Midnight Thoughts – Focusing on the Positive While Writing

While writing, it can be really hard to get past the negative cloud muddling our thoughts. The negative is usually much louder, taunting us by saying “why am I even trying” “I am the worst writer” and other things like that. This is toxic and it is important for writers to look past the negative and see the positive when we can.

One of my biggest tips when it comes to focusing on the positive while writing is to focus on writing your project just because you love it and can write it. Don’t put the pressure of wanting to be published on it, otherwise your words and mental health will suffer from it. Just write. Write because you can and because it is something you enjoy doing, and let that be enough to propel you further.

I also recommend starting and ending each day with gratitude. Show gratitude to yourself and your writing, and remind yourself everyday why you are sitting here, writing. Why you are creating worlds and painting them on paper despite the hardships and obstacles along the way. This is a way to constantly refresh your goals and line of passion so that each time you sit down to write, you will feel your passion brewing inside you and waiting to come out.

Lastly, when it comes to focusing on the positive, I recommend stepping back from social media as much as possible. It can be damaging to see the other writers you follow on Instagram or Twitter, and seeing them have success when you feel like you aren’t having any. It might be that they are at different stages in their writing career, or that they are just having better luck (it happens!), but this can really pull you down. Taking a step back from these accounts, even unfollowing them for a bit if you have to, might be what you need to help direct yourself back to the positive. And that is okay. Just remember that even if these other writers seem like they are living the perfect writing life that you wish to have, there is always more behind the picture. Remember that your time will come too, and you will see that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows when you get there either.

Those are my three main tips when it comes to finding the positive while writing, and I hope you are enjoying this series of “Midnight Thoughts”! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below 🙂

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10 Writing Tips from Famous Authors

Happy Monday!

Today, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some writing tips from some of our favourite authors, and see what they think makes a great and successful writer. A lot of the tips are simple, but incredibly insightful and inspiring so enjoy!

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it – Elmore Leonard

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass – Anton Chekhow

If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot – Stephen King

You rely on a sentence to say more than the denotation and the connotation; you revel in the smoke that the words send up – Toni Morrison 

A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it – Edgar Allen Poe

If you are using dialogue, say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech – John Steinbeck 

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you are doomed – Ray Bradbury

The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning – Erica Jong

Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you  – Zadie Smith

In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it –  Rose Tremain

Anyways, I hope you found all of these writing tips helpful and that you enjoyed them! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update – BookTubeAThon Days 6 +7

 

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Reading Update – BookTubeAThon Day 3

Happy day 3 of the BookTubeAThon!

While I didn’t get as much done as I hoped, I did read about 200 more pages of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, meaning I have 170ish pages left. I have no doubt I will be able to finish it tomorrow, but I got kind of lazy with reading today and didn’t get as much done as I know I could have. Hopefully, I will feel motivated enough to finish the last bit of City of Bones tomorrow morning, and then start on my next book. Speaking of next books, I decided to add Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman to my TBR for the week. Smart idea? Probably not. After reading Scythe just over a week ago though, I am eager to get into the sequel ASAP so why not tomorrow? Also, I could count it for the challenge to read a book with green on the cover because the whole thing is in fact, green. I also started reading volume one of Fullmetal Alchemist (why can’t I read the books I planned to, I have no idea!)…I don’t plan on counting it towards my TBR, but if I end up failing at reading for the rest of the week, I will definitely consider finding a challenge for it!

Anyways, that is all for this reading update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget out to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts all linked below. This BookTubeAThon, I have been participating in the Instagram challenges, so if you are curious to see mine check out my Instagram 🙂

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Young Writers Guide to Writing

This is just a quick blog post for young writers to help them realize what they can do to start building their writing career NOW. This could also be useful for new writers and also established writers, but this is mostly directed to the young writers (like me) out there so I hope it helps 🙂

When it comes to building a writing career, it is easy to think that you can’t start until you are older and have graduated university or college with a degree of some sort (even though a degree is not needed for creative writing, but other types of writing). But that is not true! You can start building your career right now, no matter your age, and here are some tips on how to do that.

