What passion does to you

I'm only 18, but I've had my fair share of all kinds of experiences in my life. I've been happy and sad, life's been good and bad. But the way my passion has changed my life and me as a person can't be reversed.

Being passionate about something doesn't only give your life purpose, it also completely changes your mindset and even affects how you work, and how your body works. Passion makes you want to be healthier, have better relationships and even wake up easier – here's how:

1. It's easier to wake up

Being passionate makes you more committed, enthusiastic and positive. You want to see what you can do in the next day, because it's a new opportunity to explore your thoughts, ideas and dreams. If you lay all day in bed, you can't fulfill your dreams – so get to work!

2. You take better care of your body

I've noticed this so clearly in the last week. 4th of April I did my last exam at high school, and the day after that I sent in my university application. That made me free to do whatever I wanted. I've been going to school every day for twelve years, but now I have finished my education.

Earlier, when I've done stuff that I haven't really loved, or studied without passion, my life has only been about getting things over with. But now, I pay attention to every second. Because my life is in my hands, I have the responsibility to make every second count. Essentially, I have the responsibility to keep myself alive and take care of my body.

When you feel stuck, you aren't inspired to be healthy. That was my problem for so long – I just had no reason to exercise because I didn't have that burning, wonderful feeling in my gut that I'm running toward my dreams. Now that I've found my passion, I want to stay healthy and energized so that I can reach my full potential. And often I don't even have to consciously think about my health. It's so strange, because it just happens. I'm constantly so excited about my life, that binge-eating and couch potatoing just isn't a part of my day anymore.

3. You look forward to the future

When you have a passion, you aren't afraid. You're excited. You're grateful for what you have and want to see what the future can bring you.

By looking back at all of the things I've learned in the past years or even weeks or days, I realize how much I've grown, but also how much I can still grow. And I'm not content with staying where I am, I want to see what the future has to offer me!

4. A better attitude

Having a passion doesn't only make fulfilling your goals in that specific field easier, but also makes you more positive overall. Chores and homework isn't as bad if you have a feeling deep down that you're doing something important. Because your dreams are important, and you have a deep, burning desire to fulfill them. Passions and dreams give life meaning, and makes even small tasks feel less heavy.

Are you convinced that you should get up and seek your passion yet? Click HERE to read the blog post about how to find your passion. Give it a read and start your journey!

Have an amazing day!

Goal-setting: How to set and reach your goals NOW

What if you could set goals and never fail at achieving them?

Today I'm writing about something I learned a couple of months ago that has helped me as an author and (aspiring) creative entrepreneur immensely. Here are the rules for goal-setting that will help you get your life in order and become happier, more productive and reach your life's ultimate goal.

But first, what is your ultimate goal? Have no idea? Check out my blog post about Finding your passion.

1. Commit

If you can't commit, you just can't get anywhere. Sorry, but it's true. You say you want to write a book in 2017. Okay, awesome! But then there's also school and work and family... and you aren't really sure if you have the time or energy, and it's just so hard. You'll get to it tomorrow, no problem.

But that is a huge problem. You aren't committing.

Saying that you'll do it some day, because you're so stressed now is not commitment–it's an excuse. And excuses are a no no.

If you just make the commitment by writing it down on paper or telling someone else about it–by making it a concrete, real thing–you're one step further to succeeding. It's all about determination and the will to work. If you really want this, then you're stopping at nothing to get it.

2. Be realistic and know your limits

We're not superhumans, mutants or robots. We're not perfect and we make mistakes. We don't have an endless amount of time and energy, not to even mention lack of money and other resources. We have a lot of things that limit us. Your job is to know your limits and work with them, instead of against them. Push yourself, but don't throw yourself down a cliff--that's dumb. 

Be smart with how you use your energy and how you time your projects and working hours. If you work from home, keep your work and free time separate to make sure you're as effective as possible. This is also incredibly important in order to stay sane, which I always don't.

3. Be specific and set smaller goals

Don't just set goals every New Year. You need to do it consistently and with shorter periods of time in between, or you'll lose track of your progress and just waste a lot of time. Most people fail or give up on their New Year's resolutions half way though January. Don't be one of those people.

Get up and do the work, but first make a list every 2-4 months of smaller goals that are related to one bigger goal. For example, if you want to write a novel this year, decide to write 30K words every month, and you'll have a first draft just by writing one thousand words every day for less than three months. It's amazing what planning and dividing big goals into smaller chunks can do. We all can achieve anything!

4. Get feedback and track your progress

It's hard to get feedback on your goals from other people, but it works just as well to do this for yourself. After every achievement, evaluate how the process went, writing down your thoughts on what you could've done better and what you need to keep doing in the future. You don't want to reinvent the wheel every single time you set goals, right? Use feedback to push yourself and get to know yourself better.

Get a separate notebook just for your goals, and you'll be able to see and remember how much you've progressed. It's truly amazing to see the change after just a few months. This really works!

5. Reward yourself

Rewards are awesome. Some people just see the achievements themselves as rewards–but hey, chocolate exists, so why not eat it? I reward myself with drawing, movies, long walks and diving into new, shiny story ideas. If it works for you, you might even want to try punishing yourself if you don't reach your goals. Personally, I react much better to happy, nice things. But we're all different: do what works for you.

