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My Writing Story

This week I’ve been really hitting the book tags on my blog so I thought today, I’d share a little of my writing journey and how I came to the realization that I wanted to be a novelist.

I’ve seen a lot of videos titled, how to know if you’re a writer but I’ve never clicked on them. It’s because deep inside myself, I feel it. Writing has been a strength for me, to express things that I couldn’t communicate. When I was younger, I had many trust issues concerning peers and I’ve never reached to that point where I feel fully able to confide in someone. I am now thankful for those lonely periods where I experienced a lot of pain, rejection. It’s what gave me my voice.

Here’s how it all started.

I’ve been writing my thoughts and feelings in journals for as long as I can imagine. The way I express myself isn’t very direct to a reader. There are parables, emphasis and much elaboration in how I feel. As I got older I lent bits of fiction to my feelings. At this point I didn’t think I could write a story,  I didn’t even know I was carving something out of nothing.

Like many readers and writers, I too lived within my imagination as a coping mechanism when my will to smile faded. I was a child who felt so deeply, and hurt so easily and I was disconnected from everyone around me. I felt misunderstood, and I still do.

From an early age, I’d look at a lot of movies. Sometimes I believe they thwarted the reality of love and relationships for me, but nevertheless, I became so engrossed with those movies, based mostly on love and also my books that stories began to take fruition in my mind.

I used to dream that one day I’d write a story like that and see it on a screen so I had this unrealistic dream of becoming a screenwriter. This is entirely different from being a novelist. Being a novelist is more of a struggle to me as I do better with dialogue and conversations.

During my teenage years, I started outlining stories… I even wrote a full story in a notebook in my last year of high school which I let one friend read, and she actually enjoyed it. If being a writer wasn’t such a world away from where I was at, I would’ve continued with my stories there.

After I left high school, I wrote books of poetry. I went through heartache, more rejection, I was emotionally disconnected from my family. I felt unsupported and pressured into studying things I didn’t want to study. Nevertheless I did it, because I had to follow norms, I eventually had to pay bills. I couldn’t just survive on a silly childhood dream.

There was a period of just work and university, I barely found time to read, the one thing that helped me throughout my life. I hadn’t even turned on the TV in two years. It was a horrible period in my life but the stories never left me. The worlds I’d build a decade before, the characters I’d molded, the lives they lived…it never left me.

Fast forward some years, where I’d now migrated, gotten married to a man who I believe could be my only true friend, and a kid later, I was better grounded in my life but still trying to figure out what I want to do personally with my life. I was searching for that part of myself that I never found. Did it mean going back to college? Did it mean settling again to do something I didn’t want to do?

It was through my daughter’s physical therapist that I learned about the world of self-publishing and it took me two years to even sit down in front of my computer and write. It’s been a year since I’ve started writing and outlining my story ideas, and it’s brought me self-fulfillment if anything. It’s my hobby, it’s my stress reliever. Do I wish I could do it as a career? Of course but the most important thing for me is, to read the very stories that took birth in my own head.

What roll does writing play in your life?

xo Kat

Where do you get your blog content?

Where do I get my blog content?

I get my blog content the same way I get ideas for writing stories…through everyday life. Something or someone might spark a conversation in my head that I have with myself and voila! Things come to me while reading, cleaning, shopping etc. I’m pretty sure all of our minds work this way.

It’s how to stay inspired and passionate about what you write that’s tough. I’ve been hoarding blog ideas since 2014 when I first started blogging and although I have quite a few topics to explore, I often don’t feel inspired every time I sit in front of my computer.

Firstly, you need to know what you want to write about, what you want your blog to be about. You need to do some soul searching and find out what you’re passionate about. I’m a mom, and I love reading and writing. Slowly my blog is becoming a book blog, but it’s something I am passionate about and something I can talk about for days. So most of my content is based around parenting, lifestyle and books.

If you’re a personal blogger just writing about your journey, you can write like you’re writing in a journal, documenting your days and your experiences.

Once you’ve figured out your main idea for your blog, you want to brainstorm ideas and write them all down. I promise you that you won’t use all of it but you’re setting a foundation if you want to do this daily or weekly.

Plan out your topics, select a few you’d like to elaborate on and just write then publish! Voila!

Getting all of your ideas from your blog doesn’t always come off the top of your head. It depends on what you’re writing about, you may want to use images, and you may have to do some research. The best way to keep track of all your ideas is to write them all down. As for getting images, you don’t have to have the best camera. I myself use free images from pixabay.com and they work just fine.

Happy Blogging!

xo Coffee Doll

Reading As A Writer

One of the most basic things to know about writers are, they were first readers. Readers possess the ability to use their imagination to carve out what an author is conveying in his or her book. It’s truly a great relationship to be in when you delve into a good story, and your whole world revolves around it. It gives us a place to be, an escape…somewhere to belong.

