5 Tips for Time Management

Are you juggling a busy life? Here are 5 tips to make time management easier.

Happy Monday!

Time management is NOT easy. One day you think you’ve got the hang of it and then the next day is a completely different story.

Whether you work a full-time job, are in school, have a variety of hobbies, or all three, learning how to manage your time is a never-ending struggle.

However, there are ways to make it EASIER.

This coming fall, I will be a part-time student, a full-time employee, and the owner of my own freelance editing and writing business (check out my services HERE). Alongside all that, I am an active blogger and like to post frequently to my Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Oh, there are also some books I really need to read for review. Basically, the list goes on and on!

To conquer time management is impossible, but to understand it…that is how you will have more time to do what you want while crossing everything off on your to-do list.

Here are 5 tips for time management.

1. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

The key to time management is setting goals that are actually achievable. One easy way to do this is by following the S.M.A.R.T goal outline. This stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based. I recommend making your goal list and then going over each and every goal to make sure it follows the S.M.A.R.T criteria. Is your goal something YOU can control? Is it specific? Did you set a deadline?

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals will ensure you are spending time on productive things rather than things that can wait, and do not have much importance or looming deadlines.

EX. Today, I will pre-write 2 blog posts (5 Tips for Time Management and Beginner’s Guide to: Roman Mythology) that will go up today at 5 pm and Monday at 12 pm.

2. Get Work Done So You Can “Play”

In the past, I thought breaking up my workday was a good idea. I thought it would be more efficient to work from 9am – 12pm and then break for a few hours, then work again from 3-6pm, break, and then work from 9pm – 12am…THIS IS NOT A PRODUCTIVE SCHEDULE.

Now that I have a full-time job and I realize I will soon need to balance my job, my one class for school, blogging, writing, business, and other hobbies. I understand the importance of getting everything done within a window of time and then enjoying the rest of your day.

My new plan is to work from 7:30 am -3:30 pm (that is, if I need to do a full 8 hours that day) and then whatever else that has a deadline (school, internship, etc) right after. This has been working well for me because it allows me to get all my work done at once and then I still get off early enough in the day to enjoy it.

3. Start Your with a To-Do List

Personally, I don’t enjoy structuring my day off a rigid outline. I’ve found what works best for me is writing a to-do list in the morning filled with all the things I have to and want to get done that day. This way, I am setting myself up for a productive day by outlining my goals, but it is not a full on, detailed schedule.

When I write a to-do list, I write down anywhere from 5-10 things on it. If your tasks are big, keep closer to the 5 but if they are smaller and more miscellaneous tasks, you can add more. Don’t overwhelm yourself but make sure you have enough to keep busy during the working hours!

4. Spend At Least 3 Hours A Day Not Being Productive

I know that seems like very few hours, but when it comes to running a household or working, and just adulting, we spend a lot of our time being productive. Spend at least 3 hours of your day just relaxing, watching TV, reading, listening to music, going a walk, etc. I work full-time and my hobbies include writing so often times, I will get off my job of content creating and then jump straight into content creating for myself because it is also part of my hobby. I’ve learned to set aside a part of the weekend instead of doing it right after my full-time job.

5. Set a Time Limit to Tasks

Whenever my time management skills are faltering, it is usually because I am focusing too much time on one task and it fails to leave me with time for the others. The best way I can explain this is by speaking to all you fellow writers out there. I know you all know the struggle of never feeling truly done with a project, right? This is the same thing! Sometimes we need to only allot an hour to write a blog post so we are not spending 3 hours on it and ignoring everything else we need to get done that day.

It isn’t productive working on one task for hours unless it has a fast approaching deadline!


Those are my 5 time management tips for all your productive and busy people. If you are a creative person like myself who is alway is always juggling multiple things at once, this is an essential guide for you.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 3 Tips for Writing Romance

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3 Tips for Writing Romance

Happy Friday!

Today, I want to share my 3 essential tips for writing romance.

Writing a romance your readers will fall in love with is no easy task. Often, authors opt for insta-love but unless it is done well, it is the slow-burn, hate-to-love, etc tropes that really grab at readers’ hearts.

Before we jump into my tips, I wanted to remind you that 2 weeks ago, I launched my freelance editing and writing website! If you need copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, blog writing, social media content creation OR copywriting, check it out HERE. I’d love to work with you.

Now, let’s get into today’s post because it has been a while since I posted!

Here are 3 tips for writing romance your readers will love.

1. Know Your Characters Individually Before You Know Them Together

This goes for any relationship, real or fictional, but you must know yourself before you can be with someone else. When writing romance, you need to have a grasp on who your characters are. What do they like? What are they afraid of? What do they want? What is their family like? If you don’t, they will be two-dimensional people in a two-dimensional relationship. That makes for a boring plot line and dynamic altogether.

Here is a basic character questionnaire that you should ask each of your characters in order to vividly paint them on the page.

2. Figure Out How They Fit Into Each Other’s Lives Organically

A lot of the time, a romance in a novel feels unnatural and forced. It is as if the author wrote two characters, decided their audience would probably want some romance, and then pushed the two main characters together because hey, they were right there anyways.

When it is done correctly, it works really well, but if it feels too forced and convenient, you are going to lose your audience. Here are some ideas for how your characters can organically fit into each other’s lives.

