Reading + Writing Update!

Last night I finally finished The Lost Hero audiobook by Rick Riordan and while I can say it was definitely worth revisiting in audiobook format and that I had a blast, it was a very long one being about sixteen hours. I finished it though, which means I can start a new audiobook! I think I will be starting the next book in the series, The Son of Neptune, and I am really excited because it has been forever since I picked up this one. Another book I am currently working my way through is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi! The new addition to the Shatter Me series, Restore Me, is coming out in only a matter of weeks and I am so, so excited. Saying that though, it has been over a year since I read these books so I think it is time for a re read before cracking open the new one. I do remember loving these books though so I am also extremely pumped to visit the characters and world again. Lastly, I will be starting a third book because in my English class we are doing independent novel studies. I am having some trouble choosing between The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. Currently I am in the fantasy mood so I will probably end up picking up the Rae Carson book but we will see!

As for writing…well I am at a bit of a crossroads. I really like my novel idea but I am in the middle of outlining and I just have no idea how to carry the story on into the middle and then the end. I have an idea on how I want to end it, but it just isn’t something that makes me excited. I have been stepping away and thinking about it for the past few days but I think I have come to the conclusion that I need to rework my original idea. Today is going to be devoted to figuring out what the next step in my outline is, whether it is to fix a few things to make it flow or to scrap the whole thing…wish me luck!

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Quick Chat: Self Doubt As a Creative Person

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Quick Chat: Self Doubt As a Creative Person

Self doubt is something everyone feels from time to time, creative or not, and it has been something that has been keeping me from feeling motivated to outline and write lately. I do want to write, I really do. It feels like forever since I have sat down and just explored another world apart from our own, but the pressure to make all those words not just good but great is something I have been dealing with lately. Currently I am a high school student finishing up my grade eleven year, which means next year I have to start making choices about where I want to go next in my life. I know I want to be a writer, but that isn’t something you get handed to you even if you do go to post-secondary school for it. Since that is the case, I feel like I have to start going hard with writing and produce amazing pieces that I can actually build a career off of and that is exactly when the self doubt starts trickling in. My current thought process when it comes to writing is that if it isn’t good enough in that moment, it means I am not good enough either. Obviously I know that is not the case, and that writing takes lots of revising to make it readable, but as a student with expectations from others apart from myself I cannot seem to register that. Lucky for me I have time, but that doesn’t seem to help with my self doubt. I have been trying to change how I view my writing (or not writing) by doing these three things whenever I get stressed thinking about it:

  1. Taking long walks
  2. Reading
  3. Listening to writing podcasts and audiobooks

These three things have really been helping me gain perspective and insight on my writing and future. The walks help me organize my thoughts, reading helps me refuel my creativity and give me more ideas for my own writing, and listening to a writing podcast or audiobook simply inspires me. I also have to remind myself that I can’t do it all. It is hard being a full-time student, a blogger, a reader, and a writer, trying to fit all that in each day. Slowly I am getting better at it but everyday is still a challenge because if I don’t succeed in it all, I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth that is self doubt. If any of you feel similar remember that you aren’t alone! Creative people everywhere face the same struggle as we do, and guess what, soon you will learn to diminish that little voice in your head that tells you you aren’t good enough, it just takes time. All you can do is keep creating and everything will work out in the way it is supposed to.

Thanks for joining me on this jumbled ramble and I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post where I talk about books that I keep putting off: Intimidating TBR Tag!

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Intimidating TBR Tag!

I think every reader can agree that our TBR’s are sky high and always will be becasuse as they say, there are so many books but so little time. This is a tag consisting of nine different questions revolving around those scary books on your shelf that are just waiting for you to pick them up, and I am really excited to tackle them and share with you guys some of the books on my TBR!

(By the way…this book was created by YouTuber Lindsay Rae!)

The Questions: 

1. What Book Have You Been Unable to Finish?

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Honestly, I despise starting a book and not finishing it but even while saying that, there are a few books that I just haven’t been able to finish. The most recent one that comes to mind is one I actually put down a few days ago and that is Meet Cute by a number of well known authors. I was super excited about this cute contemporary but I just felt that since it was an anthology, the stories were too short for me to connect with the plot and characters and I didn’t feel interested in the stories much at all. I am sure that if I wanted to I could finish it, but at this time I don’t really feel motivated to.

2. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because You Haven’t Had the Time?

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Okay so I absolutely adored the first book in this series but the sequel is just so massive and intimidating that it would take me forever to get through and right now, I don’t have the time for a dense read! That book is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses. I adored ACOTAR and had heard amazing things of the sequel, however it is a big book, you know? Big books take a long time for me!

3. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because It’s a Sequel?

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Hands down the answer to this question for me would be Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman which is the second book in the Blood of Gods and Royals series. This is a book that takes place during the era of Alexander the Great which means it has Greek mythology in it so I absolutely adored it. However, when I read the first book the sequel was not out, and by the time I got the sequel I forgot everything about the world and characters. So when I do feel like reading this book, I have to also re read the first book before picking up the second and at this point in time I am not motivated to pick up a historical fiction book!

4. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because It’s Brand New?

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a book that just came out in January and may be the most hyped up book of 2018…and yeah that is super intimidating. I am worried that the hype will get to me and I won’t love it as much as everyone else does, and I don’t want that because it sounds amazing! It has faeries and magic so basically everything I love. Hopefully I will get to it soon, but maybe once the hype dies down a bit.

5. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because You Read a Book By the Same Author and Didn’t Enjoy It?

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I have read most John Green books however I have not picked up Turtles All the Way Down (which is currently another really hyped book) because I haven’t enjoyed any of his other books. Paper Towns wasn’t that bad in my opinion, but nothing really gripping happens that can make me say I enjoyed it. I have also obviously picked up The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska but those were definitely not ones I would pick up again. Maybe I would love his new book but I am just a little hesitant since I have liked any of his others!

6. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because You’re Just Not In the Mood?

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss…another book that I have only heard amazing things about but right now I am not in the mood for high fantasy. It is a genre that is hard for me to get into even though I have only positive experiences within the genre. I do really, really want to get to it at some point, but when I am in the mood for the genre so that I can enjoy it to its full potential.

7. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because It’s Humongous?

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This is a book that I am really ashamed to say I haven’t gotten to because this is a book by one of my favourite authors…and that is Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare. This is a collection of stories following Simon Lewis that all connect with one another, and while I did read like fifty pages of this book, I put it down for some odd reason and never picked it up again. This is a big book at 672 pages so yeah, I am little intimidated to pick it up again, even if it is in one of my favourite fictional worlds.

8. What Book Have You Yet to Read Because It Was a Cover Buy That Turned Out to Have Poor Reviews?

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Hmm…I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book solely based on its cover but then never picked up due to poor reviews because I like to make opinions for myself. However, instead of that I am going to twist the question and just share a book that was a cover buy for me that I have yet to get to. One book that I bought 1) because it is a companion to a series and 2) because it has a beautiful cover, is The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas. Bought this maybe three or four years ago yet I still haven’t read it so I need to get on it!

 

9. What Is the Most Intimidating Book on Your TBR?

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Hands down the most intimidating book on my TBR is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This is a historical fiction book that takes place during World War II and while I have read already fifty or so pages of it, I have not picked it up in a while. It is so dense that I am little to read it but since I did enjoy what I read I am sure I will get through it sometime this year…hopefully.

And that is all for this tag! I tag anyone who wants to do it because it is such a fun tag that really opens your eyes to what books you should add onto your upcoming TBR’s. Anywyas, I hope you enjoyed and don’t forgete to check out my last blog post: Should You Take a Creative Break?

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Should You Take a Creative Break?

Is it okay to take a creative break? Will it affect my creativity? 

Those are two questions I find myself asking a lot and guess what, it is okay to take a creative break and it won’t affect your creative process or love for creativity. If you love to be creative that won’t change even if you take a few days off or even an entire week off. Sometimes we just need to take a step back, do something else and then come back to it later because it will still be there when you get back, waiting for you.

I always struggled with taking breaks from writing and blogging because I was scared that I when I came back I wouldn’t be as in love with it or motivated about it as I am now. Only recently have I realized how wrong I was though! I need a break every so often because I don’t want to burn myself out or put too much stress on my shoulders. If you do that, and put too much pressure on your creative passion, then you might start hating it anyways and it will be because you didn’t take a break. Sometimes I take a break because I want some time to just aimlessly think about a project I am working on, or even time to think about anything but my project!