I’ve always been a good reader, although my choices aren’t always literary. It sometimes borders on senseless entertainment but hey! reading is reading, right? It’s not too far into a book that I start appreciating a story unless it’s really not my cup of tea, then I won’t even finish it.

Lately I’ve been having trouble concentrating on the story alone as I’m picking up on writer things. I really have no other words for it at this moment, I’m in between sleep and a cup of coffee so bear with me. I’m noticing the use of words, new words and phrases, unique expressions by the author, the descriptive scenes in some books and the lesser descriptive scenes in other books. I try not to use it as a stencil for my own writing but it does broaden my perspective as in the creative world, you’re always learning and developing. There really is no end.

I find myself highlighting expressions I’ve never seen before or the writing style of the author instead of dreamy or deep quotes. I really learn from each piece of writing and it helps me enhance my own writing, I hope.

As a writer, you’ll also find things wrong with material that you’re reading. Not every published work is brilliant or to your tastes and you’ll feel the need to make a comment. Just remember to be constructive in your criticism 🙂

xo

 

My Strange Addiction to Paper

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After I learned that this was an actual thing, I can be a little open about it. I’d often think that there was something wrong with me. Something childish that I never grew out of or just something completely ridiculous and it does still seem so, but it’s an actual thing and other people enjoy it as well.

So ever since I was a child, I would enjoy flipping through books, like all of the pages and smelling them. This is pretty normal, right? Everyone does it from time to time, especially avid readers like myself. Well here’s where it got confusing for me. I love to just sit and flip pages, each and every one of them until I reach to the end of the book and then flip them all the way back to the beginning. And while I’m watching TV or studying I keep doing this over and over and over, flipping back and forth.

I especially enjoy the feel of the paper against my fingers and the sound it makes, as well as the sound of the page turning. I can’t explain it, but I love it. I couldn’t make a connection whether it was therapeutic or relaxing to me until recently. I do this a lot in private and when my husband or anyone walks in, I quickly shut the book or pretend I was reading it, because I feel stupid about flipping pages for no reason.

A few months ago I was looking for a video on calming sounds on Youtube, I just love the sound of rain falling and thunder so I was looking. I then came across a video with a woman flipping pages of a telephone book or a magazine. It was labelled ASMR Page Turning. My curiosity of course got the better of me because it was still a strange thing to me at that time so I scrolled down to the comments and it was mind blowing how many people found this relaxing. It was amazing to me that people enjoyed different kinds of paper sounds whether it be thick, or newspaper etc.

I’ve never discussed my little habit with anyone before as I think I’ll still get some weird stares. Only people who share the same love of page turning will totally get this. Let me know what sounds relax you!

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a tingly experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, precipitating relaxation. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

xo Coffee Doll

Image: Pixabay.com

Ashamed of Being Yourself

This morning I was remembering an incident where I was insulted for listening to Turkish music. Some years back, a classmate of mine was going through my iPod and he came across Arabic and Turkish music so he joked about it. Lo and behold some girl who gave me a lot of attitude(for no reason) and never spoke to me,chimed in on how I should be relocated to another university because I think I’m better than everyone. What the f*&^? Seriously??? And this is the same attitude that surrounded me most of my life and I had to hide who I really was so people wouldn’t pick on me.

It’s supposed to be normal to be interested in different things or be passionate about different things from the majority of people around you. Some of us are comfortable in our box and some of us see the universe as our box. Everyone is just a different flavor in a melting pot. At least that’s how I see it.

For as long as I can remember I have been bashed for something or the other, my taste in music, the clothes I wore, the way I think etc. I honestly felt like something was wrong with me. I was like a square trying to fit into a circle. I was always alone among friends and family. I wished I did a crash course on how to deal with mean people, maybe I would’ve handled things better.

Eventually I became ashamed of expressing myself and the things that I was interested in. The sad thing about hiding who you are, you will never get full satisfaction.You will never be contented with yourself. As long as you are deceiving your heart, life will always be unbearable.

As time passes, you should learn to appreciate your differences. It makes you, you! It makes you stand out and that is a good thing. We are all born original, we shouldn’t turn into copying machines. The important thing is to always stay true to yourself. You will be surprised to know a change in the people you surround yourself with will make room for others who are accepting of you and who you are. In the end, people will judge you anyway so be happy and do what makes you happy. Never be ashamed of who you are because you don’t fit in with a bunch of closed minds.

xo Kat

Wearing the Victim Card

Everybody has played the victim card at least once in life to manipulate a situation for their own benefit, and I say once lightly because I’m pretty sure it’s more than that. Then there are those that wear it. It must get exhausting always playing that card, wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t it?

