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

 

@zoermathers

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoermathers

Staying on Track with Your Goals

Hey guys! For today’s blog post I will be sharing my tips on staying on track with your goals, whatever they may be, for ultimate success in the last several months of 2018. Anyways, I hope this helps to inspire and motivate you and let’s get into the tips 🙂

  • Review Your Goals Weekly – This is really important because sometimes while working towards our goals, we forget what they originally were along the way. Personally, I get really distracted while doing my goals and sometimes forget what I am supposed to be working towards so reviewing my goals weekly, or even daily, is really helpful. This can involve writing your goals out at the end of each week, or just reading over your original copy.
  • Break Down Your Goals – Create stepping stones for yourself when it comes to your overall goals, because most are hard to swallow in one bite. When it comes to my writing goals, I break mine down to daily/weekly word counts so that I reach my deadline for the goal and get all I need done. For example, I aim for around 2,500 words a day and 15k a week so I can 50+k done each month.
  • Reward Yourself – To keep yourself motivated to achieve your goals, which can be a little stressful sometimes, reward yourself! Maybe once a week take yourself to the coffee shop and get some work done there, or give yourself an extra hour or two in the evening to just relax if you got a lot of work done the previous day. Whatever refreshes you to get back on track with your goals, do that.
  • YouTube Videos – Honestly, watching writing or reading vlogs gets me in a super productive and inspired mood so I recommend watching videos related to your goals! There are also lots of amazing videos talking about making and reaching goals, so type that into the search bar and watch a few!
  • Write Them Down Everywhere – I have my goal list on my phone and my notebook so that I wherever I am, I have them with me to refresh my mind and direct where I need to take my days.

Those are a few tips on how to stay on track with your goals, and I wish you the best of luck! Keep on working hard and good things will come, just don’t give up. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and all my social media accounts which are linked below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Update – BookTubeAThon Day 3

 

@zoermathers

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoermathers

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 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

@zoermathers

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoermathers

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 🙂

Last Blog Post: Building Your Creative Platforms

 

@zoermathers

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoematherswrites

 

 

@zoermathers

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!

Other Places You Can Find Me:

Twitter:@zoermathers

Instagram: @zoematherswrites

Tumblr: @zoematherswrites

Pinterest: @zoermathers

Tips on Productivity

This blog post isn’t just directed towards being more productive writing or reading wise, but how to be more productive in every aspect of your life. These tips can be applied to your personal or work life, and will help you achieve more each day!

Step 1: Planning

  • Brainstorm All Your To-Dos – Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down everything you want to accomplish either today or this week. Don’t worry about the order of “most important to least important”, just get all your To-Dos on paper so you can see them.
  • Organize To-Dos Based on Feeling and Deadlines – Deadlines are important, but if you force yourself to complete tasks you really don’t want to do, your productivity levels will only go down. Of course, if it is something you have to get done, then do it, but if you can complete your to-dos based on what you feel like. You will be surprised how much you will accomplish.
  • Create Smaller Lists – Once you have organized your To-Dos based on feeling and deadline, separate these tasks into smaller lists for each day. If you look down and have a massive To-Do list for only one day, it will be daunting and might even make you anxious to begin. So, only tackle the things that are due that day or the next, meaning that each day will only consist of a few tasks.

Step 2: Tasking

  • Work Your Way Down Your List – Now it is a time to actually start being productive. Pick an item off the list that you feel like doing, or maybe really, really need to do, and do it. Don’t think about it because then you might end up talking yourself out of that task, or losing any trace of motivation you once had to do it.
  • Take Breaks – The last thing we need is to burnout after being super productive (or not), so it is important to take breaks. Maybe you work better in shorter sprints of work, and if so, think about taking a 5 minute break every 20 minutes. If you are like me and work better in the longer sessions, take a 10 minute break every 45 minutes to an hour. This will reduce the risk of burnout and you will be able to continue being productive!
  • Reward Yourself – If you had a lot of things on your To-Do list and you accomplished most of them, if not all, reward yourself! Some days it is hard to complete even one or two things on your list, so relish in the days that are a success. After a while this will train your mind to get excited, or at least motivated, to tackle your To-Do list with the idea that something will be waiting for you at the end. Some examples of rewards that I choose are:
    • 30-60 minutes of TV or reading time
    • A coffee or tea
    • A longer break of doing nothing

Those are my tips for being more productive, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog posts and also follow me on social media so I can follow you back 🙂

Last Blog Post: May 2018 TBR

Other Places You Can Find Me:

Twitter:@zoermathers

Instagram: @zoematherswrites

Tumblr: @zoematherswrites

Pinterest: @zoermathers