2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 3: Reading Update!

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Hmm, so didn’t get as much reading done as I hoped, however I did finish listening to Peter Pan! I had just over an hour left so I went for a walk and finished it off. Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend listening to it in audiobook format! As it neared the end, I got really invested in the story and had a blast listening to it. I also finished The One by Kiera Cass which I am happy yet sad about, because these books just are so fluffy and make me feel all warm inside. There was only 70 pages left so I flew through the last few pages in like 30 minutes, however I did listen to 3 chapters in audiobook format because while I was walking around, I finished Peter Pan a bit earlier than expected so I gave it a shot and really, really liked it! Once I finished The One, I did not pick up another book on my TBR because before the readathon, I was reading On Writing by Stephen King, and since I only had about 100 pages left, I decided to pick it up and quickly finish it since I am currently on track with the readathon! It is day 3 and I have successfully read 3 books. Tomorrow, I think I am going to pick up All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, for the challenge of reading a book you don’t know much about. I was going to pick up The Book Thief, however it doesn’t fit with any of the challenge I have left…if I have time at the end of the readathon I will read it though, otherwise I will start it once the readathon is over!

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Day 2&3 Reading Count:

Books Finished: 2

Pages Read: 395

That is all for my day 3 reading update for the winter Biannual Bibliothon, and I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check out my blogging challenge for today: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 3: Favourite Winter Scene and be ready for my new post tomorrow!

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Reading/Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I am currently working my way through Stephen King’s “On Writing” and continuously thinking why I haven’t read this sooner. A year ago I took it out from the library but never got around to actually read it, and then this last month I put my name on the waiting list for it, got it again and decided to give it a try. Surprise! I am loving it. I am just over half way through and if all goes to plan I will finish it before the day is done because it is that good! The next book I really want to read is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare…it would be a re read but I just really, really want to dive back into the world of Shadowhunters and also want to see the amazing characters in this book. Hopefully I will be able to finish Lady Midnight before the 20th, because I have decided to take part in the 2018 Biannual Bibliothon! I will have my TBR up soon as well as more info on this week long readathon, but I cannot wait for it to begin.

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Lately I have been writing so, so much which is amazing and I love it, however I do think last night I overworked myself. The past three days I have been writing at all hours of they day possible, but today I think I will just write later in the evening and try and resort back to my usual writing routine because sadly, I do have other things to get done…like my school work!

That is all for my reading/writing routine and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: My Writing Routine!

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Twitter: @zoermathers

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Balancing Writing with a Writing Life

What I mean by “Balancing Writing with a Writing Life” is balancing your writing when your life is already filled with writing. For example, I am a high school student. I love to write my fiction stories and creative essays, but I also have to write essays and stories for school, and a lot of the time I feel creatively drained when I come home and sit down to write. Sometimes I can push through it, and force myself to write, but a lot of the times I give up for the night and say I will write tomorrow instead. I mean I already wrote an essay on Lord of the Flies for English today, so how about I give myself a break for today? This is okay some of the time, but if you let it, it will become a pattern of you putting off your writing due to the other writing you do daily. It may be because of school or your job so you have to do it, so here are some tips on balancing out your writing.

Set Aside Time in the Morning or Late Evening

This is obvious, but I had to get it out of the way. If you feel too drained when you come home from work or school to write, write in the morning before you go to work or school, or write a few hours after you get home. I know I feel super drained when I come home so I turn on Netflix for an hour or so, or YouTube or even sometimes read, and then by six or seven in the evening I am feeling better and ready to write! Don’t let your tiredness stop you, just allow yourself the few hours to rest because there is still time in the day to write.

Make a Writing Plan

If you have a plan for your writing and you know where you want to go that day, it will be so much easier to sit down at your computer and write. You know where you have to go, what plot points you have to hit and where you can end for the day. Without a plan, you will feel lost and have no idea how to start (well sometimes) and guess what? You will probably just give up for the day and try again tomorrow. But no, we don’t want that. Have a plan, write it and then you are done for the day!

Dividing Up Your Writing Time

While your writing for school or work is really important, and you should put a lot of focus on it, your own writing is also really important because it is what you love! It doesn’t deserve to be pushed off to the side. There are some exceptions of course, like if you have finals or really important report you need to give to your boss tomorrow, but if its just homework, don’t let it bully you into leaving your writing for tomorrow. Divide up your time. Work on your paper for thirty minutes and then switch over to your own writing project. Do whatever feels right to you but just don’t ignore your writing, otherwise you won’t get anything accomplished with it!

Replenish Your Creative Well Often

I looove replenishing my “creative well”, as us artists say. It is fun and inspiring and relaxing. Replenishing your creative well can mean a variety of things like: blogging, reading, watching TV/movies, listening to music…really anything like that. It is so important to do this daily, especially after using your brain all day (whether you are using it creatively or not), but sometimes we get carried away and spend too much time replenishing our creative wells…In my opinion spending anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour is a good amount, but much more than that can lead to you never writing. Know when it is too much and you will be fine!