I’m not ignoring the fact that some people are actually victims, of abuse etc etc. Let me just put that disclaimer out there firstly.

Self-victimization is often fabricated for attention or manipulating other people and situations. I have recently seen people playing this role like they’re getting payed for it because they don’t want to accept being wrong. It’s difficult for them to apologize because they feel like someone else will have a sort of upper hand on them, instead they play victim and shift the blame to someone else. This is their sneaky little way of thinking they’re “winning” something.

Victims look for sympathy and attention from others when they aren’t enough for themselves. They can’t or won’t improve their situation, they bring a lot of negativity into their space and they also take advantage of people who show care and concern. I have actually dealt with being a convenient shoulder to lean on for a few people with this kind of behavior. I genuinely cared and then year after year after year, I realized these people could not be helped. It was like going in circles, no ending for it. I strongly believe people let this victim role consume them because they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and choices in life. They get a sort of fulfillment from an outsider who will confirm what they want to hear.

Having this type of mentality, makes a person stubborn and negative. They will tell you over and over about the negative things they think and feel, but disregard anything you tell them in order to change their opinion or better their situation. From experience, I’ve seen people exaggerate a situation, putting me into a panic that something bad was going to happen to them, getting me all worked up and worried and then nothing. Maybe something will turn out good, maybe something will turn out bad but victims hold on to negative outcomes and it’s not nice to put people who really care through that.

Playing victim is a state of mind. We may feel sympathetic towards people who put themselves down or are always in a negative mood but we have to be conscious of what is real and what is a lie. Several individuals took me for this ride and exhausted me with it. What happens when you show concern, people take advantage of it and that’s all you are to them. Convenience.

xo Kat

Don’t be a People Pleaser

Now this is something I have had the hardest time letting go off in my life. I used to have zero self-esteem and confidence in myself and my life previously. I don’t know how it started, but it was at a very tender age that I felt so incompetent at life, I felt like a loser, I hated myself for not being able to fit in. When I sit down and reflect on this portion of my life, I know that I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to feel this way. Not necessarily the wrong people, but I think I was surrounded by the wrong attitudes. People said things to me that hurt my core at such a young age and for some reason I took it very hard compared to my peers, who couldn’t care less. I admired strong people. I wished I could be carefree, I wished I could just do naughty things but the consequences scared the crap out of me. 

So this people pleasing attitude took birth from my low self esteem and lack of confidence in myself. I wanted so bad to fit in that i became vulnerable to even the wrong company. People I believed had my best interests, really didn’t. But then again, people that were supposed to have my best interests didn’t either. I tended to trust the wrong people, then hate myself for it. I felt so betrayed by life sometimes. I used to admire best friends and groups of friends…why couldn’t I have that? I was the kind of person that would bend over backwards for someone I cared for. 

I had this yearning to impress people, my family, my friends. I just wanted to be part of their world…it looked great from where I was viewing it. I allowed people to bully me into being someone I’m not. I knew what people expected of me so instead of having the courage to do what makes me happy, I pushed myself to do what I thought everyone else thinks is what I should be doing.

I have had to change myself and my personality because people around me couldn’t handle what I am. Because they didn’t share the same interests, couldn’t hold a dialogue with me, they made me feel like I was stupid and out of my mind. I felt ashamed to express who I was. Simple as the kind of music I listened to, or my love of reading, I was thought to be very dull and not in with the crowd. You know, at a young age, most of us tend to experience some really shitty things before we shape our own perspective of life. After years of feeling like I was sinking at rock bottom, hope was not a part of my vocabulary, I just could not take this feeling anymore.

I needed to be strong enough to let these people go. I needed to let these people who could not accept me for who I am, know that I am growing and I have to leave you behind. God placed some people in my life to help me with this struggle. Some are still around, some are not, but I’ve learned to understand that people leave, they don’t stay forever and I don’t have to feel guilty about it. My biggest therapy was learning to let people go, the ones that know me for what I’m worth, aren’t going anywhere!

It is hard and and it will be hard for those who are now dealing with this, but please don’t be a people “pleaser”. If you have to please someone more than yourself, then they aren’t worth being in your life. You have to know your self worth and you have to understand that being alone is greater than being surrounded by people who make you feel alone. I have wasted too many years feeling like this, I refuse to put myself in that situation again. If people cannot be genuinely happy for you and your life, then let them go. You aren’t doing anything wrong.

Just because I did not have hope for myself, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Somewhere in the world there were a few other people like me who I got the opportunity to cross paths with. I am not a big socialite, but I do have a few people who exist in my life that accept me for who I am. They accept that I can be different from them, I can be the same like them, we can learn from each other and generally just wish each other well.