- Read good books.
- Write a novel.
- Dance like no one is watching.
- Blog often.
- Drive better.
- Forgive yourself.
- Study smart.
- Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
- Make a friend.
- Save up money for a laptop.
- Improve my middle split.
- Stengthen my core.
- Walk to places when possible.
- Be kind to others.
- Help a stranger.
- Learn Spanish.
- Journal at night.
- Bake more.
- Get enough sleep.
- Graduate university.
- Love yourself.
Am I the best person to give advice on finishing a first draft? No. Will that stop me from preaching what I don’t practice? Nope.
Take a break.
For my first novel, I took a long hiatus but eventually got around to finishing it.
Just make sure you actually return to your unfinished manuscript at some point.
Edit or proofread.
Sometimes, I’d rather edit than write. My mood bosses me around.
Again, you can fall into the trap of only editing your half-finished manuscript rather than writing the ending to it. Hopefully, making edits will get so painful that you choose the lesser of two evils.
Talk to someone.
We all need a friend who will listen to our problems.
You don’t even have to talk about writing. Perhaps all you need is a little bit of encouragement.
I wish you the best of luck in finishing your first drafts. It’s not an easy feat, but the feeling is like none other.
If you have any advice, feel free to tell me. I need all the help I can get.
Let’s set the scene, shall we?
You start a book. You finish it. Then you’re faced with the dilemma of deciding what to read next.
I feel your pain. Too many books and too little time means I’ve been struggling my whole life.
Don’t worry. Next time, you can always:
Roll a dice. Especially great if you have a selection of six books to choose from. Number each one and get rolling. It’s not so great if you’re a normal human being with an insanely long to-be-read list.
Ask a friend. Useful when you trust your friend’s judgement, and you’re in dire need of a good recommendation. Not helpful when said friend is drunk, and doesn’t read much or at all while sober. In which case you need new friends. I’m kidding.
Read a review. Unsure about a book? Find a review or two. Unsure about ten billion books? I guess you’ll be spending a few decades reading reviews then. At least when you’re done, you’ll have a better idea of what to pick up? Or maybe you won’t. Then you’re back where you began. It’s not a bad place to be.
So how are you going to decide what book you’ll read next?
Avery rang his cell for the third time.
“He’s ignoring you.” Elaine said in a low voice.
“Boys.” Avery tossed her phone in front of her, casting a look at Elaine. Both girls snorted. “How’s Drew by the way?”
Elaine grabbed a bottle of nail polish off her vanity. “The same.”
They were sitting in Elaine’s bedroom, a pink and gold explosion. The walls were bright pink, as was the bedding. The pillows seemed to span every shade of gold.
“Should we ditch them?”
Avery’s eyebrows hitched higher up on her wide forehead. “You think?”
Elaine uncapped the nail polish and began painting her toenails a bubblegum pink. “I don’t know what I saw in Drew.”
“He’s not that bad.”
“You’re defending him?” She brought her foot closer to her face and blew on her big toe.
Shrugging, Avery leaned in closer to her friend. “Is there something you know that I don’t?”
“No no.” Elaine wagged the applicator brush at Avery.
Avery resisted the urge to roll her eyes, looking away instead. Her phone, which she tossed onto the bed a moment ago, taunted her by remaining silent. “What do you think he’s doing?”
“If he’s doing nothing, then why isn’t he picking up?” Avery picked up a pillow and tugged at the gold beads.
Elaine twisted the applicator back into the bottle and spread her feet out in front of her. The pinks of her toenails glistened in the golden light of her room. “You tell me.”
“I don’t know. I don’t get him.”
“It doesn’t work like that.” A frown pulled at the corners of Avery’s mouth.
Just then her phone buzzed on the bedding.
Elaine narrowed her blue eyes and reached for the phone. “Don’t pick up.”
“He didn’t pick up your calls,” Elaine emphasized the last word. “So you shouldn’t pick up his. Give him a taste of his disgusting poison.”
“It doesn’t work like that,” she repeated. “Maybe he was busy.”
She sighed, tossing the phone in Avery’s direction. “Do as you please girlfriend. Just remember who your real friend is.”
The silent one.
The stranger turned friend.
At one point, you didn’t know he or she even existed. But over time, you get to know them. What more could you possibly ask for?
The friend turned stranger.
The most tragic one of all. Once you were close. Now you’re not.
The awesome, fantastic, most perfect person in the world.
I don’t think I need to elaborate further.
- You learn a lot.
- You meet new people.
- You are a better writer.
- You travel to different worlds.
- You become more empathetic.
- You can be my best and only friend.
I came up with these 5 lessons not long after I began blogging. But I never got around to editing the draft to my liking. Until now.
Look at that I created a draft for this post a little over two years ago.
Time truly flies by.
So what did I learn?
How to write well.
And forgive myself whenever I didn’t write so well. People get better. Writers are no different. Improvement is what I strive for.
How to beat writer’s block.
Or whatever you want to call it when words don’t flow right out of your fingertips onto the keyboard.
How to keep blogging.
Momentum does wonders for your motivation.
How to be a good friend.
At the very least, how to be someone people respect, even just a little.
How to act responsibly.
Character is king. It trumps a lot in life.
If I listed everything blogging has taught me, this post would be as long as a book.
Maybe I should write a book. Come to think of it, I’m doing exactly that this November.
No matter what you’re doing (or not doing) next month, I wish you all the very best. I will continue to send you good vibes!
Happy National Poetry Day! Here’s a hastily composed poem I wrote on the bus.
A foreign language sounds familiar again
An old friend summons a strange mystery
Passed time really can’t be retrieved
Even though new memories begin to squeeze in
Don’t let me down. Or yourself. Go compose, compose, compose.
I should have mentioned that the theme is light.
What? You know I’m horrible with following themes or rules in general.