About Vanessa Peters

Aug.15

Faith

My dear Constant Reader,

I want to share a reminder on the power of faith.  And before you turn away, I am not speaking of a religious faith. 

The faith I am speaking of is the faith you have in yourself and the goals and dreams you are pursuing.  The fire that pushs you past your deepest reservations, past your comfort levels, past any fears.  We, wondrous human beings that we are, have the ability to leap into the unknown on nothing but faith and a desire to pursue…create…live a life greater than our present one.

But let’s be clear, many speak of this type of faith, but few have it.  The brags and boosts of social media are just that.  All the Instagram posts on “staying on your grind” and “getting your hustle up” mean nothing without the actions behind it.  Real faith in yourself, your dream, your passion, is what kicks late on a Tuesday night.  After you worked a 10 hours shift at your “9 to 5”, after you’ve gotten your kid to bed and cleaned the kitchen, gotten through your to do lists.  Its that moment when you have the choice to go to sleep or push past and sit down to write…paint…study.  It’s faith that holds strong under the boogie men of self doubt which will undoubtedly kick in at these  moments of exhaustion at days end.

I’m too old for this…

I don’t know what im doing…

I’m not good enough…

I’m not smart enough…

Who the hell cares what I say…do…think…write…

Real faith in yourself will see you through that night and the next and the next. 

No one else maybe believe that I can or should but I do.  I believe.  I push past.  I can do this.
I push past.

I’m afraid but I still believe.

I push past.

I have faith.  Deep to the core, reverent faith, in myself.  I belive in me.

Keep the faith.

V-

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Mar.01

Limits

My Dear Constant Reader,

This year is already ticking by faster than I would like.  Each day seems shorter and shorter with more and more to get done.  I see my to do list stretching boundless before me.  Even as I mark one thing off, 2 more things are added. 

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Last night at dinner I told my husband life would be so much easier if I just didn’t need sleep and worked 24 hours a day.   Of course I was joking…

Kinda…

But seriously I would get so much done. 

Just imagine…with an endless amount of time I would get everything on my to do list done.  Then I would start the new projects that I’ve pushed off for lack of time and energy. 

Even as I write this I feel the octopus in me on the rise at the possibilities.  But I also know from experience pushing that hard just doesn’t work for me.  I have tried the 3-4 hours of sleep, constant motion, pushing past exhaustion type of grind.  The result was I hit the wall harder than I care to remember.  Harder still was the effort it took to pull myself up and get back into the groove after the fact.

I have learned that as much as I want to say yes, sometimes I just have to say no.  If I keep on my grind, the opportunities and projects will continue to present themselves.  And when they do, I will be ready and able to give my best work and self to the opportunity knowing it is the right time.

So my dear friend, my advice as we stand at the begining of a new month is…

Don’t half ass a project now just to say you did it when you could’ve done with greater success if you waited until you and your schedule could commit fully to it. 

Know your limits so you can maximize your strengths. 

V-

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Feb.16

The Space Between

Last night I sat down to start writing this post just as the red carpet coverage for the Grammy’s began.  I watched as various artists were asked who they were excited to meet and see perform.  It was so wonderful to see so many become a giddy fan as they noted their must see list.  They had that glint in their eyes of pure magic and wonder, of the immense joy as they were able to reap the benefits of all their hard work.

In that moment I was reminded that, yes, for so many of us working at our craft, day in and day out, it would be amazing to have one of those experiences.  To be able to be recognized as the artist we know in our hearts we are, even if 99.9% of the world doesn’t.  But that experience will never become a reality without the journey and work behind it.  If I want that moment I have to keep going, keep working every day.  There are some artists that reach that point early in their lives.  Then there are those who have to travel the path much longer before they get there.  They are the ones I look to for inspiration.

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I know there are people who shake their heads as they see me working my 9-5  but yet still determined to one day be able to make a living as a writer one day.

You have a good job, you can support your family.  Why are you still chasing the same dream you had at 19?  Its been 20 years…let it go.

I can’t.  
I won’t.  
For me it is because this is not just a dream.  A dream you wake up from.  A dream ends.  This I will never give up on.  Yes, I may faulter.  Yes, I may have moments where the I allowed the doubts to cloud my way. But I know this is who I am and what I am meant to be. 

I am a writer.

This great big world just hasn’t been introduced to what I can do yet.  But it will.

V-

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Feb.01

All good now?

This my friends, is my first blog post of the new year.  A little late you say.  Yeah…I know.  But in all honesty I was a little busy.  While most writers posting blogs, not just once but multiple times in January, I was still trying to pull my shit together from a rough 2015.

All good now…ready to kill it in 2016 you ask?

Ummm…working on the all good part.  But 100% ready to take 2016 to the next level. 

