Self-Care for the Creative

A guide to practicing self-care as a creative

Happy Monday!

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

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

Trust me, I would know.

Why Is Self-Care Important?

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

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

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

3 Tips On Self-Care for the Creative

1. Self-Care Time Must Be Scheduled In

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

2. Combine Self-Care + Bettering Yourself

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

3. Create a List of Self-Care Activities

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

10 Self-Care Activities for Creative

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

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

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

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5 Tips for Succeeding as a Creative

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

Happy Friday!

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

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

Success for me has looked like this:

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

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

Here are my 5 tips for finding success as a creative

1. Constantly Produce Content

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

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

2. Choose 2 Social Media Platforms to Grow

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

Before choosing your social media platforms, consider these tips:

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

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

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

3. Spend Time Replenishing Your Creativity

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

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

4. Set Short-Term + Long-Term Goals

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

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

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

5. Get Used to Failure

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

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

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

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

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

SEEKING OPPORTUNITY


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

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

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How I Organize My Content

How I plan and organize my content to maximize my productivity and time.

Happy Monday!

To start this week off on a productive note, I wanted to share with you all how I organize my content and ensure I am creating and posting all the fun things. Planning and organizing my content is something I started doing in May and with all my projects and various platforms I post content to, I found it was essential step to keeping my sanity.

For a long time, I thought I didn’t need to write anything down because I would remember all my ideas and their due dates. However, that is not the case! The more you are doing every day, the less space you have in your head to store all your daily and weekly tasks. That is why writing everything down in a list or on a calendar is SO important and critical to your success as a content creator. Once I began writing down my content and organizing it, I became obsessed with lists and notebooks and now I cannot live without them.

There are a couple of techniques and strategies I use to organize my content each month so let’s get into them!

TIP #1: STICK TO ORGANIZING YOUR CONTENT IN ONE PLACE – MY CONTENT PLANNER

When it comes to organizing your content, keep it all in one space even if the content is not for the same platforms. That way, you will never lose where you wrote down that blog post or Instagram story idea because there is only one place it could be.

For me, this space is my content planner. This is my old planner for 2020 that I used before I started my bullet journal. I kept it because I didn’t want it to go to waste and am glad I did because it is a great place to organize my content. Each different type of content is colour coded so when I look at the week, I can easily see what I need to create. For example, blog posts that I need to write and post are written in red, social media posts are in blue, freelance writing is in orange, and so on.

It is helpful to have this separate place for content that is not your daily planner because it declutters that space. If I have a deadline for a freelance project, that will also go in my bullet journal but it will only be written in on the date it is due. In my content planner, I can breakdown the steps to create the content as well as when it is going to go live.

Whether you write your content ideas down in a notebook or in a digital calendar, make sure you have a space dedicated solely to where you keep your content ideas because it will ease your stress when you sit down with it at the beginning of each week.

TIP #2: DEDICATE TIMES AND/OR DAYS TO SPECIFIC CONTENT – MY MORNING VS AFTERNOON ROUTINE

Dividing up the days so I work on different types of content at different times has been a huge reason why I am able to achieve so much within a week. I even started doing this without realizing it because dedicating my mornings to more heavily writing-related content (blog posts, creative writing, Flanelle articles, etc) and afternoons to more business-related tasks (internships, social media, editing, etc) felt natural.

Focusing on writing in the morning also helps because I am able to get in the mindset for writing and create even more because of it. Over the years, I realized I am most creative in the mornings which is why I preserve my writing time for my mornings. If you haven’t figured out what time of day is your most productive, this is something you should figure out ASAP! That way, you can schedule your most time-consuming tasks during that time.

This is another reason why having somewhere like a planner to keep your content ideas is crucial because when you are scheduling out when you will work on it, you can divide up your day where you can visually see it.

Don’t forget to include the dates and times you POST your content too! For example, I post to my blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 12 pm PST, and I try to post to social media every weekday around the same time. I make sure to always write this down in my content planner, even though I always post on these days and times.

TIP #3: ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE CREATING – WHY I ONLY POST CONTENT I LOVE

Obviously, there will be some content you don’t enjoy creating but have to, but for the most part, I make it a priority to create content that I love. This is because the content I post on my blog, Instagram, etc is for people to enjoy as well. I figure that if I don’t enjoy it myself, nobody will! That is also why I try to be active the most on platforms I genuinely like to be on (give or take a few such as Twitter). Once again, some platforms you post to might not be your favourite, but I just remember my main focus is on ensuring I like the content I am posting there.

