Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I usually write these earlier in the day but here I am now, sitting down on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and Shrek on in the background (Shrek is one of my favourite movies, okay?), ready to update you all on what I got read and written this past week. So yeah, life is pretty good right now and let’s just get into this update!

So far, I am 350 pages into the glorious Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare which came out this past Tuesday and I am absolutely loving it. Every morning when I wake up, I make some coffee and sit down with this book for a good hour before I start getting ready for the day. Since it’s like 912 pages, I am nearing that halfway mark but I am taking my time with it because I never want it to end. I will probably be doing a review for it sometime this month so stay tuned for that but yeah, it’s amazing! I have also been keeping up with listening to my audiobook which is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, the fifth book in her first series, The Mortal Instruments. This is a book I’ve read a million times, but the narrator for this book is actually an actress from one of my favourite TV shows (Castle), and she is so good at narrating all the characters and bringing the story to life in a new way. I’m only about 4 hours in meaning I still got a good 12 hours to go, but hopefully, I’ll be able to finish it by the end of this coming week. Lastly, I requested the novel adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen and it finally came in for me from the library! I picked it up earlier this week and absolutely flew through it. It was exactly how I imagined and it was a lot of fun to see the musical translated into a YA novel. If you like the soundtrack or the musical or if you just like contemporaries I definitely recommend checking it out!

This week has also been productive writing-wise and I’m hoping the rest of December is like that as well because I really, really need a good, productive month when it comes to both reading and writing (I need to read 10 more books to reach my Goodreads goal…). Tomorrow I have a creative non-fiction assignment due for my writing class, and I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle to write. I don’t read much CNF (but I really want to so if you have recommendations, let me know!) so it has been difficult to find what I want to write about and then how to do that. I do have a story finished, I just need to edit it profusely, and I am not sure how I feel about it but it’s going to have to do! I already wrote like 4 drafts of it and I don’t have time (or energy) for anymore. Apart from that, I started a new short story that is kind of a playoff on my idea for Project Mystic (a novel idea I’ve been working on since March of this year) and I am having a lot of fun with it but haven’t spent to much time because of my CNF assignment. I’ll probably work on that a lot next week as well as all the scholarship essays I need to write that have looming deadlines. Since I’ve been running myself down with writing and homework lately, I am thinking of taking January off writing to replenish my creativity and all that jazz but I will keep you all updated on that.

Other than that, that is all I have to update you all on and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which will be linked down below. By the way, I started posting again on Instagram so that account is no longer dead! Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: December 2018 TBR

 

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December 2018 TBR

This TBR should be super long since I need to read 12 books to meet my Goodreads reading goal, but I don’t want to force myself into reading specific books all month so I am only going to list five books I want to get to. Anyways, let’s keep this short and just jump right into all the books I plan/need/want to read in the LAST MONTH OF 2018. I’m not freaking out, you are.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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This is the second book in the Dark Artifices trilogy which is my FAVOURITE trilogy/series in the entire world of books. By the time you see this post, I’ve probably already read it because on Sunday I only had 99 pages left so that’s awesome! This book takes place in a world of Shadowhunters with a massive cast of amazing characters, our main one in the first book being Emma Carstairs who is trying to uncover the mystery of her parents’ mysterious death. I am so excited to finish this book but I am also really sad because these books are so good. I don’t want them to end!

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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This is the THIRD AND FINAL book in the Dark Artifices trilogy, and I am not emotionally ready…I wish this was a long, long series, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on this massive beauty. Actually, since it’s Friday and it came out Tuesday, December 4th, I have already picked it up and am probably reading it right now!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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This TBR is just jammed pack with Cassandra Clare, but I am NOT complaining. A few months ago I started re-reading The Mortal Instruments series via audiobooks and am still working my through. Currently, I am on book five so that is what I will be listening to this month. The Mortal Instruments series follows our main character, Clary, whose mother is kidnapped and to get her back, Clary has to uncover the secrets of who her mother truly was, and who she really is as well. I’ve read this book…quite a few times already, but I am, of course, looking forward to re-visiting the world and characters and all that fun stuff.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

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I started reading this book in November but did not get very far which sucks because this book is so, so short. I will make it a priority to read it in December though since short books are going to be my saving grace when it comes to reaching my reading goal. Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, a freshman in high school who struggles to fit in until a ragtag group of friends take him in and transform his life for the better. This is a great coming of age story that is both sad and heart-warming, and honestly, it is something everyone needs to read.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

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This is another short book, but it is also one I’ve been meaning to get to ever since I saw the movie last year. Also, I still have yet to read a Stephen King book other than his book on writing, so I need to change that before the new year. While I’ve seen the movie, I can’t really remember anything about this book other than it has something to do with children being special for some reason…and that there is a gunslinger. Yeah, that’s all, but I am excited to read it and find out what exactly happens!

