Tag: Blog

My Bullet Journal

My Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is something that I’ve seen lots of authors, and non-authors, using. I tried it out a while ago and it didn’t really work well for me. But I’m also pretty sure I was using it wrong, which probably affected the use I got out of it. At the beginning of the month I found a video that better explained how to use it (I’m not comfortable linking to said video because it had enough language in it I almost didn’t finish it) and decided to give it another try. I used the same notebook that my failed attempts are in, and now I consider my bullet journal starting at about page 23, because the rest of it isn’t really a bullet journal because I had no idea what I was doing. So here’s the process I’m using now, and hopefully it helps out someone else who is maybe in the same boat that I was in and doesn’t really understand the bullet journal system.

To begin with there’s a legend, which I originally used to mark pages, but now I use to mark goals. All but two of the above are stories I’m working on/I have waiting in the wings, and the colors aren’t nearly as dull as they look here, I’m just a really bad photographer. The ones written in lighter are ones that I expect to change the titles of.

This is a piece of my monthly “spread,” as it’s called in official videos. The dates are down the side, and I have written in the blog posts I’m putting up those days. (Hooray! You get a sneak peek of what’s coming up!) I also have icons next to those that I have events to go to.

This is below the end of my monthly list, though you can’t see that in this picture. It has my main goals for the month, and this month I have more than usual because before this system I didn’t really make myself goals.

This is my first daily spread. Beside the date I have my word count for that day, and then below that is my list of goals for the day. The arrows indicate I postponed that goal, and Xs indicate cancelled goals.

I also kind of use my bullet journal as a space to talk about my writing progress, and so for each day I have a journal section where I talk about my writing that day and how it went and if anything special happened. On the 4th I troubleshooted a part of House of Mages and mentioned a piece to cut, on the 7th I mentioned some cool things I’d learned while researching for Dark Queen Rising and that I finally picked a satisfactory name for one of the characters in that, etc. And there have also been days that I’ve used this space to make writing-related lists or notes, as well. I have a full two pages dedicated to blog post topics between the 9th and 10th (which really annoys me, but I needed the space).

Overall, this has really helped me because it gives me some accountability with myself. I like seeing the pretty colored boxes checked off. I’ve written a lot more this month than most non-NaNoWriMo months, I think. I’ve written 35,193 words this month already, and I had a 7k+ day, which I’m fairly certain has only happened once outside of NaNoWriMo. And it was also very instrumental in reviving my blog. I wouldn’t have started posting so regularly if not for the organization that my bullet journal has provided.

Overall, I’m very glad I found that video and learned how to use a bullet journal, because it has helped me a lot. Hopefully this post was helpful to you like that video was to me. :)

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Farewell to July

Farewell to July

Hey guess what! This makes three monthly wrap-up posts in a row! Hooray!

July’s Writing

July was Camp NaNoWriMo, as most if not all of you know, and my project was to finish The Heart of the Baenor. I did not accomplish that goal, unfortunately, but I still made my 20k goal and even upped it to 40k and won that. I started the Dark War Trilogy, against my better judgement, and I’m really loving it so far. I adore the characters, as with many of my stories.

In addition, I started a dystopian story that I’m keeping on a back burner as something to work on when I’m really stuck with something else, and I began a collaboration story with my best friend set in Wonderland, which we’re both really excited about. The basic premise is that key Wonderland characters are dying, and the eight MCs have to take their places, which begins with a quest for relics for each of them. It’s really fun.

July’s Reading

I’ve read a lot this month. I finally managed to get to my library, which resulted in a stack of books to read, and I’ve finished all but one of those.

The first thing I finished was High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks, which is the first in his latest trilogy, I believe. He may have started another one since. It was really good, and I gave it four stars on Goodreads.

After that was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, which was excellent. Five stars for that one.

Next was Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Ann without an E! D:), which got three stars. It seemed a bit too much like Maze Runner for my taste and finished on a sufficiently tied-up ending, so I don’t plan on reading the next one.

I also read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, which was pretty good. Four stars.

Before Red Queen, actually, was The Giver by Lois Lowry. I absolutely fell in love with that one. It’s one of few books that made me feel. I nearly cried near the end, and that’s something that happens even less than feeling in general at books.

I also read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which I technically finished in August, but most of it was read in July, so I’m listing it here anyway. I’ve been trying to get a hold of this one for a long time so I could read it, and I was finally able to get it from my library. It’s usually checked out the times I go to the library. :P I really liked this one, too, and gave it five stars. There were a few things I could have done without – sporadic language, some suggestive dialogue, gore that went a bit farther in-depth than it needed to – but overall it was really good. There was a love triangle, but it was well-handled and I could tolerate it, even though the MC gravitates toward the wrong one, in my opinion.

