A Writer’s Essentials To Get Through The Year

Few things in life are essential. The rest is just trivial. But, as a writer, you need:

Thick skin. For all the times society rejects you.

A place to keep your rejection letters. You can store them in a cool, dry place before burning them in your fireplace.

Notebooks. Napkins just don’t cut it.

A playlist for every occasion. It seems like every scene calls for a different song.

Comfortable clothes. PJs are an absolute must.

A box of tissues. If you’re not crying, your readers aren’t either.

Books on books on books. Because when you’re not writing, you’re reading.

A book deal. Every writer needs one.

Chocolate…and more chocolate. Or candy. Cake even.

A pet of some sort. Pets make better company than people.

May you write the next bestseller and make millions this year.

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A Look At The Year Ahead

I can’t predict the future. But I can plan in advance. So this is my attempt to look at the year ahead.

I’m currently in my second semester of my third year at university. That’s crazy. Still, I’m looking forward to being in fourth year. Even though I’d love to ace everything, I’m content with not failing anything.

Right now, I’m excited for the upcoming baseball season. I don’t know why. Unfortunately that also means I’ll be making a lot of bad similes and analogies.

I have no idea what kind of work I’ll find over the summer, but I’m hoping to find something. On my own time, I intend to keep doing what I love.

It should go without saying that I want to continue reading and reviewing books all year long. My wallet will hate me. But my brain won’t.

This blog isn’t going anywhere. I promise to be more creative and less repetitive. My aim is to create content I enjoy. Here’s hoping you enjoy reading my work. Let’s see if I can keep up with being a good blogger and commenting on blogs. Probably not but a girl can dream.

I never know where writing will take me. I lied. It takes me to magical places. As always, I have some fun projects in the works. I can’t wait to share them with the world.

Somehow, I start my fourth and final year of university in September. That feels so far away, yet too close at the same time.

I also plan to drive more once I’ve fully recovered from the accident.

What are your plans for 2018?

What I’m Doing With My Blog

I haven’t given too much thought to my blog lately. But now is as good a time as ever to think about what I want to do and where I want to go.

I’m happy blogging for myself and no one else. That being said, I always want to change for the better. If you have any suggestions as to how I can improve, feel free to let me know.

I know I’m not being too specific, but vagueness is my weakness. I’ve had people call me out for being too general. I can’t help it. I like hoarding secrets.

I also don’t want to promise anything yet not deliver on my promises. Safe to say, I have plenty of ideas I want to explore and stories I need to share. Storytelling is a basic need.

In 2013, I created this blog on a limb. I want to make it a fun place for me and for all of you. I’ll update it as often as possible. I’m 99.9 percent sure I haven’t gone two days in a row without posting something. I’d like to keep that streak alive.

In terms of content, I’ll continue to read and review books. I post my reviews on WordPress and on Goodreads.

I’ve been making blog graphics for a while now. I like how they look, so they won’t change much. Visual interest is never a bad thing.

For a number of reasons, I love sharing poetry on here. Going forward, I would love to experiment more with different styles.

If and when I publish something somewhere else, you best believe I’m letting all of you know. Key word being if.

I also love lists. So expect to see more of them from me this year.

I haven’t posted a short story in the longest time. Maybe I will once every blue moon. I tend to submit to contests or competitions first.

Please don’t hesitate to comment and speak your mind. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

You Know You Are A Reader When

You have a stack of unread books at home, but you still buy more. All those novels you bought ages ago? They’re still sitting on your shelves collecting dust.

You’re running out of space, yet that doesn’t stop you from adding to your collection. Which means you have to get creative. You end up stacking, squeezing, and shoving.

You would rather be in your room than go to a club. There’s nothing wrong with spending more time around characters than your friends. Besides, fictional people will never judge you or your decisions.

You can’t stop talking or writing about books. That’s why you started a book blog. Now you’re able to rave on and on without anyone interrupting you.

You tell people to read certain books until they finally cave. Afterwards, you have one-sided conversations where you’re doing most of the talking. You can’t help extolling the virtues of your favourite author.

You wonder what fictional characters would do. So you proceed to channel them, believing yourself to be a super cool protagonist.

