The Final Push! | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Despite being the final day of NaNoWriMo 2018, it is never too late.

Aside from this particular NaNoWriMo, I have always won on the final day – aka, the 30th. I routinely write around 10k or even more on the final day in a mad rush to get that “winner’s” badge. If you start out early, remember to take regular breaks, and work however works best for you, it’s not impossible.

However, even if you don’t quite get to 50,000 words (it is a lot of words!) do not despair. As long as you have more words in your current work in progress than you did at the start of the month, you have won NaNoWriMo.

Honestly. A lot of people think that NaNoWriMo is just about hitting that big 5-0k, but it really isn’t. For me, NaNoWriMo is more about the community that surrounds it, and trying something new. If you’ve never written before this November, and you have 500 words, that’s still great! If you’ve been struggling with school, work, or life in general, and you haven’t reached your goal, that’s still fantastic. If nothing in particular has happened and crossing to get the “winner” badge is still too far away to be achievable –guess what. That’s okay, too.

Whilst NaNoWriMo began with trying to write an entire novel in a month, since I started my first in 2012, I have watched it evolve into cheerleading fellow Wrimos on and having fun with writing, creating new characters and worlds which didn’t exist before the month began. Whatever you wrote in November, and whether you’re still going or it’s already nearing the 1st for you, I hope that you’re proud that you even pledged to write something.It’s not an endeavour that everyone turns their hand to, so well done you!

For the last time this year: happy NaNoWriMo!

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What I’ve Been Reading Lately #2

As I stopped doing “Turning the Page” weekly posts because I just wasn’t reading enough (and also I am so busy with uni work!) I am occasionally doing these catch-up posts. You can read the first one here

what i've been reading lately

Since I last updated 3 weeks ago, I have read 3 books for university and 2 Little Black Classics, which are a series by Penguin; so, 5 overall. I am working so hard on essays, my dissertation etc., that reading Little Black Classics (which I buddy read with my bestie Natalie) is one of the only ways I can read for pleasure. 

For university I have read: 

  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (3.5/5): I actually kind of fell in love with Phillip Marlowe here. He is a charming man, but the book itself felt quite episodic. It was actually a series of short stories turned into novels, which makes sense if you read them, but I did really enjoy it nonetheless. 
  • A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes (4/5): I really loved this book. It was groundbreaking in its time, and Himes is a truly fascinating character – if you don’t really know much about him, I’d definitely do some research. It was really graphic too, kind of Deadpool-esque, which is something we haven’t really had in the books for this module up until now. 
  • The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (3.5/5): Whilst this one wasn’t necessarily my favourite, it is a great novel and I really love Highsmith’s writing style. She was a fascinating person and I would love to read more books she’s written such as Strangers on A Train. If you are interested in LGBTQ+ lit, murder, forgery, unreliable narrators, and sociopaths, this is a novel for you. 

And outside of university, I have read: 

  • The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson (4/5): This is a Penguin Modern Classic, and is only about 90 or so pages long, containing three short stories. I thought they were all fascinating, and I’m surprised I haven’t read Jackson before because not only do I like her writing style, but her work feels something I would’ve (should’ve?) studied in school. 
  • Stancliffe’s Hotel by Charlotte Bronte (3/5): A Little Black Classic, this was a little longer at 110 pages, and it’s a piece Bronte wrote when she was much younger. Indeed, it is told in the confusing, whimsical way of a child, but it is obvious that Bronte was already stretching her writing style and you can see where the famous writer we all know began her work. 

Despite the fact I haven’t really had much time to read for pleasure, I have been trying to eke out more time recently, so hopefully will have read some more. As well as that, by mid-December one of my modules will be done and I’ll just have my dissertation to finish over Christmas, and I’m hoping to read much more then! 

What have you read recently? 

Should You Have a Writing Routine? | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Most successful writers have some sort of writing routine. Stephen King religiously writes six pages a day; Haruki Murakami rises at 4am and works for five or six hours before running 10k in the afternoon; Ernest Hemingway also wrote at first light every morning; and Ray Bradbury challenged all writers to write one short story every single week.

