Now might be the time for stories…

How are you? I pray that you and your family are safe, protected, and healthy.

We’re all confined and quarantine to our homes now, and I could only imagine the bombardment of thoughts and feelings that you are going through right now. 

You’re probably feeling anxious, fearful, frustrated, and angry right now. I feel the same, and more. I’m feeling so many things all at once, but mostly I feel helpless as I sit and watch the news from the comfort of my home. 

So many people out there are losing so much. We all are. And we don’t know when or how this would end. 

We could only hope and pray, and try to be good people during bad times. 

But sometime during prayer, it hit me: 

What we’re going through right now as a nation, as humans, would someday be a part of history. And someday, many years down the line, people are going to want to know what happened to the world, to the different nations, to the different communities.

People are going to want stories. 

And while deep in reflection, I asked myself: 

What kind of stories am I telling now? 

What kind of stories are people going to read from me in the future?

What kind of life am I living now? Is it the kind of life that would inspire others at the moment, and in the future?

Friend, now might be a time for stories. 

I’m not saying that you should go and write a book now. What I’m saying is this:

Write your thoughts, your reflections, your fears and your anxieties. 
Write about what you did, what you want to do, what you’re doing to help. 
Write about what you want to do when all this is over.
Write about your feelings—purely and honestly, without restraint and without judgement.
Write down your prayers, your hopes, your dreams. 
Write about anything.
Write about everything.
Write.
Just write.

Here are a few reasons why we should write: 

1.Writing helps us makes sense of the world. 

There’s a lot of things we don’t understand right now. How did this happen? Why is this happening? What’s going to happen? 

These are just some of the questions that we’re asking now. 

Maybe we’ll find the answers. Maybe we won’t. But as we write, eventually, we’d come to a point of understanding, and hopefully, peace. 

2. Writing helps us makes sense of our thoughts and feelings.

We’re bombarded with a lot of thoughts, feelings, and anxieties. We fear for our world, our country, our community, our family, ourselves. A lot of businesses are in peril of shutting down and bankruptcy. A lot of people lost their jobs. How are people going to survive? How are we going to survive this? 

There’s a sense of collective fear and panic that’s looming all over us right now, and it’s taking toll on our minds, hearts, and souls. 

Writing about our thoughts and feelings would help us acknowledge the mess of thoughts that’s happening in our minds, and hopefully help us come to terms with them. 

Try a little bit of free-falling for a few minutes, just to help you dump out all your anxious thoughts and feelings onto paper. It wouldn’t solve anything at the moment, but at the very least, you will be able to bring to light the demons that are plaguing your mind. 

It’s easier to slay demons when you know what they are, right where you can see them. 

3. Writing helps us calm down and find peace.

The very act of writing helps us purge toxic thoughts and emotions. We won’t be able to calm down right after. The act of writing could be a violent act, especially if you’re writing down negative thoughts and emotions.

This could get very tiring, I’m afraid. 

But this could also be cleansing, purifying, and freeing. 

The stories that we write today will someday be stories that other people would read in the future. 

I’m going to ask you now, dear author friend: 

What stories are you writing now? 

Write beautiful words,
Karren

IMPORTANT P.S. A few months ago, I wrote and published a book called, unwritten: the five reasons why your dream book is still a dream and the five sure-fire steps to help you write and publish it. It’s up on Amazon and I’m giving it away for free from April 2, 2020 (Thursday) at 3PM up to April 6, 2020 (Monday) at 2:59PM.

Save the dates and click on this link to download it free on those dates.

This is something I’ve thought of doing for the writing community. I hope by doing this I could help you write your stories, and one day turn them into a book. 

Do you want a sample of it now? It’s an entire part of the book, so I’m sure it’ll help you. Download here to receive an entire section of the book. I’ve gotten feedback that this part alone has helped lots of authors, and I’d love for you to have it! Click on this link to get a copy now.

God bless us all! 

Now might be the time for stories… was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

It’s Not That We Don’t Have the Time… We Just Don’t Know Where Our Time Goes

Have you ever paused at the end of a long day and wondered, “Where has my time gone?” 

We wake up every morning, hustle through work and life, and at the end of the day, fall into bed exhausted and bewildered at what we were able to do. Some days, it feels as if we’ve done everything. Most days, it feels as if we’ve done nothing.

Have you ever had that feeling? Yung paged ka, alam mong ang dami mong ginawa, pero parang wala ka namang na-accomplish?

Ha ha. I’ve been there, felt that. 

But I’ve read this amazing book called, Get Your Shit Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do.

Such a long, long title, right? But it was a great hook for me, because like you, I’m too busy worrying about random things, so I fail to do what I need to do, and what I want to do. 

Which is, of course, write my book. 

“I don’t have the time,” most of us will say. 

“I don’t have the energy for it anymore,” some would mourn.

“My schedule is too crazy,” others would pipe in. 

But here’s what Sarah Knight says about time: We have it. We just don’t know where it goes, because we don’t take inventory of the things we do every day. 

Here are a few tips based on what Sarah Knight wrote, and based on what I experienced in my quest to make time for writing my dream book.  

  1. Take stock of all the things you do every day. All of it. 

Here’s the thing. If we know where our time goes, then we’d also know how to manage it. So for the next few days, list down your day-to-day activities/tasks/habits, and record how long it actually takes you to do it. For example, here’s the a probably daily schedule of a single working professional. (PROBABLE, okay? This is just an example, so don’t hurt me for this!) 

6:00 AM Wake up
6:15 AM Get up 
6:16 AM Prepare and eat breakfast
7:00 AM Take a bath
7:30 AM Get ready for work
8:00 AM Commute to work
10:00 AM Work (you’re late!) 
6:00 PM Commute back home
8:00 PM Dinner
9:00 PM Wind down
11:45 PM Sleep

You could probably break down the time spent at work into smaller time fragments, taking into consideration how long you do a particular task at work. I don’t want to get too technical in the example, but the point is, when you record your activities plus the time it takes for you to do them, then it would be easier for you to a) reconsider if you could take shorter time doing it, b) realize that there might be a lot of idle time scattered throughout your day, and c) realize the many things you probably shouldn’t be doing. If you remove those things from your daily schedule, then there you have it. You found the time to do the things you need or want to do. Which gets me to the next point…

  1. Consider the activities that you could actually do for a shorter amount of time… or even take off your list completely. 

Personally, when I took stock of my own time, I saw that I used to spend a lot of time browsing through my social networks, even in the middle of work or writing. I had to be honest with myself and write that down, in order for me to realize that, whoah, that’s a lot of browsing time that could have gone on to my book. I also realized that I kinda probably maybe slightly read too much. Hahaha. Maybe three hours too long? So I had to cut it down, either use some time for writing, or to actually sleep earlier, so I could wake up earlier and write in the morning.

You get my point, right? 

  1. See a window in your schedule, and set it as your “sacred writing time”.

There would be a window there, if you look hard enough. Say, for example, lunch time. You can spend maybe 10 to 15 minutes eating your lunch, and use the rest of the time working on your book. Maybe you can do what I did and hack off a few precious sleeping hours, so you can write first thing in the morning. You see, when you schedule your writing time at night, you’d notice that you’d be too tired or too unfocused. That’s because you’ve already spent so much energy throughout the day, and by the time night time comes, you’re just too exhausted to do more. 

Writing, in a way, is giving. It’s revealing and sharing a lot of yourself even if you’re not writing about your own story. Writing is creating, and you cannot create from nothing. You cannot give what you do not have. So maybe, try to rest earlier at night, and try to wake up earlier in the mornings. Write when you’re fully-rested. Write when you’re still full. 

These are just a few time-management tips, but I hope they’d help you find some time for writing. It’s really all about being more aware of how you spend your time, and being more in command of it. 

Friend, you have the time. It’s there, right there, in your day. 

When you find it, then write.

Write your dream book.

Write your article.

Write your reflections.

Write your soul. 

