Chapter One: Risk.
By February 26, 2010 (the date of C2C’s first blog post) a series of unfortunate events had left Ollin Morales with pretty much nothing. (Read the details of what happened here.)
Depressed, saddened, disoriented, crushed, broken, bamboozled, bedazzled, and slightly bisexual, he found solace in the one thing that gave him joy: writing.
Specifically: writing a fiction book based upon Mexican-American history and folklore–the synopsis and details of which he has stubbornly, adamantly, and somewhat annoyingly has kept from his readers up until now. (I mean, you think after three years of reading his blog, he’d be a bit more forthcoming to his loyal fans? Right? But nooooo, sooooooorreeeee. Mr. “I-wanna-hold on-to-the-element-of-surprise.” Geesh!)
At the suggestion of his sister, he began to write Courage 2 Create (this blog) as a way to record the journey of writing his first novel.
He gave himself the goal of finishing the first draft by the end of the year.
So, for some time on this blog, Ollin wrote just about writing.
But then… that got… totally boring.
And, plus, he ran out of things to say about it.
So, instead, he started to write about his life, and how his life was teaching him all these things about writing, and about how writing was teaching him all these things about life.
And that was cool. And people really liked that.
And so he was like:
“Cool. I’ll keep writing things like that.”
And his readers were like:
“Cool. Do it.”
And he was like:
“I will. But you don’t have to be so pushy.”
Then, there was a pretty crucial moment when he had to learn how to treat himself like a whole person. And so he started to take care of himself: he started to exercise and eat right, and go on dates, and go to therapy, and meditate, and write in his journal everyday, and work hard on building his writing career.
Because he did that, he got a whole lot more writing done, and the writing itself came out a whole lot better.
He knows it all sounds cheesy, and touchey-feely, and mooshy-gooshy, but he really doesn’t care.
It was wonderful and important.
He was starting to heal himself and he didn’t know it then, but that would end up being the biggest shift in his life up until now. (But he wouldn’t see the effects of all this work until the end of Chapter 3.)
Oh yeah, and he also use to hide the fact that he was a writer. What a shocker, right?
So, he had to learn how to grow a frakkin’ pair and just tell people he loved writing. (He’s much happier now that he can do that, by the way)
That year, he also realized that this blog was more about just creating a book—it was about creating a life.
And his readers were like:
“Uh, yeah. No duh. We knew that already.”
And he was like:
“Uh. Umm-kay. You may have seen that coming, but I didn’t see that coming. Gosh.”
And his readers were like: “Whatever.”
And Ollin was like: “Puh.”
Anyways, he went on to run a 5K that year for the first time. (That story is a really good one, and he shared it here.)
Then he worked on healing his broken heart.
Then he decided that, in order to help his writing career, he’d try to win a blogging competition.
He sucked at that competition and he lost.
Meanwhile, he finished the first draft of his novel.
And then, a month later, Ollin entered another blogging competition—a different one—which he won.
As soon as that happened, things started to change, and Ollin was never the same again. Never ever the same. No never. Never. Ever.
Chapter Two: Resilience.
Fresh of his win from the blogging competition, as if on cue, the haters arrived for Ollin.
And this kind of surprised him because he didn’t really think he was a big deal, but, apparently, these mean folks thought he was a big deal enough to ruin his day my making him feel like ten million piles of crap dipped in cheese sauce squeezed out of hairy monkey testicles.
(Sorry about that visual.)
But that’s okay, he learned how to develop thick skin and use those people’s negative energy to propel him to new heights.
He also had to learn how to be more resilient, because although things had gotten better in his life, they were still pretty crummy.
He also learned how to defy gravity.
Meanwhile, the blog just grew and grew, and more and more people found it. And people shared his posts, and commented, and tweeted and laughed and cried. Some got pissed off at him, some were very moved by what he said, some understood him, and some had no idea what the hell he was talking about.
Some thanked him and stayed, and some said “no thank you” and left.
