5 Rules on Writing/Blogging

School loves to tell us how to write. We’re told that using contractions is wrong. A lot of professors make ridiculous requirements, such as requiring ten pages for an essay.

Well, a lot of things school teaches us are wrong in the real world.

Recently, I have been a contributor writer at Slant News. I have learned a few things about writing.

1. Don’t ramble

Readers have a short attention span. Generally, articles should be between 500 to 800 words. If you ramble, people won’t bother reading the whole thing.

2. Better to keep it short and simple

In school, it’s encouraged to write long sentences and paragraphs. In the real world, that isn’t okay. When writing an paragraph, it’s better to have only one sentence rather than five sentences. People want concise writing.

3. Only give reverent information

Background information is important, but only give facts that matter to your story. Dumping random facts on people will annoy them.

4. Know your audience

You have to cater your writing to whoever is reading it. If it’s for a specific professional crowd, you should incorporate their jargon into your work.

5. Have a clear point of view

Stick to your voice. Know what you want to convey to others.

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up real fast.

Usually, you’re expected to blog about what you’re grateful for.

Well, I’m not because I’m grateful everyday. As much as life loves to test me, I’m happy due to many things: friends, family, health, and opportunities. I do experience some rough moments, but I remind myself to appreciate what I have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

The Difficulties of Forming a Creative Identity

Whether it’s fine art, film making, writing, fashion, music, or anything creative, it’s hard to develop your voice. You feel the pressure to do it all. Well, you can’t and it’s okay.

When you first enter a creative field, it’s huge. There are so many different types of things to do. Everything excites you.

Yet, there is a lot of competition. You fear that not doing enough will make you undesirable for anyone to hire. That fear makes you jump on anything presented to you. You try to tick every box in the industry. This might make you feel accomplished, but you get lost on who you are as a creative mind.

That is why you need to first think about what you want to do exactly. You don’t have to have a very specific idea and you shouldn’t. That sounds so contradictory, but you have to build depth in something without boxing yourself in. You don’t want people to typecast you or else it makes it hard for you to experiment later on.

To succeed, you have to have depth and range. Both are needed because you have to develop your skills well while being opened to different opportunities. It’s hard to achieve this without spreading yourself thin.

My advice is to take your time to figure your creative identity. Taking the time will help you see what works and what doesn’t work. Don’t let the pressure get to you.

Laugh a Little

Bills are piling up. Your parents keep telling you how to live your life. You are constantly feeling the need to be an adult.
People judge you for wanting to “chill.” I have felt the judgement from others. Lately, I question where my life is going. Fears creep in a bit. 

However, yesterday, whiling waiting for a friend, I saw two little kids playing hide and seek with their mom. They were laughing and smiling. Seeing them like that reminded me that life is too short to stress over.

Whenever you are feeling down, just laugh a bit.

Not Running Away From Student Loans

For the last few months, I kept getting emails about paying back my loans. I chose to ignore them. The thought of paying my loans scared me to death.

I would rather hide under my blanket and pretend that my loans did not exist.

However, yesterday I got the email again about the due date approaching. I finally decided to set-up my repayment plan. The whole process of setting up everything wasn’t so bad.

Taking out these loans were my only way to attend college, even after getting scholarships and grants. My liberal arts college provided the best financial aid package out of the colleges I got accepted to; it gave me more money than my state school.

In college, the idea of paying back my loans was the last on my mind. I was focus on getting the most out of my education. College went by quickly and the loan repayment due date started appearing fast.

Paying back any debt is a part of growing up. It sucks, but we are obligated to do so. I’m grateful that I was able to go to college.

Five Life Lessons

Since graduating college, I have learned some important life lessons.

1. GPA doesn’t matter

Even though I graduated with Cum Laude, no one really cares. In all of my job interviews, no one has asked me about my GPA. They generally want to know more about my experience and skills set.

2. You have to negotiate 

Money is an uncomfortable topic for people. When an employer asks you for your pay rate, don’t ever underestimate yourself. If you don’t take value in yourself, people will lowball you with the pay.

3. Handle rejection with grace and class

Rejection is never fun, but it’s a part of life. It’s okay occasionally to have a pity party, but you have to eventually pick yourself up.

4. Beware of your social media behavior

Socia media is a lot of fun, but you have to be careful with what you post. If you post anything disrespectful about your boss, you can be fired. Whenever you are about to post something, ask yourself if you’re okay with anyone seeing it.

5. Tons of people aren’t meant to stay in your life long-term

Plenty of people will enter your life, but you won’t stay in touch with them. That is okay. Each person teaches us an important life lesson. 

What I Would Tell My Teenage Self

Beginning of high school, I planned out the rest of my life: graduate high school with honors, go to college, attend medical school, pursue a medical residency, become a licensed physician, buy a house, and then retire. I pictured myself living in a cozy house in a secluded area. My attitude in life was about getting material goods.

Well, I’m no longer want to do medical school. Instead, I’m pursuing a freelance career, which is the opposite of stability. I have no desire to buy a fancy house.

Now, I want to travel around the world after my amazing year studying in China. There are so many places I want to see, especially Japan and India. Tasting new food and seeing new sites excite me the most.

My teenage self would view my current life as insane, but I’d tell him to chill out. Life is too short to stress out over. Just breathe and enjoy the moment.

Change of Social LIfe

The one thing I miss about college is having my friends there. It was so easy to run into my pals on campus. We would make last minute plans to go out.

Now, my friends are no longer in one place. Most have moved to different places, especially to another country. Not only geographical differences, amount of free time varies with each person. A friend of mine now works long hours on Wall Street. Another friend is juggling grad school and work.

I am lucky that I can text my friends, but it doesn’t feel the same as physically hanging out with them. It is not uncommon for my friends to not respond since they are working. I completely understand their hectic schedules and don’t hold it against them.

Adjusting to the change of my social life has been a challenge. I have been forced to make new friends. As scary as that is, it’s a part of growing up. We have to learn to not be afraid to meet new people and letting them into our lives.

On a positive note, I’m grateful that my old friends and I still keep in touch. For my friends abroad, we still talk by WhatsApp. It’s important to try to stay connected with others.