Writer’s Block

Hey guys! Welcome back to yet another shit post by yours truly. Haha! How are you doing? I hope my readers had a wonderful new year and their January will bring in lots of positivity towards new, healthy habits. There will be a “Super Moon. Wolf Moon” Full Moon on January 20th, so look out for that energy! Between that and the eclipses going on, the cosmic energy is very present. I know it is in my life right now. Currently, I am developing two feature films while researching grants for my short “The Sirens.” If anyone has any grants that they think I should apply for, send me a message! Please and Thank You!

Anyway, I wanted to discuss a prominent issue I face when writing. Writer’s Block. This is probably the infamous problem among all of us writers. Constantly questioning the worth of your writing that leads you to distract yourself from reaching your page goal. I had so much writer’s block during my time studying screenwriting in college. A part of me wants to blame the class structures for not enabling the writers to explore ideas BEFORE writing. Ultimately, my work falls back to reflect me as a writer. That is why, I plan to write my ideas with full speed and prepare myself for these writer’s block.

Writer’s Block happens. Life happens, and a lot of times, life has a negative pull on our creativity. Family drama can pull your focus on your relationships and away from your project. It is okay! I find that addressing all the dramatics around me before going in to write helps my focus. I choose to journal about all the exterior problems pulling focus from my writing, even though that it does not always stop the distractions. Besides that, it is important for me to address forgiving yourself when you encounter Writer’s Block. All of our favorite writers and other artists have had moments where they felt stuck. So, what comes next after addressing the Writer’s Block?

Well, I have a few ways of breaking out of the block!

  1. Writing Warm Up. Just like when you go into the gym, it is important to warm up! Writers have a tendency to put so much pressure on their writing, that they only focus on the pressure and not the work. I suggest writing in your journal/notepad for five minutes before actually writing. This five minutes does not have to be structured! You can make lists, write something that would come out of a sad 15 year old poet, etc. Taking a few minutes to align your mind to write really aids the process.
  2. Track your thoughts. What I mean by this is write down all your thoughts into your journal, on a piece a paper, notepad, etc. The key to this is having no judgment! Just write your thoughts. I learned this technique in my Creative Writing class from my senior year of high school. The assignment was to write 5 pages, it had to be physical paper, of your thoughts with point of you with the opposite gender. The beauty of this was realizing that your thoughts do not have a gender and a good writer has to learn to write characters unlike themselves. I found the universal meaning in the assignment, which is why I am choosing to share it! If any of you writers reading this think this maybe a weird technique, just try it out. You’ll learn something about yourself.
  3. Listen to Music while Writing. Through much trial and error, I found that writing with classical or jazz music in the background really helps me focus on the words I need to get out. I find a lot of times that listening to music with heavy emphasize on lyrics distracts me from my writing. Although sometimes I do need to listen to specific music to get thinking of a time period, I notice that my concentration is not strong.
  4. Block Out Time to Write. It’s not so simple these days to be completely distraction free. With cellphones and the constant notifications from all these apps, it is SO easy to check your phone while writing. You check your phone, and keep checking, until three hours have passed while you fell into the instagram trap of constant scrolling and refreshing. Yup, been there. Put that phone on Do Not Disturb for that hour or two you want to focus on your writing. I think putting a timer on for the amount of time you want to block out helps. Not only does the ring of the timer release a sense of accomplishment, you can then allow yourself to take a break from writing. Leading me into my next point.
  5. Schedule time to write and time for breaks. Once you figure out your schedule that allows you to block out a set amount of time a day or week to write, it is important to include breaks into the writing sessions! Your brain can only focus on one thing for so long before getting burned out a little. Breaks allow you to check your phone, eat something, call a loved one, etc. Taking yourself in and out of your work time really gives you a sense of control in a completely good way that with practice will aid your writing potential.
  6. Work on More Than One Project. Of course, our lives as writers does not always allow us to write projects solely based on ourselves. Lots of times, we work with others to collaborate on their writing projects or work at a job that does not enable our creative writing to actually work. That’s why I suggest having a few ideas to develop during your writing time. I work better having a couple of choices. Everyone is different and another writer can disagree by stating that focusing on one project until its completion is more productive.
  7. Reward Yourself! Whenever I experience writer’s block, I tend to indulge in activities like shopping or watching tv. I urge myself every time I have a block to write, then do these things. Yes, I know it is so much easier said than do. But, no one is going to write your story for you the way you want it written. I promise the reward you give yourself after putting all your energy into writing, even if it’s just a page, will feel so much better opposed to use the reward as a distraction.