While I have to read 12 books this month, I don’t want to make a super strict and confining TBR so I am going to leave it at these 5 books to give myself some wiggle room. So, yeah! That is all for my December TBR and I hope you enjoyed. Make sure you check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: November Reading Wrap Up

 

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November Reading Wrap Up!

Looking back at my Goodreads page, I realized I read a lot more than I thought…but I was still hoping to have read a few more books than I did. However, I did read 4 books this month and one of them was pretty long (like 700 pages), so I’m not complaining. It does mean I’m going to have to read 12 books in December though…but I can do it, right? Anyways, here are the books I read in November!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

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I was in need of a fun contemporary and while it took me a while to really enjoy myself, by the time I hit halfway I loved the characters and story. Some parts were painfully relatable, and while I didn’t love it, I did like it! Emergency Contact follows two perspectives, Penny who is a freshman writing major, and Sam who is an aspiring filmmaker and works at coffee-shop. Their paths cross when Sam goes to the hospital after Penny witnesses him faint, and suddenly, they become each other’s emergency contact but their relationship develops to something more over time. Again, I did really like this book and it was the fun contemporary I needed! 3.5/5 stars

Bent Box by Lee Maracle 

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This is a poetry collection that I picked up for one of my writing class assignments where we had to pick a living, Canadian poet, read their work and then write a really short summary and response to it. Lee Maracle is an Aboriginal writer, so many of her poems spoke of her struggles of the past. It was a really emotional and powerful collection of poetry and while I am not a HUGE poetry fan, I did enjoy this book and there were quite a few poems that I actually adored. If you like poetry, I definitely recommend giving it a read! 3/5 stars

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Surprise, surprise, I LOVED Lady Midnight! I think I’ve read this book three or four times now, and each time my love for it grows dramatically. This world…the characters…the story…ugh, just everything is so amazing and wonderful and I wish I could meet these characters and live in this world. Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy and a continuation of her massive Shadowhunter world. It follows a large cast of characters, but specifically, Emma Carstairs who after her parents were murdered and their bodies washed up on shore, she has been hunting for the justice of their deaths. The last book in this trilogy has come out by the time you are reading this, and I already know it will ruin me like all the other books have so that will be fun. 5/5 stars, obviously!

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

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Usually, I fly through these audiobooks but after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, my already crazy obsession with Queen grew and suddenly all I wanted to do was just listen to their music. I forgot all about audiobooks and listened to music every time I had to walk or take the bus…so, yeah, it took me a while to get through Emerald Green, but I did! Emerald Green is the third and final book in the Ruby Red/Precious Stones trilogy, that follows Gwen, a girl from a family of time travellers. Her cousin, Charlotte, is the one believed to have the gene but when Gwen suddenly travels back in time, she becomes a part of a world she thought she had escaped. I love this series. It has its many, many flaws, and to be honest, the ending is NOT as satisfying as I hoped…but it is one of those fun and warm-hearted books you can’t help but like. 4.5/5 stars

I was so, so close to finishing Lord of Shadows in time for the end of November but it is 699 pages! It’s so, so long but honestly, I wouldn’t want anything less. I did finish it today though so I am already one book down in December…only 11 more to go, ha ha ha. Anyways, that is all for my November 2018 Reading Wrap Up, 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 down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: My Queen of Air and Darkness Theories

 

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My Queen of Air and Darkness Theories

I am currently taking a break from writing an 8-page essay for English that is due tomorrow to share with you all of my theories for Queen of Air and Darkness which is out TOMORROW. Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows both killed me so I can only imagine how much this book is going to destroy me…but yeah, if you haven’t read Lady Midnight or Lord of Shadows I would advise you not to read this because I will be spoiling both books a lot. If you have though, let me know what your theories for this epic conclusion are because I would love to know! Here are my theories:

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  • Ash is the son of the Seelie Queen and Sebastian Morgenstern – I am definitely not going to take credit for this theory because it is something I have seen going around the Shadowhunter community a lot but I wholeheartedly agree with it. I mean, Ash is described as a 13-year-old boy with blond hair and green eyes. 1) Sebastian had blond hair and 2) he also had green eyes…well, he would have is Valentine didn’t inject him with demon blood. While in reality, Ash would only be like 5 since that was when Sebastian was alive, he would be living in Faerie and as we saw with Mark in Lady Midnight, time works very differently down there so he could easily be older than he really is. A lot of people also think Ash is being held captive by the Unseelie King which is why the Seelie Queen wants the Black Volume; to exchange it for her son. I think this definitely makes sense because when Dru is transported to Faerie, Ash is like “‘Did my mother send you?’ He sounded hopeful. ‘Is she worried about me?'”. It would make sense, right?
  • Shade is Ragnor Fell – Again, this is another theory I’ve heard floating around and I don’t have any hard evidence but it would be an interesting twist to the plot. While Ragnor Fell supposedly died in City of Glass, the third book in The Mortal Instruments series, he easily could have not. Also, he was supposedly really good friends with Malcolm so maybe that has something to do with how he comes into the story.  However, while I don’t have a lot of evidence, there is this snippet Cassie shared that kind of makes me feel like he is someone we know or heard of before: Shade glared. “I was asleep. It’s three in the morning.” The sleeping bag wiggled. A moment later Church crawled out, making chirping noises. He curled up on the top of the bag, blinking his large yellow eyes. “That isn’t very loyal,” Ty said, looking at Church sternly. Shade yawned. “We’ve known each other a long time, that cat and I. We had some things to catch up on.” 
  • Ty is going to use necromancy to bring back Livvy – No way would the Blackthorns not try and bring back Livvy, especially since they have the Black Volume. Livvy is Ty’s twin and the person he loves most in this world, and of course, as Julian repeatedly says throughout the book, he would do anything for his family. I even think they will succeed in bringing her back in some shape or form, but I don’t think it’ll be what she wants and she won’t stay. However, I think the Blackthorns will get the closure they need because of it.
  • Julian is going to do something he can’t take back, and a lot of people close to him are going to hurt because of it – Whether that is severing all parabatai bonds because we all know Julian would do that in a heartbeat as he mentions on page 612, “‘They are not us…This isn’t just about you and me, this is about the children. About my family. Our family.'” in reference to why they need to break their parabatai bonds. Throughout Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows Julian keeps thinking to himself or saying to someone that he would do literally anything for his family. I tabbed some of the many spots he says something like this…and it’s a lot. Like a lot. On page 406, he is talking to Annabel who is telling him that if the book was out there, so much could be destroyed. However, Julian is all like The world can burn if my family lives. And we all know that by giving the Black Volume to the Seelie Queen, he will get Helen back and also learn how to severe the parabati bonds. To him, there is no higher cause. If Julian does try and severe all parabatai bonds to be with Emma, we all know she wouldn’t stand for that. Either he is going to succeed and Emma is going to grow apart from him because of it, or she is going to give up being a Shadowhunter (which I still know she would never want to do) so he doesn’t. There is a snipper that Cassandra Clare shared that kind of makes me think she is going to give up being a Shadowhunter for some reason because the snippet is like: “Emma,” Julian whispered. “Your Marks…” She shook her head, tears bitter in the back of her throat. “It’s done.”…LIKE WHAT? So yeah, that’s another theory on top of my “Julian is going to do something he can’t come back from” one…Emma is going to give up being a Shadowhunter.
  • Christina, Mark, and Kieran are definitely going to engage in some sort of romantic thing with all three of them – While I am Christina&Mark endgame stan, all three of them clearly care about each other and I feel like there might be a moment that includes all three of them. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I do love all three of them…I just love Mark and Christina more but I do want Kieran to be happy. I don’t know. Either that or Christina starts developing more intense feelings for Kieran rather than Mark. I also don’t know how I would feel about that…if there were more Christina and Kieran moments romance rather than friendship wise, I feel like I might be able to get on board but I’d still be heartbroken because of MARK. Anyways, just something we aren’t really expecting will happen between them all though, I just don’t know which one.
  • Ty and Kit are going to make it official – I think that with the death of Livvy, Ty is going to go crazy but Kit will be his shoulder to cry on and also his necromancy partner. Kit is definitely confused about his emotions and I have no idea how Ty is feeling (I’m 99.5% sure he will have lots of POV chapters in QoAaD though) but I think things are going to sort themselves out between the two of them. I definitely ship them so…

Wow, this was long but those are my most developed theories about Queen of Air and Darkness and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know which ones you agree with, and also what theories you have yourself because I’d love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I’m not going to apologize for once again, for NOT having a blog post go up on Friday because it’s gotten to the point where I’m just like whatever. My Friday blog post was supposed to be all about my theories for Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, but since I am re-reading Lord of Shadows right now, all my theories have upgraded or changed completely. So yeah, I finished Lord of Shadows today so now I have all of my thoughts and theories are ready to go for tomorrow’s blog post and I am so excited! Anyways, here is what I read and wrote this past week.