If you are unsure what your audience wants to see from you, use polls on social media. However, ultimately, you should be in touch with your audience and have a general idea of what they like and want to see, but there is no shame in asking for some help!


These are some tips for how I organize my content to maximize my time and efficiency when creating and posting to all my various platforms. If you have a method for organizing content, let me know in the comments below because I am always looking for new techniques to use!

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

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4 Tips for Getting Things Done

How to properly attack your to-do list and regain inspiration, motivation, and productivity.

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Happy Monday!

It can be hard to have the motivation to get things done, especially during quarantine when we have nothing but the TIME to get things done. I have not been the most motivated this past week but slowly, I have been getting back to my productive self. That is why I am putting together this short but effective list of four ways to re-ignite your motivation and productivity to knock off everything on your to-do list because I know it really helps me when I need a boost.

#1 Know What You Need to Get Done and How

Even if you write out your to-do list every morning, that doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to get those tasks done. Creating a to-do list and then dissecting each task can be extremely helpful if you don’t feel super motivated to get them done in the first place.

I find often that I have a may have a plan, but I don’t know how to approach it. For example, I am re-typing a novel for a client which is a time-consuming project. It is unrealistic for me to sit down and just type the  15 or so pages I need to type for that day, so instead of just writing “Re-type 15 pages” in my bullet journal, I add underneath my plan of attack like “Write 8 pages in the morning, 5 pages in the afternoon, and two pages in the evening.” This way, the task appears less daunting because you’ve broken down the steps. You now know WHAT you need to get done and HOW.

#2 Plan Out Your Break Time

Whenever I don’t feel like being productive, I find that planning my breaks really helps. It motivates me to get my tasks done because I know once I finish them, I can reap the rewards of watching an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender or reading for 20 minutes.

Figuring out how often you should break up your workday is something you will have to figure out for yourself. For me, I know I should break my day up much more than I do, but I usually work straight from 9 am – 12 pm and then break (and workout) until 2 or 3 pm. Then, I usually spend from 3 pm to 6 pm working. I definitely recommend taking a 10-15 minute break every hour or so, I just get so consumed in my work that I rarely notice the time! However, I pay for it in sore wrists, an aching back, or tension headaches. Take breaks!

#3 Change Up Your Environment

Lately, any time I feel stuck or “lazy,” it has been because I am tired of staring at my bedroom walls. My work environment now switches between my bedroom and dining room table. I am lucky to be able to move locations within my house because my parents and brother work for the majority of the day, therefore, I have a quiet house to myself.

If you cannot move your workspace, trying re-arranging the room you have. Move the desk, switch up the wall decor, or even just re-organize your desk. These seemingly small things make such a huge difference and I cannot recommend taking actions like these enough. I plan on switching up my room sometime in June. Not only do I want to move my desk, but I am adding a second bookshelf in which is very exciting because it helps to make it feel like a brand new area.

#4 Time Batching

If you haven’t heard of the term “time batching,” then it means you haven’t tried it and it might just be your saving grace. I am a loose time batcher, but it really does help me get all the things done. Time batching is when you group tasks that are similar and do them all at once, and then move onto a completely different category of tasks.

An example of this is my mornings because from 9 am – 12 pm, I work on anything writing-related such as blog posts, creative writing, etc. I also do anything that has an upcoming deadline in this time block as well, but it is always solely reserved for writing. This helps me get into the right headspace and groove, and ultimately, it allows me to work through tasks faster. I then go onto reserve my afternoons for school-related or work-related tasks such as my internship and Coursera courses.


Those are all of my tips to get things done, especially during a pandemic when we suddenly have the time to work on these things. I hope they were helpful, and if you have any more tips make sure you comment them down below!

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Tips for Writing Short Stories

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Happy Friday!

Today, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks for writing short stories. I recently finished writing a novella about a month or so ago, and it reminded me how careful and particular short story writing is. It is hard to know what to cut and how deep to dive into your world and characters.

Hopefully, this blog post can give you some insight into that!

#1: Don’t Fit 100,000 Words Into 2,000

This tip is especially important if you are writing fantasy. I always attempt to write fantasy short stories, which are the hardest to write, and I have to remind myself that I am only focusing on one or two specific incidents/events. Unlike a novel, you do not have to have a huge cast of characters or an in-depth explanation of the world, magic system, and history. Yes, you need to touch on those things in your short story, but they are not the main focus. The main focuses are the plot point of the short story (which can consist of one or two major events) and your main character. Maybe a second character as well.