  • Learn to Manage Your Time…Now – This is so important because there will be times in the future, or even now, where you might have to work another job, attend school, provide for your family, etc while balancing writing. You are going to have to find a routine that allows you to still get writing done every day (or almost every day), and working towards that end goal of being a successful writer. For example, in the summers I get lots of writing done throughout the entire day (usually mornings), and then during the school year I balance writing in the evenings after I finish my homework. Learn to manage your time now and find your ideal routine because you will be thanking yourself in the future.
  • Take Advantage of Your Time – As a young writer, I do not have to have a job to support myself. Sure, some young people have jobs and school, but it is likely that you still have more time then someone with a family and a full-time job. During the school year, I am crazy busy, but I have the weekends, breaks, and summer vacation to write still where I get lots done. And since I have a routine, I still do get writing done during the school week. Take advantage of every bit of time you have now when you have less responsibility, because that will change soon!
  • Submit, Submit, Submit – Currently I am working on a list of literary magazines/writing contests for young writers to submit to, because it can be hard going against writers who have had more time on earth to practice writing. Also, a lot of literary magazines look for more literary fiction with deep meanings and whatnot, while the ones for young writers expect young adult stories and such. So yes, submit things and get your name out there so you can build your writing portfolio! It is so important. But yes, keep an eye out for that blog post coming soonish.
  • Start Building Your Writing Platform – One thing about being a young person in this day and age, is that social media comes naturally to most of us. Guess what, marketing yourself as a writer is a really important part, so don’t wait, start building your empire on social media now! I picked to be active on Twitter and Instagram where I post about my writing and also give little writing tips, so try to stick to a theme like that when it comes to your accounts.

Those are a few tips for young writers and I hope it helped! Stay tuned for my literary magazine and writing contests for young writers which will be coming soon, but until then, check out my last blog post and my social media accounts all linked below 🙂

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Finding Success as a Writer

It is hard to find success as a writer, especially if your goals and aspirations are high up in the sky. However, it is also easy to find success as a writer, just rare, because it takes a lot of motivation, perseverance, and patience. Success comes in all shapes, sizes, and times in our lives and it is up to us to work for it. Hard. It doesn’t come easy, but here are a few tips on how to find success as a writer and I hope they help!

  • Have a Plan – The first step to finding success is having a plan. In this plan you need to have a list of what you want to achieve in the short-term and long-term of your career. Of course, you are able to change and adjust goals as time goes on, but this is just to give you an idea of what to work towards and what steps to take to find your success. Make sure you also plan out the stepping stones you will need to take because you can’t just leap to goals, you have to work towards them bit by bit.
    • Ex. Long-Term Goal: To be a published writer How Will I Get There?: Writing (almost) everyday and submitting finished work to literary agents, literary magazines, contests, fellowships, etc
  • Learn and Practice – No matter where you are as a writer, there is always more for you to learn. Thanks to the internet, there is an endless amount of resources at your fingertips and I really recommend searching writing advice on YouTube, blogs like mine, or just the internet because you will be surprised by how much you will learn! It is also important to remember to NOT get sidetracked by all these goods, and to actually write. That is the number one way you will get better because if you don’t write…well, I don’t know how you will find success as a WRITER then!
  • Connect with Other Writers – Success in any business is all about connections, so make them! Reach out to writers on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook because those are all amazing platforms for writers. Grow your account and draw other writers in. Connecting with other writers will help make writing feel less lonely, and it will also grow your following base which are essentials when it comes to any success in any business, especially with writing.
  • Keep Writing – To be honest, the key to finding success as a writer is to always keep writing. One thing I love about writing short stories, novels, and essays is that I can keep on my toes balancing multiple writing projects all the time. It also allows me more outlets to submit my work, and each submission is a step towards my overall goal of being a published writer whether because of a book, short story or essay I wrote. Always keep producing new stuff and send it out for people to read!
  • Turn Rejection into Motivation – Rejection is a killer if you let it sink your fangs in you. I like to use rejection to feed my motivation, and help fuel that desire to get better at writing. If you write a short story, send it out to 10 contests/literary magazines and if they all reject it remember that it doesn’t mean your story is bad. And first off, you should submit your short story to as many literary magazines (like 50!) and such as you can, AND then if they are all rejected maybe fix up your story a bit. But don’t let the rejection weigh you down. It doesn’t define you as a person or a writer, it just means your story wasn’t for them, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t for someone.

