ahead. I know it.

Blogging for four years meant I've learned plenty of blog-related things. Here are the four biggest blog writing lessons I learned in four years.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

What are some blog writing tips you’ve learned so far in your blogging journey? Share them below!

xx Kate

In another news, November 14th marks the day this smol blog was born. Which means I’ve been around the blogosphere for 4 years. Which is, like, a century in Internet Days and therefore I am a certified virtual crone.

This little corner of the Interwebs that I call home has gone through so many phases — and I’m sure it will continue to do so. But I never expected my blog to become so important to me. Yet in a way, it had a huge part in making me who I am now.

Gosh, I’m getting sentimental.

Anyway.

As a thank you to all you amazing human beings who made blogging an incredibly enjoyable experience, I’m having my 2nd Blog Birthday Giveaway!

Here’s what’s in store for this year’s blog birthday giveaway:

  • 1 winner of a $25USD Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 winner of a full-color illustration (A5 size, 300 dpi)
  • 2 winners of a watercolor portrait with minimal background (A5 size, 300 dpi)

I will be sending all these digitally, though, as I have yet to figure out my country’s mailing system. This giveaway is open internationally and I will be picking out the four winners on December 2, 2018. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 Reasons Why You Should Try Free Writing

In case it hasn’t been obvious, I love writing.

Whether it’s writing about my angst-filled days as an early teen or this one scene I came up where a twelve-year-old girl and an ancient dragon bickered if that huge grey thing is a boulder or Big Bird, writing was, and still is, a great way for me to channel my creativity into something.

But free writing.

Oh boy. That is a deeper and more intimate way in which writing has changed my life.

Good ol’ Wikipedia calls it a prewriting technique in which you disregard spelling, grammar, or topic.

I’ve always thought of it as like freestyle rap, except you’re just writing. (Freakin-genius in English, aren’t I?)

But anyway.

I have relied on it a lot in different aspects of my life this year. Which is why I’ve set myself up into convincing anyone who doesn’t free write to do it. Because I think it might just change yours too 😉

6 REASONS WHY FREE WRITING IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE

1. You Get to Organize Your Thoughts

I’m the kind of person who has 1,498,257 thoughts running on my mind every second. It can be pretty overwhelming. Like I just can NOT concentrate on doing anything else.

Does that sound like you too?

Does it feel like your mind is this browser with dozens of tabs opened simultaneously and it’s like you, the entire computer, is lagging constantly because how the heck are you going to process all of these???

Is that you?

Alright. Try free writing.

Free writing might just help you organize, even just a little bit, all those thoughts you are on the verge of drowning into. It totally helped me.

When I free write, I have this feeling of gradually letting thought after thought out of my brain. Putting one word after another is like closing those tabs one by one until you have just enough that you can focus on at the moment.

It is incredibly freeing and isn’t that nice? Because it’s called free writing! See what I did there? 😀 (I am so not funny)

2. It Makes You a Better Writer

Free writing helps you put thoughts into words well, right? So it also helps you become a better writer.

I mean, for one thing, it is not called a prewriting technique for show. But like any skill, writing something engaging and compelling takes lots of practice and actually doing some writing. Kristina wrote that it helped her write as many as 1,000 words in 15 minutes.

Let that sink in for a sec. 1,000 words in fifteen. freaking. minutes.

Totally amazing, right??

But free writing doesn’t just help you in the practice aspect of becoming a better writer. Free writing also helps you get into The Flow™. Or The Zone™. Or The Groove™. Whatever floats your boat.

This is when you feel fully immersed and focused on whatever activity you’re doing.

And yes, free writing can help you go to that state of mind while writing. Simply because practicing it helps you to take away compulsive self-analyzing. You might or might not get anything substantial from what you’ve free written. But you cannot forego the fact that it is a great way to flex your writing muscles and, you know, do writing warm-ups.

3. It is Actually Fun!

Sure, maybe that compulsive editor inside of you doesn’t like being in the process of free writing. BUT! Finishing that first draft of a blog post and reading through all of the grammatical errors and typos afterwards?

PROOFREADING HEAVEN.

Which, in my compulsive editor’s view, equals F-U-N.

How else is free writing fun? I’m so glad you asked.

<3 Reading old stuff you free wrote. Do you laugh at how awkward and overdramatic you are in your old diary entries or is that just me?