Continue reading “Should You Have a Writing Routine? | NaNoWriMo 2018”

I recommend books based on your blog #4 | Bound to Writing

I recommend books based on your blog” is a bi-monthly series where I recommend a different blogger three books based on their blog content and blog design! 

i recommend books banner website

This week I am recommending books to Jenn from Bound to Writing. Jenn is an author and blogger, who reads and reviews a lot of YA and poetry. Her blog is really bright and exciting, and she is such a great, consistent blogger who always gives good content!

I’m going to kind of cheat with this one, because I’m going to start by recommending a book I suggested last time!

  1. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Not only is this book a fantastic read… the cover is also yellow. Yup, when I started this series, I said I’d be looking at blog aesthetic too, and that is like 90% of the reason I’m recommending this one!
  2. Countless by Karen Gregory
    Looking through Jenn’s reviews, I think that this one fits in really well to some of the YA books she’s read before and it’d be a book she really enjoys reading. I just wish the cover had more yellow in it!
  3. Remix by Non Pratt
    The aesthetic of this one fits way more into Jenn’s blog which makes my little heart very happy! This one, I think, be a great fit into what Jenn likes to read – according to her blog anyway!

Soooo Jenn I found recommending books for you the hardest so far! You seem to be quite like me – read a really diverse range of books, so I hope that in this list there’s something that you’ll enjoy reading. I enjoyed all of these books, and the latter two especially are really great examples of strong YA novels.

Do you agree with my recommendations? What would you recommend to Jenn?

PS – if you want to look back through the recommendation archive, just click here!

Until next time,

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I am a rubbish blogger – and that’s okay!

Something I have learnt over the last few months is that I, truly, am an atrocious blogger.

I make memes that I never carry on with. I announce a new schedule that lasts for maybe a couple of months before I get caught up in my daily life. I enthusiastically request books and blog tours that I think I’ll love and the struggle to get them written on time. 

Continue reading “I am a rubbish blogger – and that’s okay!”

Why do you write? A reminder to keep going | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

why do you write

It’s week three, so if you’re anything like the average NaNo writer, you’re probably starting to lag. The “Week Three Blues” are an actual thing that NaNo veterans understand, so working out how to carry on with your novel is one of the other trying things that NaNoWriMo teaches you.

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” – ‘Why I Write’ by George Orwell

Continue reading “Why do you write? A reminder to keep going | NaNoWriMo 2018”

Why I Stopped Setting TBRs

Truly, I am terrible at sticking to a schedule.

I make my to-do lists daily and on my phone because I regularly delete and add things. I double-book myself on the regular. I actually list lateness as one of my characteristics.

So it surprises me that, for many months, I have been setting TBRs. Especially considering that, apart from readathons, I don’t think I’ve ever completed them.

I stopped setting TBRs for a similar reason I stopped setting myself reading challenges – because I stopped caring what other people think about my reading.

I was introduced to setting TBRs by the online book blogging community, and whilst I don’t necessarily think they’re a bad thing, I never used to set them before. That makes me feel like I only set them because everyone else did.

The good side of TBRs is that I’m likely to read more, but the downside is that they really stress me out. And another good side is that I read books that have been on my bookshelf for absolutely ages, but I am such a big mood reader that I pick up these books and end up not enjoying them as much as I may because I’m not in the right head space for them.

Setting TBRs does make me excited because it’s another chance to get through the sheer amount of books on my bookshelf, but I’m glad I’ve stopped setting them. For me, it’s much more fun being able to pick a book off my shelf when I fancy it rather than working my way through a pile of books that I wanted to read at the start of the month, but 25 days later are not looking like my cup of tea right now.

I’d love to know what you think about setting TBRs – if they’re something that you regularly make yourself, or if you, like me, have given up on making them!

Until next time,

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Help – my plot is off the rails! | NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo is a 30-day caffeine-fuelled event where writers all over the world endeavour to write 50,000 words of a novel. It sounds terrifying, but it’s also fun – and you can join here!

