Reading + Writing Update

FIRST OFF, before I get into this update I wanted to take a minute and ask you all to either comment on this post or head over to my Twitter and/or Instagram and give me some blog post suggestions! I really want to make content that not only I enjoy making but that you all enjoy reading so it would be really helpful if you gave me your ideas. If you have any thoughts or ideas on anything about my blog and what you want to see from me in the future, please let me know.  Thanks 🙂

For the first time since school started (for me, that was only 2 1/2 weeks ago but feels more like 2 1/2 years), I am excited to give this reading and writing update to you all because I have lots of fun reading and writing related things to update you all on!

I FINISHED TO KILL A KINGDOM BY ALEXANDRA CHRISTO. I know, it took me like 3 weeks to finish this book which is ONLY 350ish pages, and that is insane. I blame school and stress and also my tendency to procrastinate. However, I did really enjoy the story and how cut-throat and interesting all the characters were. I finished this book earlier today because I had maybe 50 pages to go, and I am just so happy to say I have read it because it was a great and bloody twist on The Little Mermaid that I was definitely in the mood for this month. Sometime last week I started listening to the audiobook for City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, and yes, I am still working my way through it. I have only 2 1/2 hours left and since I listen to it on double speed I have no doubt I will finish it sometime in the next three or four days so yay. Oooh, I also finished reading Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (thankfully, because I have a class discussion on it tomorrow morning), but again, I finished it just before I sat down to write this post. This book took me through a whirl of strong emotions and sometimes I had to put it down for a bit because it was shockingly real and raw. I did enjoy it though and am glad my teacher assigned us to read it because it is a very important book covering a very important topic in Canadian culture; residential schools.

As for what I am going to pick up this week, I think I am going to start reading the City of Bones graphic novel as well as The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater…I read the first 100 pages around a month ago but got distracted and never finished it! However, due to all my classes and all that fun stuff, I might also be picking up a collection of short stories called Traplines by Eden Robinson. I am super excited to get to this short story collection but the realization that it’s for school kind of takes away the excitement. You know? We’ll see.

A lot of writing also got done this week because I am racing to meet a deadline that is next Sunday, Septemeber 30th. I need to have 20 polished and revised pages to submit to this fellowship I have been working towards for months, and while I am way more behind than I set out to be, that’s okay. I have been working really hard this month and finally finished writing those 20 pages this week and I am kind of…happy with them. This coming week, however, I will be focusing on rewriting and editing them like crazy. Overall, I wrote around 11,000 words this week and it feels good! It really does. I am kind of sad I didn’t have a chance to work on this short story I started writing this month (a fun but dark and mystical fairy story), but I knew I had to put what was important first and that was my 20 pages.

Well, that was my week reading and writing wise and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: October 2018 TBR

 

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Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

Thank the blogging gods that I prewrote this past week’s blog posts because I had absolutely no time to sit down and write. I also didn’t have the mental energy or creative juices because this week was my first week back at school, and that always means chaos. I started my first day of senior year on Tuesday and my first day of college (I’m taking a writing class) on Thursday. However, now it is Sunday and I have recovered enough from the week to sit down and update you all on my reading and writing progress of this past week!

As expected, not much reading really happened this week. I read about 100 pages of To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo this week which is more than I expected and so far, I am still loving the story and ruthless characters. It is an entertaining and yes, slightly violent twist on the Little Mermaid in Ancient Greek times. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be influenced by the Little Mermaid, but I’ve noticed quite a few relations and I am really enjoying it overall! For my classes at school this year, I am taking a few that have required readings so it will be a new challenge for me to fit my own personal reading into my schedule while still getting readings for school done. As far as I know, I have to read a book called Indian Horse by…I’m not sure who exactly, Traplines by Eden Robinson, The Life of Pi, Writing Home by David Carpenter, and a few others. That’s kind of a lot but I am still determined to read for my own personal enjoyment here and there, and I will make sure to update you all on those readings as the year goes on! Apart from To Kill a Kingdom though, I also listened and finished the City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare audiobook this past week. I re-read the first book during the BookTubeAThon and really wanted to continue on with the series but this time in audiobook format. I do plan on starting City of Glass this week so I am excited to listen to that whenever I go for walks or just on my commute to school.

As for writing…I did no writing. This week, like I said, was a hectic craze of new schedules, places, and people. I do have a few personal deadlines I really want to hit this month though, so I need to get a move on that before time slips between my fingers. I am re-writing the firsts 20 pages of my WIP for a fellowship (its deadline is September 30th) and I want to get that done in the next two weeks so I have time to thoroughly edit it. I also want to submit those pages to a local scholarship for a writing conference and that has a deadline of September 15th…I did get some writing done today though, about 3 pages of my WIP, and I am really happy with that! I want to keep that up for the rest of the week, and hopefully, by next Sunday I will have something writing related to update you all on. Secondly, I have a writing assignment for my writing class that will be assigned to us on Monday and basically, they just give us a prompt and we have to write a 200-300 word flash fiction story based upon that prompt. Since it is such a short length, this shouldn’t take too much time out of my day, but I do want to put a lot of effort into making it well, good because after all, it is my first writing assignment of the year.

That is all for my reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below, and I will see you in my next post tomorrow 🙂

Last Blog Post: Books I Want to Read Before College

 

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Reading + Writing Update

I wanted to get another book read in August, but ran out of time. I did end up finally finishing Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman earlier this week and loving it, and then picking up To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. This was a book I had been anticipating when it first came out several months ago because of its Greek inspired, Siren story. So far, I am just over 50 pages into it and really, really enjoying it, so I hope to finish it in the next few days. I am just really enjoying the atmosphere and story of this book, including the characters and I am excited to see how it all pans out. Currently, I am helping my cousin move into her dorms for university and whatnot, so reading (and writing) probably won’t resume until later on Monday. However, To Kill a Kingdom is only like 340ish pages so I am sure I can get it done soon.

As for writing, this was the week of me getting back in the swing of things, and I think I am finally getting back into a sort of routine of writing a bit every day. This week I wrote around 7k; 5k of it being the rewrites of the beginning of my WIP, and the other 2k being words towards a new short story. I haven’t written since Friday because of family and all that, but hopefully I will pick it up again next week…well not hopefully, I need to!

That is all for my reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and all of my social media accounts linked below. Thanks!

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Reading + Writing Goals – September + October

Summer 2018 was pretty productive for me this year, and while I didn’t accomplish all of my goals, I did accomplish a lot! Since this post is coming out a little early though, before August is even over, I won’t be adding a wrap up on my goals for July and August because there is still a liiiiitle more time to get stuff done. I will probably post on my Instagram what I DID manage to get done, so make sure you check it out if your curious 🙂 Anyways, here are my goals for September and October 2018!

  • Read 6 Books
  • Rewrite + Edit the First 20 Pages of WIP (for fellowship)
  • Submit to Fellowship by September 30th
  • Submit to 2 Writing Contests
  • Submit to 1 Literary Magazine
  • Post 30 Blog Posts

Those are all of my goals for the next two months and fingers crossed I can get at least 75% of it done. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all of my social media accounts linked down below for more writing and bookish related content 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

 

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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 🙂

Last Blog Post: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Review

 

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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 🙂

Last Blog Post: Literary Magazines for Young Writers

 

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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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