<3 Knowing you can write better now compared to X years ago. Boost your self-confidence yo!

<3 You don’t have to restrain yourself and overthink every-freakin-thing (which, let’s all agree, dampens the fun out of writing)

4. It is Good for Your Sanity

There has been plenty of research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience on the importance of free writing. And it is also used in counseling and therapy.

I mean. Hello, journalling?

If you’ve read plenty of self-care posts like I have, you’d know journalling is in there at the top of the how to self-care lists. And that is basically one of the best ways to incorporate free writing into your life.

Here are some other ways free writing can be good for your sanity:

+ It’s kind of an art therapy (which we’ll discuss further later)

+ It helps you put jumbled thoughts and emotions into words (as mentioned above) which is great for self-reflection and your mental health.

+ It tires you and that’s kinda like exercise for your arm (and I dunno, for some reason I like good exhaustions. Don’t you?)

+ It’s better than breaking plates and punching a hole on your wall. I mean, you could always write about punching a hole or maybe even turning into a dragon and burning down the next village over and look! No one in real life got physically hurt! Win-win. (Except for those poor villagers. May they rest in peace.)

5. You Become More Productive (writing-wise)

One thing I’ve heard and read a lot on conquering that Horrible First Draft™ is to write now, edit later. Which, I just learned, is an excellent advice for any type of writing; from novels to poetry to technical…and even blog writing.

Practicing free writing can help you from experiencing what Ignited Moth’s post inspired me to call, The Backspace Syndrome. You know, like that backspace key is so tempting to use and you edit and delete as you go? You ever had that?

Hey me too!

So when I feel like the backspace urge is too strong as I’m writing a blog post, I either resort to writing by hand or typing it on my tablet where the urge is usually not that strong and free writing comes more naturally.

End result? I have a finished first draft of blog post! Needs a lot of editing. For sure. But it’s more than a rough outline and I’ve got thoughts and ideas down that only need a bit of refining.

6. Free Writing is Therapeutic

Free writing helps me sort out things that have been on my mind. It’s rather comforting, you know.

Gosh, there were times when free writing became incredibly emotional for me. But, in a way, it was also (well here it is again) freeing. It was just me introspecting and untangling some of my thoughts. Even for just a bit. Like I don’t have to untangle everything, and I usually don’t. But what relatively little that I get untangled and sorted out, is big enough so as to make my life just a bit more bearable.

And that’s honestly what I love the most about free writing.

Do you free write? If so, how has it helped you? Do you have the Backspace Syndrome too? Do you binge-watch TED talk videos like yours truly? Tell me all!!!

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PS: If you enjoyed this post, you might like to learn 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. Just putting it out there 😉

(Photos used from Kaboompics and Pixabay respectively)

My Two Cents on Failure (+ How to Deal With It)

Note: This post was something I first wrote and published nearly a year ago. Having read it now, I realized how much it still resonates to me to this day. I’ve edited a bit of the post and added some things but the point still remains the same. Enjoy! 🙂


In this success-driven world that we live in, failure is something we’d rather not experience. (Like at all, please??)

It’s something embedded into our minds as early as when we were kids. We don’t like seeing the red marks on our paper because our parents don’t, right? We spray away failure like we spray away mosquitoes.

But something surprised me when I Googled ‘failure’ for this post. I was immediately bombarded by links with the same theme:

It’s amazing how the idea had spread over every industry like a wildfire. But it had the most tremendous impact in the competitive fields of business and arts. You’ve seen and read the success stories. And they all have that same format.

“I’ve had 10 failed projects in my career… BEFORE BUILDING MY MILLION-DOLLAR ONE!”

“My 499th audition gave me my big break!”

“After 18 years of searching, I’ve finally proven the existence of unicorns!*”

This tells us that persistence will pay off. And that’s great! It motivates people not to be disheartened when you fail. Besides, failure is needed for us to thrive. It’s a core ingredient in trial-and-error. And it lets us know what not to do to be successful.

However, this “failure is the secret to success” bit can also further feed that success-driven mentality, deliberately deceiving yourself that failing will actually bring you nearer to success.

And that’s not at all good yo.

My Two Cents on Failure (+ How to Deal with It) | I share what I think about how "failure leads to success".

Romanticizing failure does not necessarily make you any closer to success.

I mean, I totally agree that it’s a great way to not get discouraged and not go total Eeyore mode, giving up on life. But there’s a fine line between encouragement and false hope.