Write beautiful words,

Karren

P.S. I’d like to share more about the new things I’ve learned that would help people write and finish their books. I want to actually meet you and share these new things with you… in a casual get-together. Casual get-together meaning, it’s an informal gathering, so it’s f-r-e-e. You only have to make time. Mark your calendars, and block July 6, 2019 (Saturday) off your schedule, from 1:00PM to 3:00 PM. Meet me at Cafe I’m Here in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. But it’s a cafe, so I could only meet up with a few select people. If you’re going, then please register here so I can count you in! 

P.S.2. If you’d like to learn more about how you can actually prepare a book writing timeline, and other practical tips on writing, marketing, and selling your book, in a more professional setting, then I’m inviting you to have a look at the workshop that I’m giving with one of my best friends, and my partner-in-crime in helping authors become bestsellers, Kristine Mutuc Taton. Tin and I works in the marketing department of the country’s leading inspirational publisher, and together with an amazing team, we have launched a handful of national bestselling books. We’ve traced every little thing we did right, and even the things we did wrong, and came up with a blueprint for what it takes to be a bestseller. If you want to learn more about this workshop, then click here now. 

It’s Not That We Don’t Have the Time… We Just Don’t Know Where Our Time Goes was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Fourteen Days and Motorcycle Crash

Fourteen Days and Motorcycle Crash
(What to Do If You Only Have 14 Days to Live)

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words-fourteen-days

 

I got hit by a motorcycle exactly a week ago.

Two weeks before that, Bo Sanchez, founder and leader of the Light of Jesus Family, asked one question during a retreat: What if you only had 14 days to live? What would you do with it?

At the time, during the retreat, I was honest with my answer: “I don’t know.”

Because I honestly can’t imagine having only 14 days left. Looking back, I guess it was because I felt as if I had a long life ahead of me. If I was really pushing it, I’d have said I felt kind of invincible. Immortal, even.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that my days would be numbered. I mean, I’ve always known that every one dies. I’ve always known that I would also die. Just… not soon.

So it was hard for me to imagine having only 14 days left.

But last Tuesday happened. I got hit by a motorcycle, and in those few moments between the hit and the fall, I honestly thought I was going to die.

It was raining that night, and the streets were dark. I walked the last few blocks home because the usual route I took didn’t have any free jeepneys. I remember checking twice before crossing the road, before stepping off the sidewalk, and out into the street. I remember letting two motorcycles pass by, and I remember thinking that the next car was still too far. I remember stepping off the sidewalk, and I remember walking towards the other side of the road.

And then I remember being hit.

I remember where it hit me — it hit me hard on my left side.

I remember the shock. The disbelief.

I remember the quiet before the crash. The stupor before the shouts.

I remember waiting. I was waiting to be run over. I was waiting for the pain.

And, if I’m going to be honest with myself, I remember waiting to die.

But I didn’t die.

Sprawled on the ground, I realized two things:

1. It was just a motorcycle.

2. I was alright.

I remember going into shock, and I remember being sprawled across the ground, the motorcycle heavy on my side. It fell on top me.

I was hit. I fell. But I was alive.

In the background, cars screeched and people stopped to help. There were probably five — or six, or seven, or ten, I don’t know anymore — people who came over and helped me up. And when I finally came to my senses, my eyes roamed the area and it didn’t stop until they landed on the person who I somehow knew was driving that motorcycle.

He was slightly limping, and he had a small wound on his right foot. His rubber slipper was torn, and he was just as shocked as I was.

He wanted to blame me, but I spoke first. “Saan ka galing? Tumingin ako, wala ka naman.

“Bumusina ako,” he said. He, too, was in shock.

“Bumusina ka nga, pero tinamaan mo na ako. Hindi ka huminto, hindi ka nakatingin.

And then a guard stepped in and said, “Mabilis ka masyado magpatakbo. Nakita kita, ang bilis mo.” 

And then people started talking at once. Go to the barangay hall, they said. Report him, they said. He was too fast and he didn’t have a helmet on, they said. Ask for his license — do you even have a license? (He didn’t show one). Bring her to the hospital, someone said. No, go to the police first, someone insisted. Hospital first! someone said. Sorry, miss, the driver kept saying. Sorry po, hindi kita nakita.

They kept talking, but I just wanted to come home. I was still reeling over the fact that I could still come home. That I could still stand, and walk. And, in spite of the broken headlights of his motorcycle, and despite him taking a long time before he could run it again, I was still alive.

He kept apologizing and I kept telling him to just go, because all I really wanted was to come home.

I snapped at him, told him to be more careful and look where he’s going, and what if he got us both killed? He apologized again, and I sent him home.

The night didn’t end there. My family brought me to the Emergency Room to make sure nothing was really broken, and, praise God, nothing was. I had a few laughs, too, because the signs clearly said, “One companion per patient”, and I had an entire family with me. I wasn’t just saved — I was truly blessed. Alive with a family wreaking havoc in the emergency room… what more could I ask for?

I had a few big scrapes that would probably scar, and I was advised to rest for a few days, but I survived. I had an ugly panic attack that night, because I kept remembering that dreadful moment every time I closed my eyes, but I got through that too, with the help of my Mama.

I got hit. I thought I was going to die. But I didn’t.

And in those two days that I was confined in my room, I suddenly remembered Bro. Bo’s question: What if you only had 14 days to live? 

In those moments between the hit and the fall, I thought I didn’t even have 14 seconds. What would I do with the 14 days?

It hit me then: I was given a new lease on life.

And wasn’t the first time I got in an accident. Last October, I had a bad fall that had me walking with a sprained ankle for weeks. A few months before that, in May, I was rushed to the Emergency Room because I tripped on a dead branch, and a long, sharp twig got embedded on my toe. I was also incapacitated for a few days.

A year or two before that, I slipped down the stairs in Rustan’s Supermarket and had to be rushed to the E.R. to make sure nothing was broken. Nothing was.

And in 2012, I was in car accident along SLEX that left my car in a total wreck. I didn’t even have a single bruise on me.

How many times in the past was I able to escape grave injury? Or even death? And each time I got in an accident, I think I’d probably have shaved a few years off my mother’s life, because how terrifying could it have been to always, always have to answer the phone and hear, “Mama, na-(insert accident here) po ako.”

Mama always reminds me how blessed I am. After I survived that car crash many years ago, Mama couldn’t even look at me for a week without crying. Mabuti na lang, mahal ka ni Lord, she said, when she could finally string an entire sentence without choking up.

My guardian angel always worked over time for me. I think he’d probably hit me a few times when we finally see each other in heaven, as revenge for always giving him a hard time guarding me.

The thing is, I could have died times many times in the past before, but each time I got in an accident, God would say, “Nope. Not today,” and send an army of angels to get me out of trouble.

Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.

One more day. One more chance. One life.

So maybe I don’t have just 14 days. I probably have 14 months. 14 years. 14 decades. If that’s even possible.

Maybe not. I don’t know anymore how long I have.

But suddenly I’m not so invincible anymore. I’m not immortal anymore. I have a limited number of days.

And what am I doing with my life?

Sure, I do things for the ministry. I share my gifts to others. I serve. I do love my family and try to spend as much time as I could with them. I also do things that make me happy. Don’t event get me started on my dreams, because no matter how many breaks I take, I still pick up the pen and work on my passion project.

Last year, I’ve stopped dreaming about the future and started making the future happen. Anything and everything I wanted to have and wanted become, I’ve begun. The past year has taught me how important the present is. I’ve trained myself to stop dreaming, to stop wanting, and to start being.

I’m not wasting my life away, I’m sure of that. But I know in my heart that I’m still wasting so much. So much time. So much energy. So much thought. So much emotion. So much resources.

So I spent two days in isolation last week, healing, praying, reflecting, and thinking of a proper answer to the question posed a few weeks before. If you had 14 days to live, what would you do?

Bro. Bo had an answer during the retreat: Do things that truly matter. In the end, what matters? Your money wouldn’t matter. Your pride wouldn’t matter. Your fears wouldn’t matter. Your possessions wouldn’t matter. What would it matter? Only one thing matters, and that is love.