  • Their pasts are intertwined (maybe their families are close or are enemies, maybe they are childhood friends, etc)
  • They both want the same thing
  • One of them has something the other wants
  • One of them saves the other

3. If the Romance is a Subplot, Treat It Like a Subplot

Unless you are writing a romance novel, the romance should not be the main attraction. I hate when I am reading a fantasy and the romance overtakes the world, the magic system, the other characters, etc. If the romance is just one aspect of many within the novel, it should stay that way. Of course, it can have its moments in the spotlight, but it should not overshadow the rest of the story.


Those are 3 simple but essential tips to apply to your story when writing romance. If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave them down in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my freelance website and subscribe to the monthly newsletter for more tips, tricks, updates, and freebies on writing and the business of writing. You can check that all out HERE.

Also, make sure you read my last blog post and check out my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: My Freelance Business Launch

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4 Tips for New Freelancers

Happy Monday!

In this blog post, I will be sharing 4 tips I recommend to new freelancers. Whether you want to be a freelance writer, editor, photographer, or website designer, these tips will be applicable to you.

In the next week or so, I have EXCITING NEWS regarding my own freelancing to share so make sure you are following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

I believe I began my freelance journey a year or so ago when I was at the end of my grade 12 year. I went straight to websites like Fiverr and Upwork and got a few gigs, but they were not exactly what I was looking for and I felt they didn’t benefit my portfolio. Since then, I have refocused my freelancing vision and have written for newsletters for local companies and the MS Society, published articles in my school’s newspaper, The Martlet, and so much more. Now, I am a freelance writer at Flanelle Magazine where every month, I pitch articles and they are published on the website. As a freelancer, I know the ups and downs of the business like the back of my hand, which is why I am dedicated to sharing my own advice.

Here are my 4 tips for new freelancers.

1. Take Advantage of FREE Resources

As a new freelancer, you will not make much money right away which is why you want to keep your expenses at a low cost. However, there are some things every freelance just needs and it differs depending what type of freelancer you are. For example, I need a laptop, I need an application to create graphics on for social media, and I need a website. Some of those things are costly, but others are not! While I cannot get a good laptop for less than $500 or a website domain for less than $100, I can get necessary and helpful tools for free!

Check out my blog post on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS because I include 3 helpful tips and a bunch of cheap or free resources for you to use. These resources are for everything from photo editing and design to SEO and writing related tools. I highly recommend checking it out before spending money you do not need to spend.

2. Become a Pro Networker

Your best opportunities are going to come from personal connections you have made through putting in some effort and networking. They are not going to come from websites like Upwork or Fiverr because there are so many other writers and editors and photographers that have a bit more experience than you. Instead, focus on finding people through past colleagues, family members, friends, etc and the people you meet online. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. Not only can you network with other professionals in your field who might be looking for the work you offer, but LinkedIn also offers a free 1 month trial for their LinkedIn Learning where you can develop a bunch of essential microcredentials like navigating Excel, editing, proofreading, and more!

Here are 3 tips for networking:

  • Be Personable and Personal – Be friendly when you message someone and also make it a personal message. Express your interest in their company or their work and share your own story. Don’t copy and paste the same type of message to every writer or editor or photographer you find on Instagram.
  • Be Active on Your Social Media – When networking, it is essential to be active on your platforms because after reaching out to people, they are going to check out your social media. You want to ensure you have recent posts and content for them to browse through and it shows you are dedicated to your work and brand.
  • Have an Elevator Pitch of Yourself and Your Services – Whether you are networking to meet other likeminded creatives or find a job, you must have an elevator pitch of you and your services ready to go. Here’s an example: My name is Zoe Mathers and I am a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. I have been writing creatively and on my blog for over 5 years. Now, I offer copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, social media content creation, and copywriting services on my freelance website.

3. Be Your Own Cheerleader

When freelancing, you do all the work. You produce the content, you market yourself and your services, and you organize interactions with clients. It is tiring and challenging, but you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to constantly shout about your services and market yourself on your social media platforms. It is especially important to be a super-star cheerleader the 7 or so days leading up to your business launch and the two weeks proceeding your launch. This can get tedious and tiring which is why I recommend scheduling posts in advance and reposting posts you have already created about your services. For some scheduling tools, check out my blog posts on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS.

4. Always Be Willing to Learn and Grow

Even though I have been writing and creating content for years, I am learning new things every day from the people around me and my own experiences. I also am constantly learning because I take Coursera and LinkedIn Learning courses on social media, marketing, writing, editing, and more. These are skills you can always improve and grow, and there are so many free resources you can do this through. You can also learn and grow by just creating and doing so constantly. Get experimental with the content you create and only post things you are proud of (to an extent). The freelance journey means you never know what you are doing and you are always learning. It is one of my favourite things about it!


Those are 4 tips for new freelancers from me and I hope they were helpful! If you are a freelancer and have some more advice, please leave it in the comments below. I will definitely post a part 2 to this as my last tip indicates, I am always learning and growing so I will have more to share in the future.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 6 Books I Want to Read This Summer

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5 Tips for Writing a Novel

Writing a novel isn’t easy, but here are 5 tips to help you out

Happy Monday!

Writing a novel is hard, which is why I have put together 5 tips that will make writing a novel just a little more easier.

Of course, there are the basics that go into writing a novel such as outlining before writing. Outlining includes creating 3D characters, mapping out the world your story takes in, knowing your plot points, etc. However, I will be covering novel writing aspects that you might not think about as often.

Here are my 5 tips for writing a novel.