The thing is: not everybody will succeed. And failing? Sucks.

When I graduated in high school, I subconsciously brought with me this reassurance and certainty that college will be the same. I was like, “College? Pssh, cake.”

Dear past self: They’re. Not. The. Same.

If high school was Super Mario Level 7**, college is Flappy Bird. No levels. Just pure agony.

And that cold water of reality didn’t splash onto my arrogant face until my second year in college. I didn’t reach the cut-off for a major subject and I was bummed. No, scratch that, I was more than bummed. I was devastated.

It was like a super-confident bump car driver who likes to constantly flip his hair tried driving a ten-wheeler truck for the first time. And he ends up clutching tight at the wheels and crying for his mommy.

So I’m not gonna argue with you. Failure hurts like Gordon Ramsey telling you that sunny-side egg you cooked isn’t even worthy to be served to dogs.

It hits your self-confidence and shatters your spirit. And to someone currently experiencing failure, being told “everything will be okay” may not be the best mood-lifter. And neither is the rhetoric of failure leading to success.

See, success may come later. But failure needs to be dealt now.

So sure, you may reach success afterwards. May. Meaning there’s a possibility that you won’t. And I’m not trying to be Jenny Rain Cloud here. It’s a fact.

For most of our lives, success is something that we will accomplish in the future. But failure can happen any minute and it’s experienced at present, so you deal with it now. If you don’t, failure doesn’t lead to anything good at all.

So then, Kate, how do we deal with failure?

Great that you ask. Here are three things you could do:

<3 Don’t think that the entire universe is ganging up against you. Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve had my fair share of years being an angsty kid and thinking everybody hates me. They don’t–or… not all of them do. Every person you’ve met has faced failure to a certain degree.*** And the universe is just being the huge thing that it is. In fact, leave the stars alone; they’re minding their own beautiful twinkly business yo.

<3 Think, instead, of what lessons you could take away from failing. Remember that 4-step cure I shared for missed opportunities? Missed opportunities are kinda like failures too. And it always helps to see that even the most awful things have a positive takeaway you can carry your whole life. Lastly…

<3 Give yourself the time to feel all the awful. If there was one thing I’ve learned in Pixar’s Inside Out, it’s that there is nothing wrong with feeling the negative things. It’s okay to feel bad.

There will be happy, colorful moments (like when you’ve proven unicorns are real) and there will be sucky ones (like when you realize you were just dreaming).

So really, it’s okay to feel bummed out or even devastated that you failed at something you’ve worked so hard for 🙂 Use up an entire box of tissues, if you must! But when you’re done, get up and start moving.

Because at the end of the day, success won’t come to you. You run towards it.

After having my pity party for like a day or two, I had to get back on my study desk and hit the books again because I had that comprehensive exam to face.

I passed said exam and I’m contented now. I even have this newfound determination to put in more effort into my studies 🙂 And I realized, I probably won’t have such a huge character development if it weren’t for failure.

And here’s the catch.

Yes, failure may lead to success. But for that to happen, you don’t just give yourself encouragements and confidence-boosters. You have to put in some hard work and effort, too 🙂

That’s how the bump car driver learns how to drive ten-wheelers. That’s how you cook a sunny-side egg that will have Gordon Ramsey on foodgasm.

That’s how you will grow.

Your turn! What is your biggest failure in life so far? How did you cope and rise out of it? Share what you learned!

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! <3


Other awesome articles to read about this topic:

Challenging Success-via-Failure | Psychology Today

How Fear of Failure Destroys Success | Lifehack.org

*Who do you think was the pathetic potato who said that? (raises hand)
**Is this the underground lava level with that dragon???
***Unless, you know, that person is a newborn infant. Then protect that precious lump of baby fats from failure until he’s all grown up to handle them!

The Trisha Malone Awesomeness List

Hi, Trisha!

You probably don’t know me and to be completely honest, while I’ve seen you around the Teen Tag or commenting enthusiastically in other blogs, I am not exactly familiar with your blog too.

But that’s the beauty of Blogger’s Secret Santa, isn’t it? We get to know other awesome blogs! 😀

In that case, my name is Kate and one thing that I like is making lists. Like seriously. I just love lists. But that’s all you need to know about me for now! Because this post is all about you and the many forms of awesomeness that I honestly believe you possess.