Two weeks before the accident I couldn’t imagine putting myself in a situation where nothing else would matter except love.

In the moment of the accident, one thing mattered, and that was my breath.

In the days following the accident, I think I began to truly have an answer.

If I had 14 days left to live, I’d write more, and I’d love more.

Because those are the two things that truly matter to me.

I’d write more stories.

I’d write more beautiful words.

Because writing for me is love. Writing is loving. Writing is giving joy. Writing gives me joy. It gives other people joy. Writing is giving hope. It gives me hope. It gives other people hope. Writing strengthens my faith. Writing strengthens the faith of others. Writing is loving. Loving is writing.

I’d love more. I’d love my family more. I’d love my friends more. I’d love community more. I’d love my ministry more. I’d love other people more.

And then slowly, the becoming became the being.

It’s no longer “I would love more.”

It became, “I must love more.”

Until finally, “I am loving more.”

I’d write more became I must write more.

And now I’m writing more.

(And reading more, if that’s even possible.)

Before I end, I have something to ask you.

What would you do if you have 14 days left to live? 

Don’t wait until you have only 14 days left to live. Do it now. Whatever you’re planning.

If you want to be a writer, write now.

If you want to start a business, start now.

If you want to quit your job, maybe don’t quit now, but start preparing for it now.

If you want to give talks, talk now.

If you want to become, be.

Because we don’t know how many sets of 14 days we actually have.

In the end, only love matters.

And the question is, how would you love? Where would you love? And who would you love?

#projectbeautifulwords

Fourteen Days and Motorcycle Crash was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Why Try? (Nothing’s Happening Anyway)

stacey-rozells-304672-karren-renz-sena

You have big dreams that came from your big heart and your big visions. Your heart was on fire when you first began, and everything was wonderful and you’re looking forward to finally taking those steps that would lead you closer to your destiny. To your purpose. To your dream.

You felt like you were on the summit of a mountain, enjoying the view of the promised land of your dreams, and everything is so, so awesome and you can’t wait for the rest of your life to begin.

Your heart was full when you first signed up for this. But now it’s just barely beating from all the battering it’s been going through.

It’s tiring sometimes. Exhausting, really, when you’ve been working so hard for the longest time, putting out every ounce of your heart and soul into something you believe in, and yet… nothing’s happening.

Have you ever worked so hard for something, for so long, and get nothing in return? No result. No affirmation. No progress. No victory.

You work so hard, you try so hard, you hustle so hard, but you have nothing to show for it.

It’s easy to just give up then, to just drop the fight. Maybe you’re fighting a wrong battle, you’d begin to think. Maybe you should count this as a loss. Maybe you should throw in the towel. Maybe you should just drop the sword.

Maybe you should just quit.

I mean… why try when nothing’s happening anyway? Why try, when day by the best you can do is to sit by as you watch your dreams die? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? You wonder. Because it’s been dark and dead and dreary for the longest time and you just want to finally let go. Give up. Give in.

But you can’t. We can’t. We have to go on. We can’t give up, because if we do, then what kind of life will we live?

I don’t ever want to have to look back on my life and be filled with so many regrets. I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve wasted my life just getting by, just because I was too afraid

Here are a few words I’d like to keep in mind when I feel like giving up.

1. Soldier on

So you find yourself in a long, dark tunnel, and you don’t know where it’ll end. Every step loses its purpose, and every breath loses its meaning. You don’t know where you’re going, and you can’t see what you’re doing, and you can’t, for the life of you, see the light.

But hold on, my friend. Keep walking. Keep at it. Because I’ve heard it said that true winners are made and molded in that dark place, where they are forced to take every step towards the light they have yet to see. This dark place is where courage is forged. This is where the heart develops the muscle to endure, and where the soul manufactures the strength to survive.

Victory, they said, belongs to those who refuse to quit, those stubborn men and women who refuse to believe that darkness is all there is.

When nothing’s happening and when you’re going nowhere, keep at it anyway. One step at a time. One after another.

Believe me, every step you take, no matter how small, brings you one step closer to the finish line.

Even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Even if you don’t see it.

That is why we need to have faith.

2. Have faith

Faith is believing in things you’ve yet to see. Faith is knowing that things will work out for your good. Faith, for me, is believing and knowing and trusting that God’s promises will come to pass.

Faith is knowing that there is a God who will not, who does not disappoint.

Faith is knowing that there is still something good that will come out of this darkness.

Faith is knowing and trusting that you will reach the end, that you will find the light, and you will claim that victory.

Hold on. Have faith. And just do what you do.

And when at times it gets so hard, so difficult, so downright trying… remember why you began in the first place.

3. Just love

Wasn’t it because of love that you began that thing?

Wasn’t it because you loved doing it, you loved yourself, and you loved the people who will benefit from it?

Wasn’t that project a surplus of the love that overflowed from your heart and soul?

Wasn’t it because, once, not long ago, your heart beat furiously at the very thought of bringing that dream to life?

It was love that started it. It was love that fueled it. And it is love that will keep those flames burning.

Quietly. Steadily. Constantly.

You work because you love.
You fight because you love.
You hustle because you love.
You try because you love.
You do because you love.

Because you? You are loved.

You are love.

So why try?

You keep trying, you keep working, you keep going, because of love.

One Last Story

It was late. I’ve been working for hours, but I’ve yet to finish the story I was writing. I’ve poured over my notes, and I’ve spent so many hours researching about the material, but for the life of me, I couldn’t even finish one single story.

I was getting frustrated. And angry. And hopeless.

More than 10 years of training and study. A handful of workshops. Generous mentors.

I had everything I needed, everything I could ever want.

But I couldn’t finish my story.

Ayoko na, I said as I threw my pen down, and slammed my laptop shut. Marami namang mas magaling sa akin, bakit ko pa itutuloy ‘to?

I was losing hope. I couldn’t write one single story.

Ayoko na.

I wanted to cry. And the thoughts I’ve imprisoned in the darkest chambers of my mind suddenly broke free.

There are millions of books published every year. What makes you think yours can make it?
There are thousand of writers who are better than you. What makes you think you’ll get a break?
Who would read your story?
You can’t even write a story.
You can’t finish this because you’re not good enough.
You lack training. You lack technique. You lack tools.
You have to work a thousand times harder because competition is so much tougher.

Have you ever been trapped inside the darkest part of your mind? It’s like drowning. It’s like being submerged in dark waters, surrounding you, covering you, stifling you, choking you, and you can’t breathe, and no matter how hard you try to kick and swim, you can’t get up.

jacob-walti-447-karren-renz-senaYou can’t even scream for help, because the terror has paralyzed you.

Help, I remember screaming in my mind. Help. Lord, help.

You know how in the movies, when someone is drowning and you feel as if it’s the end of the line for that character, you suddenly see  a hand breaking through the dark waters to pull that person up?

It was like that for me. I don’t know know how it happened, exactly, but out of the dark that covered me, I suddenly saw a hand reach out to me. I was out of the dark waters and into the light of the sun.

Karren, I didn’t bring you this far just to let you go. The promise will come to pass. You don’t have to try so hard to get there. I will bring you there. I am bringing you there. Trust.

Oh.

All this time, I’ve been working so, so hard to be a good writer, but I forgot that I wasn’t alone in my journey.

God was with me all along. He was the one that brought me here in the first place.

I also realized this: I’ve been so bent on writing the best stories, the best articles, the best posts, using this technique and that theory, that I forgot what writing truly meant to me.

I’ve been focusing so hard to write for various purposes:
for a contest,
for a workshop,
for a magazine,
for a submission,
for a book that would propel me to international stardom…

But I forgot that sometimes, there doesn’t have to be a purpose for writing. Sometimes, the purpose is to write.

Writing is joy.
Writing is life.
Writing is love.

I forgot what it truly meant to write just because I enjoyed doing so.

I forgot how I started.