1. Dedicate a Time & Place for It

This is a basic tip, but it is one of the most important tips out there. If you do not dedicate a specific time and place for writing. In order to write a novel within a reasonable amount of time, you must carve out a certain time to write it and be consistent with following it. For me, my mornings are for writing. That is when I sit down and know it is writing time. I do not sit down only one morning in the week either, every morning where I do not have to work, I use that time for writing.

It is also helpful to have a writing space, or even a few. These are spaces where you sit down and feel inspired to write. Having these spots trains your brain to know that when you sit down there, it is writing time! For me, this is just my desk but I have a nice setup going there with my candle, laptop, and lo-fi music.

2. Know EVERYTHING About Your World

While you do not need to know everything about your plot, it is essential to know everything about your world and characters. You do not need to share everything about your world or characters with the readers (at least, not right away or even ever), but it is important for YOU to know that information. Even if it never gets included in your book!

However, here are 3 things your reader MUST know:

  • Where are the places your story takes place? Describe them for your reader; make it vivid and descriptive
  • How does your world work? Who is in charge? What type of government is it?
  • What are the rules of your world? (This is especially important for fantasy novels)

3. Think of What You Want (or Wanted) to Read and Write It

Think back to when you were younger, or to whenever you pick up a book. What are the things you were hoping for within it? What did the book not have that you wanted? These are things you should think about and write down and then, when you are outlining your plot, include them.

This is why I read lots of books that are similar to my own during the outlining phase. It helps to warmup my mind and prep me for creating a plot that will hold my own attention first, which is crucial when writing a novel!

4. Welcome Surprises and Twists Within Your Story

It is important to follow an outline, but sometimes your story has a mind of its own. These are the times when we have to let our story go where it needs. Often, this makes the story more exciting too. The times where my plot has deviated from the outline created a more thrilling story overall. Those are scenes that felt more natural and less plotted out compared to the scenes I did map out. However, both are important!

Of course, your outline is there for a reason, but if you want to add in a new scene because it feels right, don’t shy away from it!

5. Hold Yourself Accountable, but Don’t Be Too Harsh!

It is nice to have a few friends who can hold you accountable for you writing goals, but I think it is also important for you to hold yourself accountable. Like anything in life, we cannot always rely on others. However, that is not an opening to be harsh on yourself! Be flexible and realistic with yourself, just like you would for a friend that YOU are holding accountable.


Those are 5 tips for writing a novel and I hope they were helpful. If you have any more, leave them below in the comments so we can help each other out!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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How to Save Money When Starting a Business

Your easy guide to saving money through free resources and conscious thinking

Before I get into this blog post about saving money when starting a business, I wanted to announce that I now have a Patreon! If you like my blog posts and want to support me, it would mean so much 🙂

You can check out my Patreon HERE

How do you save money when starting a business? Isn’t it expensive? What if I don’t have much money to spare and put towards my business?

If any of these questions crossed your mind, don’t worry! You don’t need buckets of money to start any business. Sure, having some is needed and how much really depends on what type of business you are starting. However, I have created this guide to help you save money where you can.

This guide is for anyone who is thinking about starting a business, is in the midst of planning their business, and those who already have a business.

Here are 3 tips on how to save money when starting a business.

1. Write Out an Expenses List

You must write out a list of all possible expenses when starting a business. If you don’t know what you have to spend money on, how can you save any? Include everything from domain hosting costs to shipping. These are things that you will most likely not be able to get out of paying, or find a free alternative. But knowing how much money you will need will give you a good idea of how much to save before launching your business or continuing on with it.

Have a number in your head of how much your first month and first year might cost you. This way, you will know how much you need to make back for this to all be worth it.

2. Connect with other Business People

Connecting with other likeminded business people will not only help you create relationships that can benefit your business and theirs, but it can save you money. These are people who are going through what you are, or have. Maybe they have already launched a business or two and have valuable tips and pieces of advice that could save you time and money. It is really worth scrolling through Instagram, finding people who are in a similar field as you, and then reaching out to them with a friendly message. Compliment them on their progress and explain your story.

If you are having trouble making meaningful connections, YouTube is a great resource…and it’s free! So many YouTubers who have started business are on there, posting videos of the Do’s and Don’t’s when starting a business and how to avoid this and that. Here are my recommendations:

3. Do It Yourself!

Do as much of the start-up, planning, and creation yourself (if you can). If you have to create a website, take the time to watch YouTube videos or reach out to friends who can help. Don’t spend money on ads until you are financially able to, instead, focus on being active on social media because it will be way more effective!

Don’t buy anything you don’t NEED right at the moment either. If you don’t need a business plan on your website right away, or don’t need a premium MailChimp plan till later on, hold off until as long as possible. By the time you really need them, hopefully, you have saved up more money and it is easier to fork out!

Basically, be cheap!

12 FREE resources that will save you SO much money.

Design

Canva – This is a great beginner design tool that offers you so much for free. I highly recommend Canva because you can create images specifically for blog headers, Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, and more

PicMonkey – I used to use PicMonkey and I still think it is a great resource! I know it is good for making YouTube thumbnails, so a good tool for any YouTubers out there too

Courses

Coursera – I paid a lot of money for a membership but that is because there were a lot of specializations I wanted to experience that I can’t at my university. However, there are so many amazing free classes and you can audit any class for FREE

Pivot, Passion, Profit Workshop – I am an intern for Gypsy Journals who created this lovely workbook and playback for any creative entrepreneurs looking to thrive in their passions. I highly encourage you to take a look and explore her other courses with Ouiwegirl.com too!

