A Pointless Fear

I started writing the first draft* of a fantasy standalone novel called BLOOD PRICE last week. I’m pretty excited about it’s progress, considering I have 20,000 solid words down that, once upon a time, I thought were complete rubbish, and still over two months to get the rest of the words written, so I’m pretty ahead in my writing game at the moment. I’m really excited about the idea. Though I’m not sure if it’s the most original idea I’ve ever had, I do think it has a nice blend of originality and marketability that gives this idea a lot of promise; so much so–in my mind, anyway–that I’m actually really excited to get this book written, edited, beta read and then edited again, so I can actually send it out into the trenches and see how it does.

A foolish, brave part of me believes, on my good days, that this idea, this book, will be the one that helps me find an agent to partner up with me during my career.

It’s a really promising thought and helps keep me going during those days where I feel like everything I write is shit and I’m not ever going to go anywhere.

And yet, I find myself having another thread of thoughts which have the exact opposite effect: inspiring fear and worry where, honestly, I shouldn’t be feeling them.

I’m an aspiring author, but a definite writer. There’s no doubt that I have the chops to be a writer. I’m writing the first draft of my seventh book. Of course I’m a writer. Now, am I good enough writer to actually get anything that I write published? That remains to be seen. It’s probably not surprising, though, that I daydream about becoming an author all of the time. All the time. With the confidence I feel at the promise of this novel, it’s impossible not to continue dreaming about getting an agent because of this novel and then this novel getting published. But, of course, I don’t stop thinking there and I start thinking about my career as an author, finally getting started after over a decade of chasing it.

And I grow terrified.

Because, say that does happen. Say I finish this draft, take it through the necessary rounds of edits in order to get it up to snuff and query it. I get an agent. It gets published. But even before then, while my book is on submission, my agent asks me question. A simple one, but one that, in this made up, fantasy scenario, has me terrified.

What are you writing next?

At this moment in time, I have no idea how I would answer that.

I have a trilogy that I know will never get published traditionally, because everything about it is saturated for the traditional market. I have a quintet where I have the first book written and polished, the second book drafted and the other three I still need to outline, let alone write. It’s a series I plan to write to completion, even though it has been rejected before due to marketability concerns. So, even after getting an agent, it may not be the project they want my main focus to be, as I’ll probably do the hybrid author thing and self-publish that series. I have an idea for a sci-fi duology that is pretty rough and I’m not sure I can even make it good enough to actually write it.

Other than that, I have no other ideas floating around in my head.

In my made-up scenario, I’d have to answer with, Nothing, at the moment, which then, of course, results in me being a one-book-author who is dropped by their agent and oops, there goes the dream you’ve always wanted.

I hope you’re laughing, at this point. Or at least shaking your head.

Because, wow, Nicole, can you overthink any more?

There’s a lot of problems with that fear. One, there is so much, “if this, then that,” going on, that almost all of it is pointless to worry about, because there are too many unknowns within the scenario to really concern myself with, especially considering the first step to jumpstart any of this being possible, is a book that doesn’t even have a finished first draft yet. But the underlying fear is that I’ll somehow stop coming up with ideas and stories to write about.

*snorts*

I know, right?

When that fear takes me fully, I almost believe that’s even possible, even when I already have evidence stacked against that. Most noteable: the fact that I am currently working on my seventh book since I started writing seriously, at 15. Seven books in 10 years isn’t too shabby, if I do say so myself. And when I first started this journey, I couldn’t imagine completing that first draft of my first book, let alone the entire trilogy. The quintet I was working on wasn’t even a thought. Neither was the sci-fi I shelved or the book I’m working on now, that I’m seriously so jazzed about. Not to mention the fact that, last year, I joined a short story blog project that has resulted in, already, 12 short stories from yours truly. I write a new one every month; something I never thought I could do, yet here I am, writing at least 12 short stories a year. All of those come from prompts, but there are at least two that I wouldn’t mind thinking about a little bit more and trying to see if I can coax a novel out of them.

And you’re telling me, brain, that you’re nervous that I’m going to run out of ideas once my career “officially” starts, even though I’ve been at it for ten years, already?