I wrote because it brought me joy. Words bring me joy. Stories bring me joy.

I wrote because my stories could bring joy to other people.

I wrote because I love to write.

And I wrote because I love to share what I wrote.

And I forgot all of that, because I tried so hard. I fought so hard. And I worked so hard.

Today, I still have those goals and purposes behind everything I write.

But I try to never lose sight of the most important thing:

I write, because I love.

And it is because I love, that I realize, that somewhere, somehow, something is happening.

Maybe I’m moving hearts.

Maybe I’m inspiring someone.

Maybe I’m changing lives.

Or maybe, for every word I write, it gets me closer to the heart of another story, of another character.

Something’s happening… for as long as I keep writing, something’s happening. I have to believe that.

I hope, dear friend, that you too will find your heart again. Believe that something is happening to you too.

Keep doing it.
Keep trying.

One day, it will happen.

Write beautiful words,
Karren

Why Try? (Nothing’s Happening Anyway) was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

But What If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come?

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words-blog“Bukas na lang,” I’d always say.
“Pwede pa bukas.”
“Unlimited naman ang chances.”
“Try again tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is another day.”

These are the things I’d always tell myself whenever I failed at something — whenever I’d fail to begin,
fail to commit,
fail to continue,
fail to love,
fail to give,
fail to serve,
fail to try.

I’d beat myself up for each failure, yes, but after a thorough beating I’d always remind myself that we have an unlimited supply of tomorrows, and that the next tomorrow is a chance for me to try again.

It helps, sometimes. It helps pick up my spirit, and it helps me to look forward to another day. It also helps me to be more kind to myself, because the thought of having another chance, another “tomorrow” takes my mind away from negative thoughts — like discouragement and failure — and it takes my heart away from negative emotions. Like regret. Like shame.

The thought of “tomorrow” gives me hope, too. That things will be better. That I will be better.

And so I keep looking forward to a series of tomorrows.

But I failed to notice that looking forward to my tomorrows made me neglect my todays.

I became too lax, I guess, and I kept postponing things.

I’d rest today. I can work on this tomorrow.
I’ll just watch videos on Facebook now. I can write tomorrow.
I’d eat lechon kawali today. I’d eat healthy tomorrow.
Just one more chapter. I’ll sleep earlier tomorrow.
I’ll just hide in my room today. I’ll check up on my friends tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I’ll write my book.
Tomorrow, I’ll wake up earlier.
Tomorrow, I’ll visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Tomorrow, I’ll go to Confession.
Tomorrow, I’ll chase my dreams.

One day during my quiet time, a question suddenly came to mind: What if tomorrow doesn’t come anymore?

What if I only have until today?

Like, really, really, really have until today.

If today’s my last day, and for some inexplicable reason I’d have to die tonight, what do I have to show for myself?

I could honestly say that I’ve accomplished many things already.

Played a lot.
Learned a lot.
Graduated cum laude in college.
Maintained a 1.5 GWA in grad school (before I went AWOL ha ha).
Wrote a book and got published.
Helped other people write their book and get published.
Contributed to magazines.
Joined National Workshops for Creative Writing and Arts Criticism.
Discipled people.
Served in community.
Used my talent in writing to spread the love of God.
Loved my family and friends.
And a whole lot more.
(This is me being kind to myself. You have to be kind to yourself, too. Never ever ever take your value and your accomplishments for granted.)

But have I honestly done enough?

Have I written enough?
Have I served enough?
Have I loved enough?

If today’s my last day and you ask me what my biggest regret or failure in life is, I would have to say that it would be the things I could have done, but didn’t.

Stories I could have written.
Friends I could have made.
Places I could have visited.
Strangers I could have helped.
Relationships I could have built.
People I could have loved.

I don’t ever want to have to face death carrying all these regrets with me. I don’t ever want to have to face God and tell Him, “I could have, but I wasn’t able to.”

I want to be able to face Him and tell Him, “I did it. I’m okay to come home now.”

And I want to be able to face Him and hear Him say, “You did good, kid. Welcome home.”

To Be More, We have to Do More

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words-tomorrowI have many other dreams and goals and plans. Big ones. Small ones. I still want to become an international bestselling author. I still want to coach people and help them write beautiful stories and impactful books. I still want to spend more time with my family. I still want to travel the world. I want to help more people, serve more people, love more people.

I want to be more.

So this means only one thing: I have to do more.

We have unlimited chances, yes, and unlimited graces from God. But we have to make use of all these within a limited number of days. Because honestly, our days our numbered and our lives have an untagged expiration date. Truth is, we don’t know when we’ll die.

So we have to do things to fulfill our unfulfilled dreams.

We have to give our 100% to every task we commit to.

We have to love the people we must love.

Today.

Here’s a list of a few things we can do to make today matter more:

1. Be more mindful.

What did you have for lunch today? How blue was the sky yesterday afternoon? How does the air smell after it rains? Does your mom’s eyes crinkle when she laughs?

Do you take notice of these things?

How do you breathe? Do you take long, deep breaths, or short, shallow pants?

How do you chew your food? Do you chew three times then swallow, or do you chew until the all the flavors burst out of the food and into your mouth?

Do you take notice of these things?

Where are you now? Like literally, and then in life? How far are you now from where you started when you decided to reach for that particular goal? What do you do every day to get closer to that goal?

Do you take notice of these things?

Do you take notice of YOU?

1. Take a moment.

We go through life too fast, but we experience too little. So many people are rushing so many things all at once. The moment we wake up, we go through a series of routinary motions that, over time, start to mean so little.

Have you ever taken a moment for what it’s worth?

One moment could be worth a thousand reasons to be joyful.

That moment you got your promotion.
That moment you wrote, “The End.”
That moment he first smiled at you.
That moment she said “Yes.”
That moment your mom said, “I’m proud of you.”

Have you ever taken a moment?

3. Do it now. Do it well. Do it again.

Whatever you want to do, if there’s nothing at all keeping you from doing it, do it now.

Not tomorrow. Not later. Now.

Write that book now.

Tell that person you love them now.

Tell your parents “thank you” now.

Apply for that job now.

Start that blog now.

Shoot that vlog now.

What’s keeping you from doing things that would make you happy?

What’s keeping you from doing things that would get you one step closer to your goal?

What’s keeping you from telling that person how much you love them?

Think about these things. Reflect on them. Maybe there’s a reason that keeps you from moving, from acting, from doing. And you can’t just ignore those reasons. You have to acknowledge them, you have to validate them.

So you can overcome.

And once you do overcome, whatever you’re doing, do it well.

Do it excellently.

And do it again.

One step at a time. One after another. Until you get there.

Until you become.

So that when the day comes that tomorrow wouldn’t come anymore, you get to say, “That’s alright. I did it all.”

Write beautiful words,
Karren

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words-don'twait

But What If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come? was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

What to Blog About When You Know Twit About Blogging

karren-renz-sena-project-beautiful-words

I… kind of don’t know how to blog.

No, really. I’m not kidding. I don’t know what to write in blogs and I don’t know what to blog about. What about Project: Beautiful Words, you might ask?

Well. #ProjectBeautifulWords is a movement — and a noble one, at that — but when it comes down to the nitty gritty stuff, it’s really just about me writing about stuff: what I feel, what I’ve learned, where I’ve gone, what I’m going through… things like that.

And it just so happens that they read and sound beautiful, because well. Beautiful words, and all that.

But blogging? Okay, I don’t know much about that. I seriously seriously don’t know what to blog about when I think about my blog, so the ending is just me staring at a blank document for four hours, before finally calling it quits.

This is coming from the same person who once wrote, “There is always something beautiful to write about.”

My foot.

Anyway, I’m summoning all my whatnots and whodunits to make sure that this specific blog post means something. I kind of want to put my “digital marketing consultant hat” on, to make me sound as if I knew what I’m talking talking about, but whatever.

What can we blog about when we talk about blogging?