Social Media Organization

HootSuite – This is a social media post scheduler and with their free plan, you can connect 3 social media accounts and post 30 posts a month. That is good enough for me, and it is super easy to set up and use

Later – Another social media planner that I used to use, but switched to Hootsuite just because it was more of what I needed. However, the layout of Later is great and is super helpful overall

Email

MailChimp – MailChimp is SO easy to use and the free plan is so far, all I need. When starting out, building a email following is essential for any business and including a newsletter will help to grow that. Which is why I use this handy tool

SEO & Writing

Google Keyword Planning – helps you find keywords that are popular and will lead people to your website/posts

Nibbler – gives you a popularity and effectiveness report on whatever website you enter

Grammarly – if you are writing lots, you have to have Grammarly. Especially if you are doing all the writing yourself! Grammarly ensures your writing is grammatically correct and consistent

Invoices

Invoicely – A free invoicing tool for small businesses and not to mention, it is simple to use! With invoicing, I look for simplicity which is why I like Invoicely

PayPal – I love PayPal and sometimes use it depending on the client, however, its free plan isn’t the best for businesses. It is still good to have free account with them though

When starting a business, it is important to be thorough, conscious, and critical. Not all businesses make their money back right away and you need to keep that in mind. That is why when starting a business, it is good to keep your expenses to a minimum until you are seeing progress.

When you finally start making money back, that is when you can spend it on premium plans and tools that will make your life easier. However, until then, the free options are here for you and honestly, they are pretty great!


I hope you found this post helpful and that it will save you money in the future. If you have any other free tools and resources, drop them in the comments below please!

And don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

5 essential tips and tricks for beginner and experienced creative entrepreneurs alike

Happy Friday!

What is a creative entrepreneur?

A creative entrepreneur is someone who uses their creative skills to make money such as vlogging, freelancing, writing, etc.

Since I freelance write and edit, and am always doing side projects for some cash, I am what you consider a creative entrepreneur. Are you? Or is a creative entrepreneur the type of job you aspire towards? Whatever the answer is, I will be sharing crucial tips and advice for new creative entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs, and those of you who want to become a creative entrepreneur and make money doing what you LOVE.

DETERMINE YOUR REGIONS OF CREATIVITY

It is important to determine the creative regions that you want to focus on and grow into a successful business. The wonderful thing about being a creative entrepreneur is that you do not have to stick to one creative pursuit…you can be known for many! For example, Kristen Martin is a vlogger, business coach, writer, and I am sure there are a couple other titles thrown in there too. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you have the freedom to be creative and aspire to the careers you want.

If you are just starting out, write down 1-3 creative careers you want to work on. For me, that would be freelance writing and editing. Those are still my two main ones that I am constantly growing and spending time on. It helps to keep my “eyes on the prize” so to say.

5 TIPS FOR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

1. WRITE DOWN SHORT-TERM & LONG-TERM GOALS

One of the first things you must determine about your business is what are your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want achieve? Whether it is something small like reach 10 clients by the end of my first month or something big, like collaborate with Nike by the end of my second year (I don’t know, something crazy like that!), you must carve some sort of path you want to take your business down.

When creating these goals, include DEADLINES and STEPS THAT OUTLINE HOW YOU WILL REACH THEM. Otherwise, your goals might not go anywhere.

2. CREATE A FUND & BUDGET

Drop everything right NOW and set up some sort of system (bank account, jar, etc) that allows you to put money towards your business every week, month, or whatever works best for you. It is also crucial to curate some sort of budget. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but make a list of possible fees and expenses you might come across in your business journey. This is especially helpful in the beginning of your business.

If you find that you are able to launch your business for only a small cost, use whatever is in your fund for a cushion or emergency funds for your business.

Do not think that you have to pour bucketloads of money into your business fund every month. Look at everything you have to pay for like bills, food, utilities, transportation, etc and figure out what you have left to spare. For me, I only work 2 times a week so I only contribute $40-50 a month. However much I end up putting into this account, it is nice to have money that is specifically for my freelance business to use if I want to run ads or update my WordPress plan.

3. BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media will be the best place for you to share and grow your creative business. Depending on your business, different social medias will be the best choice for you but try to focus on no more than 2. If you attempt to be active on more than 2, you will stretch yourself thin and quickly burnout. You want to create new and fun content for your followers and the less accounts you must do this for, the easier it will be.

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What Social Media is Best for YOU?

Writer – Instagram, Twitter

Artist – Instagram, Pinterest

Crafter, DIYer – Pinterest, Instagram

Vlogger – Instagram, YouTube

Blogger – Instagram, Twitter, WordPress/Wix/etc,

Business Coach – Instagram, WordPress/Wix/etc, Twitter

However, you choose where you think your platform will flourish! These are just suggestions.

4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT NOW

Whether you are a part-time creative entrepreneur who still has a job, or a full-time creative entrepreneur, your time management skills will make or break your business.

When you are working another job, it is important to not let your creative side hustle take over the job that makes you money! Starting out, your profit as a creative entrepreneur will be small and slow. That is why having a main source of income is necessary. Ensure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of starting a new business and forget to focus on the job that pays the bills.

Excellent time management is also important for full-time creative entrepreneurs because you need to define the line between work and life. I know for me, when I am working on projects I love such as freelance writing and editing, I get so caught up in it that I forget to take breaks and live my life. At the beginning of your business, this isn’t the worst thing, but as your business settles into a steady rhythm, you have to know what hours of the day are spent on your business and what hours are spent enjoying life.