Brain, hush.

I’m just getting started.

Cheers.

* I’ve mentioned this a couple of times, but this draft is technically the third, if you count the first time I tried to write it and then I deleted that draft and started over, before shelving the book. So no, I didn’t write over 20,000 new words in one week, I’m sorry to report. But it’s tiring to continue referencing this as the book I shelved but I’m now working on again, so first draft it is!

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Enjoy The Process

If you follow along on my Resolution Sunday Blog Series, this year undertaking the theme called “Quest for Discovery,” you’ll know that I hinted at writing a post over the idea of wanting to maximize my time and enjoy the process during my Week 16 update.

This is that post.

You see, I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams that I really want to accomplish. Two of my main ones include becoming a published author and shaping my body into the shape I’ve always dreamed I could reach. On top of that, a few hobbies that I have, I’m pretty involved in, like running three blogs and reading books (plus reviewing them). There is something in common about all of those things.

They all require work to achieve.

Want to be a published author? Well, you need to write books in order to do that. And writing books requires sitting down and putting in the work, writing word after word after word. Dream bodies are great, but you’d better be prepared to complete the workouts, control your eating and figure out a routine that not only works for you, but also creates the results you want. You can’t post on your blogs if you don’t write the posts and reviews don’t write themselves, either.

I know that. I totally accept it and I’m willing to do the work, in every single case. If I had to choose between giving up one of those dreams/goals/hobbies instead of doing the work (which, essentially, is what that comes down to), obviously, I’m going to choose to do the work. It’s what I have been doing and I have no plans on stopping now.

Yet I don’t always enjoy it.

Sure, that’s bound to happen. I mean, I’m not going to sit down every day in the mood to write, blog or read. I’m not going to enjoy every single workout I do. I’m not always going to want to do any of these things. Sometimes, I have to force myself to do it, to overcome laziness or anxiety or doubt. Sure, sometimes I need a break and I take that needed break, but most of the time, I need to be willing to put in the work, because it takes work to stay as consistent as I do and balance all of these things, on top of other commitments and aspects in my life I haven’t mentioned in this post.

But I want to enjoy it more, on a consistent basis, too.

It’s not that I’m miserable, all of the time, either. I don’t want to paint the wrong picture. But it does happen when I sit down to write and I have no desire to. Workouts, this happens a lot, where my brain is like, You don’t really want to do that, do you?, and tries to talk me out of it. There is a plethora of reasons I try to tell myself or that come up. Sometimes they’re valid, sometimes they’re not.

I think, however, that I could do a better job framing my thoughts around these activities and the work required to make my dreams come true, so that I do enjoy it more, instead of falling into the trap of an over-thinking brain or actually making it feel like work (which I think carries a societal taint that you’re not meant to enjoy it), instead of feeling things like pride in making progress and a sense of accomplishment. Mainly, I just need to remind myself that not only am I doing exactly that–making progress on my dreams, keeping up with my blog and my book reviews–but also remember how lucky I am to have the time available to do that. Because at the moment, I have a pretty good balance, as far as managing my time so I can complete all of these things daily. It isn’t always like that and it isn’t always going to be like that.

It also wouldn’t hurt to maximize on that time, either.

Despite being pretty productive pretty consistently, I know I’m still wasting too much time on social media. I scroll through Twitter a lot, especially after my dinner break, when work is at its slowest point. I could be doing a lot more and I want to try and lessen that time I spent wasting away and instead spend that time being productive, whether that’s writing a new post ahead of time, reading an extra chapter or hell, watching a TV show, seems so much better than just scrolling through social media for hours, instead of just checking it and then logging back off.**

The other thing I wonder is: what exactly do I want to replace my time spent pursuing these pursuits with? When I think about it, I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t blog, read, write and workout; how I would fill all of that time and still be happy. Sure, I’d probably watch more movies and TV shows and game a lot more, but even with doing everything, I still have a couple hours a day to actually game or watch a movie, if I want to. So it’s not even like I’m sacrificing those other hobbies that I love that don’t require any work to continue doing the hobbies that I also love that do take work. I need to remember that, if I wasn’t involved in and chasing after all of these things, I would probably be very, very bored.

