Working Full-Time and Staying Creative

Advice for Writers

How do you find time for it all? That is the question I get asked most often when people find out that I teach, blog, and dedicate a lot of my time to volunteer work. The truth is, finding a balance between working a full-time job and pursuing a creative passion can be exhausting. The danger in that is that since our hearts are the center of our desires and motives, when they become tired all the projects in our life suffer too. Usually, that is the point we find ourselves simply living mechanically without the slightest clue how we will get anywhere or even what our direction is. It is almost as if we are facing an insurmountable mountain, blindfolded, and without hiking gear. It’s nearly impossible to achieve any type of success.

My First Year Blogging

Interestingly, the person who taught me to read was not a teacher, it was my mother. To motivate me, she promised she’d throw me a reading party when I was able to read my first paragraph. Her logic was, I needed to be able to read the writing on the cake. So, we practiced syallabic patterns every day, because that’s how you learn to read in Spanish, until I was ready to combine them and make words, and then we read sentences. Finally, the day of my party arrived. My mother invited everyone we knew to a park. There, she presented me with a huge sheet cake that read “Felicidades”. That day, my mother taught me that important milestones are to be celebrated.

My Survival Story

I’m an escape artist of sorts. I find myself in situations dangerously close to death, and manage to escape them.

The first time I escaped death I was too young to form any recollection of it. Since I was only two years old, I have to rely on the memories of both my parents. The problem is that opposing sides always tend to tell a different story. Over time, I have come to piece together snippets of moments in time and thread a somewhat believable story. The year was 1987 in Venezuela. My mother watched as my belly swelled, listened to my insufferable shrieks, and instinctively knew something had to be wrong. My father’s pseudo-knowledge of medicine acquired through years of hypochondria and anxiety, confirmed that something had to be wrong with their youngest child. Doctors suspected renal failure, later studies confirmed I had been born with a defect that had to be corrected through an operation.

Toss Those Bad Work Habits

Declutter your DeskWhat’s worse than being called to the principal’s office? Being an adult and getting called in to your boss’ office to receive a sub-par review of your work ethic. Now, much like religion, work ethic is a belief system of choice and a personal one at that. That’s not to say that you can just attribute your bad habits to being a matter of personality, and continue behaving in the same patterns that got you called in to the principal’s office to begin with.

I have partnered with Belen of A Hint of Life, as part of the Spring Clean Your Life series to discuss how to toss a bad work ethic when you’ve made a mess of things at the office.

Reassess Your Relationships

Life Quote

You may have set out with a lot of goals for yourself this year, only to find that you haven’t achieved most of them and you’re at a loss for what to do. I found inspiration in the saying “when things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting”. Now, if my math is correct, we’re two seasons into the year. Clearly, dire circumstances call for extreme measures, and we need to start handing out pink slips now.

Spring Clean Your Life

SunflowerThe heat index hits a record high for the third consecutive day, the humidity brings out the natural in your hair, and you are convinced you’ve never felt this in love before in your life. It’s officially spring in Miami and I know exactly what you need- to spring clean your life.

Growing up my sister and I shared a massive closet. When we felt our stress levels at record highs, usually around this time of year, we would take every item out of the closet and make piles that covered every inch of space of our bedroom floor. We would sift through and determine what to donate, keep, and trash. Meanwhile, we would talk and work out the feelings we’d been hoarding in our hearts and minds as well. Three hours later, we’d end up with a clean closet, a clean mind, and resolved to achieve most anything.

So, today, I invite you to be my sister; let’s sift through our feelings and organize our lives together:

Find the Beer of Your Life: A How To Guide

Girl and BeerA girl walks into a bar. No, it isn’t a joke, it was National Beer Day! If you cringe at the thought of an entire day being dedicated to the drinking of yeast-fermented malt, I get it. You’re not alone. I too loathed drinking beer and scoffed it off as another phase I must’ve skipped in college like pledging a sorority and chugging Jager bombs in the fall. Still, I couldn’t believe I had made it to 30 without ever properly enjoying beer out of sheer ignorance. Was I missing out on some universal secret everyone seemed to know? I had to find out. So armed with a pen and notepad, I learned, or rather schooled myself, on the art of tasting beer. See, it turns out that finding the right beer for you is a lot easier than finding that one person you’re meant to be with for the rest of your life. And while you will find that all the same rules apply, there is a lot more quality beer to select from than there are fish in the sea.

So here’s how to find the right beer for you:

Surviving the Hunger Games

Casabe 305You may remember that this past weekend I co-hosted my first ever event as a blogger. It was an intimate brunch at Casabe 305 Bistro, in partnership with Femme Realm and City Year Miami. I joined forces with five of Miami’s bloggers to host this “Brunch with a Purpose”. What brought such a varied group of women together? The idea that collaboration can trump competition (I know, this is a very new concept for me too).

Can competition be helpful? The fact is healthy competition can fuel your drive to succeed. It can spark a fire in an otherwise apathetic employee and even foster teamwork and camaraderie. It is no wonder employers use it as a strategy to incentivize their employees to accomplish a certain goal.

Spring Forward

Do you ever feel like you are in a rut, creatively? You may feel like your senses have been dulled and your creativity calloused. Like an extra-long winter of stagnancy, your brain just can’t seem to produce anything that feels fresh or progressive. You may feel you are stuck in a mood of dark gloominess that is blocking your creative light from shining. I know, I feel it too!

Fearless in the Office

It is no secret that women are often overlooked in the workplace. We may complacently fall into the mistake of blaming men for this. I completely disagree. I think women are overlooked because we allow self-doubt and subconscious fears speak on our behalf by way of silence.