You get books as gifts from family and friends. They know you need to read as much as you need to eat. Better yet, they’ll leave you alone when you crack open the latest novel from a beloved author.

You can never find a comfortable reading position. Anyone who needs glasses to see knows the struggle is even more real.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy You Know You Are A Writer When.

A Q&A About Books, Goodreads, And Reviews

Why do you read?

I need to escape from reality or else I’d lose the little sanity I have left.

Why did you make a Goodreads account?

I didn’t want to rely on my memory to track the books I’ve read. Especially since I’m not getting any younger.

What do you look for in a book?

A good story. Great writing doesn’t hurt either. I like characters I can relate to, resonate with. Give me character development or give me fictional death.

What made you start writing reviews?

It wasn’t enough to read books. So I decided to review them too.

What are your reading goals for 2018?

They’re similar to the resolutions I made in 2017. I want to read every day. I’d also like to expand my bookshelf a bit. I tend to read more fiction than nonfiction, so I want to dip my mind further in the latter.

What are your reviewing goals in 2018?

I’m a bit behind on getting my reviews up, so if I can catch up that’ll be ideal.

Happy reading!

A 2018 Blogging Q&A

What do you love about blogging?

I love being in complete control. Creating original content. Interacting with people I wouldn’t get to otherwise. Learning about my goals, values, etc. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t blog. After all, sleeping is underrated and socializing is overrated.

What do you hate about blogging?

I don’t like the new editor. That’s why I use the old one. I’m not a fan of changing what isn’t broken. But I wouldn’t still be blogging if I hated the process. I hate getting ideas at the worst time. This explains my disdain towards driving.

What was blogging like in 2017?

I had a consistent year, more consistent than years past at least. I’ve done my best to keep up in spite of other more urgent and important deadlines in life. That being said, I started reviewing books. About time. It took me nearly twenty years to get my life together.

What are your plans for your blog in 2018?

I want to blog for myself. That’s why I started. I suspect if I ever stop blogging, it’ll be because I’m not doing so for my own enjoyment anymore. I don’t plan to quit anytime soon. I hope you’re not sick of me yet.

I can’t predict the future, but I have a feeling 2018 will be better than 2017. I plan to change for the better. If I don’t, you have permission to scream at me.

What else is on your mind?

I want to thank you all for supporting me. It means so much. I’ll try to read and comment as much as possible in 2018. Keep blogging. I’m sure your blog will take you to incredible places you never imagined you’d go.

2017: A Year In Review

2017 has come and gone.

So I’m going to review the past year with my failing memory. I’ll write down whatever comes to mind. Let’s hope for the best.

In no particular order:

I went to my first and hopefully not my last magazine launch. Even now, the event still sticks out in my memory. I’m proud of the story I wrote titled “Not a Number,” which you can find here on page 38.

I started posting book reviews on my blog and on Goodreads. I received some novels as well from the best publishers ever. Grateful doesn’t even begin to sum up my feelings. I also read more this year than last. 43 is an insane number to me.

I somehow won a writing scholarship. I was not expecting this at all because my GPA plummeted in second year. Still, this achievement boosted my fragile ego just a little bit.

I recorded myself dancing for a school project. I filmed myself about ten times and messed up every time. So I went with the least messed up take. At least, I was a better dancer in December 2017 than I was in January.

I drove for the first time. I know I’m late. I realize this isn’t a big deal to the millions of other drivers around the world. But I finally got over my fear of driving. I’m happy to say I didn’t die. That’s a feat in and of itself.

Over the summer, I made money blogging for a digital marketing agency. I loved getting to learn on the job. The best part was without a doubt grabbing lunch at a nice restaurant downtown. I couldn’t be happier with the experience.

I took care of myself. I ate better. I slept more. I exercised frequently. I stretched often. I relaxed tons. I’ve come such a long way from those days I ate too much junk food, couldn’t fall asleep, didn’t move much, etc.

Thank you all so very much for an incredible 2017. Here’s to an even better 2018!

Picking One Of My Passions

I love reading, writing, and blogging so much, they’re daily habits of mine. At least I try to do them every day. I had the brilliant idea of making myself pick one of my passions over the others. This will be fun.