Those dreaded first words (1)

You think the book is going okay, but you just can’t keep the plot in a straight line. It started out as a romance… but you think your love interest might be murdered so does that make it a crime novel? Or perhaps you began as a crime novel and it’s turned into a political story about veganism in the modern day.

Well, I thought my novel was going to be a cute romance about two adorable girls in WWII-era London, but I think it’s a cute romance about two adorable girls… with some ghosts thrown into the mix. It kinda shakes up the tone a little. Continue reading “Help – my plot is off the rails! | NaNoWriMo 2018”

I recommend books based on your blog #3 | Jenniely

I recommend books based on your blog” is a bi-monthly series where I recommend a different blogger three books based on their blog content and blog design! 

i recommend books banner website

In this episode of the series, I’m recommending books to Jenn who writes at Jenniely! Jenn is an award-winning book blogger, and is also know for her hilarious and relatable Tweets! She blogs about YA books, as well as discussion posts. And Jenn also runs an Etsy store called Literary Galaxy (with truly amazing bookmarks)! Phew. You go, Jenn.

  1. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Jenn’s logo is so starry and lovely, and I really wanted to recommend at least one book that has a titular connection to space! I loved this MG book – it’s mystical, gripping, and such a great story. I really think Jenn would enjoy it.
  2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    This is one of my favourite books, and what’s not to like? Cake! Friends! Fairytales! Marissa Meyer! Ha. Whilst this one seems pretty light and fluffy, it’s actually a lot more serious and darker than you’d originally guess – I mean, considering the fairytale it’s based on! Jenn reads a lot of books that I think would fit in with this one.
  3. Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
    Although I only read this book relatively recently, it was so good and I really think Jenn would like it. It’s quite sci-fi and fantasy-esque but also really good at talking back mental health, friendship, and it’s a great YA book on top of all that too.

Jenn, I hope I haven’t recommended you anything you’ve read before! I’ve chosen three of my actual personal favourite books, and I think that Jenn would love all of them too. They’re all quite starry and exciting, so I think they fit in really well with Jenn’s blog aesthetic too.

Do you agree with what I recommended? What would you recommend to Jenn?

Until next time,

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End of Year Reading Goals | 2018

Today I thought I’d share some of my reading goals for the end of the year! I said a while back that I wasn’t going to be setting TBRs anymore, and that’s completely true, but I still want to set some goals to finish before December 31st rolls around.

end of year reading goals

Finish my Goodreads Challenge

Image result for goodreadsI’m never too bothered about the Goodreads Challenge, but obviously, because I do set a reading challenge every year, I would like to finish it! I’m currently reading book 88/100, so I still have a fair few books to go, but I think that over the Christmas holidays I would like to reread some old favourites, so hopefully will push this number up.

Read as many as possible from my 18 books to read in 2018 list

I set up this list in January, and conveniently forgot about it until I’m literally just writing this blog post. (Apparently I remembered it in September too when I last updated the list!) I doubt I’ll be able to finish all of them, but I would like to read numbers 1, 2, 3, 13, 14, and 15.

Complete all of my Art of Murder reading

My one literature module at university is called The Art of Murder and let me tell you, I am LOVING it. I work my butt off to get my reading done before my seminars (although I’m writing this blog post to procrastinate work for it…) but a goal nevertheless is to complete all of the reading, as I have 1-2 books every week.

Image result for biannual bibliothonParticipate in the Winter Biannual Bibliothon! 

I absolutely adore this readathon, and whilst I doubt I’ll be doing the YouTube challenges, I want to do the reading challenges and the blogging challenges. It’s such a fantastic readathon – I highly recommend it!

So those are some of my end of year reading goals – I really hope I can complete as many as possible! I used to be really vigilant about setting goals, but I’ve relaxed those so much recently and it’s been great. I’m participating because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.

However, with that being said – do you have any end of year goals? Are you continuing on with the goals you set in January – if you set any? I’d love to know!

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