I hope these tips are helpful to my fellow writers. These tips for Writer’s Block are not exclusive to writing, so indulge in them if you feel blocked in your work.

Over all, highlight moving forward every time you encounter Writer’s Block, because wallowing in all the words that you did not write waste more of your time not writing.

– Sabrina Shits

 

 

How I struggled with being overweight and how I plan on tackling my self-image in 2019

Welcome back! We made it through 2018. This year, for me, has been a rollercoaster. I moved to LA, graduated college, and signed a lease for my very own studio apartment! Sure, I struggled, especially when I totaled my first car and fell into a pit of depression. BUT! Here I am! Thriving and manifesting!

Since it’s about that time of year to make resolutions, I thought it be a great idea for me to share some of my goals for this upcoming year. This is a great time of year for people to take control of their fitness and health. Summer will creep up soon, and everyone wants to look good!

Most of my life, I have been overweight. My earliest memories the pediatrician’s office consist of the doctor’s telling me I am not like other girls. One doctor so lovingly put it, “Some girls can eat 10 brownies and not gain a pound, while others look at a brownie and gain 10 pounds.” Doctors should really not talk to young girls this way, because it pits us against each other while feeding into the unrealistic standards of beauty. Of course, growing up chubby was not easy. All my friends were skinny and got a lot of attention as they went through puberty to become beautiful women. I was always tall, heavy, and awkward. I truly hated my friends for the longest time due to their looks and all the attention they got when I was young. Now, of course I’ve come to my senses and realized hating skinny people will not make me lose weight or be healthy. I struggled throughout high school as well. Since I went to an all girls Catholic high school, I struggled with body positivity because I was always comparing myself to others. “Why can’t I be as skinny as her?” “I wish I had a thigh gap.” “This jumper makes me look so much bigger than I already am.” I lost a couple pounds my senior year of high school, which made me feel great! Girls at school could tell I was someone toned when my thighs would slip out from my jumper. I started running at the time, but quickly made an excuse to give it up.

On top of that, advertisements for women’s health and beauty only highlights skinny, toned women. Thankfully, I had a Tumblr during high school that opened my eyes to the double standard for women’s health. Say what you want about Tumblr, but I think I would have been much more depressed and suicidal if I wasn’t on Tumblr as a high schooler. It felt good to know there were other girls out there that looked like me and struggled to find real representation for their bodies.

College was rough. So fearful of gaining the Freshman 15, I started incorporating a gym routine my first semester. I would go to class with a gym bag. On my big break, I would work out and shower before my next class. I grooved with this schedule a lot, until I had to go for my annual doctor’s visit. My bloodwork showed my thyroid levels were messed up. This destroyed all my momentum to continue taking care of myself. I felt defeated that my body was chemically inclined to not want to lose weight. However, through a few follow up appointments, the doctors concluded I didn’t have a thyroid issue. It must have been a virus or something temporary. I didn’t care about that, because I didn’t think my health really mattered. I went through college eating crap and barely taking control of myself. It did not help that I worked at a sports bar where I would eat greasy food late at night. I gave up any idea that I have control of my weight.

Moving to LA forced me to have control over what I put into my body. I started to cook for myself. For the first time, I felt good about the food I was eating. Learning about the control I have over my food in this way really helped me see my body for what it really is. I am not fat. I have fat. The fat can go away if I put in work. I came home to visit my family and friends in August to find out I lost 20 pounds over the summer! I was not working out or really trying to lose weight. Taking that step to cook for myself really opened my eyes to how much control I really have over myself. Now, I started working out more. My body feels like it is growing strong.

I gave up the idea a long time ago that I would be a size 2/Victoria’s Secret model skinny. I am sooooooooo happy that pop culture promotes “thick” women. Sure, the representation might not be the best yet, but women are working together to ensure everyone feels represented.

