Monthly Archives: July 2015

Dreaming Big

As a teacher, one of the things I try and instill in my students is dreaming big and setting goals. I read a quote once that said, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.” Now, I think this is one of the most powerful things I have ever heard. When I set out to get published, it was somewhat scary. The thought that there would be failures along the way, that people would reject my work, or that I might not reach my audience all terrified me. But I am still pursuing my goal even though there are aspects of it that scare me. 

So one of the skills I teach my students is goal setting. I think setting goals is absolutely key, and a lot of my students have no idea how to set a goal. I tell my students a goal is a dream with a end point. So you dream up what it is you want to accomplish, and you set a time you want to accomplish it. With my class, we have a obvious deadline, and we call it summer break. So one activity I love doing in my classes is setting goals. Sometimes we do this at the beginning of the year, and we set end of the school year goals. Like I want to get an A in math by the end of the year. Or I want to make the basketball team this year. However, for adults we don’t always run that way. So I would say set a goal and give yourself a “deadline” on it. (I’m not saying set New Year’s Resolutions, those are never kept.) But I would encourage you to set a goal and a window of time to do it.

And write it down. In my class we make a list of goals we want to accomplish. I think writing them down makes them so much more real.I believe you make that dream more tangible by writing it down. I think you breathe life into it by actually putting it on paper and saying there it is. So I would encourage all of you to make a goal and write it down.

Now is dreaming big easy? No, it isn’t. And one of the aspects that I have to constantly keep in mind is realism. However, with my students that isn’t the case. They aren’t hindered by what is considered realistic. I have students that believe they are going to be presidents, astronauts, or actors. So why are we so ensnared by realism. I think we need to stop thinking that things aren’t realistic. 

For adults though, you need to remain grounded. It would be irresponsible for me to up an tell my wife I want to go off and become a professional soccer player. Then quit my job, move to a town with a soccer team, and try and make the team. So, make sure they are dreams that don’t hurt anyone. So, if you have a dream, I would say share it. Now, don’t share it with everyone. That will just leave you putting yourself out there in a position to get hurt. But I think it is important to have a small circle of friends, family, and mentors that you really trust. They will be the ones you share your dreams with. They will help encourage, edify, and love you in your dreams. However, they will also help you measure what is possible without getting yourself into the dangerous delusional territory. 

So that kind of sounds counter to what I said previously. Don’t be hindered by realism, but stay grounded. Now I do think it is important to stay grounded, but not to say to yourself, I can’t do this amazing thing because it isn’t realistic. I am one of those people that is super down the middle of the road. I don’t sway to far one way or the other on many subjects. I think balance is key. So, all that to say is dream big, but be careful that your aren’t being dangerous or delusional. Keep your head in the clouds, but your feet on the ground. Right?

The last thing I want to address is failure. We often want to give up on a dream the second we meet with resistance. But so many of the greatest inventors, thinkers, and leaders were met with so much failure. Edison, J.K. Rowling, Einstein. All of them met with failures on their way to achieve amazing things in the lives. I always tell my students,  you only fail when you give up on your dream or goal. In my school, we have something of a “no-fail” policy. So if the students received a  bad mark, they can work at it to receive a better grade. Now, it makes so much more work, especially for me, the teacher, but when that student received a good grade after they put in extra time, it makes the whole endeavor worth it.

Well, I hope that was encouraging to you. I know dream are what keep us going in a lot of respects. I know my dreams are what give me the desire to get out of bed and accomplish great things. Please comment below and share some of your dreams. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

L.Danny Valencia

Family

So my wife and I returned from a family reunion. It was her family, and apparently they do them very regularly. It was my first family reunion like this. I got to meet several family members on my wife’s side that I hadn’t met before and was reintroduced to several that I had met previously. 

Honestly, it was amazing. Usually you hear family reunion, and you think of crazy relatives that you have to avoid. But this was honestly amazing. Her family was so welcoming and loving. I was the “new guy” to most of them. So I went in with some trepidation. I was a little nervous, but mostly I was just expectant that it would be a really fun time. 

I got to meet a lot of her nieces and nephews. I hung out with several of her really fun cousins. Overall, it was a great time. 

It got me thinking about the importance of family in our lives. If you have a family, be sure to remind them how important they are. Text that brother you haven’t heard from in months and tell em you love him. Or call you mom. I know she will talk your ear off, but sometimes you need to just let them be the center and ask how they are. 

And don’t think I’m preaching. I am just as guilty as anyone of not being good at keeping in touch with my loved ones back in New York. So often during the school year I get caught up in grades and events that I forget to call my family back home. 

So, moral of the story. Don’t forget how lucky you are to have family. 

L. Danny Valencia

Editing

Well I’ve been editing Book 1 a lot the past few weeks. I feel like the editing process is so much more difficult than the writing portion. I have no trouble generating ideas and writing out the story. Even the prewriting parts are pretty easy for me. However, editing is such a long, grueling process. It requires so much extra reading and then thinking about the reading in every way possible. Asking questions like: will the reader understand this subtle detail? Is this decision going to make the character no longer likable? How can I better express this idea?

Personally, I am the kind of person who can easily overthink things. So having to look at my material and then having to overthink it is like overthinking to the Nth degree.  I have been pouring over this particular middle-portion of the book. Really trying to get it to feel cleaner and tighten up the story. Trying to make the storyline understandable and feel real. 

So, enough lamenting over my current existential crisis. Time to get back to the editing process. Please keep me in your prayers.

Launch Day

Hello,

My name is L. Danny Valencia. We should be launching my website very soon now. I would love to thank my very good friend, Mr. Lessey, for everything he has done to help me get this website launched. He deserves so much of the credit.

I would like to thank my beautiful wife. She has sacrificed so much of her own time and has always supported my dream. When we got married she recommended we forgo presents and ask people to donate to the Kickstarter as a wedding gift. I mean, how awesome is she?

The brings me to my next point. The Kickstarter. I will be launching a Kickstarter very soon, to add to the self-publishing package that I have purchased. One of the trouble that self-publishers fall into is a lack of marketing and editing. I want to add to my book deal by investing in some great marketing and top of the line editing and cover art.

So thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for further updates concerning the book, myself, and the publishing process.

L.Danny Valencia