Partake in Activities That Do Not Require Much Creativity 

For me, this means going to the gym or hanging out with friends, and it is my time in the day where I can let loose and just relax. I am not worrying about my school work or feeling guilty about not writing at that exact moment, I am just existing! So try this out. Spend again, like an hour or so participating in something that doesn’t involve your creativity as much as writing, or even much of your brain. Go for a run or a walk, go shopping at the mall…the list is endless.

Those are 5 tips/tricks to balancing your writing when you already live a writing infused life. I hope they were helpful and that you enjoy it, and if you did please like this blog post so I know! Also, if you want me to check out your blog please put it in the comments because I am on the hunt for new blogs 🙂

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Jan + Feb 2018 Biannual Goals!

2018 is a year that has to be productive writing/reading/creative wise because the past two years have not been as exciting and productive as I would have hoped. I see a lot of AuthorTubers doing biannual goals and it got me really inspired to start doing them and share them with you guys so I stay accountable! As long as I complete 75% of my goals I will consider myself successful and hopefully I don’t get under that.

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For January and February, I have a total of 7 somewhat lofty goals which means I have to complete a minimum of 6:

  1. Submit to 6 Literary Magazines – Yes this is a lot but I really want to haveImage result for writing a strong first two months to 2018 and I know I can complete this goal, or at least get close to it. There are just so many literary magazines looking for submissions and so many I want to enter!
  2. Submit to 2 Writing Contests – Yep…more writing but like I mentioned in my “5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable” it is important to strive for goals that are not too far out of reach, but still take you out of your comfort zone. Submitting these many stories definitely does that, but I know I will be able to get very close because obviously I love to write!
  3. Read 12 Books – Again, this goal is a lot. Especially since the end of January is the dreaded midterm Image result for readingseason for me. However, my reading goal for 2018 is 75 books and in order to do that I have to read 6 books a month so…yeah I need to read a lot!
  4. Publish 30 Blog Posts – Lately I have been flooded with new blog post ideas and my usual 3 blog posts a week just isn’t cutting it for me anymore! I need to write more and publish more each week so I have been thinking of resorting back to my 6 blog posts a week schedule so fingers crossed I can keep it up when school starts again next week.
  5. Journal 5x a Week – I love to journal. I find it relieving of stress and anxiety which is something I really, really need during the school time. During school I am really good at keeping up with journalling so I am sure I will be able to exceed this goal, but considering my other goals are pretty lofty, I want to be relax with the rest.
  6. Complete 3 Units of Creative Writing – I currently take a creative writing class online and have been slacking the past month. I love this class and really want to give it a lot of focus now and hopefully finish it pretty soon!Image result for gym
  7. Work Out 2x a Week – I hate going to the gym. However, I enjoy it while I am there and usually don’t leave for another two hours which is great! But getting myself there, especially during the school year is torture so despite going to the gym only 2 days isn’t a lot, I know it won’t be easy.

Those are my 7 goals for the months of January and February and I hope you enjoyed! I hope the first two months of 2018 are productive and fun and exciting for you, and comment below any goals you have for this year. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Reading/Writing Update!

(Again these are NOT my pictures and I do not take credit for them 🙂 )

Reading/Writing Update!

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I have read 3 books this week…crazy I know right. And they weren’t rereads either! Each one I really enjoyed, and have just made me more motivated to read. The last book I finished was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and I picked it up at around 9pm and finished it at 12am. It was so good I couldn’t put it down (except for the collective twenty minutes I had to get ready for bed and clean my room) but it was just so gripping I had to know how it would end. I don’t know exactly what to pick up next…I feel like an easy contemporary but I also kind of want to start on This Savage Song…hmm. I think I am going to pick up This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab because I have heard nothing but AMAZING things about it so I am curious to see if it lives up to the hype. Also this is my first Victoria/V.E. Scwab book so yay!

As for writing, I have been writing about 1000 words a day since Thursday, and am loving getting back into writing. Last night after finishing We Were Liars, I could not sleep because one, I was too sad and two, I really wasn’t tired at all, so I got my laptop and started writing. I wrote until about 2am and finished with just over 1000 words which I was really happy about. From past writing experiences I have realized that if I get the urge to write, I need to just write because otherwise it can be really hard to get myself to sit down and write. It is easy once I get going, but as they say, starting is the hardest part.

That is all for my reading/writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable

P.S. All the pictures I use in my heading and blog posts are NOT mine. I do not take credit for them because I am an awful photographer, but if you are the owner or know the owner of any of the photos I use please tell me so I can give them credit!

5 Goals Every Writer Should Set + How to Stay Accountable

It is essential to have goals if you are a writer, especially if you plan on going somewhere with your writing. Most important though, it is essential to actually stick to those goals because otherwise you won’t find yourself where you want to be by the time the next year comes rolling around, and trust me, it will come a lot faster than anticipated. A lot of people make the mistake of setting these massive goals and then giving up two weeks into the new year, so today I will be sharing some of my personal ideas, goals and tips centered around creating and sticking to writing related goals!