There is one thing that will sound bitchy, but I need to address it for my sanity. If you are skinny/have low body fat and you know it, stop complaining to your heavy friends. It makes us feel like shit, even if you don’t intend that. Your words deflect onto our self-image. Instead of saying “I look fat,” say “I feel bloated today” or “I do not like how these clothes fit me.” You will never understand how painful it is to hear someone who fits the standard complain about their weight when you know that your BMI is on the obese scale. Yes, our society teaches EVERYONE to hate the way they look, but stop talking like this because it’s feeding into it. Change how you discuss your weight with people who do not have the same body shape as you.

2109. What are my goals? I plan on working out 4-6 days a week, depending on my work schedule. I know people might be wondering what I do in the gym. Well, I go for an hour. I start my workout by run/walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes. I walk at 4 mph with a 3.0 incline for the first 5 minutes. Then, I run at 5 mph at 1.0-1.5 incline for 4-5. Back to walking like before. I am working towards running the entire 15 minutes, but I need to pace myself. After the treadmill, I do some weight lifting with the machines at the gym. I rotate between arms/back, legs, and abs. I like to do 4 sets of 15 reps on each machine. This has really helped me enjoy the gym, because I can feel my body gaining muscle. I have fallen in love wit the feeling of building muscle. After weights, I do another 20-30 minutes of cardio either on a bike or elliptical. I will sometimes split that time and do 15 minutes on different cardio machines. Once my workout is done, I sit on a massage chair for 5 minutes. Finding a relaxing activity after an intense workout really helps motivate you to finish your workout and center yourself for the rest of the day.

Since I am learning to love my body through this change, I want to be able to take more pictures of myself. It is sad I missed out on some many photo opportunities because I looked fat. I want to be happy with my looks, and taking/posting pictures is a great way for me to stay motivated throughout this weight loss journey.

Here are my resolutions for the new year!

  1. work out 4-6 (like I mentioned)
  2. Write everyday
  3. Watch all the movies that I keep saying I will watch or just sit in my Netflix Queue
  4. Make enough money to start really saving and investing for the future
  5. Continue working on self-control and letting go of the idea that I have control over situations and others that I may be involved with.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Feel free to share with me some of your goals. I am taking film suggestions for the new year!

Love,

Sabrina

 

 

Happy Holiday’s from Sabrina Shits!

Hey, everyone! Sabrina here to bring you another “shit” blog post. I feel terrible that I allowed myself to take a week off, but I’m back to talk about the obvious, Christmas. Well, the Holidays, but mostly Christmas. Sorry everyone who doesn’t celebrate :/

This past Thanksgiving, I spent the holiday by myself 2,000 miles away from my family in Philadelphia. During that long weekend, I thought about writing a blog post on how to cope with spending the holidays alone. I worked for four years at a sports bar where I worked almost every holiday, even Christmas. This recent Thanksgiving was really relaxing, because I had no obligations. There is a relieving feeling when you have no plans or stress while everyone around you scrounges to make sure everything is in order. 

Juxtaposing my Thanksgiving alone to my first Christmas back in Philadelphia has been interesting. I went from not having to talk or see anyone to running around like a chicken without a head trying to say hello to everyone. Trying to schedule out all the people I want to see with all the family obligations I have can be a challenge, but I’m working on seeing everyone I care about. 

Of course, I have to prepare my script for what I have to say when people ask me about LA. “I work as a background actor for tv shows through central casting, which is a way I get to be on a production set. I also work at a catering hall on the weekends as another income. Plus, I am writing a new short with my buddy Paul!” [Once Paul and I are COMPLETELY finished with the script, I will give you guys more details into our writing process and stuff. For now, all I want to say it’s going to be a short spy film.] It refreshing to hear people from home tell me that they are happy for me to be on my path, because I often fall for self-doubt that keeps me from unleashing my creativity. Disclaimer, I hate talking about myself, so catch me asking you about every person in your family before I tell you about Central Casting. Although it does become repetitive repeating how you are through small talk, I find it comforting that people this time of year try to put their egos aside to care about one another. THAT IS THE REAL THEME FOR CHRISTMAS! As much as I want this Christmas to be like the rest of my Christmases prior, I know there has been a shift from the move. My family and friends do this really funny thing where they explain something that I already knew but they assume I forgot. It’s mostly small, trivial details, but I think it’s cute and funny. Reminder to self: Be present this holiday season. 

