Get Your Hands Dirty

I’ve been thinking about hard work lately.

I remember one time, when I was preparing for a sort of date, I complained to a friend about how it was so hard to make an effort sometimes. Like, at one point, you kind of just don’t want to exert that much, and shouldn’t this thing be easy? Shouldn’t it just fall into your lap when you’re not looking?

But relationships and love are complicated, so let’s talk about something more tangible, and easier to measure. Like, losing weight. My workout schedule has been erratic ever since 2015 rolled around, and I would rather catch up on sleep or eat or do something else than spend an hour in the gym. Until my female colleagues signed up for Curves, the all-female gym near the office, and invited me to join them. I tried it out, and signed up, because it’s cheaper and it’s more intense than what I’m doing now. Of course, as soon as I started, I expected that I will shed pounds like that, completely forgetting that when I first lost weight, it took me lots of muscle pains, sweat, discipline and hard work to lose all that I lost in nine months. I suppose I assumed that just because I did it before, it should happen the same way again, but obviously, it’s not.

Or, school. I started taking a certification course for Digital Marketing last August. Since it’s my first time to study and work at the same time, it wasn’t as easy to get my study habits back. I always remind myself that I won’t learn if I don’t put in the necessary hours to actually learn the things. It could be spending an entire Saturday in a classroom, missing some other things in the process. Staying a few more hours after work to attend a webinar. Allotting extra hours to go through the course material, and working on the assignment ahead of time. I often said when I started studying again that I thought I could go by just swimmingly and not put too much effort into things, like how I did some things in college (heh), but the first assignment totally took me by surprise and I realized that I can’t just wing this thing. I need to put in the work.

How about writing? Like I said last time, I’ve been stuck in a certain part of book #2 for a long time now, and it’s frustrating because I know what’s going to happen, but the feelings just weren’t there. It’s like I’m writing robots instead of characters with stories and feelings. And then I see some people who are coming out with books and I feel like they’re churning words like machines while I just keep on writing and rewriting the scenes that I was stuck in. Then there were so many things happening to other author friends and it’s all exciting, and then I’ll think: when will that happen to me, too?

And then, I remember that as with everything in life, writing and putting out books still requires hard work. From writing the first draft to the revising and editing, to sending it to the world and then thinking of ways to get people to notice your book and read it and talk about it. There’s no overnight success in this, and venturing into all of this meant I have to do the dirty work. It may look effortless to some (as I have sometimes fooled myself into thinking), but there were many things that happened behind the scenes for the show to look flawless.

So yes, hard work. I have to remind this to myself – especially recently – that nothing worth having ever comes easy. I forget this easily, because I have allowed myself to believe that I deserve things simply because I want them, and not because I worked hard for them.

I want to make a promise to myself this time, for the sake of all the things that I still want to accomplish before 2015 ends (and beyond) to never neglect hard work. I want to remember, and learn – and maybe sometimes even force myself – to sit down in front of my computer to write, to open my course notes to study, or to take those steps to the gym, because I believe that the things I want to accomplish is worth rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. They should be, because if they’re not, then why am I even wasting my time reaching for them?

Let me end this post with wise words from HB:

All good things come tangled up with sacrifice of time and space and resources. You have to go out on a limb. You have to trust in the things bigger than yourself. Not everyone is going to understand your discipline but it’s going to be necessary for the race ahead. Stay focused. Keep your eyes forward.

(Image source: Desktop Sketching, Eric Heupel, Flickr)

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All These Things (7): Currently, again

The blog has a new look, sort of. I’ve been looking for responsive themes just because I kind of want something new, so I combed through some WordPress themes and found this cute pink one. I remember those days when I had versions for my site, and I was coding everything on Notepad and then uploading them all on the free servers. I kind of miss the simplicity of that, but I doubt I can properly code a whole site anymore. Still, those were good times.

But on that note, I’ve been thinking about this blog lately, and what I really, exactly want to achieve with this. I kept the blog because I wanted to keep on blogging, and it seemed like something that I can’t stop doing. This is primarily an outlet for things, which served me well during the tumultuous years of 2012 to 2013 (heh). Right now I’m hardly blogging, partly because I’m busy, and partly because I’m not quite sure what I want to write about. Why do I write what I write, other than the simple fact of sharing things? At the risk of using work jargon, I must ask: is this adding value to my life, or to anyone’s life? What is this blog for? What’s my vision for this, where is this going?