The point is, you and your reader know and understand that this is a short story. It is not meant to explain everything, nor should it!

#2: You Should Know Everything

Going along with the first tip, just because your reader doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you don’t. You are the storyteller, the writer, you MUST know every little aspect of your story, its world, the characters, etc for your story to work. Even if you don’t mention it in the story ever, your readers will notice something is off or missing.

Another reason I like to plan out everything, even if it doesn’t make it into the draft, is because if I decide the story could become a longer piece one day, I have most of the info already. Yes, some tweaking and adding to the outline will occur, but this way, you already have a strong foundation for a novel.

#3: Is Your Story Character-Based or Plot-Based?

While it is important to showcase both the plot and characters in every story, most tend to lean to one side more than the other. This is very helpful to determine in short story writing before you jump into drafting because it helps you know what to focus on. That way, in your short amount of time, you use your limited word count to make the characters or the plot shine.

Now, that does not mean you completely push off the one you aren’t as focused on. No, no, no. Both are still crucial elements to the story, but you are just figuring out where your strength and focus should be. You still need to thoughtfully plan on both aspects and showcase them in your story.

#4: Over-Write

I highly recommend over-writing when it comes to short story writing because this will ensure you aren’t leaving any important details out, which can happen in short stories. Personally, I usually write thousands of words over my target word limit (which I don’t always recommend), but it means I have gotten everything I needed to say for that story out onto the page. That way, when it comes to editing, I will read through the story and figure out what are the important and necessary pieces that need to stay.

Over-writing also means that I don’t need to add many more words (if any at all) because I got all the words on the page already.

#5: Editing Will Teach You How to Write Your Next Short Story

While every story is different both writing and editing wise, whenever I edit a short story, it helps me understand what to include and what not to include in my next one. It will show me that I focus on too much meaningless description because oh yes, I am cutting a whole paragraph describing the green hills out of a page…again.

Pay attention when you’re editing. Take note of what you are cutting out and what you find yourself cutting out over and over again. Most likely, these writing habits will transfer into your next short story or novel too. It can help save time and wrist strength!


These are my five short story writing tips and I hope you found them helpful! Let me know what your short story tips are below, or just any writing tips in general so we can help each other out 🙂

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

Thanks for reading!

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5 Outlining Tips for Pantsers

Not a plotter? Here are 5 tips to get that outline down.

Happy Friday!

Today, I will be sharing my five outlining tips for pantsers from a pantser. I am not huge on outlining but I always make sure to do it, even if it means forcing my butt into a chair and putting a timer on for 30 minutes to make sure I just get it done.

Outlining is such a huge and crucial part of the writing process. Even if we don’t feel like doing it, it is one of those things we have to. I was watching “No Write Way” on V.E Schwab’s YouTube channel and she was interviewing Zoraida Cordova and talked about how outlining is like drawing up a map for your story. It is not carving a specific path but giving you the parameters to which your story can expand. Schwab mentioned that you can always change things and add new roads or cities, but the outline just acts as a general idea to how far and wide your story can go.

I loved this description and honestly, it has made me more open to outlining. If you are still iffy on the whole process and want to know how to become a better plotter, then read on!

What is a pantser?

A pantser (vs a plotter) is someone who “writes by the seat of their pants.” This means they sit down with a story idea and only that before they start writing, and then figure the plot out as they go.

You can successfully write a story this way, but often what happens is you will write yourself into a hole. You will turn out a manuscript of 50,000 words only to get stumped at that point and not know where to go next. That is why outlining is helpful. Whenever you feel this way, you can turn to your organized story plan and know where to go next.

The tips

1. Set a Timer

Setting a timer is a great way to ensure you get your outline done and over with. Whether you stretch it out over a couple days or weeks, setting a timer for 10 or 40 minutes (or whatever time you want) will encourage you to finally focus. If you sit down with the intention of outlining but you want to get it done in that one sitting, you are less likely to finish it. That is why I recommend doing outlining sprints and stretching them over several days or so.

This is also a great tactic to do when you have trouble writing, set a time for a writing sprint and get writing! It motivates you to get as much done as you can because you know you have a limited amount of time.