By the end of the year, Ollin was a freelance writer and a ghostwriter and a consultant and so many other things he never thought he’d be. And, meanwhile, his fellow bloggers really influenced him and inspired him and helped him grow. (Without them he wouldn’t be where he is now. Serious. He hopes they know how thankful he is for them.) They became his mentors and mentees, his friends and colleges, his cheerleaders, his biggest fans, his friends, and the people Ollin rooted for in return, and whom he wanted to see succeed, too.
More and more, the blog became less about the writing side of writing and more and more about the lifestyle side of writing.
This was because Ollin realized that his readers liked it that way.
He was learning that this was what Courage 2 Create was really about: how life was like writing a good story.
And again, his readers were like:
“Hel-looooo. We knew that already, Ollin.”
And he was like:
And they were like:
And he was like:
Ollin ended the year having finally experienced what it was like to be paid to write for the first time in his life, and also having finished the second draft of his novel.
He also became a Top Ten Blogger for the second year in a row.
Chapter Three: Revision.
The third chapter of the C2C was kinda intense. But in a good way.
Ollin learned that career goals didn’t mean zilch if they were not paired with goals for the other parts of your life (i.e: the romantic, physical, spiritual, and psychological parts of your life.)
He learned that when you have nothing left to lose you have everything left to gain and that you only falter when you fear to falter.
Oh yeah. And he was discriminated against.
I know, right? Where the frak did THAT come from?
(I mean, what is this: the 1950s? And who is he: Forest Whitaker in The Great Debaters?)
Anyways… enough about that.
Because even though that was situation was really crummy… something pretty awesome came of it: tons of strangers came to his blog to let Ollin know how much they supported him and how much they supported gay rights and how much they thought that that person who discriminated against Ollin was a just a cotton-headed nini-muggins who could go eat hairy monkey balls filled with cheese for all they cared.
(Again. So sorry for that image.)
Okay, so then after that happened, this is where things got intense. (As if they weren’t intense already, right?)
It turns out that all the hard internal work Ollin had been doing for himself: the exercising, the meditating, the working on his relationships, the therapy, the following his passion by writing his novel—all of it suddenly, like magic, came together, and BAMO—PUSH—SWING—AHOOOOOOGAAAA—SWIIIIIISH!!!
Something happened that totally changed everything. Something that he couldn’t share on the blog, but something that he wish he could.
But what he could share was that the old him had died, and that a new him had arrived.
So, Ollin started to shed his old, dead skin.
Then he learned how to rise up from all the bad things that had happened to him toward a place where more and more good things could happen to him.
He learned that what moved him was real, despite what others thought.
Oh yeah: and his relationships with his readers only got deeper.
There was the reader who had lost a loved one and wanted him to write about grief and alienation. There was the reader who didn’t feel respected, who wanted him to write about respect. Then, there was the reader who felt like no one understood her, who wanted Ollin to write about understanding.
So Ollin wrote about all of it, and he did it with much care and attention, and he really hoped it helped them.
Finally, at the end of this past year, Ollin wasn’t able to meet his yearly writing goal (he’s still waiting for feedback on his last draft) and that was a bit anticlimactic, he knows, but these things happen, don’t they?
So he plans on renewing his goal for next year, and hopefully he can make the goal this time.
The third chapter of the C2C finally ended with a very looooooooong extended metaphor that had to do with flowers and flowering and the spring time.
At first it was cool, but then Ollin’s readers were like:
“All right already! We get it: we’re flowers, our dreams are pollen, our hopes are the stems, and the wishes are the leaves, blah, blah, blah. Blah. Can we move on from the flowery, spring-timey metpahors now?”
Yes, we can move on.
No more spring-timey flower metaphors, I promise.
Chapter Four: ?
The next chapter of the C2C begins next Tuesday, February 26, 2013, exactly three years after the first chapter began.
And I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support so far, readers!
It means more to me than you can ever imagine.
much hairy monkey balls filled with cheese,
To do some more catch up on the C2C’s last three years, please check out the blog’s archives located on the sidebar.
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