I have to admit: goal setting isn’t my strongest suit. Sometimes it’s so easy to just cruise, until something big pushes me, but I feel like I have to sort of take control over this, because this is mine, and I kind of need to take responsibility for it. I make it sound so serious, but really – what’s the point of keeping this if it doesn’t contribute, or if it ends up being a waste of time?

But give me some time to figure that out. For now, here’s the Sunday Currently on a Monday!


I just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and whoa. What a lovely read. I started Ana of California by Andi Teran, a modern adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.

I’ve already reread The Truth About Forever (Wes + Macy!), so now it’s Ana. I wonder who is Gilbert Blythe here. Hmm.


Finally, that block seemed to be going away! I’m still not finished with the manuscript, but I am slowly making my way to the end. Unfortunately, I have a ton of other things to write for work, but I’m going to make sure to leave the work stuff for work, period.


Ben Rector is releasing a new album this week, so I have his new singles on repeat. Can’t wait for the album! :)


Where did my work day go? I got to work this morning and immediately got into this one project and spent the rest of the day trying to do HTML and stuff all over again. I haven’t done that in ages. Thank God the task was eventually passed on. Whew. Now I have other stuff to finish after I’m done with this post that I’m treating as a mental break.


Kornets classic. Is that classic? The blue plastic! Nothing like snacks like this on a busy afternoon.


That tonight’s online class doesn’t go overtime.


A green and black dress that my mom bought in an outlet store in Guam, my trusty black cardigan, and black flats. I realize that ever since I started working here, I have worn dresses 3 to 4x a week. It’s just easier to wear a dress now! I miss wearing heels though, but heels are terrible for commute.


Healthy You Trail Mix, for days when I get so caught up in work and I cannot be bothered to eat. I am also really loving the circuit workouts from Curves. I’ve only gone three times the past week, and I can’t go tonight because of class, but I will be there tomorrow. Endorphins, yay!


New rain boots, because my old ones are really old and I’m afraid they’d break on me before I can get a new one. I saw some in Zalora a few weeks back. I haven’t bought anything, because I’m trying not to shop online so much because I might not stop! Especially now that Maybelline is now available on ZALORA Philippines, and just in time for me to get a new mascara.


More nephew time! I spent the weekend at my brother’s place to be with my sister-in-law and my nephew, and it was a weekend of baby laughter (and tears, because he seem to always forget who I was when I arrive there, haha!), and lots of drool and arms that ache because the boy is heavy for his age! Such a cutie pie.


Just a tiny bit stressed because of work so I’m telling myself to calm down because hey, it’s just work. There’s time to do all of these things.


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All These Things (6): Writing crap, and Current stuff

So I’ve been trying to write a post for the past few days, but everything I write seems blah. This is also happening in my fiction writing. Are you familiar with that feeling, too? I know what’s going to happen, and it all sounds good in my head but it’s all feels like crap when I write it down. I’ve been rereading some local romance books and some of my favorite books in hopes of making the magic happen, but the words that come out are still awkward. :/

I have several theories why that is happening, though. One, it might be because I am right smack in the middle of the story and we all know how I feel about middles. Two, I’ve been doing a lot of editing at my day job so it’s a bit hard to get rid of my editor mindset — now I understand what my friends who write for a living were saying about writing for a living and writing for fun. And three, I  guess this is the time where I’m supposed to just keep writing, so I’m still trudging on. (It helps when my manager at work actually encouraged me on this.)

There may be other reasons why the novel is so hard to write right now – art imitating life, life imitating art, or the lack of it, that kind of jazz. It could be that the novel is really just making me take my time instead of rushing, but I won’t know until I just keep writing. So I’m going to battle with the writing demons again this weekend (and also work on editing some overdue reflections). Wish me luck.

Onto other stuff, I’m adopting a meme that I found on several blogs, but I think this is the source? It’s not Sunday, though, but I’m going to do it today anyway, because it’s Friday. (Did not make sense, but hey. :P)

Right Here, Right Now.



(un)breakable by Kesh Tanglao. Rereading, actually, because like I said, I need words. And feels. Also, still reading John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert, which I want to savor. And The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet, but I am stuck somewhere halfway and I kind of want to quit reading it because I’m just not engaged. The problem is, people say it’s good and I am still curious to how this will end.


Still Novel # 2. Still at the end of Act 2, and ugh, words. So awkward.

Spoiler-ish. Or not.

Also need to write a presentation for work and edit a bunch of reflections.


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