Earlier this week I finally finished listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier which took me the entire month to get through, but I did it. I’ve read this book a million and one times, but I do really love the audiobooks for this entire trilogy, so I always have a lot of fun re-visiting them. I read them quite a few times this year though so I think I’m going to take a little break so I don’t wear them out. My next audiobook I am going to pick up is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare since I am still working my way through The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I also finished reading Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare today, as I mentioned already…and I don’t know what else to say except it is amazing, I love it, and re-reading it has only magnified my already dangerously crazy love for it. I am SO excited for Queen of Air and Darkness and am really happy I decided to re-read both Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows before because I picked up on so many things I didn’t before. Since I am done re-reading LoS which is like 700 pages, I’m going to be focusing on finishing Perks of Being a Wallflower next, and since it’s so short, hopefully, I’ll finish it in the next day or so. I have a December TBR coming out later this coming week so stay tuned for that to see what other books I want to pick up this month!

As for writing, a lot of writing got done this week and I am pretty proud. In terms of homework and school related things, this week was really slow so I was able to put a lot more effort into my own personal writing. I think overall, I wrote about 6,000 words which I haven’t done in a while. I’ve been re-writing old short stories and editing them like crazy to get ready for portfolio scholarship I am submitting to this Tuesday and if I had school work to do I don’t think I’d be able to get as much done as I did. I still have a lot to get done though so fingers crossed it all gets done.

That is all for this 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 down below. Thanks 🙂

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NaNoWriMo Week 4 – Last Week Check Up

Happy Monday!

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I can’t believe it is already the last week of NaNoWriMo! Where has this month gone? While I haven’t been participating in writing 50k this month, I’ve still been celebrating writing and writing a LOT this month. I wanted to use this last NaNoWriMo weekly blog post to do a little last week check up and give some tips on how to really take advantage of these last 5 days so I hope you enjoy!

  • Write During Every Bit of Spare Time – There are only a few more days left of NaNoWriMo, and even if you are close to your goal or not, use every last bit of November to get some words down! You might not have time or energy once the buzz of NaNo is over, so take advantage of all this fun and write, write, write. Instead of reading, write. Instead of watching Netflix, write. Instead of eating…just kidding, eat AND write!
  • Use NaNo Sprints – NaNo sprints on Twitter will be your LIFE saver these last few days in motivating yourself to sit down and WRITE. These are different lengths of sprints where after them, you can talk with other writers about what you got done and how you’re feeling after each writing session. It’s really helpful because the last half of NaNo can be an uphill battle I tell you.
  • Check Out the Write-In Live Streams – Make sure you check out NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel for some past live streams where the amazing people of NaNoWriMo film videos of them doing writing sprints. They are really motivating and I recommend them if you are having trouble sitting down and writing. Usually, they are an hour long and a lot of the time I sit down and write for that ENTIRE hour…even when they are talking about what they wrote. Super helpful!
  • Reflect On the Writing You Got Done – Even if you are nowhere close to the overall 50k goal, as long as you wrote SOMETHING that is still worth acknowledging. Writing is NOT easy and it’s important to recognize that and reward yourself for what you got done. November is a busy month for a lot of us because it is so close to the end of the year and everyone is trying to wrap up everything, so if you got some words down this month, celebrate!
  • Figure Out What the Next Step Is – Do you still need to finish writing your draft or did you completely finish it? Figure out where you’re at so you can start your attack plan for next month, or for whenever you plan on writing next. That way you know what will happen next and you will be better prepared! For example, I didn’t get my 50k written at all…but I have been working on a lot of short stories, essays, and articles. In December, I am going to keep working on different short stories, essays, articles and whatnot, to build up my portfolio which is seriously lacking material. I would LOVE to work on Project Mystic (the fantasy novel that I’ve been working on since March), but I just don’t have the time to work on one project but the point is that I know I don’t have the time, so now I won’t be wasting any trying to work on it.