Today’s post is kind of a ramble, but something that all us creative people need to be reminded of. I also wanted to tie this in with some news that my blogging schedule will not be very consistent for the next while. This inconsistency might only last a week or it might last a month, but I just need some time to not feel stressed about putting a blog post out every day and I also need some time to think of some more content! My goal is to post at least two or three blog posts a week still, and I might come to the conclusion by the end of my “break” that two to three posts a week will become a new schedule. I love putting out a lot of blog posts a week, but it is challenging and I don’t want to regurgitate information I already have on my blog.

Anyways, that is all for my blog post today and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading + Writing Update

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I am currently in the middle of…three books, but honestly, I am almost done two of them. There’s The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan which I am listening to on audiobook and have just over four hours left of, and as I am writing this it is Friday afternoon (I will be offline over the weekend!) so who knows, maybe I will finish it by the time Sunday rolls around. This is a re read so obviously I am enjoying it so I can’t say more than it is as great as I remember! The second book I am working through is Just Listen by Sarah Dessen and I am a good 213 pages into it, meaning I only have about 150 or so to go. Again, another re read which I am really enjoying, however it has been years since I read this book and there is absolutely NO diversity in this book. It is just filled with straight, white people and it just isn’t very realistic. I find it pulling me out of the story often to question that, but still, it is a fun read. Lastly, I have started reading the anthology Meet Cute by a variety of authors. I am only two out of who knows how many stories, and its okay so far. I understand that this is an anthology so the stories can only be so many pages, but the incredibly short length really takes away from the story and I can’t connect to the characters or the stories at all. However, if you are just looking for a light hearted book for Valentines Day or whenever, maybe pick this up!

 

When it comes to writing I have done a bit, but mostly I have been outlining for future stories. I think I wrote around three thousand words at the beginning of the week, but as I said earlier the rest has just been outlining. I have also been doing some research on Aztec mythology and such, thinking about whether I want to incorporate it in a future story idea I have. I’ve been listening to podcasts and googling things, and their mythology is really interesting! Even if I don’t end up weaving any of it into my story, it is still fascinating to learn about.

That is all for my reading + writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Colours of the Rainbow Book Tag (Original) for a fun, new book tag!

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Colours of the Rainbow Book Tag (Original)

Yep I am back again with an original book tag, and this time I am using the colours of the rainbow! Spring is (hopefully) near and I just need some sunshine and colours in my life so why not put that together with books? If you do this tag please tag me because I would love to see your answers but for now, here are the prompts:

Red – Pick a Book With a Love Story

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Red is the colour of fire and anger, but also love! And while most books have a love story, this is a prompt for you to choose a book where the love story is the main theme of the book. Anyways, I chose The Selection by Kiera Cass because the story idea revolves around Prince Maxon finding a wife through the Selection. There are heart breaks and tears and kisses and overall it is such a heart warming, fun book!

Orange – Pick a Book With a Creative Main Character

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Like all colours, orange can represent many different things but one thing it represents is creativity. I recently read a book where our main character is an aspiring playwright who just moved to London to pursue her dream, and that book is London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton. Was this my favourite book? No, but it shows the struggles of being a creative person and what it feels like to follow your dreams, which is something I think all should be reminded of.

Yellow – Pick a Book That Takes Place During the Summertime

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Yellow! Sun, warmth, two of my favourite things represented by this very loud and bright colour. Some of my favourite books take place over the summer so I was itching to put down this question. The book that I decided to go with though, is Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Ugh, I love this book. Not only does it take place in the summer but it follows our main character, Emily, who sets off on a bucket list her missing, best friend Sloane left for her, hoping it will lead her to her best friend.

Green – Pick a Book With Greenery On the Cover

Everything Everything

Spring is quickly coming so the grass is greener and the flowers are blooming which is what inspired this prompt. The book I decided to go with for this prompt is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon because of all the pretty flowers on the cover. Everything, Everything is a contemporary that follows a girl named Maddie who is allergic to everything, and until she met Ollie she was okay with that. But once she meets him, everything changes and finds herself desperate to escape her limited life.