Well. Sit down with me for a session on digital strategic marketing and author platform creation, and I wouldn’t stop talking. You’d seriously pay me to shut up, because them brilliant ideas won’t stop coming out. It’s double the fun with my  partner-in-crime, Tin Mutuc (who’s the manager of the marketing department of the publishing house we’re working for, and also a great marketing consultant), because when it’s us two together, then expect that meeting to be fired-up and super productive. You won’t go home without a sound marketing platform for your book.

Sit down with me for a mentoring session on creative writing or book writing, and you’d come home with pages upon pages of advice, instruction, direction, and motivation.

So with all this experience, why don’t I know what to blog about?

Simple. It’s always easier to teach people how to do stuff than to do them yourself. I’d own up to that, at least.

But that’s actually what got me into thinking about this. Why can’t I take my own advice? I’ve always, always, always wondered what to write about whenever I thought about blogging. I’ve always had a hard time sitting down to write about a particular thing even when I set my mind to it.

So it came to me just now to actually write down the stuff we tell other writers, bloggers, and authors — aspiring or otherwise — to do.

This blog post is actually kind of for me, but I do hope it would help you as well. I mean, you didn’t click this for the heck of it, right? You’re probably reading this because somehow, you also have this dream of writing or starting your own blog, and you just don’t know what to write about.

Karren, my dear, dear self, this is for you:

1. What are you passionate about? 

What the actual heck. We see this question thrown around in almost 100% of the motivational and inspirational seminars and workshops you’re going to attend. And when you sit there amongst the audience, you’d get fired up and you’d jot down notes so furiously, you’d think your paper would catch fire. You’d nod here and there, and something in you is awakened — it might be that desire for something you care strongly for. It might be a dream that used to seem so impossible, but suddenly because of that talk on passion and purpose and doing what it is that makes you happy, then you’re all set to doing it. Listening to people talk about passion kind of ignites our own drive to discover and chase our own.

But in the dark of the night, or in the quiet of the morning, when all is said and done and you tried your best, but somehow you’d always find yourself on square one, you get to ask yourself again, “What am I doing this for again?”

What’s passion?

There’s a lot of books out there that talks about passion. Great books. They’d help you identify your passion and they’d tell you how you can go about using your passion to fulfill your purpose, so I wouldn’t parrot what they say anymore. But I have to run this by me again because though I’m all about pursuing my passion with the fire of a thousand burning stars and a fury of a raging storm, sometimes I lose it. Sometimes I misplace it. Sometimes I get burned out, until I find myself fading quietly into the night, and then what do I have to show for anything? Nothing.

I want to simply passion, so that whenever I forget, I can always come back to its most basic definition. It’s the definition that my heart can always remember:

Passion = fire.

Passion = joy.

Passion = love.

And to make it even more simple, I won’t even generalize. Here’s a check list of the things that I love; things that give me immense joy and peace; things that set my soul on fire.

  • Books. Good heavens, I read quite a lot of them. And I buy even more.
  • Anime and manga. Spent practically more than half of my life being obsessed with these babies that came from Japan, and my heart shows no signs of stopping.
  • Stories. Anything and everything that tells stories — movies, games, TV commercials, Thai insurance ads, Facebook videos, and even answers to the age-old question, “How are you?”
  • I love love love LOVE the water. The ocean. The sea. Lakes. Rivers. Waterfalls. Rain. Puddles. Dude, water is life.
  • Buying books. Did I mention that already? I did? Oh.
  • Spending time with people. I like it so much that I don’t write about it because writing about it takes away the memory of it, I suppose?
  • Teaching! I like to teach stuff. Like how to write, how to write books, how to tell stories, why stories are wonderful, WHAT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL STORY I’VE READ LATELY, why Naruto is like the best ninja ever… yeah, I teach that stuff.
  • Mornings. Mornings are beautiful.
  • Traveling alone. It’s something I’ve begun to do lately and I love it.
  • Meeting people. Seeing places.
  • Remembering. I love remembering.
  • Food. I love eating. But I’d rather eat the food than write about them so I’m scratching this one off the list.
  • Preaching. Leading worship. Celebrating the love of Jesus either alone or with the entire assembly. Fantastic.
  • I’m really passionate about working in the ministry. Like, I’m literally in a position where I get to read life-changing stories and books, and I’m being paid to just bring those books out there and oh my goodness I am ever so thankful that my family, especially my Mama, supports my decision to work in God’s vineyard. I think I want to cry now.
  • Words. I’m really, really really passionate about words. This blog is supposed to be really short because that’s what’s popular… but hey. My blog, my word count. What? Fight me.
  • And a whole lot of other things.

What about you? Can you write your own list of things that you love? Can you list down the things that make you happy? Things that bring you joy?

2. What’s that one thing people keep telling you you’re good at? 

In marketing, we simply call this your “expertise.” It’s something that you can help people with. Something that adds value to other people’s lives.

Because let’s be honest. Whenever we pick up a book, or choose a movie to watch, or even when we spend precious time waiting for a Facebook video to load, what’s that one question that would always pop in our minds?

It’s this: “What’s in it for me?”

Would this video make me laugh? Would this book inspire me? Would this story entertain me? Would this novel transport me into another world and spark my imagination? Would this blog post at least give me a new insight about something?

It’s all about adding value.

So here’s the question: what are you good at? I mean, if you’re good at it, then it must mean that you know quite a bit about it, right? So write about it. Share information about it. Share new insights about it.

Like… in my case. Again. (My blog, my case. Fight me.) It’s this:

Words. I weave words. I spin stories. I create worlds. I move hearts. I spark imagination. And my only weapon? Words. So maybe based on this, I can write a ton of articles and whatnot just revolving about words. Maybe.

How I tell stories, maybe. How I can stand in front of a thousand people and speak as if I’m only speaking to one. How I can defeat the writers block (dude, what?). Anything about words.

Maybe you’re good at cooking. Maybe you’ve got a handful of insights about parenting. Or maybe you’re good at being single. You’re good at being happy.

Tell us how we can be good at those things too.

3. Reflections. Revelations. Epiphanies. 

Uhm… I kind of do this all the time?

Yeah, I do.

#ProjectBeautifulWords is a collection of my musings and reflections. These are basically snippets of thoughts and wisdom that I get from whatever I’m going through at the time.

I’m an introvert (I REALLY AM AND IF YOU DISAGREE I WILL FIGHT YOU ON THIS). I’m also observant, analytic, and strategic. I like mulling over things — patterns, strategies, meanings, possibilities, probabilities. I like reflecting about things, too. So whenever I’m feeling particularly introspective, I’d write.

Based on experience, it’s always a good thing to be generous with our own revelations. You’d never know how many people you could bless, or how many lives you could change, based on one post, one article, one story. I’ve had people sending me messages, telling me how blessed they were because of this post or that. It makes me think that what we have — our hearts, our wisdom, our thoughts, our reflections — they’re not meant to be kept to ourselves. Sometimes they’re meant to be shared.

It makes me think about being a part of a bigger whole, a part of a bigger purpose. I mean, I never knew how important my posts and my musings are to some people until I practically stopped posting and people were messaging me about them. Imagine how many days you can make better, how many hearts you can mend, how many new ideas you can share, if you would just share what little you have.

And crappity crap I’m actually talking to myself. Because srsly, I haven’t been posting for a long time now, because I don’t know what to do with the words.

But look at me now. Blogging again for the first time in a long while.

The words have always been there. I just had to let them out.

Maybe that would be the same case for you. What can you blog about?  Here’s a recap ‘fore I go:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What are you good at (that can add value to other people)?
  3. What are your thoughts / reflections / insights / revelations?

Hope this helps!

This would certainly help ME.

Write beautiful words,

Karren

What to Blog About When You Know Twit About Blogging was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Why I Will No Longer Wait For You || Project: Beautiful Words

karren-renz-sena-trains-and-stations2When I think of you now, I remember trains.
 