2. Keep it Simple

Just because outlining is essential to a successful story does not mean you have to crank out a super detailed and descriptive outline that is 50 pages. No, just keep it simple. Here is an example of how I outline my stories as a pantser:

  • Define the three MAIN points of your story (follow a three-act structure)
  • Add a few major events for each main plot point (I recommend three to five for each act)
  • Have a decent idea of who your characters are (know their names, motives, backstory, and arc)
  • Know your world like you live in it (write out its history, its current status, its religion, who rules it, etc)

I find this gives me enough information so I don’t write myself into a hole, but it also doesn’t have too much information that I feel constricted or forced to go a certain route.

3. Utilize Cue Cards

As a pantser, having your outline in a notebook means you will forget to drag it out and then never actually look over it. A notebook is less accessible and a hassle to refer back to for someone who did not want to in the first place!

That is why I love cue cards; they are simple and accessible. They are also small which means you can only add so much information on each one. Another reason cue cards are great is because you can punch a hole through the corner and put them on a ring. They are easy to flip through, rearrange, and swap out during the outlining and writing process. This is a huge comfort for pantsers because they don’t feel strapped down to what they wrote this way. Which is how I feel when I write my outline in a notebook.

Not only that, but cue cards can come in all colours with fun designs. Overall, they are an essential tool for pantsers during the outlining process.

4. Write Down Every New Plot Point for Your WIP and Save it for Future Use

If you have a new idea right when you finish outlining or when you begin writing, don’t disregard it. However, don’t immediately go back to your outline and force it in either (unless it is the missing piece to your story and MUST be in it).

Here is where cue cards come in again! If you are using the cue card method, you can write this shiny new plot point down on one and while writing, you might figure out where it fits (if it does). This way, you can just place it under whatever act it belongs under and you don’t give yourself an excuse to procrastinate and rewrite your entire outline. 

I am guilty of having a new plot point idea and then immediately changing my outline for it. However, I have learned recently that is not beneficial to my story or me.

5. Make Your Outline Organized and Attractive

When it does come time to refer back to your outline so you can remember what comes next in your story, having it organized with colour coordination, titles, bullet points, etc is crucial. This is because it makes it easier to read through your outline and find what you are looking for. 

If each act is colour coded and each plot point is a bullet point in bold lettering, you will be able to fish out what you need without wasting any writing time. If your outline is on a cue card, make sure each card is devoted to one act or one character and title it according to that. If you are using a notebook, do the same. Don’t waste writing time searching through pages and pages of pencil written notes, trying to find out how that one plot point ends!


Those are my five outlining tips for pantsers and I hope they were helpful for all you pantsers out there. If you are not a pantser though, let me know in the comments and give me an insight on your process!

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

Thanks for reading 🙂

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5 Ways to stay productive during quarantine

5 easy ways to ensure productivity and motivation while stuck at home.

Happy Monday!

Today, I am bringing you my top 5 ways to stay productive (and sane) during quarantine. These are simple things you can do to infuse in your everyday routine and are activities that I have found very helpful.

I know the online world is exploding with content like this, but I do think it is really helpful. Seeing YouTubers and bloggers posting their “Quarantine Day-in-the-life” and “how to stay motivated” videos and posts remind us all that we are in this together. Also, sometimes we need a reminder of how to stay productive and upbeat during these trying times. Which is what I am hoping to do today!

1. Be Creative Every Day

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If you didn’t know, I am a writer at Flanelle Magazine (which you can check out if you click HERE) and a month or so ago, I wrote a blog post called “COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine” and it highlights WHY we need to stay creative and artistic during this time. If you want to read it (which I recommend you do!), you can find the link to it right HERE. It will help you understand why you should be creative every day, and then the rest of this post will show you HOW you exactly you can do that.

Anyways, enough of the shameless self-promo!

First off, when I think of creativity and “being creative,” I think of the act of creating things. So, that is what I mean when I say be creative every day…create things daily. This will boost your mood and keep you busy. Whether it is writing for 30 minutes in the morning or unwinding at night by following a Bob Ross painting tutorial, include something creative into your everyday routine (which means it is important to HAVE a daily routine, but I am sure you’ve heard that from enough people…but make one!).

Some other creative things you can do are:

  • Write in a journal
  • Re-decorate your room
  • Collage
  • Sew and re-vamp your wardrobe
  • Learn how to draw
  • Create a bullet journal
  • Start a YouTube channel, blog, Instagram account, etc
  • Garden or grow things on your window sill

2. Become Friends with Time Blocking

I found it hard to utilize time blocking while in school and living my normal, not quarantined life, but while being stuck at home, I have found this tactic so helpful.