5. TOOLS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

There is a LOT of behind-the-scenes work that goes into being a creative entrepreneur. From posting on social media, keeping track of your goals to creating content, there are so many tools at your fingertips that will make your life so much easier. Here is a list of my favourites!

Hootsuite – This is a tool for scheduling social media posts. The free plan allows you to connect up to 3 social media accounts to the site and create posts through there.

Trello – Keeping all your content ideas, goals, and notes in one place saves SO much time when you are doing everything for your business which is why I love Trello. You can create boards for different projects and add to-do lists, notes, pictures, etc all in one easy-to-access place.

Colorpick Eyedropper – If you are creating content on Canva, Photoshop, or some other application, this tool is super helpful. If you want to know what colour something is when browsing online or admiring the profile of another creative entrepreneur, Colorpick Eyedropper allows you to find out what the colour is. It’s super easy. You just click it (it is a chrome extension so you have to download it) and hover the cursor over what colour you want to receive the code for.

Wordtracker – This is for SEO and finding out what words/phrases are being searched up. If you write blog posts, captions, bios, etc, this will help drive traffic to whatever you create. There is a free version, however it is pretty limited. This is something that would be a great business investment!

Canva – If you want to create your own ads, social media posts, Instagram stories, etc, Canva is a MUST. It offers you a user-friendly place to create eye-catching graphics…and it’s FREE!


Those are all my tips and pieces of advice for starting and developing your creative business. I hope they were helpful and inspiring! If you have any others, share them in the comments and spread the knowledge.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Beginner’s Guide to Greek Mythology (part 2)

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Self-Care for the Creative

A guide to practicing self-care as a creative

Happy Monday!

Do you struggle with taking time off and away from your work? Do you often feel overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious? This guide on how to self-care as a creative will help you lead a better balanced life.

This guide includes tips, practices, and advice on how to incorporate self-care into your busy schedule, and how to ensure you implement it into your every single day. This is your reminder that self-care is the key to your success, not the downfall. Working 10 hours straight will only bring you to burnout.

Trust me, I would know.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

Asking yourself why self-care is important is like asking why we eat and drink. It’s because we need to! We need self-care to replenish our bodies and minds after a long workday.

A lot of people misunderstand what self-care is. Not that it is a difficult concept, but no, scrolling on your phone is not self-care! Watching a movie or TV show can be, but only if you are not multitasking while doing so. If you are unsure if what you are doing is self-care, then ask yourself if it is benefitting you. Will it relax you? Re-energize you? Entertain you? If any of these are a yes, then it probably is!

Just make sure you are using your designated self-care time to practice self-care. Do not mix it with some other activity because it is the time where you will focus on you and how you feel.

3 Tips On Self-Care for the Creative

1. Self-Care Time Must Be Scheduled In

Just like any activity, it is hard to practice self-care if you do not enforce a designated time for it. How you schedule it in is up to you! It can be broken up into portions throughout the day, like an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the evening. Or, it can be one, long unwind session at the end of your day. Personally, that is what I like to do. I do what I can to finish before it is too late in the evening and spend the rest of my night taking a bath, reading, watching a TV show, and just relaxing. No work-related tasks, including social media like Instagram and Twitter! I’ve scheduled it into my evenings, and you must do that to!

2. Combine Self-Care + Bettering Yourself

Reading, listening to Podcasts, and working out are 3 examples of how you can combine self-care and bettering yourself. They still tend to your body and mind, but improve your well-being and overall self. It doesn’t matter if you are reading a YA fiction novel, or listening to a true crime podcast. It all educates you one way or another. Self-care doesn’t always have to be about bettering yourself, but it is nice to incorporate this kind of it every once and a while.

3. Create a List of Self-Care Activities

If you have a list of things you can do during your self-care time, it ensures you won’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. I have a bullet journal page with all my activities on it in separate categories: body, mind, soul (which is inspired by the info graphic above I found on Instagram!), and I think that is a fun way to create your list. Have anywhere from 5-10 activities per category and you will be set for your next self-care session.

10 Self-Care Activities for Creative

  • Read a book! Need recommendations? Check out THIS blog post
  • Go on a walk
  • Spa night (bath, face mask, candles, etc)
  • Listen to a podcast! Need recommendations? Click HERE to check out my 4 podcast recs for creatives
  • Binge the Harry Potter movies! Or some other nostalgic series
  • Journal
  • Create a playlist or two
  • Buy a colouring book and colour!
  • Workout
  • Re-decorate your workspace

Those are all my tips, tricks, and advice for practicing self-care for the creative, and I hope you found them helpful! Remember to carve out time and enjoy it. Focus self-care time on self-care.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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7 Tips for Conquering Camp NaNoWriMo

Your in-depth guide to achieving your goals and winning Camp NaNoWriMo

Happy Friday!

Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, which is why I will be sharing 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo this July.

What I like about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you get to set your own goal. Instead of a word goal, you can have a page goal or even an hour-related goal. It allows you to really tailor it to what you can honestly achieve. Don’t feel forced to try and reach the 50,000 words in one month goal. Do 20,000 or even less if you want!

