Things to Remember When Writing Fiction

Whether you’re required to make a story for school or you aspire to be a well-known author, you will almost always experience writing fiction. Some excel at it while some take a bit more time and practice getting used to it. Just like any other form of writing, fiction does take a good amount of imagination and creativity. And though it can be quite overwhelming at first, it’s also really enjoyable once you start getting better. So, here are some handy tips for you!

Read and read and read

I can’t even describe how important it is to read as many as much as you can. Reading and writing come hand in hand! For one, you can get inspiration simply by reading others’ work. And two, you can get a lot of ideas and enhance your own creativity and imagination as well. Also, even if you’re aiming to write fiction, it doesn’t mean you’ll also have to read only fiction too. Reading news articles, poems, maybe even screenplays, can also be beneficial to your work.

Have an exclusive writing space

Everybody has their own preferred places to write. If you find it most comforting to write in your room, then stay there. If you feel like you get a lot of ideas when you’re in a coffee shop, value your time there. When you start writing though, make sure to go to a place where you can actually focus on your work. If you need to stand up and act out a scene to get a feel for it before putting it on paper, you wouldn’t want to do it in public. You won’t want people to have a weird impression of you!

Create realistic characters

The most important aspect of creating characters is making them relatable. This may sound simple but it’s actually quite difficult to do, especially because as an author you tend to have biases. Characters should have raw emotions, they should make mistakes and have flaws, basically make them as human as possible. That way it will be easier to reach out to your audience since you allow them to feel like the character in some way. Of course, it’s not just the protagonist you should focus on but also all other characters in your story.

Always remember to revise

Here’s something you should always remember: never be satisfied with the first draft. No matter how perfect you think the story is in the first writing, that’s never the case. After you’re done writing, leave it for one or two days. Then go back and read it again slowly. You’re sure to find grammatical mistakes and scenes that could use some improving. It would also be helpful to ask for others’ opinions. Bottom line is, always remember to revise!

Most Common Causes of Injuries at the Gym

When you plan to get serious with your physical fitness, the last thing you want to get is an injury. Some injuries will leave you out for weeks and some can be so fatal that you’ll have to leave the gym indefinitely! Of course, nobody wants to suffer any kind of pain that can put them away from the gym for food. And knowing about the common causes of injuries will safeguard you from them.

Equating soreness with a good workout

A common idea between gym-goers is that being sore after a workout means you had a good one. Let me tell you straight out that this isn’t exactly true. The soreness you feel comes from the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle when you flex and contract them with each rep. Now, lactic acid is important for muscle growth but having too much will eat away at your muscle tissues. As a result, you’ll make lesser gains and make yourself more susceptible to injury. That’s why you shouldn’t equate soreness with a good workout.

Not learning the proper form

Having bad form when lifting is probably the most common cause of injuries at the gym. It’s especially important that you learn the proper form as a beginner. For one, having the correct form will help you maximize your strength and muscle growth. And more importantly, you’ll put yourself in less danger! Obviously, the longer you stay at the gym without having the proper form, the more likely that you’ll pull a joint or rip a muscle.

Ego lifting

If you don’t know what this is, ego lifting is basically lifting heavier weight (well, to feed one’s ego of course) at the expense of proper form. If your hands are already shaking too much at the downstroke of a bench press or if you have to jerk up just to lift the weight for a shoulder press, then you’re ego lifting. This is also a high-risk mistake because, as said earlier, you’re disregarding your form just to lift a heavier weight. In most cases, this can be way more dangerous because you’re holding a heavier weight than usual.

Having a bad spotter

If you’re not new at the gym, you already know that some like to test their strength every few weeks with “heavy days”. No matter which gym you go to in Singapore, you’ll see one or two people lifting heavy with the assistance of a spotter. Now the spotter’s main role is to provide a little help when the bar gets too heavy for you to finish the rep. If you’re doing a heavy bench press and your spotter is looking elsewhere or messing around, the bar might fall on your chest or face without him even having time to catch it.

Great Reasons to Spend Some Alone Time

Spending time alone can be annoying for some and therapeutic for others. For some reason, there are also people who think that when you enjoy spending time alone, then you’re a loner. But this isn’t exactly the case as there’s nothing wrong with having some time for yourself at all. You don’t have to always be in a crowd to stay happy. In fact, there are many great reasons to spend some time alone often.

You really won’t miss out if you’re alone

We all know that in Singapore, kiasu or the attitude that comes from a fear of missing out is a big thing. But really, if you take a step back and really think about it, you won’t miss out on a lot of things at all! Because of how fast-paced the world is now, it’s easy to think that you’ll get left behind if you don’t follow the crowd.

However, in reality, life is quite repetitive and there’s really not much to miss. Sure, if you decide to stay at home instead of going out with your friends, you will miss the fun. But you could always go again next time so there’s really no problem there. Once you spend time alone more often, you’ll see how true this is.