What is time blocking?

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Time blocking is when you dedicate chunks of time throughout the day to a specific task. For example, I have been dedicated 10 am – 12 pm to work on writing-related tasks. This includes my creative writing and writing blog posts. That way, it is done for the rest of the day and I can focus on the other things I need to get done. 12 pm – 1 pm is dedicated to working out, and then 3 pm – 6 pm is for my Coursera or school-related work.

Using this productivity method makes sure you are staying busy. You can go into the day knowing what you are doing which I find crucial with everything so up in the air nowadays.

Don’t forget to time block breaks too! Time blocking is important to ensure productivity, but every productive block requires a break too. For example, I take from 1 pm (or whenever I finish my workout) until 3 pm to do whatever. Sometimes, I will read, watch Netflix or play Fallout 4. But that time is my afternoon break time and it is incredibly important because it refuels my energy and allows me to stay motivated for the rest of the day.

3. Do Something New and Different Every Day

This is a tip you can combine with being creative every day because that new activity you want to try could be learning how to draw or starting a window sill garden. Or whatever other creative tasks you want to tackle.

While I enjoy having a strict routine right now, I have found that the days just blend together. Including something new and different every day keeps them as exciting and refreshing as they can be. It seems small, but it really does make a difference.

Some new and different things you can try:

  • Start a New Course (I have been loving Coursera for this, and guess what! You can audit most of their courses for FREE)
  • Learn a language
  • Pick up a new hobby like gardening, knitting, or baking
  • If you can go outside, find a new hiking trail (but don’t forget to social distance!)
  • Switch up your morning or night routine
    • Let yourself sleep in later or start reading in the mornings
    • Or at night, start taking take a bath before bed or watching an episode of a TV show

4. Develop a Reward System

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Sometimes, we are too hard on ourselves for not being “productive enough.” I know I am. Even if it is a Saturday, a day I should and want to spend relaxing, I cannot help but feel anxious about not working on my Coursera work or writing. It ends up ruining my whole day and I have been working on finding out how to combat this. I realized developing a rewards system is a method that has positive results for me. It also gives me more energy for that week and the weeks to come. A rewards system increases my productivity if anything. 

I am very good at keeping myself busy, and I would keep myself on a go-go-go schedule for the entire week (including the weekends) but I know that is not healthy. We all need a break and guess what? We are allowed a break too! What I found works best for me is still being a little bit productive on my days off. This just means I have to take breaks and reward myself more during the week so I do not feel like I am overworking myself.

An example I can give is how I reward myself after a writing session. To avoid creative burnout, I have begun giving myself a 30-minute break to do whatever I want after every successful writing session (which means I write 1,000 words). This is on top of my 1:30ish pm – 3 pm break. However, the one guideline I gave myself for it is that I cannot take my break after 6 pm because I am usually relaxing during that time anyway.

Now, I am doing this rewards system for every task on my to-do list that I complete (unless it is something simple like doing the laundry, but I think you understand that). If I finish my 2 hours of writing-related tasks in the morning, I can take a walk or work on taking some Instagram photos. When I finish an hour of Coursera work, I can watch a TV episode. Sometimes, my days do stretch past 6 pm because of this system, but that is okay because I am taking a lot of breaks during the day which has been helping me to not feel anxious when I do less on Saturdays.

Figure out what works best for you as a rewards system and do that. Maybe you work really hard during the workweek and feel good taking two full days off. Or maybe you like to work every second day, taking breaks on the days in between. Just make sure you are rewarding yourself and taking breaks!

5. Exercise Daily

My motivation to workout always ebbs and flows, and thankfully, it is flowing during quarantine. Maybe it is because we are stuck inside all day, but for the last month, my workouts have been the thing I look forward to every day. So much so, I started working out six days a week instead of five.

When I say workout, that does not mean you have to pull a hardcore one-hour cardio and ab workout every day. Your daily dose of exercise can be a walk around the block (if you can), doing a 10-minute at-home workout, or following a yoga video. Getting your body moving is so important and making sure you do that every day will impact your productivity and motivation for the better. 

Last week, I found the amazing Chloe Ting’s YouTube channel and have been LOVING her videos. They are such a great workout, even better than what I could do myself if the gyms were open. I feel so rejuvenated and awake after doing just one of her 10-minute ab workouts, and yes, very sore, but it is so worth it. I have infused her into my own workout routine, which I had a lot of fun creating when quarantine first started, and it was a fun way to spice it up.