Even with a flexible goal, it can be hard to make the time to write. Especially with everything going on in the world right now. I recommend using your writing time as you hour or two in the day to escape. While it is essential to be present during some of the crises we face today, it is important to know when to take a breather. Channel all the anxiety, fear, and anger you are feeling into your writing and enjoy your absence from our crazy world for a little bit.

Read on to explore the other 7 tips I have for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo.

1. Spend Time Creating an Outline

Having a guide to what you are supposed to write, and where you are supposed to take your story is one of the main things you MUST do in order to win Camp NaNoWriMo. Even if you are like me and consider yourself a pantser, try and write out the main points of your story and characters in some tangible form. That way, if you don’t feel like writing or don’t know where to start, you will be able to turn to that outline and feel comforted that at least past you knew where the story must go.

If you don’t enjoy outlining, carve out an hour each day for a week or so to spend on your outline. Include an Act I, II, and III with at least 5 major events that occur in each one. Spend time thinking about your characters too. Who are they, what do they like, what are they afraid of? (Check out below for some key questions to ask your characters!) You can make outlining fun too. Put on some music or a podcast and break out your stash of coloured pens and highlighters. I love colour coding when outlining because when you look at your outline during a writing session, it will be easier to find what you are looking for.

2. Install Writing Triggers

Writing triggers are great for getting your mind and body in the writing zone. A writing trigger can be anything from a certain beverage you only drink when it is writing time, or a playlist that you curated specifically for writing. They ensure that when you drink them or smell them or hear them, you will feel obligated to write and hopefully, have a good writing session.

My writing trigger is any lo-fi music, but I do enjoy the Chilled Cow the most. Usually I will just plop my headphones and listen to the Spotify playlist, but sometimes I will play the YouTube videos. They are relaxing and a nice background noise to ensure my mind doesn’t wander because this is the biggest problem I face when writing!

3. Complete a Trial Week of Writing

Before July, take a week the month before to test out your writing schedule. This will show you if it will actually work in your day-to-day life, or if you need to choose a different time of day. Make sure you spend 7 consecutive days testing out your writing schedule. Don’t skip a day or two in between! If you realize your schedule isn’t working, you will save yourself SO much time instead of discovering this when you are actually supposed to be writing. This trial week also serves as a great writing warm-up!

How to Find a Writing Time That Works for YOU:

  • Ask yourself, “When do I have the most free time?” because this might be when you need to be writing!
  • Decide if you are more of a morning or night person. This will tell you when you are most creative and productive.
  • Ask yourself, “Do I work better in writing sprints or straight working sessions?” because this will ensure you get the MOST out of your writing time.

4. Aim Lower…You’ll Achieve More

As backwards as this sounds, it is true. If you sit down knowing you need to write like 1,200 words, you might feel a bit intimidated. If you tell yourself that yes, 1,200 words would be nice but for now, I will just try to hit 1,000 words, there is a good chance you will be able to surpass that. This is because once you hit that 1,000 words mark, you will realize another 200 isn’t too bad. You are already warmed up and the creative juices are flowing, so what’s another 10 or 20 minutes?

5. Reward Yourself

I discuss having a reward system often because it is so important and a huge contributing factor to your success during Camp NaNoWriMo. You need to curate your reward system according to you. For example, some people enjoy experiencing some small rewards after every writing session like a special coffee from the coffee shop or a TV episode. On the other hand, others will enjoy larger rewards after a successful week like going to see a movie or taking an afternoon off.

Rewarding yourself will encourage you to keep writing. It will show you that all your hard work does pay off, thus making you want to keep doing it! Make sure you set limits to your rewards and also guidelines. If you want to have a big reward at the end of each week, how many words minimum do you have to write? Or in your daily sessions, how many words do you have to write? You must know this before you reward yourself, otherwise you will be tossing out rewards left and right, or none at all!

6. Join a Writer’s Group

The great thing about social media is that you have a community right at your fingertips. This is incredibly helpful amidst all of this COVID-19 chaos. Whether you join a group of likeminded writers who are also participating in Camp NaNoWriMo on Twitter or Instagram, having others who will hold you accountable to your goals will help you conquer Camp NaNo.

Check in with each other at the end of each day and discuss if you achieved your goal for that day or if you didn’t and why. These people can help you work through your struggles and offer you advice because most likely, whatever you are feeling regarding writing, someone else in your group has experienced it too. That is the great thing about forming a community. You will feel less alone in this lonely passion and having those connections will encourage you to write even more!

7. Remember that Camp NaNo is Fun!

Remember that the only person truly holding you accountable is yourself. Don’t hold yourself to insane standards, but also do not let yourself slide too much within your goals. Achieve what you can, work hard, but enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, Camp NaNoWriMo is an event where you set your own goals and spend time doing what you love: writing!

Ask yourself: “If I don’t hit my Camp NaNo goal, what will happen?”

Nothing! It just means you have more of your story to write, but guess what? You (probably) have lots of time left to do that in next month and the month after that!

Camp NaNoWriMo (@CampNaNoWriMo) | Twitter

Those are my 7 tips for conquering Camp NaNoWriMo and I hope you enjoyed. If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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How to: Not Overwhelm Yourself

5 tips to leading a balanced and productive life

Happy Monday!

Balancing work, life, and downtime is no simple task and it is easy to completely overwhelm yourself. That is why I am here to share 5 tips and steps I take to take control of my time and find the perfect balance.

This is geared towards those of us working at home, or just anyone who enjoys taking on multiple projects at a time while juggling everything else life has to offer. This would still be helpful to anyone who is busy and looking for some tips to avoid overwhelming yourself.