If you’d like to see reviews of any of these books, let me know and I’d be happy to write them. :)

Farewell to June

Farewell to June

Hey! Two recap posts on time in a row! Progress! Let’s get started, shall we?

June’s Writing

I actually haven’t done a ton of writing this month. I worked on several chapters of House of Mages’ third draft, and then got really irritated at it and decided to set it aside until after July’s Camp NaNoWriMo.

Those of you who have read a lot of my blog have probably heard of The Half-Elves. Well I decided one evening to just write something random with them, and I got a two-page short story out of it, in which they actually acted like themselves. I actually posted it, come to think of it. You can find it here.

And I’ve also started plans on a new trilogy, which I talked about in my last post.

June’s Reading

I haven’t read much this month, either. I did read Heartless by Marissa Meyer, however, and I highly recommend it. It was sooooo good! It was heartwrenching at the end (no pun intended), but it was so good. I’d warn you not to get attached to anyone, but that’s an impossible feat, so I won’t suggest trying it.

I’ve also been reading The Collective by R.S. Williams, since I won it in a giveaway (which surprised me, since I don’t tend to win things). I plan on reviewing it once I’m done.

And, if this counts, I read a story that a friend of mine wrote when he was about eight, which had me rolling on the floor laughing, particularly when coupled with the sarcastic comments that he and friends of his had left on almost every other line. My favorite quote from that story was definitely, “Drink this, you great big flashlight!”

Other Fun Stuff

My choir got to sing at Wolftrap with Celtic Woman on June 20th! It was a spectacular experience, although to be entirely honest the excitement seemed to be on a fifteen-hour lag. I didn’t freak out until about ten the next morning, lol. But it was really, really cool to hang out with the choir and meet Celtic Woman and sing in front of thousands of people and just… it was amazing. (Dude, I performed on a stage that Lindsey Stirling has performed on! *squeals*) I called the late excitement “post-concert euphoria.” (I’m a fan of The Space Between Us, so I had to make a reference to it, even if no one got it.) Just being on the bus with the choir is a great experience, because we sing the entire way, randomly bursting into VeggieTales or Disney or Phantom of the Opera or three-year-old choir songs. It’s great, and there’s never a very long lag in the music, because someone will always get us started again on something new. I adore my choir. ^-^

On top of that, one of my fellow choir members and I talked about writing several times this month, which is really cool because I don’t have very many writing friends I’ve met in person.

And in a similar vein, I’ve realized I have a couple of really great friends that aren’t just online friends. (My online friends are still fabulous, by the way.) I’ve often bemoaned my lack of “real life” friends, so it’s really cool to realize I actually have more than I noticed.

I’ve also had a song written about me now. *checks that off bucket list* One of the above mentioned friends wrote a song about each me and another friend, which was cool. ^-^

So overall it’s been a pretty spectacular month. How have you guys been this month?

Farewell to April and May

Farewell to April and May

I am so, so bad at doing these regularly. *facepalms* Oh well.

April’s Writing

I ended up writing 40k on The Heart of the Baenor for Camp Nano, instead of my goal of 60k. And that makes a three-time losing streak for Camp Nano. Hooray. I wrote 54k during Camp, though. The last week was spent hopping between random stories because I fell into an awful writing slump. :P

April’s Reading

I didn’t do a ton of reading in April, actually. I read about half of First King of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and I read part of The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler, but that’s it.

May’s Writing

Well, April’s writing slump decided to continue into May, so the beginning of this month was entirely nonconstructive. I wrote a tiny bit on a new story of mine (like I really need another one, right?) and progressed tHotB about 500 words. Woopdeedoo.

I did, however, start the next draft of House of Mages. I’m working on getting the money for an editor, also. (If you’d like to help out, I started a GoFundMe page for it.)

I also started on the first book of my series The Daughters of the Hylands, which I’ve been planning for years and just haven’t been able to get working. This is my third try, and I think this one will actually turn out okay. Here’s hoping.

May’s Reading

I continued April’s reading, as well as reading The Curse of the Spider King, the first book in the Berinfell Prophecies by Wayne Thomas Batson, and starting on Timebound by Rysa Walker. Both are very good, and Curse of the Spider King may have bumped Dreamtreaders down on my top five list.

 

Hello to February (Late) & the Beginning of a New Habit (Hopefully)

Hello to February (Late) & the Beginning of a New Habit (Hopefully)

Hello, readers. :) Today I’m going to start something new and start doing monthly posts so that hopefully I’ll get into a habit of writing regularly. So each month I’ll post sort of a round-up of what I’ve read and written over the month past and what my goals are for the coming month. And since this is late, this post will also have what I’ve already read/written over the current month, plus a cool writing tool I discovered. So without further ado, here’s the post.

