Put BICHOK

BICHOK – I learned this acronym years ago from a writing website. BICHOK means “butt in chair, hands on keyboard.” It took me years to understand what it really meant. That if I wanted to get something done, I had to sit down and do it. I finally did.

Make Time

I had been reading some inspirational blogs, productivity posts and others meant to inspire me to write. Because I’ve been having a difficult time just sitting down to get it done. Making time for it at home is super hard with a teen and toddler needing my attention as a single mom. I made time to read in the mornings and now changed it to writing time.

Just Do it!

So, when I have quiet time in the mornings, I looked for posts to inspire me to write. Instead, I found posts that make me think “These are the things I’d like to write.” But, I couldn’t write them if I did’t put my butt in a chair with my hands on a keyboard. Like NIKE says, I had to just do it. I had to BICHOK. And by doing so, I came up with three different posts for the blog all in less than 10 minutes. Not bad if I do say so myself.

What’s Behind this?

Sometimes when we take too long in doing something, it could mean that we fear it or really don’t want to do it. My avoidance of writing is fear. Fear that my words won’t mean anything to anyone or that if they do, I’ll have to follow them up with more words. As my friend Pauline Campos once told me, “just write for you. Do it.” And I did. It was her way of saying “BICHOK.”

Is there something that you just NEED or WANT to get done? Just do it. Do it for yourself. You deserve it. Shut up and get it done for the simple reason that you deserve to do something kind for yourself.

Springtime is Renewal Time

It may not seem like it with snow coming down in early April, but Spring is the season of sunshine and renewal. It’s a time to start fresh or start over new plans for whatever you may want to change in life. For me, it’s starting over with my blog. Again.

Renewal happens Everyday

In nature, renewal happens every season. In the past couple of years,  I felt like I have been starting over a lot. every day, in fact. But, that’s how we learn and grow. Everyday is an opportunity to renew ourselves; to revisit our wants and needs. When we go through tough times or make mistakes. It happens. I think about my shortcomings and how I can learn and renew myself.

The point is every day is a new day to work on new dreams and goals. Everyday is a new chance for you to start over; to renew yourself. Your dreams; your goals.

Today, I encourage you to think about what goals and dreams you want to renew. What are you wanting to achieve for yourself? What will you renew today? I know I will.

By; Heiddi Zalamar

Renewal Time – Image by Author

 

Evolution: Heiddi 2.0

Evolution?

I should say so. After a year-long hiatus preceded by a two year hiatus, you figure why do I keep doing this to myself? Haven’t I figured out what I’ve wanted to do yet?

Frankly, no. Here I am a college graduate and bilingual licensed mental health counselor working with low-income families in New York City. As of 2011, when I received my licensure, I also accomplished my goals. Which is an amazing feeling and a proud moment for me.

Turning Point

But, with all my accomplishments and achieved goals as of 2011, comes what next? For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find out. I’ve reduced a lot of my extra-curricular activities such as playing guitar at my local church (12 years), paid blogging (6 years) and writing in general (too many years to count).

Self-Evaluation

I’ve been spending more time in self-evaluation mode while also prepping for the arrival of my second son, Benjamin who arrived on June 21, 2014. Yes, Andy’s a big brother now and I’m still the single mom of now two amazing boys. I’m a very happy mom.

While being a proud mom is great, I still have goals simmering within me waiting to be unleashed in the world. I’ve found that I need to set new goals and discover new passions.

IMG-20120607-00467

What I hope to share on this website is positivity and wellness – whether I’m writing about mental health or the simple things that bring me joy. I’d like to keep writing and sharing these with you.

The Heiddi 2.0 Evolution is here – will you join me?

It’s “I Love to Write Day”

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post comes in the exact middle of NanoWriMo. I tried Nano last year and I couldn’t get through it. In celebrating November 15 – “I Love to Write” Day, I hope you can share why you love to write. My goal is to help you Nanoers get back on track as well as any writer’s block sufferers and beginning writers who don’t know where to begin.

Sometimes the thing we love to do most is hard because we get drained, tired and frustrated. I know I get that way. So I’ll start.

I love to write because:

1) I love expressing myself.

2) I love helping others.

3) I need to write.

4) I love making others laugh.

5) I love to encourage others.

6) I like to pay it forward because I’ve been moved by other writers.

Share why you love to write in the comments section below. Be motivated and Happy Writing!

It’s NanoWriMo Time!

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. It’s that time of year again folks. What time? Not gear up for Thanksgiving time. And it’s not Black Friday time. It’s NanoWriMo time!

If you haven’t heard of NanoWriMo – it stands for National Novel Writing Month. From November 1 – 30, you can take on the challenge of writing a novel or manuscript (50, 000 words). No editing; just writing. I myself signed up for NanoWriMo, but ended up quitting after a week and a half due to home and work obligations. Maybe next year, since I’m not up for it this year either.

Freshman Writers, this is a great way to get some fire in your bellies and write that book you have inside of you. It doesn’t matter the topic, genre or language. All that matters is that you get the project out of your brain and on to the page (or computer screen).  You can do this! I believe in you. If my pals on Twitter can do it, so can you.

Go to NanoWriMo and register. Not only will you find online support groups and a buddy system, you’ll also find NanoWriMo meet-up groups that will allow you to connect with other challenge participants in your area. Check it out and good luck! Make sure to report back at the end of the month.

Happy Writing!