While my reponses may not be as balanced as I would like, I am still optimistic.  Even as I am still recovering from the smack down that was 2015, I have to believe the new year will be better.  To think otherwise would be to feed into defeat before I have even begun.  

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They say you have to believe even when the road ahead is unclear, walk by faith not by sight.  It is with this mindset that I will keep pushing on.  My progress maybe slow at first, but I will still be a step closer to my goals than I was the day before. 

So with out further ado I will leave you. It’s time to get to work and greatness awaits.

V –

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Nov.01

At the Core of it All

As I shared a few weeks ago, 2015 has not necessarily been the best for me.  I have had ups and downs with trying to keep to task.  I have tried, God only knows how many ways, to get this train of mine back on track.  To say it has been a stuggle is an understatement.

I started on this path of self discovery and reinvention at the tail end of 2012.  I rushed forward with a passion and an excitement that could not be sated as I reconnected to my love of writing and painting.  

This in turn lead me to start seriously pursuing my dreams, my goals with the hope of one day making them my career.  I met people, began networking and the advice started flowing.  As did  the deadlines and time frames started  shortening.  And then it became…
Have you submitted here…
Have you tried writing this…
You need to get this done…connect to this…sign up for that…

And for me the pressure built making it, less about the work itself and more about all the extras.  Suddenly fitting in  all the extras in began to overtake everything else.

The art and writing I reconnected to…that I loved, became swallowed by the burden of taking my self to the next level.  It had stretched me thin and the fun and excitement was gone. 

It was in this mindset, numbed out and fried, that I sat watching TV with my husband.  We began watching a T.D. Jakes sermon, where he spoke about transformation and getting back to the core of who you are meant to be.  Mr. Jakes noted that to get to your core,  “You can either cut to get at it or rot to it.”  Hearing those words was like having a film lifted off my eyes and suddenly being able to see clearly again.

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I was allowing all the other stuff, the extra noise, to rot around the core of what I was meant to be doing.  It was killing my inspiration, my drive, my passion. 

On this path to making a dream a career I have to continue to refocus and realign to the heart of it all.  I love being a storyteller, whether it is in the form of paint on canvas or words on the page.  That is what comes first and foremost.  It is the core of what and who I am.

I share this for anyone who has had a year like mine.  Remember the reason why you started.  Hold to that and you will find your way.

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Oct.01

Choices

Dear Constant Reader,

While catching up with a friend today, she made the comment, “I am not a fan of this second half of 2015.”  And in looking at my year to date, part of me was inclined to agree with her.   It has felt at times as though the universe was…is…testing my resolve to hold the course.

I can almost envision the the universe peering over my shoulder, dubiously surveying my current endeavors as it leans in and whispers in my ear,

How bad do you really want this career that you claim so ardently is your calling?

Have I faltered undered pressure of that question over the past year?  Please see massive gaps between blog posts for that answer.

But more importantly, however is despite the gaps, I  keep finding my way back.  With every missed step there has been a clear and conscious choice to get back to work.  A choice to not give up on my writing…my art…myself.

“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.” -Deepak Chopra

The universe may be determined to test my mettle this year, next year or more likely everyday for the rest of my life, but I am equally determined to make every one of my goals a reality.  How long will it take me?  I have no idea.  What I do know is all things will come with time and hustle.

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So as I sit here writing this, a new month stretched out before me and I am ready.  While I may not be a fan of  how 2015 has rolled out so far, I know I am stronger than whatever it can swing my way.  I may have tripped and stumbled, even found myself on the floor a time or two, but I keep getting up.  Keep going and pushing forward.

Its time to hustle harder.

V-

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Jun.29

A Question Posed

Dear Constant Reader,

There are somethings that I believe in with all my heart.  Things that have no tangible proof other than my gut tells me so.  One such truth for me is if you are open and willing…and quite often in dire need…there will be moments when the universe will speak to you.

Ok, now before you think I’ve gone off the deep end, know that I speak of not of an actual conversation but more of a directing of purpose and passion.  In life there are moments…actions…encounters that will help steer the course of your life.  Sometimes we are able to see them later in life with some consideration and retrospect.  But there are also those rare and beautiful moments where you are so open you know the moment as it happens.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives.  There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. -Steven Pressfield

It will take the form of a directness so clear and profound that it resonates within you down to your core.  Your very spirit will vibrate like a  struck bell.  And please trust this my dear Constant Reader, you will definately know when it happens.

I had one such moment this past weekend, when I was speaking to my beloved Comadre and she asked the question…

Are you interested or are you committed?

Maybe I have come across this question before, maybe not,  but it is one thing to be asked this question and it is quite another to really and truly hear it…digest the intent of those words and then to be honest with yourself about what the answer is.