So I’m going to be more conscious about my attitude when it comes to these endeavors, especially with writing and working out, specifically, as those are the two activities my brain fights me against the most, even if it isn’t all the time; the former, out of fear and doubt over my ability to write worthy books, and the latter because I just get lazy sometimes and it’s not a small amount of work to take control of your health and shape your body into something awesome that you’re proud of.

But in both cases, the work is worth it.

Now I just gotta remember that.

Cheers.

**In that vein, I find myself also feeling guilty rather easily when I make plans to accomplish X thing during Y time, but then something else comes up. Namely, in this example, I plan on working on X project at work and then my coworkers ask how my day was and instead of enjoying the conversation with them and the chance to catch up, I feel guilty for spending time socializing. That needs to change, too. Not that I want to spend so much time socializing on a consistent basis that I never get my work done, but rather, I want to enjoy the opportunity to socialize when it comes up instead of beating myself up every time that it does (because it isn’t often).


Quest for Happiness: Week Sixteen

Hello, friends!

Considering it snowed both days over the weekend, during mid-April, I’m a little peeved at the weather right now, especially after last week was so nice. It doesn’t look like it will be nearly as nice this week, but I’m hopeful that we can soon experience a little bit of spring, instead of being stuck in this perpetual stubborn winter or skipping straight into a miserably hot summer.

Image result for elegant page break clip artWriting 
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Write 5x.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Last week was mainly spent looking through the previous attempt I had at this book…and being surprised at how the first 20,000 words were actually pretty dang good. I ended up deleting the next 15,000 or so, because I made a switch in the plot, making those words impossible to use, so I had two days where I started writing completely from scratch. I won’t lie: I was a little nervous to start writing again, especially after going through and just being able to edit a bit, here or there. But I’m excited to continue this story and see where it takes me.

Weekly Goal: Write 5x. Look into writing contests/magazines to submit short stories into.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Read 5x. Write review. Go by the library.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Though I didn’t finish the review for The Search for the Red Dragon, I did finish the book in two or three days and have already started the third one. Though I snagged a couple books from the library that I’ll have to read, so I don’t lose them thanks to unrenewable due dates, thus interrupting my James A. Owen streak, I’m really excited to be reading these books again. They’re fantastic.

Weekly Goal: Read 5x. Write review (x2?).

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Workout 5x.

  • Status: Negative, Commander. So, I really like this new routine I figured out. I only worked out three times last week, thanks to my boyfriend having Thursday off work, so we spent time together, and then just being lazy on Friday, but I do enjoy the new setup I got: strength training MWF, running TR and then also going for a walk while catching up on the phone with my friend on Wednesday afternoons. I’m excited to do this consistently and see how my body responds, before I start fine-tuning the routine to best fit what I want to accomplish.

Weekly Goal: Workout 5x. Eat more fruits and veggies.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Stay frugal.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. 

Weekly Goal: Pay off credit card.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Pray.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. 

Weekly Goal: Pray.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Get back into the routine and have fun celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday this weekend!

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. Birthday celebrations were awesome. I did a cheesy surprise for my boyfriend, decorating the kitchen, and that was really fun. Also got to get lunch with my Mom and see my Dad/sister for a hot minute over the weekend, so that really nice, too.

Weekly Goal: Stay positive minded and enjoy the process, every day.Image result for elegant page break clip artI think the focus this week will be a combination of maximizing my time, while also enjoying the process. I definitely plan on writing a blog post about this, too, so if you want some more in-depth thoughts on what I mean by that, be sure to come back and check it out! But basically, I want to stop wasting the time that I have, especially when I don’t have as much on my plate as I usually do, and enjoy everything that I’m currently working on, especially related to these goals.

Cheers.


Looking At It Differently

So, I read a thread on Twitter the other day from author C.L. Polk. It discussed the delicate balance of readers interacting with the authors they admire; about how a reader saying, “I can’t wait for your next book,” could actually have negative consequences. Sorta like the same consequences a reader can inflict when they begin to guilt trip an author through social media, especially when they say things like, “Why aren’t you writing!?” in a comment after an author tweets about their latest enter-any-other-aspect-about-life-that-isn’t-writing here.