Blue – Pick a Character Who Acts as Mentor

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Blue can symbolize sadness or confidence, but it also symbolizes wisdom. There are many books out there where the main character has a mentor they look up to, and it doesn’t always have to be an older man like Dumbledore. I decided to go with one of my favourite characters and that is Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Percy acts as a mentor to Nico, a younger boy who admired Percy fiercely from the moment they first met because of his bravery and loyalty to those around him. Percy helps out Nico as much as he can, even when Nico doesn’t necessarily want the help which is why I thought he was a perfect choice for this challenge!

Purple – Pick a Book With a Royal Family

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I twisted the prompt a little bit but that is because the family I am choosing is not technically true royalty, but they are very wealthy and remind me of a royal family because of how they act. Anyways, I decided to go with the Sinclair family from We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. If you’ve read it I am sure you can see where I am coming from and if you haven’t…well read it because it is filled with gripping twists and turns that will leave you wanting more!

That is all for this tag and I hope you enjoyed! This tag is a little random but I had a lot of fun making it so that is all that matters right? Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Things All Writers Need

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Things All Writers Need

Below are a few different things that I believe all writers need. These things are books, podcasts, TV shows, and really anything that I feel enhances your creativity. Make sure you check out all the links I provided below because you will not regret it!

NaNoWriMo

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If you are a writer and haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo…I don’t know where you’ve been because it is huge! NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a writing event that inspires writers from around the world to attempt a 50,000 word draft in one, single month. This takes place in November every year, but they also have events like Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July every year. However, instead of aiming to hit 50,000 words, you can choose your word goal. Anyways there are also goodies for participants and winners, and overall it is just an amazing writing experience.

Creative Writing Exercises for Dummies by Maggie Hamand

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This is a book on writing that is filled with useful tips on the craft of writing as well as motivation and marketing. You will also find lots of writing exercises to get your creativity flowing, and that are also a lot of fun! This is a book that will get you pumped and ready to write with ideas practically flowing from your fingertips.

Myths & Monsters

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Myths & Monsters is a TV series on Netflix that every writer is screaming at you to watch. While I am only a few episodes in, I can confidently recommend it to not only writers, but anyone interested in history as well. This show is filled with mythology from all different places like Greece, Rome, Egypt, and so much more, and focuses on literature and art from those times as well. The narrators go over valuable tips and ideas on story structure and also creating an entertaining quest like the ones in the original myths.

The Creative Penn Podcast

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Are you in need of a fantastic podcast where you will be overflowing with info by the time it switches off? Well definitely check out the Creative Penn podcast because it is just that! The host, Joanna Penn brings on so many great writers and creative people and I always enjoy listening to their conversations. I am pretty picky when it comes to writing podcasts but this is definitely a favourite of mine.

That is all for today but I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you also check out my last blog post: 5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

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5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

Before I jump into this post, I just wanted to thank you guys so much for 200 follows! It means so much to me and I appreciate you guys so much. Every like and comment still gets me really excited, and I love being able to connect with all of you who share the same interests as me. So again, thank you! 🙂

There is a lot of writing I want to get done over the course of this year, however there is not a lot of motivation and creativity to support that. To help not only me, but any of you who are also feeling stuck. Here is a list I have compiled of 5 ways to get your creative juices flowing and I hope it helps!

  1. Watch YouTube Videos On Writing – Watching writing vlogs or people talking about craft gets me extremely motivated to write. I did a post a few months back on some AuthorTubers (and a few BookTubers) I recommend so I will definitely leave that here for you to check out because you won’t be disappointed. These authors/youtubers are amazing and dedicated and soon you will find yourself also wanting to be amazing and dedicated.
  2. Do A Different Type of Art – I really am not an artistic person but I do enjoy collaging and sometimes when I get stumped creatively, I will bring out my collage stuff and start collaging. It is nice to just let go and pour myself into something other than my words. Also, collaging isn’t my passion so it is nice not putting ridiculous expectations on myself while doing it. Highly recommend picking up a hobby that doesn’t have to do with writing because you will benefit so much from it mentally and creatively.
  3. Listen to a Podcast – There are so many amazing podcasts on creativity, writing, and really everything you could ever want. Listening to the hosts bring in other creative people and interview them is so inspiring because they tell us how they too started at the bottom and rose to success. You can also learn a lot of valuable tips from podcasts apart from gaining back that creative spark.
  4. Write Out Your Future Goals – These can be goals you plan to accomplish in the next year or the next five years, but the point is to just write some creative things you want to get done at some point in your life. Writing these down will create an image of the future in your mind and you will suddenly be hit with a load of motivation full force. You will suddenly want to start trying to accomplish these goals, and even though you will probably lose that energy and motivation eventually, keep looking back at your goals whenever you feel that motivation sinking away.
  5. Take a Trip to the Library or Bookstore – Just being surrounded by books inspires me to write. I see all of the books that are published by others who just sat down and wrote the damn thing, and it makes me want to do just that. You can also get a book or two out of going to the bookstore which is another great way to get back into your creative groove!