Those are my 5 main tips when it comes to finding success as a writer, and I hope they were helpful! Remember to never give up. Don’t listen to those trying to bring you and your writing down, only those who help build it up. Success will come within time, but until then, enjoy the process!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and all my social media accounts which will all be linked down below 🙂

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Writer Self-Care Tips

Self-care is SO important whether you are a writer or just a human, so today I am going to give some tips, ideas and reminders on how to make the most of your self-care sessions.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is what it sounds like. It is time devoted to you and you only, when you replenish your energy and as a writer, your creative well also.

Self-Care Activities: 

  • Take a bubble bath + read
  • Movie night in bed
  • Yoga
  • Bake!
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to the gym
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Watch writing vlogs
  • Research new hobbies
  • Make lists!
    • bucket lists
    • goals and aspirations
    • books to read
    • movies to watch
  • Journal! (thoughts, feelings, ideas, short stories, etc)

Self-Care Tips:

  • Set Aside ONE whole day whenever you can to focus on your self-care
  • Have an hour or so in the evenings also dedicated to self-care (everyday or as many days possible)
  • Candles, candles, candles
  • Soft, relaxing music (none of this hardcore metallica…unless that relaxes you)
  • Healthy foods (lots of recipes on Pinterest)
  • Lots of fresh air
  • Get off your phone!

Risks of Not Caring For Yourself:

  • Creative burnout
  • Physical/mental burnout
  • Stress
  • Always feeling tired!
  • Prone to metal breakdowns (not fun)

It is so, so important to care for you body and mind! When you are a writer, you want to just work, work, and work to make your story better and to get more words on the page. It can be hard to allow yourself to take a few hours off, let alone an entire day, without feeling guilty, but it is crucial to your creative process. I like to take Sundays (mostly) off and on Sundays I try to stay away from writing my current WIP, limit my time on my phone, take baths, do lots of reading, and plan for the week to come. These are the ways I care for my mind and body, and make sure I start the next week off energized and ready to go!

Anyways, that is all for this post and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any other self-care activities or tips, then definitely comment them down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 3

Biannual Bibliothon: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Favourite Vacation Spots

Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books! 

Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

 

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Confusing the Validation of Your Own Dreams with the Validation of Others – Midnight Thoughts #1

A few nights ago, around 11:30pm, I was rifling around for some food despite needing to be in bed as I always seem to do. Anyways, I got a thought regarding dreams and creativity, and I realized that I have quite a few of these thoughts every night. I am sure a lot of you have similar thoughts to me regarding our creative paths and choices, so I thought I would make a blog post series called “Midnight Thoughts” where I post rambly posts on different topics about creativity and writing.

episode 28

Lately I have been having a bit of anxiety about my upcoming last year of high school because it means applying to scholarships, universities, and ultimately piecing together my life. I’ve never had a problem with that though, because I have always wanted to write and have known that. Whether that means writing books, short stories, magazine articles…whatever works, I just want to write. While the path of a writer isn’t clearly defined, with lots of different road along the way…I still knew the steps I could take to kind of find my way. So that part is okay, but then I realized I was feeling anxious because I was confusing the validation of my OWN dreams with what other people considered “realistic dreams” that I should aspire to. Writing is not the easiest dream to chase, and I think most of us here have realized that pretty quickly. Personally, as a younger student who still lives at home and depends on her parents, I can afford to pour (almost) all of my energy into chasing this dream without having to worry about putting food on the table, paying for rent or other utilities…I don’t have to do any of that yet, and everyday I work hard so I am not taking it all for granted because it won’t always be like this.

However, recently when I have been sitting down to get work done, this little voice in my head questions the validation of my dreams based on how those around me, and those in general, feel about them. What I mean by this, is that lately I have been wondering what the point of being a writer is, and the point of pursuing it. Millions of stories are already out in the world, some untouched and some beloved by people from all around the world…why does the world need MY story? The journey to even a small success would be tiring and long, so what was the point? Why face all the struggle that it brings, and not just my own inner struggles, but those that the people around me bring as well. All the self-doubt and questioning and struggle…was it all worth it?

