Reading

Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students – Mignon Fogarty | A Book Review

Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students - Mignon Fogarty

Title: Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

Genre: Nonfiction (Writing)

About the book: This guide covers different aspects of writing. It is geared towards high schol and university students.

First impressions: I’ve been a fan of Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, for many years now. I picked up this book when I was still in school, but I never got around to reading it cover to cover until now when I`m no longer a student.

Content: The book has chapters on parts of speech, sentences, puncutation, grammar rules, and writing style/advice. There’s also a glossary, bibliography, index, as well as other sections. I especially liked the tips and pop quizzes scattered throughout.

Quote:

“Writers—professional writers—get writer’s block at different points in their lives.”

Writing: Even when explanining complicated rules, Fogarty is concise and to the point. She writes in a way that’s clear and easy to understand.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed reading the entire guide from beginning to end. It’s also a useful resource to flip through and skim certain sections. I highly recommend Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students to anyone who wants to learn more about grammar and improve as a writer.


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Reading

A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook – Riche Billing | A Book Review

Title: A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook

Author: Riche Billing

Genre: Nonfiction (Writing)

About the book: This is a guide on the writing and publishing process, specifically focusing on fantasy. It was independently publishing and came out earlier this year.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First impressions: I don’t write much fantasy, but I love reading about writing, so I was excited.

Content: There’s a little bit of everything from writing to editing to marketing. The author compiles some useful resources such as a list of publications that accept fantasy stories. Billing also quotes other authors and includes comments from readers. I found the sections on weapons and armour especially interesting.

Quote:

“You have something to give to the world.”

Writing: The book isn’t super long at around 300 pages, broke up into chapters. They’re informative, giving a basic overview of topics like fighting and world-building.

Final thoughts: Overall, this is a helpful guide for writers. Even if you aren’t a fantasy author, a lot of the advice applies across all genres. If you’re looking for a useful book that covers different parts of the writing process, check out A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Blogging

Blogger’s Block And Blogging Burnout

I didn’t post daily in January. I also didn’t even write a blog post every day. Even though I was a little bothered by that, I’ve been more bothered by other things. Like burnout and blogger’s block, which is like writer’s block but worse. I had an easier time writing than blogging last month.

New month, new me. That said, I won’t be blogging all the time because I need to live my life. But I’m ready to get back into the grind. It’s not always easy, but I’m grateful for every opportunity.

I want to address being blocked so to speak. I don’t want to wait for inspiration. I’d rather get to work. For some reason, I didn’t have many great ideas in January. Even promising ones didn’t pan out. For instance, I drafted a one-word writing interview/Q&A. I liked the idea. I didn’t like the draft. And because I made it my goal in 2019 to publish content I’m proud of, I don’t want to post something for the sake of posting.

In regards to burnout, I started this blog in 2013. At the time, I wanted to publish every day. I was in high school. I wasn’t as busy. So I had more time and energy. But a lot has changed in five, almost six years. I’ve changed. WordPress has changed. What didn’t change was my stubborn commitment to blog daily. But 2018 was a hard year for me. I got hit by a car at the beginning of the year. Recovering was a long and exhausting process.

I was fortunate enough to go twenty years without anything truly traumatic happening to me. So I guess my point is that trying to blog every day while trying to let my body and brain heal made me burnout in a way I never experienced before.

It’s been nearly a year since my life changed forever, and I’m ready to live fully again.

Writing

Why I’ve Stopped Blogging Every Day

It’s silly, but I feel like I don’t have as many hours in the day now.

I feel odd, out of sorts. I’m a stubborn person, so sacrificing my personal projects because of school sucks. If I could, I’d spend more time writing and blogging for myself.

This blog has benefitted me in so many ways. I’m happy I have something to call my own.

Whenever possible, I’ve tried to do what feels right by me, regardless of what others say. I’m doing the best I can.

I wish I could do everything every day, but like I said before, I can’t. And that’s okay. I’m trying to figure out who I am as a writer, a blogger. Who I want to be. While I don’t have all the answers, I know this much: I love creating.

In the past, I believed I had to do in order to learn. But sometimes not doing can teach a lot too. Besides, I go through phases where I prioritize different projects. So sometimes blogging takes a backseat.