That said, after two weeks of (discreetly) stalking and binge-reading your blog, here’s what I got:

secret-santa

  • Your teardrop background is so adorable! I love the vibrancy and how it suits your personality. Speaking of…
  • Your personality literally bleeds out of every post in your blog. Seriously. It’s amazing because, from your first ever post and up to your latest one, there’s that same witty and genuine voice. And honestly? I am completely jealous.
  • You write! I mean, sure, I guess we all write here, being bloggers and all. But man, you finished writing a novel! And already plotting another! I know from experience (aka: attempted and never got past chapter 2) that to create a 110k word-beast takes huge amounts of dedication and the passion to write. Plus you also write poems!
  • You braved and won Nanowrimo! Again, commitment and a huge truckload of dedication!
  • You are a passionate person. And you are so open about it. The way you talk about Twenty One Pilots and going to a Pentatonix concert…wow. It all comes back to how your personality seems to jump out of the screen. I bet with my one and only unicorn stuff toy (yes, I’m that sure) that it’s because you’re a writer. 😉
    It makes people excited reading you talk about excited things and outraged when you share outrageous ones. And by the way, your mom’s family sucks. But it’s their loss not to have you and your fam for Christmas.
  • You made the Recipe of Me Tag! One of the most unique and imaginative tags I’ve seen in the here. I keep thinking of witches, for some reason 😄
  • You are so opinionated. And combined with your amazing personality, your blog just feels like this authentic place so unique to its own. There will be people who will disagree with your views but that still doesn’t erase the fact that it will reel them in because of how firm you stand on your ground on a certain issue—which, in my opinion, is an amazing feat to have. And yes, I completely agree: equal pay so everyone can buy chocolate!
  • You’re so honest and did I mention, open? Oh, and brave.
    I think it takes a big bulk of courage to share the things you do—the good ones and the all-time-lows. And I really admire people like you in the blogosphere because to tell sensitive parts of your life to people you probably haven’t met in real life? To virtually put yourself out there? That takes more than guts. And I feel so honored to be part of a community you entrust these personal stories to, if that makes any sense. 🙂

So here’s the thing. I know that I will never be able to fully understand what you’ve been and are currently going through. I know it’s not much but I hope that this little list will be able to help, even a tiny bit. To know that there are people here who acknowledge your blog’s existence. And not just acknowledge, but love it for what it is.

And here’s where I’ll disagree with you: no, your blog is not pointless.

The genuine attitude you constantly show speak to so many people and I’m sure that your blog has impacted them. And the thing is, courage makes ripples. Maybe right now, you’re still in the third or fourth one. But give it time. Someday soon, it will reach the other side of the lake 🙂

And so thank you for being here. For being strong and standing back up, every single time. For being so honest and open to this community. For being you–bags the size of elephants and all 🙂

Merry Christmas and I hope you’ll have a wonderful year ahead!

Kate 🎄

P.S. I’m looking forward to the changes your blog will have next year! And your posts about books, because book is love yo!


This is my post in participation to the awesome Teenella’s Blogger’s Secret SantaHope y’all have an awesome Christmas Day, awesome peeps!

How to Let Happiness in Your Life Every-freakin-Day

A lot people would say that happiness is a choice. Others would say happiness is a state of mind. Some want it super specific and say happiness is a tub of Oreo cookies and cream ice cream.

What I do believe is this: happiness is a bit of everything. And when I say everything, I mean every-freakin-thing.

It is a choice and it is also inherent. Happiness is a state of mind but can also be physically projected. In this post, though, I want to discuss its inject-ability — how you can let happiness in your life. Because you totally can! Here are some ways:

Whether you find happiness as a state of mind or a choice, one thing is for sure. YOU can take control of your happiness. Here are ways to let happiness in.

List All the Good Things that Happened Today

You can either write it down or just do it mentally, although I personally like writing it on paper and going through all of them afterwards. It just puts a smile on my face. But you can do what suits your fancy!

And when I said list, I don’t want you to be a picky-lister. Maybe you wouldn’t list this morning when a random dude smiled at you. But non non. Include it! Include every little good thing that happened.

Whether it was picking a penny or getting a candy from your friend. The point of this is so you’ll acknowledge the fact that even on bad days, there are things that made you happy or feel good.