The answer is yes. The world needs your stories, and in the end the struggle and hardship will all be worth it as long as you are following your passion and dreams. I know all this, but sometimes I need a reminder because self-doubt and hesitation are strong, they can filter out the positivity when you need it most. I am always surprised when I feel like this because in previous years I rarely felt this way. Overall, I am a stubborn and ambitious person who doesn’t let the opinion and thoughts of others stand in the way of my own dreams and ideas. But sometimes something gets past my “stone hard” barrier and negativity finds a way to trickle in. That is okay though, it is good to question yourself, but only if you can manage to turn all of that hesitation and doubt into more drive and passion.

All I can say on how to diminish this annoying voice and mindset is to keep moving forward. Keep writing, keep creating, and never stop. Watch YouTube videos that inspire and motivate you, listen to creative podcasts and read blogs (like this one!). Just keep moving forward and never stop because if you do, the creative monster might get you. The creative monster feeds on your creativity, keeping it for itself so don’t slow down, pour all the energy you have into your projects and scare off the creativity monster with your ambition and determination to follow your dreams, and remember their validation.

Anyways, that is all for this rambly post and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know how often you question the validation of your dreams, and how you get over that negativity in the comments below!

I also wanted to say that tomorrow is day 1 of the Biannual Bibliothon! Whooo! This is a week long readathon that has reading, video, social media, and blogging challenges, so expect a week full of blog posts based on the different challenges they have. I will also being doing daily updates so stay tuned for that as well.

Last Blog Post: Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

This week has been one of my most productive weeks by far, more writing wise than reading, but I still got a good amount of reading done! After finishing Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier earlier this week, I was suddenly hit with a strong desire to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because I was in the mood for a dark and mystical story. I actually read The Raven Boys about a year ago, but I don’t think I was in the right mindset to read it because for some strange reason, I didn’t enjoy it that much and remember next to nothing about the story! However, I finished it earlier today and can easily say that I LOVED it, and am so excited to jump into the next book The Dream Thieves. Since the Biannual Bibliothon (a week long readathon) starts next Saturday, July 14th, I am going to try and finish the ENTIRE series before then to warm myself up for another week of lots, and lots of reading. If I don’t though, hopefully I manage to read the first three books, and the other one I can just squeeze into my Biannual Bibliothon TBR, which is coming soon!

748e9-the-raven-cycle-series

This was the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo and for this month I am working on my second draft of my current YA fantasy WIP. I did not write on day one of Camp NaNo, nor did I write yesterday, but I already have 15,000 words written so I can afford the breaks. I am about a day ahead but since I plan on doing lots of writing today, I will hopefully be about 6,000 words ahead by the end of the day! If you want to look more into my writing routine for this summer and how I get so many words each day, I did an entire blog post on it so check that out in the links below!

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed!

Last Blog Post: My Writing Routine – Summer Edition

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Reading + Writing Goals – July + August

I cannot believe another two months have already passed, and that it is time to update you all on how I did with my goals for May and June! Let me just start by saying…May and June were not my most productive months, but you know what, sometimes that is how it goes. All you can do is work hard on your next handful of goals and try the best you can for those months. Let’s go over what I did and didn’t accomplish for my last set of bimonthly goals, and then let’s take a look at my goals for the months of July and August!

May + June Goals Overview:

  • Read 8 Books – Sadly I did not achieve this but I was so, so, so close! I ended up reading a total of 7 books, and was literally only 40 pages off from finishing my eighth book but ended up reading those pages the next day, which was July 1st. If I realized I was so close to achieving that goal, I would have pushed myself to finish it but what can you do?
  • Get Accepted into uStart – This is a program at my school that allows you to take a university class during your grade 12 year and I am happy to say I did achieve this goal! This was a “out of my hands” goal but I really wanted to put it on my goals list because I had high hopes I would get in, and I did so yay! I will be taking a first year writing class (Writing 100) and I am super excited.
  • Finish Draft 1 of My WIP – I also achieved this…kind of. I wrote what I could and am now currently working on draft 2 and ugh, it is so much fun. I wrote my first draft during Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and then wrote into May so if I keep up this pace, I am on my way to finishing draft 2 either in July or August.
  • Submit to 3 Writing Contests – Yeah, nope. I submitted to one but then got really busy but I am not too upset about that.
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine – …nope. Again, I just ran out of time!
  • Prep for Editing WIP Draft 2 – I did this! Mind you, it was during the last week of June but I did it, and feel more prepped and ready to dive into draft 2 then I did with draft 1.

