Personal Reflection · Writing

My Biggest Fear In Life

My biggest fear in life isn’t failure. It’s not trying.

I somehow convince myself that I’m not good enough. As a result, I don’t try sometimes.

It’s 2019, and I’m still just as hard on myself, if not even harder.

I have to try. I have to try my best.

I know I don’t handle failure well though. I’m working on it. I wish I could easily embrace mistakes.

I’m aware that by not trying, in a way I avoid failing. Still, I fail in a different way. I fail if I don’t try.

This year, I want to take risks I haven’t before. If I don’t try, I’ll never know. If I don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

When I was younger, I was more fearless, less afraid. Back then, I felt like I had less to lose. But I don’t have much to lose now either.

Ideally, I’d publish a book before I have kids. Now that I’ve put my intention out into the world, I hope to follow through. The first step is trying to tell the best story I can. I’ve given myself a somewhat flexible due date. Without a timeline of some kind, I could spend my whole life writing novels but never publishing them. At this point, I just need to start somewhere. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, starting is the hardest part.

Reading

This Or That: Book Genre Edition

Prose or poetry?

I’ve read more poetry this year because I took a contemporary poetry course in university. I’ve also written a lot of poems this year as well. But I love reading prose more than anything.

Young adult or adult?

This is tough. Some of my favourite books are young adult. Now that I’m older, I enjoy more mature stories as well. That said, it’s easier for me to relate to young characters.

Romance or paranormal?

I’m not the biggest fan of either. Please don’t come for me. Depending on my mood, I’ll probably reach for a romantic story instead of a paranormal one.

Fantasy or mystery?

These may be my two favourite genres in general. I’m a huge sucker for mystery stories. I can’t write one to save my life though.

Reading

Confessions Of A Book Reviewer

  • I don’t always remember to write a review after finishing the book. My memory isn’t what it used to be.
  • I copy the same template for all my reviews. My reviews would be a mess if I didn’t structure them.
  • I forget some details. Sometimes I’ve even looked up the protagonist’s first name.
  • I don’t take notes while I read. Maybe I should.
  • I love reviewing physical books. More often than not, they’re fiction. But hopefully one day, I’ll get around to reading more nonfiction.
  • I finish every book. I feel like it isn’t fair to the author or potential readers if I only read and review half the novel.
  • I use the same phrases in my reviews. There are only so many ways to say I recommend a book.
  • I don’t write in books. I can’t do it. At most, I’ll write on a sticky note to mark a specific passage or page.
Writing

Reasons Why Writers Abandon Stories

I apologize to all the stories I’ve abandoned. Here’s why.

A new, shiny idea comes along. Then I proceed to follow the glittery trail of a new idea. It’s hard coming back to old stories, especially when I fall in love with another one. Or even when I fall out of love with old projects.

I don’t know what happens next. Thanks to my non-existent outlines. Worse, my characters are lost too. Maybe I’d also benefit from doing character sketches.

I just need a break. Stories can get too real, too fast. Some distance is called for. Certain stories exhaust me.

I get bored. I love the honeymoon phase when I start a novel and everything’s novel. Pun very much intended. But once the novelty wears off, I jump ship.

I’m overwhelmed. Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, I endeavour to write great, epic works.

I prioritize something else. I love writing. But at times, other things take precedence. And even though it’s important to me, my well-being is too.

I move on. There’s nothing wrong with that. I learn all I can from one specific story and go forth into the world to do bigger, better things. Let go. Move on. I rather not stay in one spot forever.

Writing

25 Signs You Might Be A Writer

  1. You go on Twitter when you shouldn’t.
  2. You cheat on your current work in progress with shiny new story ideas.
  3. You bribe yourself to write using cake as a reward.
  4. You start eating while working.
  5. You make a mess.
  6. You watch crumbs fall into the crevices of your keyboard.
  7. You talk to yourself.
  8. You imagine your manuscripts being turned into movies.
  9. You realize that would require you to finish writing your novels first.
  10. You love your story but you hate it too.
  11. You also have a love-hate relationship with your characters.
  12. You want to cuddle your characters, but you need them to suffer too.
  13. You enjoy watching people suffer.
  14. You roll your eyes when your characters don’t follow your outlines.
  15. You wonder if you should even bother outlining in the first place.
  16. You don’t listen to other people’s advice.
  17. You liking giving advice about writing.
  18. You almost never practice what you preach.
  19. You stare at people all the time.
  20. You consider inserting yourself into a story before thinking better of it.
  21. You daydream more than you dream.
  22. You know weird facts about random topics.
  23. You can procrastinate like a professional.
  24. You work way too hard and you’re paid way too little.
  25. You write.
Reading

What I Learned Reorganizing My Bookshelves

I’m not even exaggerating when I say it took me nearly an hour to reorganize my bookshelves.