Those are 5 ways to spark your creativity and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Audiobook TBR

Happy writing 🙂

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Audiobook TBR!

There are so many audiobooks I want to get to so I thought I would be organized and make a list of the audiobooks I want to get to over the next 2 or so months. If you want some great audiobook recommendations or some tips on audiobooking if you are just starting out, check out my blog post on that here!

The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

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My current listen is The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan and I am absolutely adoring it, and all it is making me want to do is listen to the entire series as well. I also really want to physically re read it so I might listen to parts of the books and read other parts…regardless, these are some books I definitely want to listen to over the next few months!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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A few days ago I tried to listen to Lola and the Boy Next Door because I thought it would be really fun, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. Anyways, I am going to give Anna and the French Kiss a try and see how that goes. I really enjoy listening to contemporaries on audiobook so fingers crossed I end up loving this one!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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Since this is a pretty hefty book (not really length wise but story wise) I thought I would go back and forth between the audiobook and the physical book. Hopefully it will be easier to read if I do that because I really do love the concept and what I have read so far, I just want to be able to stay in the world longer than 30 or so pages.

That is all for today’s blog post and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Perks of Writing Short Fiction

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Perks of Writing Short Fiction

Today’s post is inspired by a podcast I listened to and that is “How to Make Money Writing Short Fiction With Douglas Smith” from the podcast The Creative Penn. I am still new to this podcast but so far I am loving it, so if you are looking for a podcast about creativity and writing definitely check it out!

Anyways, I started out writing short fiction and still tend to stick to it as the longest length of story I have written was only 50,000 words…but that is ok! Since I have written a lot of short fiction, I decided to share some perks of starting with short fiction and continuing with it because there are a few. The overall message of this blog post is to start writing short fiction!

  • They Are Easier to Get Published – There are an endless amount of literary magazines and contests that only want short fiction. Not novellas or novels but stories that are short and sweet. It is a lot harder to make money off of a novel, which requires a lot more time and effort, so why not try out short fiction and see how much you like it. I am not saying to give up novel writing because I still love writing novels, or at least trying to, but there is no reason why you can’t try both. If you need literary magazine recommendations, here is a past blog post I wrote recommending some.
  • They Require Less Time – As I said, short fiction is short and sweet. It requires less time to outline, write and edit. It can take you a two or so days to write the first draft, and two or so days to write the second and third draft, and then two or so days to edit! Of course it depends how much time you have and how you write, but it doesn’t matter because it will still take less time than a novel. However, despite taking less time to craft, I would not say it is much easier because compacting a fleshed out story in a few thousand words…well, that takes skills!
  • You Become a Better Writer – Since short stories take so little time to write compared to a novel, it means you can write more of them and when you write more, you become a stronger writer. You get better at story structure, dialogue, fleshing out characters, etc, etc and more comfortable with your writing. You also find your writing voice a lot quicker, but if you want some other tips check out a blog post I wrote last week here.
  • You Can Experiment With Genres – Diving into the world of short stories allows you to experiment with different genres easier. You can tread the waters of sci-fi or contemporary, and if it’s not for you oh well, it was only a thousand words or so. If you write a novel and half way through realize it isn’t working because maybe sci-fi isn’t for you…well that is about 40,000 words down the drain.
  • It Is More Rewarding – I don’t know about you, but I feel very accomplished and productive when I complete a story and since writing short fiction is quicker, I end up feeling productive a lot. It doesn’t have to be ready to publish, but just having a finished story on your laptop is nice.

That is all for today’s blog post and I hope you enjoyed. Sorry I wasn’t able to post something early but at least I am posting now. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading + Writing Update!

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