Even if it is not a long workout, it will boost your motivation and energy to continue having a productive day.

 

REMEMBER: It is okay not to be productive every day! Sometimes we have days where our energy is at an all-time low and that is when you know it is time for a break. Don’t feel bad about taking it, even though that can be hard to do. Instead, try to enjoy it!


There they are! My 5 ways to stay productive during quarantine. I really hope this was a helpful post for you guys, and that it inspired you to keep productive and motivated. If it did, let me know what you took away from it!

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

Thanks for reading and stay healthy 🙂

Last Blog Post: April Wrap-Up + May TBR

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NaNoWriMo…But in May!

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Happy Wednesday!

NaNoWriMo, but in May is my way of making up for not writing at all during Camp NaNoWriMo this past month. I decided to give it an official name in the hopes it will motivate me to actually writing during May. Hence, Mayorimo.

Before I jump into what I am writing, my goals, and overall writing plan, I wanted to acknowledge that yes, this is my first Wednesday blog post! If you missed my last blog post (My May 2020 Writing Goals, which you can check out HERE), I announced that I will be posting three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since I finished school last week, I have more time to brainstorm and write content for my blog and I am very excited to do so!

Now, onto my goals, plans, and writing ideas for Mayorimo aka NaNoWriMo in May.

What Am I Writing?

Glad you asked! I am adding to my Aztec novella I wrote back in March. Currently, it sits at around 20,000 words and I really want to expand it into a novel. There is so much in this world and story to explore, and I know the story will benefit from a longer length. In the past few days, I have been brainstorming new plot points and characters to add to the story and it is reminding me why I love this story.

What Are My Goals?

I knew before I planned to do Mayorimo that I did not want to write 50,000 words in one month. During March, I spread myself thin trying to write and edit 17,000 words in like two weeks while juggling school. This resulted in creative burnout for ALL of April and only now, am I finally craving to write for my story. I do not want to be irresponsible and repeat the process that resulted in my burnout, so, I settled on a more attainable goal.

Every day, I want to aim to write 1,000 words. I chose this because I know if I sit down to write, I can easily write this many. And if I miss a day, it will not be too hard to catch up. That means by the end of May, I am hoping to have added 31,000 words to my story. This puts my manuscript at 51,000 words but I have a feeling it will need to be a liiitle longer than that since it is fantasy.

Reward System = NO Burnout

I also decided to try something new during this upcoming writing-filled month: a rewards system. I have preached before in past blog posts about the importance of rewarding yourself with breaks, treats, etc when writing a lot, but lately, I have not been following that. This time, I wanted to change that and reward myself with 30 free minutes after every single writing session.

At first, I debated rewarding myself at the end of the week. However, I hate not being “productive” for long periods of time so taking a day off from writing to do whatever is not appealing to me. It drives me crazy, especially during a pandemic when I am stuck at home all day. If I could go out and be with friends, that is a different story and in that case, I want to be anything BUT productive. However, whenever I try to take Saturday off from Coursera work or writing, I itch to do anything but relax and read or watch TV. I realized I benefit from taking small breaks every day and infusing them with things I enjoy.

So, after every successful writing session (where I write at least 1,000 words), I can take 30 full minutes to read, watch YouTube, play a video game, or catch up on a TV show. Sometimes, I won’t be able to right after, but as long as it is before the evening when I do typically relax more (because I think it defeats the purpose if I take my break when I am already relaxing!) I will call that a success.

My Tips for a Successful Writing Session

  • Find Your Creative Time

Having no school or places I need to be (except work on Sundays) has reminded me I am a morning writer. This is probably why I did not get as much writing done during the school year I think (other than me making excuses) because I had classes starting at 8:30 am sometimes. Spending 9 am – 12 pm on weekdays to work on creative projects has really shown me how productive I can be in only three hours.

  • Create a Writing Trigger

By trigger, I mean find something that you listen to, drink, or smell whenever it is time to write. For example, my writing and editing trigger is lo-fi music. When I hear it, I just feel the urge to write and be productive. That is when I realized it is my writing trigger. It is helpful to have one because it really helps set the mood to write, especially when you do not feel like it.

  • Plan Out What You Are Going to Write

Plan out at least three plot points (they can be as small as your character speaking to another character) you want to write during that writing session before you sit down to write. Even if you have it in your outline, write down the three main plot points you are writing that day on a queue card or sticky note. That way, you are focused on what to write and not distracted by the rest of your story.