Those words have played in a loop in my mind since then.  My dear Constant Reader you know the octopus rears her head with me time and time again.  My tentacles stretch and begin to maneuver to so many projects.  But then comes this question…

It is so very easy to over extend oneself on things that are interests but in actuality we are not really committed to pursuing.  Am I over reaching in interests to the detriment of that which I am truly committed?  Even as I write this the question replays and I am pulled to look into so many aspects of my life and ask it again and again.

In the pursuit of my dreams, am I interested in being the greatest version of myself or am I committed to giving every ounce of my power, my passion and my purpose to become the greatest version of myself?

I stand before this questions, the answer resonating within me, and I am humbled.

Vanessa

 

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May.19

The Octopus Rises…

Dear Constant Reader,

Its been almost a month since my last post, but that is not from a lack of want.  The realities of my day to day life seem to outweigh my artistic vision from time to time.  And while I would love to proclaim that I am a die hard member of the Hustler’s Team No Sleep, I can not.  There are some things that must take precedence over others.  It took me a while to stop trying to fit the “I’ll rest when I make it” ideal into my life.  My day job, which is crucial to my being able to help take care of my family, cannot be done bleary-eyed and fuzzy brained.  Some may say if I wanted the dream bad enough I would make it all work.  I say you don’t slight one aspect of your life to shove in another.

I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed. Vincent Van Gogh

My mantra to make it through my day to day is…Patience and Faith

Patience in the belief that all thing will come in their own due time and faith that the fruits of my labors will  come to pass.

I have no doubt that one day I will be able to maintain and support my family with my writing career.  But, as much as I wish it were, that is currently not the case.  Nonetheless, I will keep striving towards making that desire a reality.  In the meantime however, I will not berate myself for those time when taking care of family obligations and work responsibilities dictate that the dream of a writer’s life must take a backseat from time to time.

The Octopus Lives

The octopus needs to rest now and again.  But the break is over.  Steadily I rise from the sea floor.  Even as I write this I feel my tentacles flexing.  Time to get back in the groove.

Besos y Abrasos,

V-

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Apr.21

Enter the Muse…

“So the Muse whispered in Beethoven’s ear.  Maybe she hummed a few bars into a million other ears.  But no one else heard her.  Only Beethoven got it.”

– Steven Pressfield, “The War of Art”

Dear Constant Reader,

I recently re-discovered the above passage from Steven Pressfield’s “War of Art”.  It was one of the first books of non-fiction which had a dramatic impact on me as a writer and artist.   And while I had read it many times before, this reading seemed to hold a resonance and impact that was different than the first.

I was introduced to this book about 3 years ago at the recommendation of a then recent acquaintance.  She like myself, was just at the beginning of her path towards self discovery.  Since then she has become a beloved friend, who has grown into such an expansive version of the woman I first met.   I now look at her in awe of all that she has accomplished.   And I have no doubt the Muse holds court at her side.  But, I am sure she would say as much about me and my journey as well.

the-dream-of-the-poet-or-the-kiss-of-the-muse-1859-60-oil-on-canvasbal155451When I first read those lines I was still struggling with defining not just who but also what my passion was as well.  The voice of the Muse was lost to me.  But as I write this, I can confidently say that I know I am a writer and an artist.  I know what my passions are.  In finding that part of myself, I have opened the door to so much more.

I remember having moments when I struggled to make a simple sketch or random doodle on a page.  The inspiration was not there.  And writing…well let’s just say if my struggles in painting left me blind of inspiration, then with my writing there was a defining silence.

However, in reading the above quote, I can now see how much has changed for me.  Ideas come to me like waves crashing against the shore.  Paintings bloom behind my eyes and in my dreams.  And at all times I an beset with the voices of the characters in my stories, who clamor to be made whole on the page.

Where I once struggled with even the concept of a Muse giving divine inspiration, I now lean into her sweet voice, ever present in my ear.  At times I wonder about all the years she stood beside me whispering…willing me to reach…to stive…to create, and all that I could have done if I just listened.

My dear Constant Reader… please know even in this moment she sits at your shoulder willing you to greatness.  Will you wait as I did or will you listen?

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Mar.17

Happy Endings

And they live happily ever after…

While I would love to wax poetic about happy endings as a romance writer, the realist in me just won’t let me do it.  Call me jaded but for me in real life there are few instances where there is the fairytale happily ever after ending.

And in real life endings aren’t always neat, whether they’re happy endings, or whether they’re sad endings.  -Stephen King

With all conflict and resolution, there is always some change which ultimately occur.  Something must shift within the status quo to make room for the next chapter to being.    A relationship, friendship, way of thinking…must cease to be so something new can take its place.  An while we are happy at the new outcome, as human beings we still lament what was.

 

That being said I will always want love to win out in the end.  I want the sweet embrace, the tender caress, and the passionate, toe curling kiss.  I can be realistic about what it will take to get there and still want romance to prevail.  I will always want a happy ending.

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