It took me 10 years to complete my first novel Esperanza. Many notebooks were filled, many napkins and scraps of paper were written on, and many drafts were written, rewritten, and changed. During this ten year journey I was also dealing with and battling with the confines of life, internal and external obstacles, juggling multiple jobs, and dealing with and facing positive and negative people. And no matter how many times I wanted to quit because it got harder each day, I was faced with road blocks and failure, it seemed like a waste of time or wouldn't amount to anything or it seemed to never end, I never stopped. I kept writing even when there seemed to be nothing to write, I worked on other writing projects. Even when people with big egos, those who are quick to judge without knowing me personally or what I'm doing, the wicked ones who looked down upon me with pity, doubt, and disbelief still I carried on. Evil looks, hurtful words, or being laughed at used to bother me and affect my emotions and decisions, not anymore. The 10 years I spent writing Esperanza not only made me a stronger person mentally and in the heart but also taught me many things about being human, chasing and achieving dreams/goals, and becoming successful and evolving as a spiritual being. Here are some of the basics I’ve learned, which have worked for me in life and as a writer.
Patience. Without it you'll break emotionally and give up too soon. You won't be able to see your true potential or that in others. You'll miss out on seeing the beautiful rose that grows from shit.
Discipline. Without structure, balance, and self-control you'll break during stressful situations. Discipline is what I learned from soccer, keeping fit physically and mentally, having a strict work schedule to develop my skills and character, and being prepared and able to overcome any barriers and/or changes.
Vision. Being able to foresee your final destination. Dreaming big yet focusing on the little paths and goals needed to overcome before reaching the big goal. You have to visualize each realistic and optimistic path and outcome. Like a chess player and a soccer player you have to see 4-6 moves/plays ahead from the present moment. This makes you prepared, one step ahead of an opponent/obstacle and better prepared to face failure, transition, and make the necessary moves to surpass your original intent.
Work ethic/time management. These two work together. Work ethic is what I learned from soccer. Training/writing everyday harder and knowing there is someone out there doing what I'm doing, has the same dreams and is pushing just as hard or harder to succeed. You have to push harder, to perfect your craft. You have to be better than not only those seeking the same dreams/goals but better than yourself each day. In order to work hard you need to manage your time. Create and follow a strict time schedule that fits in with your job, family time, free time, obligations, and any sudden event that occurs. Find and make time to write. When I was single I had all the time in the world. When I had a girlfriend then got married that time was split in half. When I had a daughter it was gone. So instead of giving up or sulking I made an effort to make time. When my wife was at work and I wasn't I wrote. When my wife and daughter were asleep late at night or in the early hours I wrote. When I had a 1-2 hour window of free time during the day instead of watching Netflix or surfing the internet I wrote. There are 24hrs in a day there are no excuses for not finding 1-2 hours a day to write or work on your dreams/goals.
Love. Love yourself, not in an egotistic manner but in being proud of who you are. Love what you are doing with your life or the dream you're chasing. Love those who are important to you whether it’s family, friends, or people from all walks of life who somehow connect with you, respects you, and/or challenges and helps you grow as a human being. Love is the force which binds us, fuels us, and guides us, and will help you achieve your dreams and bring you happiness.
Believe. Believe in yourself. No matter how misguided the path you are on may seem, no matter how much advice or opinions you get from others, or from the so called experts, the only voice that will guide you in the right direction towards your final destination that you see fit for you and the only road that will take you there is YOURS. All the answers you need are in your heart, so trust that feeling of knowing, and go with it. It may fail or get you into trouble, but ultimately it’s not only being true to yourself, but in the end you could look back at the journey you took with no regrets. Help, guidance, and advice from others is great, we need that in life. Teams are what win, not the individual, but ultimately in the end, it’s the individual actions that make the character you are. Believe in yourself, and then others will believe in you, and come to you for help, for guidance, and advice.
Adaptability. Being adaptable as a human being is a necessary survival trait. It’s how we evolved, and it’s how you will be able to face change, failure, roadblocks, and anything else that gets in the way of your dreams/goals, and growth process. Being adaptable will enable you to be able to face any challenges without fear or excuses, such as being unprepared and enable you to overcome any feat and achieve greatness.
Be Positive. There are a lot of negative people in the world. There will always be someone out there speaking negative about you, who won’t like you for some reason, either because of the way you live your life, or the way you look. There will be negative people who won’t agree with you or believe in you. Sometimes they will be direct, use social media, or other times they will gossip with the flock of negative hive mind people that reflect who they are, and try to rally up an uneducated, programed, blindly misguided zombie mass of people to go against you and all you believe in. That’s the sick world we live in. We see this everyday on the News, on T.V shows, in the media, in magazines, on the internet, in the office, in the schools, in any sort of work place, in arenas and stadiums or gathering ground where there are people. DON”T GET SUCKED INTO THIS NEGATIVE WORLD OR WAY OF BEING. This negative mentality and negative people will bring you down, and divert you from your dreams/goals. Even when times are tough stay positive, and carry on, there will always be brighter days ahead. Leave behind negative people and influences; they are the cancer of the human race.