It’s a point of view I’ve never really considered.

Not the guilt tripping one.

The “I can’t wait for your next book” one.

I’ve been pretty lucky to interact with quite a few of my favorite authors. I met a few at WorldCon a couple of years ago. Especially ever since I started my book review blog, I’ve definitely interacted with authors online more, usually on Twitter. Some really awesome conversations have come out of that. I won’t lie: I get pretty starstruck whenever I’m able to talk to an author who I admire, virtually or otherwise. I’ve said some pretty embarrassing things before, as one is apt to do, when talking with an idol. (Gosh, you can imagine if I’d had the opportunity to meet Tolkien? I’m pretty sure he’d have to learn another language, just to try and understand my fangirling ((not that learning another one would be an issue for him, but you get where I’m coming from))).

That said, I never considered how me talking with an author and saying something like, “I loved your book! I can’t wait for the next one!” might not be seen as encouraging, like my intentions are.

It could actually be just as guilt tripping as someone who blatantly calls out an author for not spending every moment of their life writing, but instead, actually having a life, as well.

I put myself in the role of the author, thinking of Polk’s examples and discussion in her thread. Here I am, having written a book that some people enjoy. Sometimes, they reach out to me and tell me so. But instead of getting elated that they are excited for the next book, I instead feel guilty. Because I haven’t been having a great writing week. Or the deadline is looming and I’m probably going to miss it. Or I’ve been spending a lot of time playing X new favorite video game instead of going over my word count goals for the week. Or I’ve been spending more time with my family than usual, instead of writing. Or I’ve suffering heavily through imposter syndrome. Suddenly, I feel this enormous pressure to not only live up to these new expectations, but also this fear that I’m going to disappoint my readers, because not only do they like my work, but they are waiting for more. Right now.

Thinking of it this way, even though I’m nowhere near close to being published, I can totally see myself doing this; reacting this way.

I think it’s really easy to not think of authors as people but instead see them as celebrities, putting them on pedestals where we idolize their creative prowess, and thus forgetting that they have needs, lives and wants beyond writing the next book we’re waiting for. And they should. They’re people. They’re human. They deserve to have lives, too, and not be guilt tripped as such. And to not be afraid to talk about those other aspects on social media, lest their readers moan about how the sequel isn’t out yet.

I do admit, however, that, depending on the day and my mood, hearing a reader tell me they are excited for my next book to come out would be a huge mood lifter. Perhaps I just read a negative review and it’s encouraging to know someone out there still wants to read more of my work. Or that comment was just the kick in the pants I needed to stop wasting time on Twitter and instead get back to writing.

I can see it both ways, now. Before, I’d never considered how that could be negative and harmful comment, despite the purest intentions. It’s something I’m going to be more conscious of, even though I have no idea how these authors online are feeling at any given moment, so I’m not sure how my comments are going to be received. But I don’t think it hurts to try and be more conscientious, and reminded that just because I intend a comment one way, doesn’t mean it’s always going to be receive in the same manner.

Cheers.


Lying Numbers and Cheating Thoughts

I started writing a new book this week and I’m already 13,000 words in, after two days of working on it.

Before you start cursing my name and wonder what sacrifices I’ve made in order for the Muse to be so kind to me, let me clear something up real quick.

Hardly any of those words are new.

You see, I started working on this novel last year. I actually wrote almost 40,000 words before I ended up shelving it, just not feeling where the novel was going. In my head, I thought the novel was shit.

I’m really excited to report that, after reading through the first six chapters in the past two days, making tweaks here and there, I’m actually completely in love with this book and I’m struggling to figure out what I hated about it so much last time, that got me to the point where I shelved it. I even almost started crying, because I have already put Natanni through so much shit and I’ve only gone through the first 10,000 words.

I really hope this feeling continues, because at this rate, I’m going to reach the point where I got stuck last time by early next week, if not the end of this week, and I’m nervous that I’m going to get stuck again. But I’m so in love with the project right now and I want to finish this draft so badly, I think my stubbornness will win out and I’ll have a completed draft by June.

If, you know, I stop beating myself up, first.