It’s hard to put out content every single day. Kudos to those of you who do.

Personal Reflection

My Goals For 2019

Where do I even begin?

Read 40 books.

I’ve been able to for the past two years. Hopefully, 2019 isn’t an exception. On a similar note, I’ll try to post as many reviews as possible.

Write, edit, submit.

In a perfect world, I’d publish something somewhere. It’s out of my control though. Writing every day, editing my stories, submitting to contests…very much within my control.

Post content I’m proud of.

When I publish what I love, it makes me happy. I don’t want to be as hard on myself in 2019, yet my expectations are still high for this blog. More than anything, I can’t wait to create.

Learn more Spanish.

Fun fact, my name is Spanish. My dad speaks the language. I’ve been using Duolingo and doing two lessons every day.

Dance, exercise, stretch.

To be specific, I’d like to learn new moves, improve my core strength, and increase my flexibility.

Be nicer…to myself.

I’m my own worst critic. I guess I should also make an effort to be nicer to others as well.

What are your goals for 2019?

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.

Blogging

Is My Blog Dead?

I’m trying to blog again after I didn’t post that much in December. I fell off my habits. But new year, new me, right?

I will be making a few changes, hopefully positive ones. I don’t plan to stop blogging, but I probably won’t post every day.

Near the end of 2018, I wasn’t at my best. I’m determined to make 2019 better. I have so many ideas in my mind that I hope to manifest in real life. I’m looking forward to the next 365 days.

Last year, I didn’t love my creative process, and in turn, I didn’t love some of the content I created. I’ll learn from my past mistakes. Now I have a better idea of what worked and what didn’t.

Going forward, I want to write and blog without overthinking every little thing. I think way too much, and sometimes my thoughts paralyze me from creating.

I started this blog out of the blue one random evening after school almost six years ago. I never looked back, and I don’t plan to anytime soon. I intend to continue posting book reviews and poems.

For now, I want to focus on enjoying the journey instead of always rushing. I love roses, so I will stop and smell them. Besides, there is no end goal or end game with my blog. I don’t have a specific destination in mind.

Thank you all for an amazing 2018. Thanks in advance for an awesome 2019.

All this to say, my blog isn’t dead. My blog will die when I die.

Personal Reflection

My Year In Review: 2018

I don’t even know where to begin. 2018 has been a year of high highs and low lows for me. But I’m happy to say I survived. I’ll see you all on the other side.

Here’s my 2018 in review.

January was great. I had a lot of motivation and inspiration. I started 2018 on a strong note. I began my second semester of third year. It feels so long ago now. I finished three books and reorganized my shelves. I submitted poems but never heard back.

February sucked. I was hit by a car. I spent the month resting and recovering. I read four novels. Fortunately, I felt good enough to attend my friend’s birthday party later in the month. It helped me get back on my feet.

March wasn’t easy, but I managed. I fell in love with baking. One day, I decided to download Duolingo and improve my Mandarin. I got through three books.

April was busy. I had finals. I found time to grab lunch with a friend I don’t see often afterwards. I started working as a digital marketing intern. I read three novels.

May went well. I worked all month. I hung out with some friends. I finished four books.

June wasn’t bad. I kept working. I changed the theme for my blog. I attended another birthday party. I finished three novels.

July felt short. I still worked. My cousin from China came over, so I spent more time with family. I read three books.

August felt even shorter. I attended an event for book bloggers. I finished three novels. I started driving again.

September signalled the arrival of school. My first semester of fourth year to be exact. I learned that my poem would be published in an anthology. I couldn’t believe it. Later I signed an author release form and approved the proof for print. I read four novels, rearranged my shelves. I continued to drive.

October was good. I won an academic scholarship. I had my midterms. I spent time with more relatives from China. I finished three books.

November stressed me out. Life. NaNoWriMo. School. I only managed to get through two novels. To be fair, one of them was fairly long. I drove.

December had its ups and downs. I finished classes and exams. I finally took my road test and got my G2 driver’s license. I finished 4 books too.

Thank you all for an amazing year. All the best in 2019!