Finding Your Spark: Being A Creator And Bringing Ideas To Life

Monday, May 8, 2017

I decided to start the "Finding Your Spark" series to shine a light on different types of people who are following various paths – their OWN paths, whatever those may be. The whole idea is that there's no single way to live life and a person doesn't have to be "famous" to inspire others. These individuals have found what inspires them, motivates them, makes them happy. And they've run with it. Read all posts in this series here.

Nereida Fernandez, or "Neddy" as she prefers to go by, is a multi-hyphenate: an author, a blogger, a podcaster. Ultimately, a creator.

Neddy graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a bachelor's in communications and media. She is a first-generation U.S. American and first-generation college graduate in her family. She has always had a passion for personal development and the art of creating.

In 2012, Neddy quit her job to write her first book, "My Sweet Vida." Four years later, in August 2016, she started her blog,, and podcast, "30 Minutes With Neddy." Driven by a mission to share stories and help others, her journey has been one filled with learning, adventure, and self-growth.

You can buy Neddy's book "My Sweet Vida" on Amazon.

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Have you always considered yourself to be a creator?

I have always been a creator, although I did not refer to myself as a creator until 2011 when I decided to take control of my life and start bringing all my ideas to life.

If I look back to my childhood, it all started when my mom purchased a used computer for me. I was in elementary school when I created my own library at home. I printed bar codes for each book, library cards, and would allow my best friend (a neighbor) to rent books. Whenever I babysat, I created worksheets with different math problems to pass out to my students/cousins. When I entered my teen years, I created CDs of mixes of music for family members and friends. I also started creating personalized cards for birthdays and other special moments. I learned how to restore old pictures, and by word of mouth, people would contact me to help restore old pictures for them.

Now, I use everything I learned to my advantage. Every project I have done has been self-taught. I self-published my book and do all the edits for the podcast.

That's impressive! Did you find the self-teaching process to be easier or more difficult than you expected?

There were times where I felt like it was impossible to publish the book or air the episodes on a platform where anyone could have access to it.

When I created the cover for the book, I used Photoshop. I had never used it prior, but thanks to YouTube and Google, I was able to do it. Four years later, I opened the program to create a logo for the podcast and I had no recollection of how to use the program. That is why I am a big believer that when you believe in a mission and set your mind to a goal, go for it. That determination will help you learn techniques that you thought were impossible.

I wrote the book and I host the podcast. Behind the scenes, I am the writer, editor, audio engineer, and marketing person. It takes me twice as long to learn it and produce but the rewarding feeling when I finally “get it” is twice as good as well!  

What is your book, "My Sweet Vida," about?

The mission of "My Sweet Vida" is to motivate others to become lifelong learners, make changes within, set clear goals and accomplish them. It is divided into five sections: Identity, Acceptance, Change, Goals, Action. I share the adventure I took when I decided to stop making excuses and start attacking my goals. The first goal on my list was writing a book.

It was something I always wanted to do but made lots of excuses to not accomplish it. The idea started a few years prior, but I started taking the physical steps to write it in December 2011. I quit my job for the new year, 2012, and focused 100 percent on writing and publishing the book. I released in June, so it took me six months to get it done.

What does your blog focus on?

I started a blog to build a community of individuals who have an ambition to break the norm and live the life they desire. To connect with other individuals who like to learn and grow as individuals.

A personal goal of mine is to do things that make me feel alive. I love the art of creating, I love writing, I love traveling, I love learning, and I love to set goals and accomplish them. I blog to share and connect on a more personal level with "My Sweet Vida" reachers, "30 Minutes With Neddy" listeners, and anyone who is interested in reading my adventures. 

What is the purpose behind your podcast?

My mission is to provide a platform to discuss and share personal stories that can enhance our understanding and personal development. The idea is simple: The more we share, the more we can all learn from one another. 

What did your learn from each of those experiences, creating your book, blog, and podcast?

I have learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. I have to set a plan on paper and write exactly what I want and how I will accomplish it. Every next goal seems not so impossible to do. I started with the book, blog, then podcast.

I want to create short films too. I want to create any idea that comes to me in the form of an art. Whether it is through books, podcasts, films, poetry, the goal is to continue creating. And creating short films does not seem so impossible or unreachable anymore. 

Is there anything you would have done differently?

No, I truly believe that every difficulty I came across taught me something new. I trust and enjoy the journey. 

What advice do you have for fellow creators out there? 

Go for it. You have nothing to lose. There will be challenges along the way but there are challenges in everything we do in life. Fight for your dream and fight to feel the feeling of fulfillment in life. It changes everything going forward.

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