Now set goals and get working on that amazing story!
Em :)

How to NOT write a story beginning

To write a heart-clutching page-turner, you can't have cliches and horrible mistakes in there. It's a stated fact in the writing community that the first page of your novel sells the rest of it, and while I believe that a lot more factors are involved, there are some mistakes that you just can't have on your first page.

These are the mistakes you can't afford to make if you want to keep your readers reading. These are cliches that make agents roll their eyes and potential fans slam your book shut. As with creative writing in general, there are no rules, but please think really hard before writing a bad opening. Your novel deserves the best it can possibly get. So do your readers.

  • A dream sequence, hallucination or a flashback
  • Your character waking up
  • Backstory
  • Irrelevant information
  • Introducing your character by telling instead of showing
  • Overall telling instead of showing
  • Having too many characters in the first scene
  • Excessive description
  • The weather
  • The main character being lazy or thinking about something without acting on it
  • Dialogue—though this is a bit complicated....

So how do you know whether or not to write dialogue on the first page? 

Some say that dialogue should be avoided on the first page of your story, but I disagree. Dialogue is one of the fastest ways introduce a character's voice and gives a first impression of their personality, hints at their goal and may also show which character archetype they are. The reason people are so afraid of starting with dialogue is because it really needs to be great, not just good. Great dialogue is very hard to write, and in the beginning of your novel it may be a risk to take.

Remember that these are only my tips. Do what's best for your story no matter what.

Read more writing tips on the Writing page. I have lots of advice and printables (because I just love printables) like worksheets and plot/character/world building charts.

Also now is the perfect time to read my blog post about how to write a good story opener, since I've just told you what not to do. How convenient!

Happy writing!
Love, Em.

How to find your passion

Having a passion changes your life. It's what we all strive for. According to Mindbodygreen (read full post here), having a passion project:

1. Helps you to be able to tap into your state of flow
2. Decreases your stress levels
3. Can make you get leaner
4. Improves your mood
5. Can help you break your technology addiction
6. Builds on your talents
7. Makes you build your own legacy
8. Shows you what you could do as a career!
9. Gives you amazing health benefits
10. It's a reason to wake up in the morning

I also wrote a blog post about this subject, find it HERE.

But doesn't it just sound awesome? A passion is what you need! So what are you waiting for? Here are 5 tips to help you find your own passion:

STEP ONE: Look inside yourself

To find what you love, you need to figure out what you don't love. Get to know yourself. Spend some time alone. Write in a journal. Write lists on things you like and don't like. Look at pictures on instagram and think about what you feel. Try new things. What are you good at? What is something that you just can't get enough of doing?

For me a clear sign that something is my passion is that I lose track of time. I've missed buses because of a story that I've just not been able to stop writing, or a drawing that I need to finish. It's that amazing (but at the same time creepy) feeling of hours passing without noticing. That's a surefire way to know that you're passionate.

STEP TWO: Think about the 5-year-old you

Sometimes you need to visit your past to find answers. If you just couldn't figure out what your passion could possibly be, think about what you loved doing as a child. What did you want to become? What was your favorite game? Just think of anything that you liked and still enjoy, and go from there.

STEP THREE: Who is doing what you want to do?

Do you know anyone who is working in the field that you're interested in? Look up people who are doing your possible passion as a career and learn from them. What steps did they take to get where they are? Let them inspire you and fill you with ideas.

There is no such thing as an original idea in this world. Anything you would want to do has already been done. That may sound discouraging at first, but actually it's really great! If someone else is already doing it, and succeeding, then why not you? You can just look at what they've done and follow in their footsteps. We live in an amazing time. The internet can help you so much.

STEP FOUR: Don't limit yourself

Don't limit yourself to only doing one thing. If you feel like you have too many passions and the hard thing is choosing one – don't limit yourself, but instead, combine your passions. This can be hard and it may take some time to figure it out, and some things just can't be combined. Then you may just have to focus mainly on one or two things, leaving the rest as hobbies. 

I love so many things, so choosing one has always been really tough. And it's strange, but when I was younger I thought a person could only like one thing. That was what I'd been taught in school. But that's not how humans' work. We're humans, not robots. We're not programmable technology. Our opinions, dreams and aspirations change.

Take time to think about what you should prioritize. And most importantly, don't limit yourself. Don't give yourself rules that will make things hard for you. This is your life, and if you believe in your passion, it will work out.

STEP FIVE: Stay curious and keep learning

The most stupid thing a human can do is to settle, and not be curious. Most adults do this. Don't grow up to settle. If your love toward your passion fades, don't be okay with it. Don't be fine, be great. Mel Robbins held an awesome Ted Talk about this (click here to watch it). She says "You were born not to be just fine". You exist to have an amazing life. That is what a passion can give you, if you keep learning more about it, practicing your talents and reaching your full potential.

Never settle for less than AWESOME.
Never stop being CURIOUS.
Never think that you know everything there is to LEARN.

Go and run like on fire toward your dreams, and let your passion be a road map. Don't get lost.


I've also written a post about what passion does to you: here.