So, what do I like to do over the holidays whether I am alone or among my loved ones or working?

  1. Watch my favorite tv show’s Christmas specials

 I love Bojack Horseman! I know my readers would like me to stop talking about Bojack. No. aha. Sorry. If you are a Bojack fan, check out the Bojack Christmas special which is an episode of Horsin’ Around! I’m a very big fan of Bob’s Burgers as well, and they have a ton of good Christmas episodes. My favorite is “Father of the Bob.” Other tv shows with awesome Christmas specials are That 70s Show, The Sopranos, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

2) Have some relaxing me time. 

That’s right, go sit in warm bath for an hour. When the girl at Lush asks you who your gift box of bath bombs are for, say yourself! I found taking the time to relax on Thanksgiving to be really helpful to ease the anxiety I felt from missing out on the holiday. How I like to relax is to sit in a warm bathtub, put on a facemask, and go to bed early! 

3) Take a moment to think about all the positives in my life even if I feel extremely negative. It is easy for people, especially me, to focus on what is wrong opposed to what is right. The Holidays really draw that emotion in for me. Maybe, it’s from all the spending to the bombardment of advertisements and social media posts. It is way too easy to be negative at the holiday when so much of our world suffers. Always take the time to be happy that you are alive in this time and have the fortune to be your situation. If your situation is rough, take the time to think of ways to get out of the situation and be thankful there is a way out. 

Happy Holidays, loves! As a way I would like to get to know my readers a little more, I want you guys to send me a picture of your first ornament! I think they are absolutely adorable, and I will post a picture of mine on instagram! 

Love,

Sabrina

P.S.- If any of my readers feel extremely depressed or anxious this holiday, send me a message and we can talk! 

Moving to Los Angeles, California

I do not have the exact numbers for what I am about to say, but 90% of the films and television shows loved by Americans are filmed and/or set in Los Angeles. If you are a fan of the Kardashians, you cannot get through one episode without awe regarding the scenic LA transition shots. You love films as much as me, you can recognize parts of LA where they shot something iconic. Living in LA has also allowed me in on the secret lingo that gets referenced everywhere. Without a doubt, the SNL skit of “The Californians” truly satirizes the LA culture to a T. I’ll attach the youtube link to the scene at the end of the post! Regardless of how recognizable Los Angeles is, the reality of living here gets hidden in the shadows. Walking down the streets opens your eyes to the homelessness. It breaks my heart when I see this people struggling, because no one seems to care about them. Rich people par-use the land without truly using their resources to help their neighbors. I’ll make a post about that eventually. Anyway, I want to dive into my experience regarding my move to LA and how it has shaped me into the individual I always wanted to be. 

I came out to LA for a summer program through Temple University. I did not have any plans to stay after the program ended. Initially, I was thinking I would move to LA in a year after the program to go home and maybe work to save money. HOWEVER, living temporarily out here has inspired me to stay. I realized that living in LA is not much different than living in any other city. People go to work everyday. There’s traffic at rush hour. The traffic intensity can make you anxious about planning your commute, but it is just the lay of La La Land. Once you start living here, you learn the routes and start to find easier ways to get around. I love driving through the city streets. I would not get around without Caheunga Boulevard. Driving in Los Angeles definitely requires some warm up time. People drive extremely fast without a care for the others on the roads, most of the time. If you are a good driver who watches your surroundings, you will be fine! Having a car in LA has become less necessary with the rise of rideshare. You can put of getting a car if you truly want to. My coworker told me that Lyft offers monthly passes for your daily commute, which is super cool! The metro system, or the subway system as I am use to calling it, is slowly becoming a good source of transportation as well. You can get around LA if you find the way that fits you! Personally, I love having my own car that gets me around. I do not like worrying about ubering places, because you can wait for a long time, it can be surcharged, or your driver can be creepy. I do not like getting into a stranger’s car,  but that is not the mentality to have when you need to use rideshare. I doubt driver’s want their cars looking a mess, because that takes out on their tips and rating. 