I’d stand on the edge of the platform, waiting for the next train to come, and when it did, I’d hold the line for a few heartbeats, because I wouldn’t go in if you weren’t there. I’d scan the crowd and look at the faces, and if I didn’t see yours then I’d step aside and wait again for the next train.
 
It was vicious cycle — never-ending. But my heart was steadfast — never bending.
 
“I will wait for the next train,” I’d say to myself. “I will wait for you.”
 
But time was passing and people were moving. I stood there on the edge, unmoving against the ebb and flow of the tides, never minding and never caring that I was disrupting the smooth and steady flow of the stream of life. How many trains have passed, I wondered, and how many more would pass, before I see you standing behind the open doors? People came and people went, and I remained unmoved.
 
“My will and my heart are stronger than the tides,” I said to myself. “I will wait for you.”
 
But the trains kept passing and the tides kept flowing and you never came. I kept standing in spite of the ache in my legs and the pain in my heart. There were good trains and there were bad trains and I started to wonder if this was the kind of life I’d want for myself — always waiting, never moving. Never living the kind of life I’d always wanted to have: A life of adventure, of mysteries, of epic battles and grand victories.
 
I wanted adventure. I wanted freedom. I wanted life. I’d already hopped from one station to another, and in my journey I’d already become wiser, bolder, braver. I wanted more of those, wanted more of life, wanted more of the world which was mine for the taking from the very start.
 
But somehow I forgot that when I began to wait for you.
 
Another train had passed, but I didn’t look at the doors. I didn’t look at the faces, didn’t even mind the crowd as they pushed, as they shoved, as they heaved.
 
In my mind, the entire station had become still, and then a voice, loud and clear, said, “Enough.”
 
It was mine.
 
Enough of waiting. Enough of letting trains pass by. Enough of letting people and places and faces pass by. Enough of missing grand adventures and epic victories. Enough of waiting for you.
 
I wasn’t being cruel, wasn’t being weak. I didn’t love or want you any less.
 
But I love myself more, you see. I love myself enough to know that I was being cruel to myself by missing out on many things, because I was waiting for you, when all along I knew that you were also waiting for someone’s train to arrive.
 
And when I accepted that, when I remembered to be kind to myself, when I remembered my grand dreams and my greater visions, I knew what I had to do.
 
The next train came and the doors opened. I didn’t look at the faces, didn’t scan the crowd.
 
I stepped out of the platform and into the train, heart steady, mind clear, soul still strong, ready to take on the next big adventure that I knew I deserved.
 
Life is one big adventure. All you had to do is step into the train.
 
Who knows. Maybe one day, I’d step out of the station and maybe, just maybe, you’d be there at the edge of the platform, waiting for me.
 
Or maybe not.
 
Either way, I’m off to my next big adventure. With or without you.
 
Trains and Stations
Project: Beautiful Words
projectbeautifulwords.com
 
Featured photo (c) Wylderice via pixabay.com

Why I Will No Longer Wait For You || Project: Beautiful Words was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Your Own Kind of Beautiful

When you’re out to find your One True Love, how much of a change do you have to undergo? I wonder. Ladies, do we have to be lady-like, wear tons of make up, and wear dresses to attract a man? Gentlemen, do you have to own a car and a business and maybe five condominium units to attract women?

This photo because I’m shameless.

What makes a person attractive? What makes a girl beautiful? What makes a man handsome?

I do wonder.

I grew up boyish. Completely, totally, hopelessly boyish. While the girls in my class would sit together to read Candy Mag and gush over the latest teen idol, I’d be at the other side of the room with the boys, turning armchairs into bump cars and crashing them all over the place. I inserted Stay Fresh mint balls into straws and blew them at people. (I’d make a good hitman, I can say that.) I cut classes to watch Slam Dunk and spent my lunch periods discussing the episodes with the boys. I didn’t like make up, I didn’t like dresses, and I wore my hair short. And I was find with that.

But as I grew older, I began to wear dresses and loved doing so. I began to put on make up and even got addicted to matte lip cremes and long-wearing lip liners. I wore heels and became a pro at running down the hallways in five-inch stilettos (it’s the only way I could catch my next class on time). I began to like the color pink — not as much as green — and I began to love fixing or playing with my hair (if I had the time). And I was also fine with that.

But then just recently, The Search happened. And suddenly I was more conscious of the clothes I wore. I was more conscious of what shade my lipstick would be. I was more careful of how I spoke and how I schooled my super intimidating expressions. My well-meaning friends (bless their hearts, I love my squad so much) started to coach me and started to guide and guard the way I spoke, the way I sat, the way I greeted people — boys, especially — and even what kind of case I’d use on my cellphone (no Naruto designs!). On dates, I’m not allowed to bump fists with the guys, not allowed to hit the guys, not allowed to “tropa zone” the guys. Even the books I read said so — do not be one of the guys.

For a time, I followed that. But it came to a point where I don’t feel like myself anymore. Because… what if I AM one of the guys? Can’t I like pink and still want to kick ass in Tekken at the same time? Can’t I wear make-up and bump fists with my dudes at the same time? Can’t I braid my hair and give thug hugs to my bros at the same time? Can’t I be both beautiful and boyish at the same time? What if I feel beautiful even when I’m boyish? What if I keep thug hugging my dudes and I keep fist bumping with my bros — and still feel beautiful and gorgeous and all kinds of attractive at the same time?

And why am I even bothering to think about this now? I really don’t know. Maybe it’s because I got a thug hug from one of my bros yesterday, and we both got berated over it. We all shared a good laugh even though our friends kept saying, “She’s a girl! You can’t do that to her! And you, Karren, pa-chicks ka lang!”

I love my friends so much, and I love that they’re all so hell-bent on helping me find my One True Love. I love that they panic over finding me a date, and I love that we spend hours until morning talking about what kind of man I’d end up with (someone who’d brave through my grumpy pre-coffee mornings, we deduced). I love that I have a vigorous and solid support system. I love that I have friends who’ve already been through what I’m going through now, friends who are not stingy with their love and with their wisdom and their insights. You’d want to have that too, whether you’re a girl or a boy. (The dynamics must be different with boys, I’d think.)

girl sleeping

photo (c) pixabay

But I realized this just now. Maybe being beautiful and handsome isn’t ALL about how you dress up, how you speak, what you have, how you act… though they do play a great part. Maybe it’s more about how you FEEL. Maybe it’s about feeling so good, so beautiful, and so blessed, that you can’t help but shine. And maybe it’s more about taking care of yourself than dressing up. It’s more about feeling good about yourself than looking good with the tons of make up you put on your face, or the gel you put on your hair. It’s more about having so much love in your heart, that you can’t help but overflow and share this love with others.

Maybe it’s not about LOOKING beautiful or handsome. It’s about BEING beautiful and handsome. Because when you have a beautiful heart, then no matter how you act or how you speak or what you do or what you have and do not have — you will be attractive.

Lately people keep telling me that I’m blooming. “What’s your secret?” people always ask. I don’t have a secret. OK, sure, maybe it does have something to do with the new brand of lip liner I’m wearing, or the BB cream I’ve started to use. But seriously, dude. Do you want to know my secret?

I spend Mondays at the Blessed Sacrament. I bring your prayers there, and I spend hours talking to Jesus and my Saint Squad. I spend my nights on my knees, praying to God, listening to Him, talking to Him, but most of all receiving His love. I spend my days waiting, waiting, waiting — but not on people. I wait on God. When I get impatient, I don’t take matters in my own hands. I talk to God. When I get disappointed, or frustrated, or a tiny bit heartbroken, I tell people, yes. But I also talk to God. Nowadays, I seem to be talking to God all the time. And it’s the best. Thing. Ever.

You want to know how I bloomed these past few weeks? It’s because I’ve fallen so helplessly in love with God, I cry at the very thought of it. I am so in love with God, and He’s so in love with me. It took me thirty years to realize that I am as much His daughter as I am His soldier, and that I don’t have to work so darn hard to earn His or anybody else’s love. I’m walking on water with Jesus nowadays, and I love it. I love it. I love it.