Those are 5 tips for your last week of NaNoWriMo, and I hope they were helpful! Hopefully these last few days are good and productive, and remember, if you don’t reach your goal it’s okay! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Once again, sorry for no blog post on Friday! I promise this coming week there will be though because I’ve written and scheduled it already. Haha, look at me kind of being ahead of everything for once! Sitting down at the end of the week to write this blog post has been kind of difficult for me because it’s been hard to remember what I’ve gotten done writing-wise. With reading, I have been good at updating my Goodreads page every few days, but I have been lacking with my sticker tracker in my planner! This week I’m going to try and get back on top of that but these weeks have just been so jammed pack that it keeps slipping my mind. Anyways, onto what I read and wrote this week!

I wrapped up reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare on Tuesday which was bittersweet because I was so excited to get to Lord of Shadows for my first re-read, but I do think Lady Midnight is my favourite in the trilogy…however, I am 250 pages in Lord of Shadows and LOVING it, so I’m not THAT sad about finishing Lady Midnight, to be honest. Re-reading these books is getting me so pumped for Queen of Air and Darkness’s release which is only in 9 freaking days, and ugh, I’m so excited. Apart from Lord of Shadows I have not made much progress in any other books…I’m still on page 50 in Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but since it’s so short I’ll probably try to bring it with me to school this week and hopefully squeeze in some reading time. I was also listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier but I forgot to renew it so I had to wait a few days before getting it back, but I have it now and only have about 3 1/2 hours left to listen to so hopefully I will also get that finished this week as well. Apart from that though, I am just enjoying Lord of Shadows and getting ready for Queen of Air and Darkness! (Let me know if you’re as obsessed with The Dark Artifices trilogy as me…it’s definitely Cassandra Clare’s best series, right?)

Writing definitely happened this week…I’m just trying to remember exactly what. I know I did a re-write of my short story for my high school’s writing contest, as well as a LOT of editing because it was due Thursday. I also had to write an entire 8-page essay for English in one night because yep, I put it off to the last minute as one does. We only had to have it ready for a peer edit session but I did get it done luckily. It was complete trash but I still have a few more days to edit it before handing it in for marks. I’ve also been working on two short articles because I am applying to be the student writer for my local newspaper which is super exciting and nerve-wracking! Working at a newspaper or somewhere like Buzzfeed has been something I’ve always considered, along with writing books and short stories of course, because I do love writing articles and essays. I’m also to extroverted (and introverted…I am definitely an ambivert) not to work with other people so apart from writing my own books, I need to have some sort of day job to keep me a part of society. It also would be AMAZING to get paid for writing an article every month so fingers crossed I get the job! Since we only 5 days left of November (where did this month even go?!? I’m not complaining though ’cause I think we can all agree November is not an easy month), I want to squeeze a lot of writing into this week. I need to edit the four short stories/essays/articles in my portfolio and finish writing a few more for a portfolio scholarship I am submitting to which has a deadline of December 4th…so yeah that is coming up and I am NOT ready. Lots of writing needs to get done so I’m going to end this blog post and hop to it.

Anyways, that is all for this 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 below. Thanks 🙂

P.S. I know my Instagram pic below has been acting up but to be honest, I’m too lazy to fix it. Hopefully, it will fix itself!

Last Blog Post: 3 Things I’ve Learned From My Writing Class

 

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Things I Learned From Draft One

Writing the first draft of this specific project taught me a LOT, and I wanted to share those things in a blog post because while some lessons might be the same, many will also be different.

1. Outlining is a LONG, Hard Process

I always knew outlining was a process obviously, and I knew it took time and motivation, however I realized spending about a month and a half of taking some time each day to work on it, was not enough. I am still adding and changing things to my outline for draft two. I am still having to research things to fill the holes that I should have filled in my outline, but haven’t. Make sure you determine your world, its rules, everyday life, your characters goals and motivation, magic system (if there is one) and anything else you can think of. My problem is that I will outline and then think I researched and wrote out every important thing for my story, but then realize I was missing so many key points later on. I recommend searching outlining tips or outlining worksheets online to help you gather all the main and minor ideas you need to have.

2. Just Because Your First Draft Sucks, Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad

Yeah, your first draft 100% sucks. Words are being thrown left and right, some with meaning some without, but that is okay. Just because you feel as if you word vomited about seventy thousand words onto a document, doesn’t mean the essence of the story is bad. Nobody is a great first writer, trust me. The books we read required dozens and dozens of revisions and edits from not only the author but their editor too. You can’t expect to pump out a clean first draft in one go because that it is the craft of writing. Every time you work on it, it gets a bit cleaner, and slowly, you polish it enough to see that the story hidden behind all those words was never that bad in the first place.