I gotta get back on track. Apartment shopping in Los Angeles has been a rollercoaster I desperately need to get off of. My parents own apartment buildings, so, growing up around that taught me a lot about renting. Unlike everywhere in the country, LA landlords are not required to provide a fridge, or a stove in some cases. It is very weird viewing an apartment without a refrigerator. It is also weird because renters do not have a need to have a fridge they take place from place. I do not think this is something I will every get use to. I’ll accept it, though.  I find myself accepting things that I cannot change and control more and more as the days pass here. People can be nasty like they are literally everywhere else. People in LA are just better at appearing nice. Understanding that the only thing you can only change and control yourself, it gets easier. The concept of letting go is a hard lesson I am learning during my moving process. Letting go of all the attachment to things that no longer serve your success or health being can be hard. I use to think letting go was a negative thing. Often, the image of letting go aways seems awful. There are a lot of tears and fits of frustration. But, letting go is positive! My move to Los Angeles allowed me to let go of my childhood and immaturity in order to become the adult I pictured. It is hard living out here having let go of a lot, because I do miss home. Someone said to me that around the four month mark is when you get homesick. That could not be more factual in my case. It is hard when people tell you they miss you or things may never be the same because you are not around anymore. That is okay! I am a very loving person. I will love everyone the same way whether we get to see each other or have to coordinate a time to facetime. I am at the age to go do my thing. I need to be in Los Angeles, because it bolsters my creativity. The weather makes me a more positive person. Sure, it has not been a walk in a park. Well, it is like a walk in a park where you keep tripping on large tree roots that you did not see coming. 

What I learned during my summer here before officially moving to Los Angeles is everyone struggles at one point. There is no success without some struggle. Instead of allowing myself to wallow in the anxiety surrounding my living situation or my job search, I thank my lucky stars that I have walked down this path. I am thankful that I am taking advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime, and the pain from the struggle will not be remembered in the end. I know that I will find a nice apartment to live and a job that I like. Learning to trust the process–a cliche Philly phrase nowadays– is the biggest step I am taking. I definitely will keep writing posts about living in LA, because it is a process. 

Here’s 5 things I wish someone told me before I moved to LA:

  1. The fridge thing I mentioned
  2. Renters want you to make 2.5-3 times the rent to get approved for the apartment. 
  3. You might not get that great job you apply for, because someone’s nephew’s applied and they will get the job. 
  4. Get a Ralph’s or Vons card. These things not only give you discounts on items in the store, but they allow you to accumulate points that go towards gas. I have a Ralph’s card. When I go to a Shell gas station, I swipe my card and get 30 cents off each gallon of gas. It sounds tiny, but it helps. Instead of paying $3.65 for a gallon, I pay $3.35. Eventually, I can accumulate enough points to get a dollar off each gallon! 
  5. You can exchange plastic, glass, and can containers at recycling centers for cash. I do it sometimes. You will not walk out of there with a lot of money. I did it today, and made $3. It is nothing, but I plan on putting that money towards a saving or investment. You can invest money and make so much more than your investment if you study and play it smart. Or, you can just put it in a jar to save. Who cares. The money is still green. 

Here’s 5 of my favorite places to go in LA

  1. Priscilla’s Cafe. Since it is down the street from Warner Brothers, the creative energy in the place is hypnotic. The coffee is great as well. 
  2. Egyptian Theatre. There are a ton of free screenings, especially around film festival season, that happen here. I went recently to see Dogman. 
  3. Fred 62. This diner is just too cute!
  4. RFK Memorial. 
  5. Museum of Death. 

Here’s that link to the Californians like I promised! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt-tG6ufH90&list=PLFv4y-PVQCXAzzp181XIut2hCBb5wGwIC

Since Bojack Horseman is my favorite show, I wanted to include a few screengrabs that perfectly depict LA through dialogue. 

tumblr_p12j8eCkh01vfecm0o2_1280.pngSeason 4 Episode 8 “The Judge” 

tumblr_ow5bwp9sGv1s1sin1o3_500

Season 4 Episode 2 “The Old Sugarman Place” 

Honorable mentions I could not find the screen-grabs for: 

Season 1 Episode 5 (go to 22:10), Season 5 Episode 8 (go to 4:10), Season 5 Episode 9 (go to 10:30 [this one is my personal favorite LA reference]) 

Thank you for reading! Moving to LA has had a huge impact on me, and I hope people can read this and relate. It feels comforting to know you aren’t the only one in LA not having everything figured out.