January’s Reading

Reading is imperative to writing, but even if it weren’t, it would still be awesome. And January’s reading was pretty cool.

First off, I read The Midnight Thief, by Livia Blackburne, which of course started my whole Deep Worldbuild Project blog series. This book was amazingly written. You know how occasionally you’ll read a book that was so good you can’t find any more reading for the next month because it was so amazing and nothing else is “good enough”? This was one of those. I highly recommend it.

I also finished The Silmarillion, by Tolkien. I started this one back in March-ish of last year, and I finally finished it in late January. It’s a really interesting book, just slow to get through. :P

And this month I reread The Door Within, by Wayne Thomas Batson, who is probably my favorite author. He’s awesome. You should check out his books. They’re amazing. I’ve now reread The Door Within three times.

I started a couple other books, too, that I sent back to the library after just a couple chapters. Usually I try to finish books I start, even if they’re bad, but… I don’t have a lot of grace left over for this particular author. I started Eye of Minds by James Dashner. It could have been good, maybe, if I hadn’t already read the entire Maze Runner series and gotten rather irritated at him and his writing errors (you can read my review post here), but as it was I wasn’t real excited about a book with the same type of “good” organization controlling the MC. No thanks.

On the other hand, I also read The Fever Code in January, and despite making me want to punch the “good” organization in the face the entire time, the book was fairly enjoyable. I like Newt even more now.

January’s Writing

I actually wrote quite a bit in January, and mostly on a story that I’m currently calling Rebellion Ever After. (It would still be called “fairytale retelling” if not for my friend Val, so thanks to her.)

In addition to that, I also wrote some on a rewrite of an oooooooold story of mine called The Half-Elves, which is rather bittersweet. On the one hand, the writing is significantly better because I started this thing seven and a half years ago and finished the first draft three and a half years ago, so my writing is a lot better now. On the other hand, it’s developing better now as well, which means that a couple of important pieces in the original might not even happen in the rewrite.

Other than that I did a little bit of writing in several other WIPs, as well as blogging more (yay!), but overall January wasn’t particularly productive.

February’s Writing

February has only been here for four days and it has already been more productive (or it felt more productive, at least) than January. Most of that, I believe, is thanks to myWriteClub, which I discovered a few days ago thanks to one of my favorite blogs, which was formerly known as She’s Novel and is now called Well-Storied. myWriteClub is a goal-setting site made specifically for writers. You can set goals by number of words, chapters, pages, etc., and you can set up a jillion of them at once. I currently have eight of them up, with all but three of them being novels.

So this month I’ve worked on both Rebellion Ever After and The Half-Elves some more, as well as working on other projects of mine like The Masked Captain, The Lowlines, and the second draft of House of Mages (tedious, but hopefully worth it).

February’s Goals

I am known for setting myself more goals than I can realistically hit, but if you aim for the sun you may get to the moon, even if you don’t get to the sun, and you wouldn’t have even gotten that far if you’d only aimed for the other side of the world. That’s not an amazing analogy, but oh well. Hopefully it got the point across, at least.

So, my goals for this month are mostly writing related. I want to hit the halfway point, at least, with all of my projects by the end of February. My deadline for all of them is the end of March, and I think this is totally doable. Especially since one of my New Year’s goals was to write two thousand words each day. If I write one thousand on each of even just two projects each day, I’m well on my way. Not that I expect to actually be able to stick to that super well. But one can hope, right?

I’d also like to finish the books I’m reading: Spindle by Shonna Slayton, The Rise of the Wyrm Lord by Wayne Thomas Batson, and Virals by Kathy Reichs. I’m reading a couple other books, too, but I know I can’t realistically expect to finish them all by the end of February.

I’d also like to write at least one blog post per week, if not more often. Starting, of course, with today’s posts. I’m thinking of doing a short post about one of my WIPs each of the next eight days (today included), but I don’t know if y’all would be interested in those. So comment below and let me know if you’re interested in that. Each post would have a synopsis (and probably a not-so-great one since I’ve never been amazing at synopses), and a short description of each of the main characters, what the current word count is, what I find most interesting about it, I don’t know. Just random fun facts, maybe some excerpts. I’m not entirely sure yet what those posts would entail. So maybe let me know what interests you in a post like that. I want you guys to enjoy these, I don’t want to just blog because it’s a thing writers do, or something. So let me know what you like to read on a blog and what you like to read about and stuff and I’ll try to write interesting posts. :)