3. Read The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

Honestly, this book has been my savior when it comes to trying to finish outlining my story for draft three. It has everything you ever need to know and more, and will help you see storytelling in a different way. You take away so many valuable tips, tricks, and ideas from this book, and I cannot recommend it enough. I wouldn’t recommend investing in many writing craft books, but this is one of them! Little tip though, I would recommend not using it for first drafts but just knowing you will be using it for future draft will take some stress off, trust me.

4. Focusing on Hours Spent Writing Is More Beneficial Than “Words Written”

I promise you that this is SUPER important. You will get so much more done if you aim to spend an hour or maybe even two hours writing each day, instead of focusing on that pesty little word count tracker at the bottom of your page. I do three thirty minute sprints throughout the morning each day, and all I focus on is writing for that entire thirty minutes, or even writing a bit past. There has only been one or two times I have not reached 1000 words each half hour writing sprint, but other than that, this method has worked wonders for me.

5. Camp NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo Are Excellent Times to Start Your First Draft

Seriously though, if you happen to be close to Camp NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write as much as you can in one month – takes place April + July of every year) or NaNoWriMo (an online writing event where you try to write 50,000 words in one month – every Novemeber), then I highly recommend signing up and participating. NaNoWriMo motivates you because for once, it is not only you working on a project, but thousands of people across the world. Every one is trying to get all the words down, and it is really motivating to see how much progress you will make by the end of it! I have participated in Camp NaNo and NaNo quite a few times, and started my first draft for my WIP during Camp NaNo back in April. I reached my 50,000 words and kept going!

Those are five things I learned from draft one, and I hope you enjoyed! Currently, we are on day three of the Biannual Bibliothon, so make sure to check out ALL the blog posts I have done for it so far!

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

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!

 

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

Happy Sunday!

Since I usually doing reading + writing updates on Sunday, I thought I would wrap up day 2 of the Biannual Bibliothon and the second week of Camp NaNoWriMo all in one post! Before I get into this update, I did want to say that I will not have any Biannual Bibliothon challenge blog posts going up for the next two or three days (not 100% sure which ones I already wrote). I just lost track of time! However, the days I don’t post a challenge post I will still post a regular blog post in its place because I always have a few ready to go. Anyways, let’s get into this most likely lengthy update!

 

BIANNUAL BIBLIOTHON DAY 2 UPDATE:

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I am very happy to report that I am still on track with finishing seven books by the end of the Biannual Bibliothon because I finished my second book for the readathon today! Today I picked up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and to be honest, it was a struggle getting this one done. Lately, I have not really been in the “old school” dystopian mood, which is the genre of this book, so it took a little extra willpower to finish it. Also, it was on the longer(ish) side of being about 488 pages which is really long if I am not loving the story. But I did finish it, and I am very happy to have this book done and read before the movie comes out which hits theaters August 3rd. I am disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, but I didn’t dislike…I am just okay with it. The concept was very similar to all the other dystopians I read, but I do not blame the author at ALL because this book came out in 2012 and dystopian was very “in” back then. Overall, I would give The Darkest Minds a 3/5 stars, and while I don’t have any plans to pick up the rest of the trilogy…series? Whatever it is, who knows?

CAMP NANOWRIMO WEEK 2 UPDATE:

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This is a very successful update because I also managed to write about 15,600 words this past week! This brings me up to a total of about 32,000/50,000 words for the second draft of my WIP, which I am calling Project Mystic, and I am ECSTATIC about my progress. Everyday I have been getting about one and a half hours of writing done, meaning I’ve been writing about 2,000-3,000 words written everyday. This is awesome because not only am I writing this a lot faster than I thought, but because it means I get to FULLY take Sundays off which is really nice for my brain. I do love writing of course, but we all need a break every once and a while. If I continue blasting out the words I will most likely reach my Camp NaNo goal by the end of next week…however I am nowhere near done draft 2. I am hoping it will only take until the middle of August to finish, but who knows?

Anyways, to quickly wrap this up, I started and finished ONE book today and wrote over 15,000 words for this second week of Camp NaNo which I am SO happy about. That is all for today though, I hope your reading/writing is going well, and I will see you tomorrow with some more content!

Last Blog Post: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last Blog Post: Summer Biannual Bibliothon TBR

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