Acknowledge the Universal Coexistence

See the last sentence on the previous paragraph? Now read it again. I said fact, because—well, obviously—it’s the truth. Good and bad coexist with each other. One definitely can’t exist without the other.

And yes, I know how deeply philosophical but again, truth.

That being said I hardly believe the entire twenty-four hours of a day could go by without any good thing happening. Because I know the good and bad always come together.

Acknowledging this, especially the thought that the bad things will come as often as the good ones, may make you feel more acceptable of the sucky moments. At least I do, anyway.

Make Time for Your Hobbies

Hear me out for a second, your hobbies are important. I know you must have met people who would scoff at you and tell you these are “just hobbies” and they will do nothing for your career. But I’m telling you, they are important.

Think about it: if all you’ll be working on for the entire year is school or your job, then it won’t be surprising when you’ll get burned out sooner or later.

It doesn’t have to be an entire month either. If you like to draw (like moi) maybe you could doodle during lunch break. If you’re into poetry, you could try writing a draft or even reading a piece by your favorite poet.

And when I said hobbies I don’t exactly mean scrolling through social media, especially Facebook. Because for one, you might just waste time looking through your friend’s vacation pictures or something. And for another, social media envy is as real as a unicorn.

(Seriously. Look up African unicorns.)

You want to find time doing something that, while it’s not part of your regular routine, it is fulfilling in some way and makes you feel looser and more relaxed.

Related: Check out my guest post on La Ivana where I discussed the importance of having a creative hobby.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep (at least on weekends)

Friend, repeat after me:

I’m not a machine.

I’m not a machine.

I’m not a machine.

Because you aren’t. Heck, even computers need to either shut down or sleep, depending on what kind of rest it needs.

We all have our limitations. And while our brain is probably even more astounding than any machine invented, it will eventually get tired. Why do you think the concept of a good night’s sleep is created?

And I’m not one to shy away from burning the midnight oil, I tell you. Especially when I need to finish a huge project or study for something. But I do make it a habit to at least sleep early on less busy nights or the weekends.

Less stress, you know?

Listen to Awesome Music (and dance to it!)

Not to brag but our house always has a stock of great lively music. Not to mention my very own growing *ahem* awesome playlist, my sister is also the kind of person who does not gravitate towards a particular genre. And her jazz and 80s rock songs are so dance-worthy.

That said, whatever kind of music you like, so long as you freakin’ love it, play it on speakers and dance the sadness away with it! Or embrace the sadness! Here’s a confession: I actually have several mellow songs and I even dance to those. I do a weird hybrid of frustrated ballet and contemporary. Sometimes with an added dramatic expression. And hey, it still uplifts me!

Basically, just listen to something good and move your body while you’re at it.

Onto you: How do you inject happiness into your life? Do you do one or more above? Something else? Share them in the comments!

Kate xx

To The Brave Risk-Takers who are Doubting Their Selves

To the dreamers who dream of wonderful things. To the young hopefuls discouraged by the cruelty of the world. Who were told to “just give up” because their big ideas are too big for this world to carry.

To the once innocent child, whose hopes were raised and whose hearts were spoon-fed with “dream big”s and “you can do anything”s, just to grow up with crushed dreams and doing nothing.

To the people courageous enough to take risks but have wallowed their selves in self-doubt.

Please.

Keep on dreaming.

Fill your heart with hope and believe in yourself. The world needs more of you.

And in the words of the Cecil Beaton:

cecil beaton quote

Have an amazing day, awesome peeps! 😀

5 Blogging Lessons I Learned In Two Years

I’ve been blogging for about two years already. *blows party trumpets* And while that felt like dog years to some others, I’ve learned a few things in blogging that I take with me to this day.

blogging-lessons-I-learned-in-2-years

I’m not gonna say I’m an expert already because I sure feel way opposite of that. But these are blogging lessons I’ve personally learned in my two years of running (ooh! That sounded professional) this blog. And I thought I could share them with you today.

1| The People are Awesome

You know that saying about surrounding yourself with awesome people? That goes the same online. The blogosphere people–readers and bloggers alike–really are nice. I always feel happy when I think about this online community I’ve joined in, specifically WordPress. Everyone’s supportive and encouraging.