Anyways, so I completed a solid 50% of my goals which is more than I originally thought. But without further ado, let’s take a look at my goals for the months of July and August!

July + August Goals

  • Finish Draft 2 of My WIP
  • Submit to 1 Writing Contest
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine
  • Write 3 NEW Short Stories (at least)
  • Read 12 Books

On top of these five goals, I have two personal goals which brings me to a total of seven goals. While it is a LOT less than what I usually have, I want to give myself a lighter load for the summer. Also because this summer I want to steer my focus on finishing draft 2 of my WIP and putting together my writing portfolios for writing scholarships so overall, it will still be a busy two months.

Anyways, that is all for this blog post, and I also wanted to say sorry for not having one up on Monday. I talked about it a bit on my Instagram (shameless self-promo-but check out my social media, all linked below!) but my mental health was really spiraling on Sunday and I just wasn’t in the mood to do anything creative. I feel a lot better now and am writing for Camp NaNoWriMo and ready to pump out some more blog posts as well 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

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How To Expand Your Creativity

When I was ten years old I truly fell in love with reading, finally discovering my first passion that still is a large part of my life today. I never thought that reading would lead me to other passions though, such as blogging and of course, writing. Now writing and blogging are also insanely important things in my life, but I never thought reading would guide me to more passions at the time. I am still discovering new passions because of reading, writing, and blogging, such as YouTube. I decided to start vlogging my day to day when it comes to writing and being productive overall, and while I am still working on making them presentable for the rest of the YouTube community to see, it is a new process that I am really enjoying. This just goes to show how life is always changing and so are you interests. As we go about life we lose interest in the things we used to love, but our love for things also expands, and we begin to discover new interests along the way. However, you have to be open minded to let these new passions take flight, and not shy away from them.

Here are a few tips I have gathered over the years that will help you expand your creative horizon, and really tap into your full potential as a creative person.

  • Dive Head First Into Each New Idea – Don’t just dip a toe in, but fully submerge in each possible new passion and opportunity you are presented with to get the full experience. It may end up that that certain thing isn’t for you, but at least you will come out of it knowing you put 100% into it. For example, maybe you want to start a YouTube channel but the idea of filming something and then editing it sounds a little daunting to you. Well try it out for a day! Film something and edit the ENTIRE thing, and see how it goes. Maybe you will enjoy the process or maybe you won’t, but at least you tried.
  • Keep Your Eyes and Mind Open – Let these new passions come naturally, but also be actively seeking them. That might not make sense, but what I mean is to continue reading, watching, and listening to different topics and ideas, and maybe one will jump out and grab you. Explore new content and see what opportunities are out there. An example of this is maybe you love to write but writing your own story and characters has never been something that has really gripped your interest. But guess what, there is fanfiction websites where you can write WHATEVER you want and still share them, a well as allowing you to connect with other writers just like you. Sometimes it takes some digging but there is a place for everyone out there.
  • Always Be Creating – Being creative is all about creating. Whether that is art, writing, baking, or even an idea, always make sure you are creating. Even if it the outcome isn’t amazing or life changing, enjoy the process of creating and keep at it. One day something great will come out of it, but that is why you must always be creating!
  • Try New Things – This is really important and has been the theme of a lot of the other tips above, but what I mean with this tip is to read books you don’t usually pick up, listen to music in different genres that you have never heard of before, and constantly try different hobbies. You might discover you love reading books about history, or love listening to jazz music…the possibilities are endless unless you don’t try.

This blog post was really brought on by me trying out vlogging and editing videos, and since I loved it expect to see some writing and book related videos sometime soon! It just reminded me that there is so much out there that I can still be passionate about, and I should never stop looking. Nothing will ever compare to my love for writing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a passion for other things, and the same goes for you!

Thank you for reading all of this and I hope it at least acted as a helpful reminded. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and also my social media accounts which are all linked down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: July 2018 TBR

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