February 19, 2010

Good Luck? Bad Luck?

An old farmer used a horse to till his fields. One day, the horse ran away, and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?
A week later, the horse returned with a herd of wild mares, and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"
Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell and broke his leg. Everyone agreed this was very bad luck. But the farmer's only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"
A week later, the army marched into the village and drafted all the young men they could find. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him stay behind. Good luck? Bad luck?

This is an ancient Chinese story I just read in Marci Shimoff's Happy for No Reason that a friend offered me for my last birthday (thanks Taka!).

This story has reminded me that who knows whether the things that happen to us are good or bad in the long run? Things may look bad at first, but it could be so something even better can happen afterward.
So I've decided to take Marci Shimoff's advice to look only for the good in every situation (or work up to that point, anyway). So yeah... *clears throat*
Studying for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam is GREAT, and will end up helping me loads when I have all sorts of non-profit organizations under my belt and a SUPER-AWESOMELY-GREAT writing career. Wait, let me rephrase that, I HAVE a SUPER-AWESOMELY-GREAT writing career! Yeah, I like the sound of that : )

If you were to apply this concept to yourself, what one thing would you change?

February 2, 2010

The Key Is To Have Fun

Just read this post on how to write a book in a month. I know, quite a few pointers for me to follow considering I've been on my book (on and off I admit) for almost 5 years now (dang, time DOES fly by!).

The point I retained? I need to have fun while writing and editing (OK, so I added that last part), since writing (and thereby editing) is something that I love. Yes, it's true. I'm not making this one up.

And frankly, over the past 5 years (almost) of writing (2 of which have been serious-serious), I find that my best passages, the ones that flow smooth like water, are the ones which I had fun while writing.

After thinking about it (for a very short while, I have to admit--no, shorter than that), I figured it's completely logical. The brain is like a muscle, it needs daily training if we want our performance to get better and better or it atrophies. Well, just like when playing a sport, things come to me more naturally when I'm relaxed. Otherwise it's like trying to force words out of my constipated brain: I have to work really hard to get meagre results.

OK, that was gross. Change of imagery.

The point is, I need to be relaxed and for that I need to have fun while writing.

I never think at all when i write;
nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well.
~Don Marquis, Archy's Life of Mehitabel, 1933

Now if only I could apply that concept to my financial studies as well. Sigh.

So, what works for you?

--The Writing Apprentice

PS: Fun = Easy is a fallacy.
PPS: You can find the article I read here.