As a creative who enjoys working on multiple projects at once, I will be the first to admit that I often overwhelm myself. I am trying to get better at it which is why I wanted to make this post. It forced me to sit down and think about the things I wanted to change in my life to make it more balanced. Sometimes…well, often times, I take on too much and I am sure any other creative can agree. Since the things I work on (for the most part, give or take a few projects) are projects I genuinely enjoy like writing and social media, a lot of times I forget that it is still “work” and time-consuming. However, even if we enjoy our work, we need to take breaks and not let it consume all the hours of our day.

Learn how to get your work done while still taking time for yourself and live a balanced life with these 5 tips for not overwhelming yourself

1. Take a Look at Your Projects: What Can Stay and What Can Go?

The first reason you might be feeling overwhelm is because you are working on too many things! Which is why you need to make a list of everything you are working on and figure out if anything can go, or be postponed.

For example, I post blogs 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) but because I have so many exciting projects on my plate, I decided it was best to cut it down to 2 times a week for the time being (Mondays and Fridays). I love writing for my blog and posting to it, but sometimes, we have to make sacrifices for the sake of our sanity. However, I am not too sad about it because it is only temporary. Once I finish up some current projects, I am hoping to return to posting 3 times a week.

When you make your list of projects, sort them by priority. If one of the projects involves your actual paying job, whatever that is, that should be your top priority because other people are expecting it to get done and it pays your bills. Figure out where your other projects fall after that, all in order of importance and/or urgency to least important and/or least urgent. Cut the 1 or 2 at the bottom off, or move them to the “save for later” pile. Ensure that you include at least 1 passion project though! This way, you will still be doing something you love and can look forward to making time for it during the day.

2. Set Your Work Day + Break Times

It is important to know when you are working and when you are not, especially if you are working at home and/or running your own business. I know it sounds silly and obvious, but a big contributing fact to me feeling overwhelmed is because I work until I feel “done.” This knocks any source of balance out of my life because my workday can go on until the minutes before I go to sleep.

Does a 9-5 workday not work for you? That’s okay, because while I used to do that, lately it hasn’t been working for me. Whatever time you want to start working, as long as you end it 8-9 hours later, having that normal work schedule (and sticking to it) will positively impact your mental health and sanity. Remember that this work schedule is for weekdays. I highly recommend trying to avoid working on weekends. Or, at least don’t make it a habit.

It is also important to schedule in your break time. This is something I am a rookie at because I will sit at my desk for hours, only breaking when I feel hungry or need go to the bathroom. In reality, you need to take at least an hour and a half of a break each workday.

3. Use a Planner

Organizing your projects and their deadlines is the key to leading a balanced life. You can use a paper planner or digital one like Google Calendars. I alternate between both and sometimes use them at the same time. Sit down with your planner at the end of each week, or the beginning, and plan the week ahead. Include your project deadlines as well as when you want to hit certain milestones within the project. For example, say you want to write 50,000 words in a month and you include a weekly goal of 10,000 words by every Sunday. Make sure you write that down!

Some other productivity tools I like to use to manage my projects and keep myself organized (and sane) are Trello and Hootsuite. I love Trello because it allows you to make different boards and then it lays out your tasks or goals in visually appealing way. You can easily move things around and add other boards too. On the other hand, Hootsuite lets me manage my social media posts. I take advantage of the free plan and have linked my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to it. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts and create them on their website. I’ve only recently begun using it, but so far it has freed up so much time in my day.

4. Come Up with a List of Break Activities

When it is finally time for you to take a step back and relax during the workday, you should curate a list of activities that you can do so you don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. Some things on my list are:

  • Read a book
  • Watch TV
  • Bullet journal
  • FaceTime a friend
  • Go on a walk

Add as many things to the list as you want, but having one ready to go will save you valuable break time. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at the photo below and try to tailor your break time activities to things that take care of your mind, body, and soul. It will ensure you get the most out of your break time!

5. Enforce an End Time

Figuring out when to end your day is crucial, otherwise you will keep working until the sun goes down and your eyelids are sagging with exhaustion. Whether that is 5 pm or 8 pm, choose a time and stick to it. Since I’ve been starting my workday later (at around 12 pm), my end time is now 8 or 9 pm. But no later than 9 pm!

Having an end time also helps to prevent burnout. If you keep chugging along into the night, there is a good chance you won’t feel as productive the next day. Slow and steady wins the race; remember that, because I know I have to remind myself of this all the time. It is better to consistently work 8 hours 5 days a week rather than 10 hours one day and only 4 hours the next. So, find an end time that works for you and stick to it.


Those are my 5 tips on how to not feel overwhelmed while keeping productive. I hope you found them helpful! If you have any other tips, don’t hesitate to leave them down below.

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Tips for Succeeding as a Creative

5 tips for achieving success in your creative field and enjoying the process.

Happy Friday!

There is no clear path for a creative, which is why I wanted to share my 5 helpful tips for succeeding in a creative field. When you choose a creative career, you are also accepting a path that will take you down unexpected twists and turns. You are accepting that failure will knock you down often. You are accepting that your success will look different than your favourite author, artist, photographer, etc.

While we are told that success in a creative field is rare, I don’t believe that is true. Scratch that, I know that’s not true. At a young age, I have found various forms of success already that comfort me in my decision to choose a creative career, and continue choosing it. I feel confident that with all the time, effort, and work I’ve poured into my writing, I will continue to find success as a creative.