You see, I use WriteTrack to track my progress and I made a plan to start yesterday and finish by June 31st. Following that plan, writing Sundays through Thursdays, I had to write roughly 1,400 words a day to meet my (minimum) word count goal of 80,000 by the 31st of June. I assumed, based off the memories and feelings I had, that I was going to scrap most of the draft that I’d shelved. I wasn’t expecting to like the first six chapters, i.e., 13,000 words.

So right now, it looks like I’ve written 13,000 words in the span of two days, rocketing past my daily word goal counts, already 1/8th of the way done.

And I feel like I’m cheating.

I know, I know.

That’s stupid.

I’m not cheating, even though I didn’t write those words from nothing in the past two days. Instead, I’m discovering the words I thought were shit before actually deserve to stay–for the first draft, anyway. I’m sure there will be some intense editing and fine-tuning in future drafts, so some, if not a lot, of the words I’m in love with now might disappear. But just because I actually like what I wrote before and plan on saving it doesn’t mean that I’m cheating in counting both of those days as successful word count goal days. I’m still working on this project and I’m just really lucky to have some surprising headway towards my goal of 80,000. And it’ll be nice to look back at all of that really fast progress once I am back to writing for the first time, instead of reading through old material and deciding if it’s good enough to stay or not.

Because once I hit that point, I know I’m not going to be averaging over 10,000 words every two days.

So how about I stop beating myself up and instead get excited about the fact that I’m actually falling in love with this story again, eh?

Cheers.


Quest for Discovery: Week Fifteen

Hello, friends!

Last week was a little weird. The weather went back to being shit, so combined with that and my tattoo healing, I didn’t work out at all and it was gloomy, rainy and cold. So while I played Fallout whenever I wasn’t working (like, a lot of Fallout) and I enjoyed that, I am definitely itching to get back into the groove of things. I’m hoping–against hope, it seems, since it snowed again today–that the weather will cooperate, as well, so I can stop getting bummed about the cold and instead start enjoying being outside, wear cute clothes again and get back into running.

Image result for elegant page break clip artWriting 
Long-Term Goal: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.

Last Week’s Goal: Decide what project I want to work on next.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I have my next project picked out and found an old online that was actually a lot more helpful than I remembered coming up with, so that was both surprising and exciting! I also got some more worldbuilding fleshed out, so I’m excited to start writing this week, even if some of that writing includes working through the material I wrote before in the previously shelved draft.

Weekly Goal: Write 5x.

Reading
Long-Term Goal: Read every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.

Last Week’s Goal: Write review. Pick out a new book to read!

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. I chose to reread Here, There by Dragons by James A. Owen. It’s been long enough that I couldn’t remember much of what had happened and I’m so excited to write a review over it, because I just fell completely in love in with all over again. I think, with the exception of a library book here and there coming in that I can’t wait to read, I might read the entire series all the way through and finally finish it.

Weekly Goal: Read 5x. Write review. Go by the library.

Fitness
Long-Term Goal: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.

Last Week’s Goal: Break week, thanks to tattoo healing. Figure out the best way to balance strength training and cardio.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. The first couple days, it was nice to be lazy, but I am itching to get back into the routine of shaping the body want.

Weekly Goal: Workout 5x.

Financial
Long-Term Goal: Learn to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.

Weekly Goal: Frugalness is key!

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. 

Weekly Goal: Stay frugal.

Spiritual
Long-Term Goal: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.

Last Week’s Goal: Pray.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander. 

Weekly Goal: Pray.

Carpe Diem
Long-Term Goal: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly. 

Last Week’s Goal: Don’t give up too much of my soul to Fallout 4.

  • Status: Affirmative, Commander (depending on who you talk to, because I’m definitely obsessed with this game right now). Also had a great time seeing some family members I haven’t seen in years.

Weekly Goal: Get back into the routine and have fun celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday this weekend!Image result for elegant page break clip artThe weather looks like it’s finally going to be spring-like, this week, which I’m desperate for. I’m excited, too. I finally decided on a blend between strength training and cardio that I’m going to try out: strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while running on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so I’m hitting both three times a week, with only one day where I’m working out for roughly 60 minutes instead of 30, doing both. I think it’ll be a good balance between the two and I’ll be active for at least 30 minutes every week day, which I think will also be good for me.