So, yeah. I don’t want to stop giving and receiving fist bumps and bro hugs. I don’t want to stop talking about Naruto. I don’t want to stop high-fiving people when I greet them. I will keep wearing Chucks with my dresses (provided I get away with it in the office), I will keep using thug language, and I will still be a dude and a chick at the same time.
Because I realized this only now: I am my own kind of beautiful. And I’m fine with that.

And you? You be your own kind of beautiful — or handsome — too.

Don’t change because others tell you so. Don’t change to make others like you. Don’t change to impress others. Change because it’s good for you. Change because it makes you feel good. Change because it makes you become a better person.

Someone out there is made to match your own kind of beautiful. God knows who they are. God will give them to you at the right time, in the right moment.

And when you find them — when they find you — it’s going to be epic.

img_7759
Your Kind of Beautiful
Karren Renz Seña
projectbeautifulwords.com

#projectbeautifulwords

Your Own Kind of Beautiful was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Write That Right Now Batch 3: The Creative Writing Seminar That Transformed Dreamers into Writers

TWO BATCHES HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED. WRITERS WERE BORN. DESTINIES WERE CLAIMED.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

DO YOU WANT TO BE AN IMPACTFUL, INFLUENTIAL, AND INSPIRING WRITER?
DO YOU WANT TO AUTHOR A BOOK THAT WILL MOVE, MOTIVATE, AND MENTOR READERS?
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO JUST BEGIN?

karren-renz-sena-write-that-right-now-workshop

Last July 25, 2015 and January 9, 2016, two huge groups of dreamers walked into Balay Kalinaw, expecting to attend “just another creative writing workshop.” They didn’t know that their souls will be bared open, and that their hearts will be set on fire. They didn’t know that they would walk out of that venue as real writers, with the actual training and heart to finally wield words and use them as weapons that will help change this world.

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BEGIN WRITING, BUT DIDN’T KNOW HOW?

We all experience bumping into the wall that separates us from our dream to writing down that book, article, story, blog post, or poem.

It may be a wall of fear, feelings of inadequacy, over busy-ness, doubts, or insecurities.

Some people bulldoze their way through that wall. Others dig beneath to get to the other side. Some others would walk its entire length to see a small space wherein which they could pass through. These people live to see their works in print or on the screen.

But sadly, others drop the pen. And the dream will forever remain a dream.

Sounds familiar? Of course it does. You’re probably nodding your head as you read this now, because if you weren’t then you wouldn’t even be reading this in the first place (because you’ll have been writing your masterpiece).

But worry no more. We can help each other break through that wall. This April, we are launching YET another set, another batch, another cycle of dreamers-turned-real-writers.

STOP DREAMING. STOP PLANNING. WRITE THAT BOOK NOW.

Why do it again? Because we realized that THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE who are just desperate and hungry to write something. They have messages that they want to share, wounds they want to lay bare, but they couldn’t. This workshop heals. This workshop frees. This workshop empowers. Take it from the people who already took it:

“I came here for an escape. I didn’t know I would find freedom instead.”
— Kris Torres, UST AMV College of Accountancy graduate

“I just want to thank you po for deciding to conduct this workshop! The workshop encouraged me to become aggressive in reaching my dreams as a writer. Apparently, you are an anointed writer/speaker/teacher; you’re blessing so many lives! You are a writer with a strong mind and passionate heart. Whenever you speak about writing, your passion spills over that it reaches my heart too. I’m always close to crying whenever you speak, Ate Karren. ”
— Elaine Factor, contributor, Didache Youth

“Thank you, Ms. Karen. You helped me realize that my passion for writing runs deeper than I thought. It is something that keeps getting a hold on me no matter what path I choose, and I believe God gave me this power for a reason. I can’t wait to share it to the world. Thank you. <3″
— Anngeli Ong, writer

These people are now WRITERS. They have found their words. They have found their voices. Most of all, they have found themselves.

Do you want your own moment? We will do this together, as one group, we will make sure that these dreams won’t just remain dreams.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS WILL BE THE YEAR
THAT YOU WILL BECOME PUBLISHED.

LET US START HERE.

Write That Right Now! Stop Dreaming and Start Writing used to be a 5-hour jam-packed seminar-workshop… But now, we’ve turned it into a whole-day workshop that will bring out that fermenting story from the depths of your creative soul and into the open arena of not only published, but well-loved works. (Because OF COURSE you can’t just write a book. It has to be a good one; otherwise people won’t bother with it!)

Here’s what you will get from the workshop:

  • Hold It! Basics Before Book! (Stuff You Need to Know If You Want to be the Next Bestseller)
    • Internalize the 5 Pillars of Writing and become a writer at heart
    • Utilize the basic, but most powerful tools that will help you jumpstart your writing career (The Cardinal Rules of Writing)
  • Onwards, Slave of the Word! (Getting Down to the Art of Writing)
    • The Beginning Is Always the Hardest (Beating the Myth of the Writers’ Block)
    • #DigDeep (How to Get into the Heart of Writing)
      • Cutting Scars Open
      • Beating Demons Dead
      • Picking Pieces of Broken Dreams
    • “We’ll Never Go Out of Style” (How to Find Your Style)
    • Spunk, Sass, Sarcastic, Sober, Solemn… Whatever Works (How to Find Your Voice)
    • Who Do I Write For? (How to Find and Reach Your Target Readers)
    • How Do I Get Published? (Publishing Tips from a Professional Editor / Marketing Officer)
  • Sensational Closing (Bringing Home the Fat Bacon)
    • Really, Why Are You Here? (Finding Your Emotional, Soulful “Why?”)
    • What Do You Really Want to Write? (How to Discover the Topic You Want to Write About)
  • AND MANY MORE! I promise!
  • BONUS (Usually an exclusive 3-hour seminar) — Soul Pages: Writing That Heals

Wondering who will be conducting the workshop? I will. I hold no credentials other than 10,000++ hours of practice, more than 10 years of education in Literature and Creative Writing, 3 years of experience in editing, a published book that has ranked in Wattpad and rated 5 Stars in Goodreads, the mentorship of the best and brightest names in Philippine Literature, and years in the publishing industry: 

  • Ricky Lee
  • Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo
  • Nerisa Del Carmen Guevara
  • Eros Atalia
  • J. Neil C. Garcia
  • Ralph Semino Galan
  • John Jack Wigley
  • Charlson Ong
  • and many more!

My most important credential, however, is that like you, I struggle. Like you, I troll around. Like you, I get afraid, I don’t know how to start, I don’t know how to finish, and I am scrap-scared of breaking through that wall. But I did, because look. I am here. My book is published. My articles are published. My blog is growing. My IG is full of writings. I have overcome. Sometimes I still get defeated, sometimes I still get tired, sometimes I still think of quitting. But I’m still here. I didn’t stop. I didn’t quit. And I want to share to you how I did it.

*blows nose*

NOW, are you reading to stop thinking about writing and to actually write… right now? Whatever it is that’s in your head… Write that right now! Join us and we’ll make that happen!

YES! I WILL REGISTER NOW! CLICK ME! CLICK HERE! CLICK NOW!

But wait! I bring sad news: I can only accept a limited number of participants.

I want to be able to interact with all of you, and for all of you to get chummy with each other, so a big crowd isn’t ideal. I want us to be able to create a support group so we can help each other turn that dream book/blog/article/whatchamacallit into a reality.

SEMINAR WORKSHOP DETAILS. LIKE, SUPER IMPORTANT DETAILS:

Date: April 9, 2016
Time: 9:00AM to 5:00PM (Registration starts at 8:00. We will start EXACTLY at 9:00AM to make the most out of our time).
Location: Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman
Workshop Investment: P2,499.00   —>  P1,999.00
EARLY BIRD RATE (Until March 20, 2016): P1,4,99.00
Mode of Payment: Bank Deposit (BDO, BPI, Metrobank — details are available in the online registration form)

Important notice: Our seminar-workshop only has limited slots. To reserve yours, you must pay the workshop fee in full via bank deposits until April 8, 2016 and send the payment to projectbeautifulwords@gmail.com with the Subject Heading: YOU ARE P*WND! I SHALL SEE YOU IN APRIL 9! Walk-in participants are welcome, but will not be guaranteed slots.