Sure, there are jerks lurking in some corners and one can’t really make them go away forever. (Although that’s not stopping me from continuing to report that perv bozo in the Teen tag.) But how I see it, those trolls just lift the value and goodness of everyone else who are being honest and kind. As they say, you can’t make a light go brighter if there’s no darkness. 😉

2 | The Blogosphere is Filled to the Brim with Inspiration

Seriously. Anywhere you go, you will find inspiration. It could be the topic or a certain line the blogger has used or even the blogger him/herself. This is why I try to spend as much time browsing my Reader for new blogs as I can.

Honestly, sometimes it makes me feel like a turnip in a rose garden. And I’m gonna lie if I said I’ve never caught the Blog Envy flu. (I have, once or twice) But then that just makes me feel even more pumped up and determined to make my blog better.

That said, tamping down my competitive streak when blogging was hard but totally worth it. There is no intense competition here so you might as well leave your competitive hat at home. Instead, share the love and spread happy vibes!

One blog, and the awesome blogger friend behind it, that never fails to inspire me is Kiya of Flawed Silence. Her posts always makes me feel motivated. All in all, she is an awesome unicorn, you guys, so go check her blog out!

3 | Your Blog Can Be Anything You Want It to Be

The beauty of blogging, and this is often looked through, is that it can be anything. Your blog is your little space in the Interwebs–whether you’re using a free platform or a paid one. It is yours and you can make it into anything you want it to be. Sure, there are limitations to using a free platform but I think that just sparks up my resourcefulness. And this doesn’t stop me from making my blog look pretty.

A great example of a free-platform blog that’s killing it is The Young Hopeful, it’s a college-related blog and if you’re on Pinterest and search up for college tips, you’ll see this blog at the top. Imagine my giddy surprise when I learned they’re running on free platform.

(P.S.: I have a board in Pinterest specifically for college tips and other secret formulas for surviving college life. 😉 Check it out!)

4 | Acknowledge the Learning Curves

This is something that I think a newbie blogger must know. Specifically those who want to blog as a hobby or for personal development *raises hand excitedly* and have plans on growing their blogs in the future *raises hand again*

If you’re completely new to blogging, you have to acknowledge that there are and will be learning curves to pass through. And I mean in everything! Finding your voice, the perfect blogging schedule, writing process, DIY-ing your blog design, etc.

Unless of course you’re a talented snowflake and you just know you were born to blog, then maybe you won’t have that much of a learning curve to go through.

But for the rest of us mere mortals, suck it up and don’t expect that you’ll have like 100000 pageviews at day one. I’m not trying to be Jenny Raincloud here; it’s realistic and being ready for this will avoid disappointments and unreached expectations.

Personally, I find the learning curves to be amazing experiences. Even now I’m trying to learn the bits and bobs in blogging and I take them all one day at a time.

5 | You Don’t Have to Heed All Advice

Ha, if you’ve been here a long time you’ll know I’ll have this little detail included, especially since we’re talking about blogging: take every advice you get with a grain of salt. In my case, I don’t have to listen to those find-a-niche advice.

Know that while these people are experts and they know what they’re talking about, only you can truly experience working on your blog. Only you can tell what works for you and what doesn’t.

I have many mottos and one of it is, “There is no standard solution for anything in life.” There are a million ways to solve a problem but we often like to take the convenient route because there are proofs of people successfully reaching the other side.

I refuse to believe that having a niche blog is the only way to succeed in blogging. So I say, if you want to travel the road less taken, then by all means do!

One other amazing thing about blogging is how much it can help you grow mentally and emotionally. Over the past two years that I’ve had this blog, I feel like I’ve grown as a person and it’s not just to the credit of the blog itself. Every one of you who read my blog is a consistent encouragement for me to keep on going.

So thank you.

Thank you all so much. 🙂 Here’s to another year of spreading creativity, passion and inspiration!

How long have you been blogging? What are the lessons you’ve learned in blogging so far? Share them in the comments or tweet it!

Happy blogging, awesome peeps! 💃

When Things Seem to be Falling Apart

A few times in your life, you would hit a low point. Like the sad chapter in a novel or one of those sad slow montage in movies with rain or sad songs in the background—or even both.

when things seem to be falling apart

And to the viewers and the readers, the bystanders who merely witnessed you at your lowest, it’s not a big deal. It’s a short-lived moment in a bigger picture. A blink of an eye. They’d think you’re being too dramatic. But you know they’re wrong.

They haven’t experienced it the way you have. They don’t know the pain and sadness that only you bear.

They don’t understand.

