Today, Hawleyville brings you a guest post from writer and fellow Life-Lister Diana Ligaya. As a fiction writer, Diana has wonderful insight into how the “goals” we create for our characters as we develop them and their storylines relate to our own hopes and ambitions in everyday life. Even our characters who are as unlike us as possible have a lot to teach us when it comes to achieving our goals.
I hope you enjoy Diana’s post as much as I did. Every other Friday, writers in the Life List Club share our thoughts and experiences related to goal-setting by guest posting on each other’s blogs. Please take the time to check out my guest post on how being a slacker can get you closer to your dreams, which will be published at Carrie Mumford’s place sometime today.
And now, on to the good stuff – Diana’s post.
One quote from Albert Einstein that has always resonated with me as a wonderful motto for writing as well as for life:
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Learning from Yesterday
As writers, when we create our characters, we give them back stories to help flesh them out. For our characters, the histories we make for them shape who they are in the story when we meet them, coloring their motivations and defining their desires.
Sometimes our characters may be running from their pasts or perhaps trying to hold on to it. In our stories, we challenge our characters to make them grow and learn. As writers, we may force our characters to confront their pasts, to learn from it and eventually grow and change. These lessons they learn may be difficult but necessary for character growth.
The same holds true in real life. Except instead of forcing our characters to learn from their pasts, we need to do this ourselves. As in writing, the process may be painful but in the end, by allowing ourselves to examine – and in some cases, heal – from what happened in our pasts, we learn from them and can then apply them to our lives.
Living for Today
As writers, we know what moves our characters forward through the challenges that we throw at them. They get up and move through the story and their motivations are clear to us as their creators, though they may be unaware of why they do what they do themselves.
Sometimes, as we live our busy lives, we forget why we do what we do. Or maybe, we don’t want to think about it. Sometimes we’re so busy, we forget to enjoy our lives. We convince ourselves that there are so many other things that need doing that we don’t have the time to enjoy even a minute.
We owe it to ourselves as human beings to take a moment out of every day to just enjoy being. To love doing what we’re doing. True, there are always parts of our daily lives that we won’t enjoy, but finding just one thing to do that you love every single day, even if that’s just taking the time to hum a favorite tune, kiss your family or just smile, allows you to live rather than just exist.
Hope for Tomorrow
When we write, our characters march ever forward into their future, hoping to reach or obtain something. Whether they actually achieve their hope may be out of their hands but it is that hope that keeps getting them going.
Remember your hopes and dreams. Whether your dream is to publish a novel, climb a mountain or lose weight, let that hope define what you work toward every day. Let these hopes guide you and fuel your day.
Diana Ligaya is an aspiring science fiction/fantasy writer with a special interest in post-cyberpunk and urban fantasy settings. When she’s not pursuing her fiction credentials, she works as a freelance technology writer. She lives in Northern California with her husband, their preschool-aged daughter, a canine vacuum cleaner and more computers than should be considered healthy.