Those are my plans and goals for Mayorimo, and also some tips to ensure a successful writing session! Let me know what projects you are working on during May because I’d love to know.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media which is all linked down below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: May 2020 Writing Goals

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How I Edit My Stories

Happy Friday!

In honour of Camp NaNoWriMo (which I am failing!), I thought it would be fun to share my editing process. I always like reading about how other people write and edit, and I thought it would also be a great way to inspire you to finally sit down and work on your current WIP.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy 🙂

STEP ONE: What Type of Edits Am I Doing?

This is where I like to start off on; asking myself what type of editing my story requires. If you are unaware, the three main types of editing are substantive editing (content editing), copy editing (grammar, sentence structure, etc), and proofreading (formatting errors like a missing period, sentence indentation, etc…small things). Usually, each round of edits I do contains the first two types. I will look for content mistakes as well as grammar mistakes because I find it hard to not change a misspelled word or delete a repeated word if I see one. Proofreading is always left for last though.

Some people like to focus on one at a time, and even recommend doing substantive edits first and then copy edits. I found that for me, I have a hard time ignoring the copy edits so I just do both at the same time. I will say, doing both at once does mean you have to comb through the manuscript a few extra times (sometimes), but I have not had a problem doing that with speed and efficiency. Like writing, it is important to figure out what process works best for you.

STEP TWO: Remind Yourself, or Determine Your Word Goal

As an someone who overwrites, I always write with a goal in mind but sometimes (or most of the time), I easily surpass it. Over the years, I’ve found it easier to just keep writing and worry about that later though. When I finish writing the story, I will figure out what word count I need it to be and that will be another task in the editing process.

An excellent example of this is when I was writing my Aztec story in March. My word goal was 17,000 because it was for a writing contest and that was the maximum word count. However, my final draft was 22,000 words! That is 5,000 words over the limit but yes, I did manage to cut it down to 16,999 words. That is why I recommend not worrying about your word count while writing. Just write. Even if it seems daunting, you really can get your story to wear it needs to be. When reading your story over and over, and editing it over and over, you understand what needs to be in it and what does not. So, go into editing with a word goal in mind.

STEP THREE: Set Daily or Weekly Editing Goals and a Final Deadline

I like to set a page count goal per day when it comes to editing. Although, maybe your goal is to edit for two hours every day. Figure out what works best for you, and what allows you to get your editing done in a productive and timely manner. It is then important to set a deadline. This can help you figure out what your daily or weekly goal too, if you are unsure of how much you need to get done each day/week.

Right now, I am freelance editing and working on a 220 pages manuscript. I was given a month deadline which is coming up this Sunday, but I was able to finish two rounds of edits a couple days early because I stuck to my daily goals. For the first round, my goal was to edit eight pages per day, six times a week. When it came to the second round, I wanted to edit faster so I switched my goal to 15 pages per day, five times a week. It has worked really well and as of yesterday, I was able to finish them. This allowed me to give one final skim through to make sure I did not miss anything, and not feel rushed when submitting my client the edits.

STEP FOUR: Time to Edit!

Once I figure out my plan for editing, I get right into it. I like to edit with lo-fi music playing, whether that is in my headphones or on my computer screen with the ChilledCow videos playing (if you know, you know).

I like to get all my writing related tasks done in the morning. Before, I gave myself from 9-12 but since I am not currently writing anything new (I always decide to take a break during Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo, as I always manage to do), I have switched it to 10-12. Since I am also working with a client right now, that is my top priority so I like to work on that first thing. It takes me anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to get my editing done for the day. It’s nice to have a schedule because then you aren’t spending your whole day editing! As a writer and overall creative person, you have other projects to devote time to. Having a schedule and a goal allows you to work on them.

STEP FIVE: The Final Round

Proofreading is essential and I feel like a lot of people wave it off after they finish four rounds of substantive and copy edits. However, I have caught so many mistakes while proofreading even though I had just gone over it four times before. I like to do at least one round of proofreading, but I do try to do two if I have the time. It’s is incredibly important and should not be overlooked!

If a project is short, like the one I am working on, I like to do two to three rounds of edits. However, if it is longer, I like to tack on an extra round or two. If it is already a polished manuscript though, sometimes it needs less editing because I barely found anything the first time. If it is not polished, sometimes it will need more work and care. It all depends on the project!