Here’s what I learned:

I own a lot of books. But a reader can never have too many, right? I want to buy more all the time.

I forget what I’ve read. I picked up a novel, and for the life of me, I could not remember what it was about.

I keep my babies in good condition. Except for a few of them. I also dropped two books on the floor while reorganizing my shelves. I’m a terrible mother.

I love when books are the same height and hate when they’re not. It makes my life easier when everything’s the same size.

I’m running out of space. I don’t know what I’ll do once my shelves can hold no more. I don’t have room for another bookshelf. Hopefully, one day, I can have a library in my house. Then I won’t have to worry about space or lack thereof.

I spend a lot of money on books. I don’t want to know how much. I also don’t need to know how many I have.

I could and should give some away. I promise to do so in the near future. OK, far future. I just can’t bear to part with my children.

I read a lot. But I feel like I just can’t keep up. Too many books, too little time.

I want to go buy more. Because why not? There’s no reason not to.

What do you learn after reorganizing your bookshelves?

Writing

Different Ways To Organize Your Bookshelves

Lately, I’ve been moving my books around because I’m not entirely happy with the way they’re displayed on my shelves. But I don’t know how I want to rearrange them exactly, so I decided to write a blog post about different ways you can organize your bookshelves.

By alphabetical.

Do the author’s last name or first if you’re so inclined. You might even decide to go organize according to the titles of each book. It’s up to you.

By colour.

Ombré. Rainbow. The possibilities are endless.

By genre.

Have one shelf for fantasy, one for mystery, etc. This is a good way to see what you like or dislike.

By height.

Shelves look more uniform when books are the same size. This is a fact of life. My heart breaks when I buy a novel that doesn’t fit in with the others.

By love.

Have your favourite books on one shelf. You can play favourites with novels. That’s totally ethical.

By status.

What you’ve read, what you’re currently reading, what you want to read. I have a shelf for all the books I own but haven’t read yet. Without fail, I’ll read a few novels on my to-be-read shelf only to buy many more. I almost always enable my own addiction.

By story.

Is it a standalone? A series? Also consider grouping books by the same author together. Because why not?

By type.

Paperbacks here. Hardcovers there. Easy, fast, simple. You’re good to grab and go.

By however you want.

Obviously, you can organize your books any way you like. Feel free to use one or a combination of the methods listed above.

Let me know how you organize your books. I’d love to get some inspiration for my shelves. It doesn’t help that I’m starting to run out of space either. But that’s a problem I’ll tackle another day.

Writing

This Or That: Writing Edition


Just a fun game of this or that with a writing twist because why not.

Pen or pencil?

I used to be a pencil kind of gal when I was a kid, but now I'm old. I don't make mistakes that I need to erase. I don't get ink stains on anything. There are so many reasons why I love pens, I could write a blog post on it.

Spiral or non-spiral bound notebooks?

As much as I love the look of journals without spirals, they aren't as practical for me. I can hold a spiral notebook in one hand easier. Or maybe I just don't have any arm strength.

Write in the morning or at night?

Nighttime. I tend to read and edit in the earlier hours of the day. But when the sun sets, my muse suddenly wants to come out to play. So much for sleeping eight hours every night.

Work inside or outside?

I like not having to leave my house. I can stay in my pyjamas. I don't have to do my hair or makeup. I'm lazy. That's not news.

Music or silence?

When I'm handwriting, silence. When I'm typing, music. If I had to choose just one, I'd probably play songs in the background at a soft volume.

Write a little every day or a lot every so often?

A little every day. That's what I'm currently doing because it works best for me. I like writing enough to do it even when I don't feel like pulling words from my brain and putting them onto the page.

Short stories or long novels?

I tend to write short stories and read long novels. Perhaps novellas are my true love.

Lined paper or blank paper?

Lined all the way. I'll take lines on paper over dotted, graph, etc.

Characters or plot?

The former obviously. Characters make or break a novel for me.

Which choices would you pick?