Reading or writing?

I already hate myself for doing this. I can’t give up creating stories. I say this while staring at all the books on my shelves. They used to be empty, but it’s slowly filling up.

Writing or blogging?

I’m reminded of the time I thought I could only take a writing class or a blogging one. Turns out, I could take both, so I did. Interestingly enough, I did slightly better in the blogging course, but my heart still loves writing more. Also, I’ve skipped more days of blogging than I have writing since I started both.

Reading or blogging?

This is tough as well. I can’t imagine myself not reading ever again. After all, I’ve been reading almost my whole life and blogging for only one fifth of it.

Hopefully, I never have to give up any of my passions. I feel grateful I’m able to do the things I enjoy. I wouldn’t be the same without books, blogs, and baseball. The latter is a story for another day however.

My First Ever Magazine Launch

In October, I went to my first and hopefully not my last magazine launch.

I was excited about it. Afterwards I felt and still feel so inspired.

I’m not sure when this inspiration will wear off, but I hope it lasts long enough for me to create some great work.

There was food. There were drinks. My subject-verb agreement sucks. I know that.

People read their poems and stories. I had a great time listening to them.

Of course, I had two classes back to back before the launch. So even though I had tired eyes and a sore body (because I woke up at seven in the morning to stretch, dance, and exercise), I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

I ate a chocolate cookie, a chocolate cupcake, and another chocolate delicacy. Can you tell I like chocolate? Give me chocolate flavoured anything, and I’ll be one happy girl.

I don’t collect much aside from books that contain other people’s words and publications that contain my own. I’m glad I get to grow my collections every so often.

If you’ve ever been involved with the writing industry in any capacity whatsoever, you know first-hand how quickly things happen. This magazine publication finally happened. It’s like I waited years instead of months for it.

On the subway home, I read my piece to refresh my memory because I’ve forgotten the specifics of the story. As a 20-year old, my memory isn’t what it used to be. I wrote a first draft in 2015. It was published in 2017.

Anyhow, I’m beyond proud because I submitted this story somewhere else and never heard back.

But I returned to the piece. I worked on it during exam season. I’m thankful nearly failing my exams paid off because the piece got published after all. By nearly failing, I mean not acing. Same thing, no?

I have no regrets. I wouldn’t do anything differently today or yesterday or all the other days leading up to this one.

Maybe I should submit my work to contests when and only when I have exams. I’m one for one.

Here’s a link to the magazine.

Feeling Behind In Blogging

I’m behind on a lot of things, especially with this blog. I blame school. OK, fine postseason baseball too.

I’m not sure I’ll ever catch up. That’s okay. There will always be more work to do and not enough hours in the day.

I try to write and blog every day. I don’t have a problem doing so. But because I handwrite, I have to transcribe what I’ve written onto WordPress at some point.

I’ve been struggling to keep to say the least. I have poems and stories I wrote in 2016 still not typed up. And blog posts dating back to last month.

Luckily over the summer, I kept up with blogging quite well.

Then school started.

By the time a post is ready for publication, it’s dated. Not even relevant sometimes.

As university gets busier, I fall more behind. I can only dream of catching up.

Since I’m someone who likes being on top of things and feeling like I have my life together, this situation doesn’t bode well with my psyche.

Even if I had an entire month where I didn’t have anything else to do, I’m not sure I’d be able to type up all my written poems, posts.

Aside from falling behind, I’m also a bit overwhelmed. Books and baseball don’t mix. Who would have thought?

Word by word. Day by day. I write those lines in my journal as a reminder to myself. I can’t get to the end without first beginning and focusing on what’s next. Tomorrow happens tomorrow after all.

I don’t have to write or blog, much less do so every day. But I want to. And so I do my best to make it happen.

If I was just a student I’d have a lot more time. I will never be one thing and one thing only. I’m a writer, a blogger, a reader. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I’m a friend. I’m all these things and so much more.

Finding that balance is perhaps the toughest, trickiest part.

I only have so many hours in the day and so much energy to expend on any given project.

As much as I want to do almost everything, I can’t. But I’d much rather do a few things well than do a lot of stuff badly.