 

Those are all the steps I take in my editing process and I hope you found it interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts because yes, I am finally posting to my Instagram again!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Stay Home Reading Rush TBR + Tag

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Staying Postive and Productive: Ideas, Tips + Tricks

Hellooo,

Before I get into this blog post, I wanted to share something super exciting. Recently, I have become a writer for Flanelle Magazine and my first article was posted on the 18th talking all about the importance of keeping art alive during this crisis. It is meant to be uplifting, positive, and inspiring, so go check it out by clicking the link down below. It would mean a lot!

COVID-19: The importance of keeping art alive in quarantine

Now, back to business.

I thought it would be helpful to share a post on how to keep positive and productive during all that is happening right now. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of it all (trust me, I know), but I want to help steer you back to the bright sides. Those are that now, a lot of us have time we didn’t have before. There is a downside to that of course because, for some, they have lost their jobs and in no way am I discounting that. However, how I see it, is that there is nothing any of us can do to change that at the moment. Anyways, with this time we are offered the opportunity to try new things, work on things we might have neglected, and overall, have more time to ourselves which is important and often overlooked.

Today, I will be sharing some ideas, tips, and tricks on how to stay positive and productive while also not ignoring what is going on around the world.

Idea #1: Start a Journal

I used to journal a lot, but ever since I started first-year, I haven’t kept up with it as much. However, lately, I have been making an effort to get back into journaling since it is all about letting go of the negative things you may be feeling and reflecting on your life. I haven’t been journaling every day, but I have been trying to a few times a week or whenever I am feeling especially discouraged. I highly recommend it during a time like this. It is so therapeutic and sometimes, I find myself writing for anywhere from 15-40 minutes.

Idea #2: Explore a New Creative Hobby

I emphasize on the word “creative” hobby because as I talk about in my article linked above, being creative and creating art has a huge effect on how you feel, think, and act during somber times. Whether you want to get better at baking, painting, writing, or photography, take advantage of the time you have right now to improve and explore that creative realm. For more on this, check out my article here.

Idea #3: Create a Schedule for Yourself

Whether you did this before self-isolation or not, I encourage you to make some sort of daily schedule for yourself even if it is a very loose one. Having this structure that we are used to because of school, work, etc and not losing it by creating one that fits our new, home lives is essential to keeping busy, productive, and happy.

For example, I am still working at my job (once a week though because I still have school work to do) on Sundays so my “weekends” have become Fridays and Saturdays. Anyways, on weekdays, I will wake up at 7:30am, read from 8am-9am, and then get started on any work I have to do. This includes schoolwork, my own writing, and writing for my jobs. I will do this until around 4pm or 5pm and any time after that will be spent watching movies, going for a walk, or whatever else keeping in touch with friends and family. I have also been trying to exercise a few times a week which is either me going on a run or working out at home. This has helped me stay sane during everything, and I really recommend incorporating something of a schedule into your life.

Tip #1: Surround Your Productive Plans with Fun Plans

I have found that while always working at home and not being able to go sit in the library or in a coffee shop to change up my environment can be discouraging and really deplete my energy, making plans to call someone or watch a movie with my family helps to ensure I push forward. I recommend making these “fun” plans something social, or at least, sometimes something social. However, if you limit how often you watch TV, movies, read, etc by yourself, those will also work! It helps keep you on track because you look at your schedule and are like “okay, I have plans to FaceTime, my friend, at 7pm so I have to get everything done by then otherwise I can’t call them.”. It is like the equivelent of making dinner plans or just going out and realizing that yes, you still have to get your work done.

Tip #2: Make Going Outside a Priority

It’s weird that something as small as going outside has become so prioritized in everyone’s lives now. It is so important to take a walk every day or sit in your backyard a few times a day during self-isolation. I would even say that going outside could be your “fun” plan for when you get your work done. Nonetheless, schedule it into your daily routine every single day because you will find that it is easier to stay motivated and positive while getting your daily dose of fresh air.

Trick #1: Plan Future Endeavours…Even When You Don’t Know When They are Going to Happen

One thing that is time-consuming and keeps my spirits up is planning for trips that could happen in the next couple of months. I don’t recommend putting money into booking a hotel or a plane ticket quite yet, but spending time researching places and fun excursions to do once self-isolation is over will really help you to look into the future rather being too stuck in the present. I also recommend finding people to do them with!

Those are all my ideas, tips, and tricks to keeping positive and productive in the next few weeks and I hope you found them helpful! Make sure to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Thanks for reading and stay healthy!

Last Blog Post: WIPs, Camp NaNoWriMo + More

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