3 Ways to Be Kind to Editors & Writers

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being kind to Editors & Writers. September marks Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month. We all know that there’s so much negativity in the world today. This month, I wanted to share my tips for spreading the love. Here are some ways to spread kindness all around and keep the positivity going. Enjoy!

1. Be polite. Remember that good manners (online and off) speak volumes about who you are.

2. Sharing is Caring. Freshman Writers, you have expertise in something. Share what you know if a writer/editor asks. And even if you don’t, pass it along to others in your circle. You never know who you can help.

3. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  The world of freelance writers is small, even though cyberspace can seem huge. People communicate to one another; especially editors & writers. Stay positive on-line and share negativity offline with trusted friends. When I get upset about something, I talk to friends offline to gain perspective. In this way, I get my feelings out without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the positive energy flowing all around you; both online and off.

Happy Writing!

Love Note Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is in celebration of National Love Note Day according to BrownieLocks.com. I’m a sucker for a great love note so I thought we could use this as a prompt. Share what you like about love notes and even one of your own! Below is my contribution. Enjoy!

Happy Writing!

 

Dear Son,

Little boy, you’re the center of my world. You’re my motivation to get up everyday to work hard. You’ve pushed me far beyond my limits and even my dreams. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I love you. You’re my favorite kid in the whole, wide world and I live for your smile. Remember that I’ll always be there no matter what.

Love,

Mami

Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. I’m sharing a quote today since it’s been awhile. And great words always get me going. Enjoy!

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.

-Miguel de Cervantes

 I love this quote because it puts responsibility of our actions directly on our shoulders. One of my challenges as a writer is wishing (aka begging) to be a successful writer. But, this quote hits me with reality and lets me know that I’m responsible to take the steps to be a successful writer. So, Freshman Writers – you’ve got the power to get published!

Happy Writing!

5 Tips on Handling Rejection

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about something that touches writers all of the time – rejection. Yes, to some writers who’ve dealt with it, rejection is a hard blow. Especially after putting in hard work and heart into the writing. To others, rejection is motivation to keep on going; to keep tweaking the writing; to keep the pen moving.

After hearing about The Help movie, based on the best-selling book by author, Kathryn Stockett, I was amazed to learn that her manuscript was rejected an amazing 60 times! 6-0! According to More Magazine (on Yahoo Shine),  Kathryn Stockett went through 60 rejections before her manuscript was accepted on try #61. I couldn’t believe it! She’s made of strong stuff indeed. And in sharing her story, she revealed one tip that kept her going until her writing was accepted.

1. “Give into your obsession.”  Kathryn simply zeroed in her focus on her manuscript. Over and over, she worked on it. Writing and writing until she felt it was ready to send out. Which leads me to the next tip:

2. Find a space for your writing to grow. Kathryn went so far as to rent a hotel room to work on her writing after her daughter was born. Find a nook just for you to write in. Which brings us to tip number three:

3. Have supportive friends and family.  Someone had to be there with the little one while Kathryn was writing – that was her hubby. Nothing helps a writer more than to have people who understand your compulsion to write. Even if they don’t write themselves. Having a support system can help you when (and it happens to all writers) you DO get rejection.

4. Celebrate the first rejection. Kathryn shared her first rejection letter with friends. This is a great way for writers of all levels to reframe the idea that a rejection is truly a rejection. Sometimes, writers can get caught up in feeling sorry for themselves and then stop writing. Here, Kathryn took a lemon and made lemonade by cheering and then getting right back to work.

5. Don’t quit. Kathryn didn’t stop writing. She kept going. One of the easiest things to do after a rejection is to quit; to think that you’re just not cut out for writing. Kathryn pushed through this and kept working. And you Freshman Writers can do it, too.

Freshman Writers, I hope Kathryn’s story inspired you the way it inspired me. She stuck to it and now her book is a best-seller that has been made into a successful movie. Cheers Kathryn! I salute you! Thank you for inspiring Freshman Writers, readers and movie-goers everywhere!

Happy Writing!

Stepping out of my comfort zone

This past weekend, I attended an exhibit for my friend’s son, who is a photographer. I was happily surprised when a picture of my living room was there and told him so. He apologized and I told him how honored I was to have my living room in his photo exhibit.

As each photographer presented, I noted that some were less confident than others in talking about their work. Some of the students were nervous, fidgety and it was clear that speaking was not their forte. Enter me with my bright idea.

I quickly jotted down the idea to talk to one of the staff members at the program about working with the students on their speaking and presentation skills. Then I picked up a course calender to quickly scan for classes on speaking and presentation. I didn’t find any there.

Surprised at myself, I waited (a bit nervously) patiently until the end of the exhibit to speak to a staff member who enjoyed my comments on the students’ work. (The audience was invited to share comments on the pictures exhibited.) She asked me how I was connected to my friend’s son and when I replied, I added that young people need support from adults who care about them.

It was here that I launched my pitch to work with the teens on speaking and presentation. I asked if there was any thought given on working with the teens on presenting their work and added that I didn’t find anything on that in the course schedule. She stated that the students are busy for the ten weeks of class and don’t get the chance to work on it whereas students in the year-long program had presentation lessons scheduled in. The staff member then stated that it’s definitely a need that someone could fill. So, I presented her with my handy, dandy business card (since I keep them with me at all times). To which she replied that she would pass it on to the program manageer.

Yes, I was scared, but I was also really excited about my idea. My goal in life is to make a difference. Whether it’s with my writing or counseling skills doesn’t really matter as long as I can help people be better for themselves. I’ll keep you posted! Keep your fingers crossed for me.