And so you suffer quietly. Blinking back tears, pushing them far back into your eyes. You try to lift your head up, look at the ceiling, but see nothing through the blur of unshed tears filling your sight.

They don’t see the swell and redness that your eyes should have after crying because you did not shed any tears. You did not cry loudly; no one could hear the song of hurt playing deep inside you.

No, only your body could feel your struggle and your mind was the sole listener of that sad song. The swell wasn’t visible outside because it was your heart that stretched unbearably with bottled up pain.

To the people who are suffering alone, who are crying in the dark or silently inside, to those who feel like things seem to be falling apart around you, please know.

I understand.

I’m one of you. I have felt similarly to what you are feeling now. And let me tell you something honest.

The others are wrong, yes. You are not experiencing a montage that would fade instantly. But they are also right. It is not the end of the world. That burden is not forever. And if it comes to a point when it becomes overwhelming, please.

Please don’t allow yourself to be drowned by your sorrows.

Please remember that you are stronger than your struggles.

Please know that I am here.

If that makes any difference.

I’ve learned to accept that life comes with harshness and cruelty and difficult obstacles but even now I still don’t know the secret formula for passing through each of them with no scratch. I bear with me scars that will never fully heal and I will carry them for the rest of my life. But I refuse to let that stop me from wanting to live the life that I want to lead.

And it mustn’t let you too.

So suffer. Give yourself a moment (or three) to cry, to acknowledge the pain. Mourn for that tiny piece of perfection now wounded and utterly imperfect. Grieve for the loss of happiness but know—truly know—that it’s only temporary.

Because what’s amazing about life, I learned, is that it’s so much bigger than all of us. This makes life uncontrollable and unpredictable. But this also allows life anything inside it. Anything. The possibilities of what will happen next are infinite, as are your choices. Even at times when it feels like you’re cramped tight in a box.

So cry. Be sad. And then choose to be happy, to be hopeful, afterwards.

I know it’s hard; I keep returning in that same position, always struggling every time. But try. Stand back up bearing the scars. Forever with you, a reminder of what you have gone through. There will be moments when they’ll hurt again.

But stand and keep on walking anyway.

Have a happy day, awesome person 😃

Reach Inside Your Heart

Hey everyone! This week was so jam-packed, no? And I’m not finished yet! 😁 My good friend and amazing human being, Kiya of Flawed Silence and I have come up with a collab post. My first ever, yay!

So the idea was that Kiya, the ever amazing wordsmith, was going to write a poem and I’ll do an illustration inspired from it. Because, you know, her poems can get anyone inspired. Hope you enjoy!


​It’s just another day

As I see myself
Drifting away
Fingers skimming the stars
And grazing the gentle clouds.

I see myself going places
But I see the shadow of doubt
Trailing me
Playing
TAG you’re it
TAG you’re it!

With every fight
And every knife to the back
And every wheezing for breath
We slump down
Deeper
And
Deeper
Into a world full of hurricanes
Uprooting confidence, belief and esteem.

Tell me
Oh tell me why we are wasting time
On crocodile tears, peeling scabs and 
Waiting for someone to realise you’re not a paper doll?

Cling to the hope
And let it blossom into a wild flower
So unique from the billions of people existing
Let the thorns prick the ones that cast you aside
But like the wildest roots
I know that you can 
Grow, and survive
The evil madness in this world.

Rise above the golden rays of sunshine
And glide alongside the moon’s waning figure
Whilst intertwining with the shimmers of the galaxy
We all have potential
You have capability
So don’t let others dictate 
How, why and what you will do.

Instead
Reach inside of your heart
And generously feed your dreams
Hopes and ambitions
Set fire to the negative vibes
And shoot across life
Like a shooting star.

Because you are one.

Reach inside your heart


Such a beautiful and inspiring poem, right? 💕 I’ll tell you guys a secret: I actually had a more ambitious idea of an illustration to pair with that poem but I don’t think I’m good at it. Yet. But who knows in the future? But I still had so much fun making this one.

We have a different collab post up on her blog too so check that out!😁 I had the most amazing time working with Kiya on these collabs. Be sure to head on to her blog because it’s just filled with inspiring poetry and the visits to National Trust properties! Gorsh I love those.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and I’ll see you all again this weekend. (Yep I’m not yet done for the week. ;))

Happy Friyay, awesome peeps!🌌🌠