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  1. Write Everyday – If you are a writer, you probably already write everyday. I know I do, even if it is not related to my fiction writing. Writing everyday includes writing a story, essay, blog post, or even a journal entry, really anything that relates to using your writing muscle. This is a really easy goal to make, and honestly it may be the easiest one to keep up with. Just set aside anywhere between ten minutes to even an hour in the morning, afternoon or evening and write in your journal or even a quick blog post. The point is, to be a writer, you have to actually write.
  2. Submit to At Least One Literary Magazine or Writing Contest – It amazes me how many people don’t take the opportunity to submit their work to literary magazines or writing contests, especially if it is completely free for you to do! Submitting your work to magazines is a great way to get your name and work out there and the writing world, and even possibly make some money off of the thing you love to do. If you need some recommendations for literary magazines to submit to, definitely check out my blog post where I share 10 literary magazines that are completely free to submit to!
  3. Read, Read, Read – This is an obvious one, but it is one that needs to be  enforced because sometimes we get so caught up with our writing that we forget to read. Reading helps motivate and inspire us to write, and is an essential ingredient to creating a story. Even if you are caught up in writing your own story, don’t forget to crack open a book even if it is just for 15 minutes a day.
  4. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo/NaNoWriMo – Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo give you the motivation (and excuse) to write during the month of July and November, and give you a reason to connect with other writers from around the world. Even if you do not reach the goal of 50k words in a month, as long as NaNoWriMo gets you to write something I see that as a huge success! So definitely add participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo to your goals for 2018 because it is such a fun and beneficial experience. it will amaze you how much of a manuscript you can get done in a short period of time.
  5. Connect With Other Writers – This had never been a goal of mine until this year, when I realized how important it is to connect with other writers. Writing is a lonely task, and if you have someone else to discuss writing with, it will make it less lonely. Also, by connecting with other writers you can share your work with each other, get feedback and learn how to give feedback too; all things that benefit and create a well-rounded writer!

BeFunky Design

When it comes to staying accountable to your goals, it is important to one, create goals that are not too far out of reach, but just far enough to get you out of your comfort zone and two, create goals that you control the outcome of. By this I mean not writing down I resolve to win one writing contest this year…because while that would be amazing, you are not in control of who the judges choose. Instead, choose a broader goal like I resolve to enter one writing contest this year. Now that is something you can control. And finally third, create goals but also create a plan to achieve those goals. It is easy to write down I resolve to enter one writing contest this year, but how are you going to actually do this? Are you going to write everyday for two weeks before the contest? Are you going to start editing three days before? These are important things to think of when writing down your goals, and it will make them so much easier to achieve when you know exactly how you are going to do it.

Ways I stay accountable to my goals are by treating myself to a reward if I write everyday for a week, or accomplish a goal by submitting different pieces of work to a few literary magazines or writing contests. If you reward yourself, you will find yourself feeling more motivated to accomplishing the goals on your list. Another way I make sure I accomplish my goals, is by setting reminders on my phone because sometimes I honestly just forget. Sometimes I need that reminder to sit down and write for thirty minutes, or sometimes I forget that a writing contest deadline is coming up. Writing it down isn’t always enough.

 

Those are some goals every writer should set and also how to stay accountable. Hopefully this was somewhat helpful to you, and gave you some ideas of what goals you should set of yourself as a writer, but if you have some more goal ideas definitely leave them in the comments! If you liked this blog post please like it so I know to make more, and also don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 10 Literary Magazines To Submit To (NO FEES) 🙂

March Wrap Up!

Hey! Sorry I haven’t posted in forever but I am back now! So in this blog post I have decided to discuss the books I read in March and I am pretty pleased with how many I read. I read a total of 4 books this month which is pretty good considering I was busy for a good majority of the month and also the fact I am a slow reader…lets just continue on with this blog post!

The first I read in March was Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Lady Midnight is the first book in a new series by Cassandra Clare called the Dark Artifices. Lady Midnight is a continuation of the amazing Shadow world Cassandra has created and it was amazing! This was by far my most anticipated book of 2016 and it did not disappoint me! 5/5 stars

Next book I read and finished in March was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This is an interesting book because while it is similar to Harry Potter it is its own thing. In Rainbow Rowell’s other book, Fangirl, Cath writes fanfiction that is called ‘Carry On’ and so basically, this entire book is the fanfiction she wrote which I found very entertaining! 4.5/5 stars

Third book I read last month was Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. I love Stephanie Perkins ‘sort of trilogy’. It contains Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. Three different love stories but they all intertwine in the end which I LOVE! I have read all 3 of these books many, many times and I feel like I enjoy them more every time! I flew through Lola and the Boy Next Door and it was just an amazing, easy read to kick off my spring break. 4.5/5 stars

Last book I read last month was Opposition by Jennifer L Armentrout. I was a little bit late on the Lux series because I thought I would not like it but guess what, I ended up loving it! Opposition is the last book (book 5) in the Lux series and I thought it was really good but I was hoping for more. Other than the fact I was still expecting more than what I got, I thought it was a great book and it ended the series nicely. 4/5 stars

That is all for my March Wrap and I will be back soon with another blog post on my April TBR!

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