On top of that, I’m starting a new novel this week, titled BLOOD PRICE, and I’m excited to see where this novel takes me, especially because I plan on finishing it, this time.

Cheers.


Choosing Pictures Over Snapshots

It really annoys me when people try and put a label on me, regardless of what that label is based off of, whether it’s physical appearance, interest, belief, personality, whathaveyou.

Sure, I use labels to describe myself in a pinch, when I don’t have time to unpack all the different facets that make up my personality: nerd, dreamer, gamer, etc. But even then, there is so much more to a person than the label we try to place on them, the label we place on ourselves or the stereotype created for us based off of one aspect of our identity.

Let’s take me, for example.

I’m a nerd. A huge one. But what does that really mean? I love Lord of the Rings. I enjoy the genres of both fantasy and science fiction, in books, cinema and games. I play DnD on the weekends, I write books, I play video games, I have T-shirts that make references only those from that random would understand and I plan to learn Elvish before I become fluent in Spanish. I can read a 600 page book in one sitting, if the world will stop bothering me long enough to let me. I have my library card number memorized, but not my debit card.

Sure, you could sum all that up into the label of “nerd,” but the type of nerd that I am, isn’t the same type as someone else who might use the same label. I’m a nerd, yet I’ve only seen two of the Star Wars films. I only got into DnD within the last year (and even then, I don’t follow Critical Role). There are plenty of books, films and games that I haven’t gotten into, which you could claim takes a hit into my nerd status.

And even though that’s just a huge part of my personality and my life, that’s still just one part.

I’m also a writer. Not published, even though someone else could be on the NYT Bestseller List and still use that same title. I’m an athlete, in the sense that I work out regularly, follow my own training routine and care about what I eat, yet I don’t actually compete. So perhaps I should use the label of active, rather than athlete? Does that paint a clearer picture? I’m a believer, in the sense that I worship God. But my version of God is very different than many who I know and on the average day, I’m ashamed to be associated with Christians, because I seriously can’t fathom how you can worship God but hate a Muslim or believe that someone is damned because they love a woman and was born with a vagina. I hate a sleeve yet I don’t do drugs, I prefer to listen to my screamo music loud in my car yet I am a passive driver. I struggle with anxiety and depression and overthinking yet smile more than anyone else you meet. I am obsessed with dogs but have adopted my boyfriend’s cats like they are my own. I’m a hopeless romantic that refuses to be anything else.

What label would you use to encompass all of that?

Here’s the worst part of it, though.

Even though it drives me up the wall when people try to put a label on me and are then shocked when suddenly, that label doesn’t cover all of me or I don’t fit into the mold they believe that label encompassed, guess what?

I do this to strangers all of the time. 

And I hate that I do this.

I work at a college library. I see all sorts of people, all of the time, and in my head, I silently pass judgement and assumptions on them, based on what I think they believe/prescribe to/experience, influenced by both what society has trained me to believe and what my own sampling of experiences has tainted. A sorority woman can’t possible be a nerd. There’s no way they can be professional, wearing those shorts. They’re never going to pass that test, they are laughing so loud when they should be studying. They cheer for that team? Automatically judges them.

On and on and on.

It’s never with malicious intent. Half the time, it’s completely unconscious or almost…instinctual, though that doesn’t feel like the right word. Instantaneous, maybe? I think it’s something everyone probably does, whether they mean to or not; and prolly always will do, at least to some extent.

But that doesn’t make it okay and that doesn’t mean we can’t try to improve. I certainly want to try and lessen how much I do this, both with people I don’t know and those I do. I’m trying to be more aware of when I do it and remind myself that, even though I have that opinion for X reasons, doesn’t mean that opinion is true, accurate or completely encompassing of that person’s character and personality. They deserve the chance for me to get to know them, the real them, every facet and let my opinions of that be based off that: the entire picture, not just a quick snapshot.

Because there is just too many parts that makes each of us uniquely whole to try and box that in neatly.

Cheers.