Success for me has looked like this:

  • Winning writing contests
  • Short stories published
  • Large portfolio of published articles
  • Continuous freelance projects: editing, re-typing, etc
  • A responsive community on my social media and blog

So many opportunities have arisen in my creative career already, and I am only 18 years old! That means you too can easily find success as a creative.

Here are my 5 tips for finding success as a creative

1. Constantly Produce Content

The first thing you need to do is to keep all your content in a portfolio and continue to constantly produce content for it. Have a lot of it too. Having that one “brilliant” story idea is not enough in this highly competitive field! As a creative, you need to always be at your laptop, writing. Or at your easel, painting. Or behind your camera, taking photos. Whenever you have the time, even if you don’t feel inspired, you should spend time creating content and expanding your ever-increasing portfolio of work. If one piece doesn’t work out, guess what! You have several others to pick and choose from and then throw out into the world.

It is important to diversify your content too. For example, I am a writer and at first, my portfolio only consisted of fiction short stories. Now, it is filled with more stories but also articles, blog posts, social media posts, and newsletters. I also have manuscript editing experience. It all relates to my core passion of writing, but I display expertise in so many forms of writing. Check out my blog post on how I organize all my content HERE for more info. This is the driving force behind all my success and opportunities that I’ve been offered, and the opportunities that have found me without having to search for them. The point is, the more content you have and the more you make it public, the easier it is for you and success to meet up at some middle point!

2. Choose 2 Social Media Platforms to Grow

As a creative, social media is essential to your success because it is how others will find your portfolio and how you will network with other creative minds. I recommend really focusing in on 2 platforms because otherwise, it gets a little much. Feel free to make your creativity known on several platforms, but pour your energy into posting on 2 at the most.

Before choosing your social media platforms, consider these tips:

  • Which platforms do you gravitate to already?
  • Google what platforms are best for your creative passion
  • Research what days and times are the best to post on those platforms
  • Make posting/being active on social media part of your weekly routine (you should post as much as possible, but also don’t overload your audience!)
  • Plan out some ideas of what you will post. What type of content? What photos? What captions?

Instagram and Twitter are popular platforms for writers, and while I am active on Instagram, I despise Twitter. I have to force myself to post on it every once and a while because if I don’t, I will never post! That is why I have been switching over to Pinterest lately. I enjoy the creativity Pinterest requires, similar to Instagram. It is exciting to post to Pinterest and because of that, I actually do it!

Grow your social media presence, connect with other creative minds, and it will be much easier for success to meet you.

3. Spend Time Replenishing Your Creativity

On the path to finding success, you have to make an effort to replenish your creativity so you have the energy to continue working and creating. This means watching movies, reading books, looking at art, etc.

This is something else you should schedule in daily! Whether it is thirty minutes or an hour, make it a priority to inspire and spark your creativity. Lately, I have been spending my mornings reading or watching movies. I have changed my working time to starting in the early afternoon and ending in the later evening because I was finding it hard to remember to replenish my creative well. This way, I am doing it first thing in the morning and starting my day off right.

4. Set Short-Term + Long-Term Goals

It is crucial to have goals for everything you are trying to achieve, but it is also important to have a plan of action for these goals otherwise they mean nothing.

For example, if you want to reach 1,000 followers on Instagram that is great but how are you going to do it? Are you going to follow a certain amount of people every day? Are you going to post every day or every second day? Are you going to determine who your audience is so you can post content they will like? These are the action steps you must think about and plan in order to achieve that goal of reaching 1,000 followers.

Sit down with a notebook and write out all the goals you want to achieve in the next few months, and then in the next few years. This will help you gain a clear idea of what steps you need to take in your career to achieve these. This also means you will most likely see results faster! Check back in with these goals every month and see if you achieved them, or are well on your way to doing so. Adjust things if you are not close to succeeding in them until you are.

5. Get Used to Failure

Failure is inevitable as a creative. Even if you’ve been faced with it 5 times already, failure will find you again. I was greeted by failure for the first time regarding my writing when I was 13 years old. I had sent short stories to a few contests but only got the mass email that read: “Thank you for submitting to our contest, unfortunately, your story has not been chosen…” Does this sound familiar to you? Well, if it doesn’t, it soon will be!

Failure is something I am used to now. Yes, it still stings but I take it as a hint that I need to work on my writing a little more. My writing can always be stronger. But no matter what, I always pick myself up after facing that rejection or failure and push forwards. It has never once discouraged me from submitting to other contests or literary magazines. It has never once made me feel like a was an awful writer because rejection from a contest or literary magazine does not mean that! Rejection and failure mean that you gave your art to the wrong person, but the right person is still out there.

That is why it is important to follow the previous tips because when you have that portfolio of work to share, and that social media following it will allow you to find the right place for your art.

I recommend checking out my Instagram account because I began a series called “So you wanna be a writer?” that touches on finding opportunity, learning from rejection, and overall, pursuing creativity. The posts (there are 2 currently) are filled with tips and tricks for doing so. Click below to read them!

HOW MY WRITING JOURNEY STARTED: THE IMPORTANCE OF PUTTING TIME INTO YOUR WRITING AND TRUSTING YOUR SKILLS

SEEKING OPPORTUNITY


Those are 5 tips for succeeding as a creative. I hope they were helpful because pursuing creativity is not always easy but that is the fun of it!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 6 Books By Black Authors I NEED to Read

  

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