You will learn to stop thinking like others

When you spend too much time interacting with others, it’s highly likely that you become accustomed to doing and saying things that will please them. Sometimes you’ll make decisions not based on your own beliefs but in accordance with how everybody else thinks.

Of course, this isn’t always the case and you can still obviously act on your own. We only want to show that it is very much possible to get sucked in and start thinking like everybody else. This is the importance of spending time alone. You can follow your own beliefs and ideas much easier and become free from outside influence.

You can simply give your mind and body some rest

Introverts, for example, know much about their social battery running out. It’s simply the feeling that you want to limit your interactions and just spend some quality alone time. And again, this isn’t a bad thing at all. Even the extroverts, believe it or not, need some time away from interacting with others every now and then.

Taking a break from social interactions is a great way to give your mind and body time to replenish. If you spend some alone time, you won’t really drain yourself of energy since you don’t have to cater to anybody else. Plus, you can use that time to relieve stress and focus on things you want to do.

Why Competition is Good for You

Your family and friends often counsel you to stop comparing yourself to others, because after all, there will always be more fortunate and better people than you. No one wants to feel inadequate and a loser in the face of a much better competition, but is it better to avoid it altogether?

Competition Means Growth
There are valid reasons to stop unhealthy comparison with other people, but if you lose the desire to compete, you’re also limiting self-growth. If you didn’t have rivals at school for example, would you try harder to win those contests or top the exams? They can also serve as your inspiration or as a goal that you need to surpass to make yourself a better person.

Competition Means More Opinions
In the business world, competition is essential, especially if you use your rivals as a reference for ideal customer service. Companies will strive to outdo each other if they see a business strategy that is working. This in turn will lead to more creativity when it comes to business models, making it possible to come up with different ideas that are unique. Savvy entrepreneurs will always question common knowledge and improvise.

Competition Brings Out the Best
Not only do you see healthy competition at work, school, and business, but in almost all aspects of life, too. People always strive to outdo each other for various reasons, but you shouldn’t see this as selfish and jealous. As long as rivalry can lead to a lot of good things, then it’s not something that should be discouraged. If you look at history, most of the ideas, inventions, and creations that advanced civilization were also products of competition.

Competition Creates Experience
There will always be winners and losers, but that does not mean you should stop striving to become better. The growth that comes with competition comes from turning losses into a positive learning experience. That is why parents who shelter their kids from a competitive environment at school are also taking away opportunities for the child to grow and learn. Doing that will make them less prepared for the real world, after all, competition also gives the child an opportunity to exercise emotional control and cooperation.

Competition Creates a Goal
If you’re striving to make yourself better, you’re also more likely to take chances because you have a goal in mind. You will be inspired to work harder if you know you’re working for something or someone. More chances mean more opportunities to live life to the fullest. Take competition away and people will become lazy, because they don’t have any reason to grow and learn.

Things that Decreases Confidence

As much as we’d like to talk about gaining confidence, you should also be aware that there are certain ways to lose confidence and you should stay away from them. Sadly, some people do not know what they’ve lost until it’s gone. This is also true with confidence. One moment they totally believe in themselves then another moment they suddenly lose it all. Well, we want to share awareness of certain things that can definitely decrease confidence.

Here are a few things that decreases confidence:

1. Getting out of shape
Becoming out of shape is usually a choice. Not everyone was born with physical disabilities which is why for those people who are perfectly normal, becoming out of shape is something they chose to do. Letting go of your fitness is something that only you can do. Some people tend to blame their lifestyle or other external factors but what they don’t realize is that they chose to lose control. The effects of getting out of shape towards your confidence may be quite huge as you realize you aren’t the fit and good looking person you once were.

2. Being lazy
Laziness is definitely a killer of confidence. Not only will you have lesser things done, you won’t be able to accomplish much either. Sadly, being too comfortable isn’t a good thing. Nothing grows in the comfort zone. Sometimes you gotta go out there and kick yourself out of the couch for you to be able to accomplish something. Don’t let your laziness get to you! You’ll wake up one day regretting the time you wasted.

3. Not doing your best
“I’m fine with not winning, I didn’t try that hard anyway” this line is very destructive! Not only does it show a personality of someone with a shattered confidence, it actually sort of discourages any feeling of confidence. Give everything your best! If you fail, that’s okay! Failing is part of the learning process. The scary part is not being able to give your best.

4. Going with the flow
If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it! Sadly, a lot of people give in to peer pressure and external influences instead of doing what they want to do! Challenge yourself every now and then to do something a little daring! Something that reminds you that you have the strength to make a decision!

There are so many things we do in a daily basis that decreases our confidence. We should watch out for these things and replace them with healthy habits.