SEMINAR WORKSHOP REMINDERS. YES. WE HAVE THEM HERE. NOW.

  • Check your email regularly for updates. You might want to check your spam or promotions folder to make sure you read my emails.
  • Do your pre-workshop assignments. YES, YOU HAVE THEM. Because what’s the workshop for if you’re not going to work? Again, check your email regularly to keep abreast with the happenings.
  • Reserve your slots by paying early. Remember, I can only entertain a limited number of participants. I want this to be as intimate, yet productive as possible. This is an in-demand workshop, so you better grab your spot. :)
  • More reminders will be sent to you via email.
  • For questions, clarifications, violent reactions, or plain inquiries, email me at projectbeautifulwords@gmail.com.

ARE YOU READY? PROCEED TO THE FORM. CLICK ME. CLICK HERE. CLICK THIS.

 

Write That Right Now Batch 3: The Creative Writing Seminar That Transformed Dreamers into Writers was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS

Write That Right Now Batch 2: The Creative Writing Seminar That Transformed Dreamers into Writers

DO YOU WANT TO BE AN IMPACTFUL, INFLUENTIAL, AND INSPIRING WRITER?
DO YOU WANT TO AUTHOR A BOOK THAT WILL MOVE, MOTIVATE, AND MENTOR READERS?
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO JUST BEGIN?

karren-renz-sena-write-that-right-now-workshop

Last July 25, 2015, a huge group of dreamers walked into Balay Kalinaw one afternoon, expecting to attend “just another creative writing workshop.” They didn’t know that their souls will be bared open, and that their hearts will be set on fire. They didn’t know that they would walk out of that venue as real writers, with the actual training and heart to finally wield words and use them as weapons that will help change this world.

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BEGIN WRITING, BUT DIDN’T KNOW HOW?

We all experience bumping into the wall that separates us from our dream to writing down that book, article, story, blog post, or poem.

It may be a wall of fear, feelings of inadequacy, over busy-ness, doubts, or insecurities.

Some people bulldoze their way through that wall. Others dig beneath to get to the other side. Some others would walk its entire length to see a small space wherein which they could pass through. These people live to see their works in print or on the screen.

But sadly, others drop the pen. And the dream will forever remain a dream.

Sounds familiar? Of course it does. You’re probably nodding your head as you read this now, because if you weren’t then you wouldn’t even be reading this in the first place (because you’ll have been writing your masterpiece).

But worry no more. We can help each other break through that wall. This January, we are launching another set, another batch, another cycle of dreamers-turned-real-writers.

START THE YEAR RIGHT. WRITE THAT BOOK NOW.

WriteThatWriteNow_Official Poster2_Batch2

Why January? Because we want to ride the waves of change that each New Year brings. We want to be able to start. We want to be able to begin chasing our dreams. We begin the New Year with a new and renewed hope, and together, as one group, we will make sure that these dreams won’t just remain dreams.

WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS WILL BE THE YEAR
THAT YOU WILL BECOME PUBLISHED.

LET US START HERE.

Write That Right Now! Stop Dreaming and Start Writing used to be a 5-hour jam-packed seminar-workshop… But now, we’ve turned it into a whole-day workshop that will bring out that fermenting story from the depths of your creative psyche and into the open arena of not only published, but well-loved works. (Because OF COURSE you can’t just write a book. It has to be a good one; otherwise people won’t bother with it!)

Here’s what you will get from the workshop:

  • Hold It! Basics Before Book! (Stuff You Need to Know If You Want to be the Next Bestseller)
    • Internalize the 5 Pillars of Writing and become a writer at heart
    • Utilize the basic, but most powerful tools that will help you jumpstart your writing career (The Cardinal Rules of Writing)
  • Onwards, Slave of the Word! (Getting Down to the Art of Writing)
    • The Beginning Is Always the Hardest (Beating the Myth of the Writers’ Block)
    • #DigDeep (How to Get into the Heart of Writing)
      • Cutting Scars Open
      • Beating Demons Dead
      • Picking Pieces of Broken Dreams
    • “We’ll Never Go Out of Style” (How to Find Your Style)
    • Spunk, Sass, Sarcastic, Sober, Solemn… Whatever Works (How to Find Your Voice)
  • Sensational Closing (Bringing Home the Fat Bacon)
    • Really, Why Are You Here? (Finding Your Emotional, Soulful “Why?”)
    • What Do You Really Want to Write? (How to Discover the Topic You Want to Write About)
  • AND MANY MORE! I promise!
  • BONUS (Usually an exclusive 3-hour seminar) — Soul Pages: Writing That Heals

Wondering who will be conducting the workshop? I will. I hold no credentials other than 10,000++ hours of practice, more than 10 years of education in Literature and Creative Writing, 3 years of experience in editing, a published book that has ranked in Wattpad and rated 5 Stars in Goodreads, the mentorship of the best and brightest names in Philippine Literature, and years in the publishing industry. I probably have others, but I forgot.

My most important credential, however, is that like you, I struggle. Like you, I troll around. Like you, I get afraid, I don’t know how to start, I don’t know how to finish, and I am scrap-scared of breaking through that wall. But I did, because look. I am here. My book is published. My articles are published. My blog is growing. My IG is full of writings. I have overcome. Sometimes I still get defeated, sometimes I still get tired, sometimes I still think of quitting. But I’m still here. I didn’t stop. I didn’t quit. And I want to share to you how I did it.

*blows nose*

NOW, are you reading to stop thinking about writing and to actually write… right now? Whatever it is that’s in your head… Write that right now! Join us and we’ll make that happen!

YES! I WILL REGISTER NOW! CLICK ME! CLICK HERE! CLICK NOW!

But wait! I bring sad news: I can only accept so-and-so number of participants.

I want to be able to interact with all of you, and for all of you to get chummy with each other, so a big crowd isn’t ideal. I want us to be able to create a support group so we can help each other turn that dream book/blog/article/whatchamacallit into a reality.

SEMINAR WORKSHOP DETAILS. LIKE, SUPER IMPORTANT DETAILS:

Date: January 9, 2016
Time: 9:00AM to 5:00PM (Registration starts at 8:00. We will start EXACTLY at 9:00AM to make the most out of our time).
Location: Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman
Workshop Investment: P1,999.00   —>  P1,499.00
EARLY BIRD RATE (Until Dec. 16, 2015): P1,300.00
Mode of Payment: Bank Deposit (BDO, BPI, Metrobank — details are available in the online registration form)

Important notice: Our seminar-workshop only has limited slots. To reserve yours, you must pay the workshop fee in full via bank deposits until January 8, 2016 and send the payment to projectbeautifulwords@gmail.com with the Subject Heading: YOU ARE P*WND! I SHALL SEE YOU IN JANUARY 9! Walk-in participants are welcome, but will not be guaranteed slots.

SEMINAR WORKSHOP REMINDERS. YES. WE HAVE THEM HERE. NOW.

  • Check your email regularly for updates. You might want to check your spam or promotions folder to make sure you read my emails.
  • Do your pre-workshop assignments. YES, YOU HAVE THEM. Because what’s the workshop for if you’re not going to work? Again, check your email regularly to keep abreast with the happenings.
  • Reserver your slots by paying early. Remember, I can only entertain a limited number of participants. I want this to be as intimate, yet productive as possible.
  • More reminders will be sent to you via email.
  • For questions, clarifications, violent reactions, or plain inquiries, email me at projectbeautifulwords@gmail.com.

ARE YOU READY? PROCEED TO THE FORM. CLICK ME. CLICK HERE. CLICK THIS.

 

Write That Right Now Batch 2: The Creative Writing Seminar That Transformed Dreamers into Writers was originally published on PROJECT: BEAUTIFUL WORDS