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Self-Sabotage & Self-Doubt

I have been working hard all month to proofread my novel. Until these past few days that is. I know I should open that document and just do a paragraph. Any little bit is progress. But there always seems to be a point in every project where things start to feel a bit too real for me. I realized that I really could have this book proofread in the next 9 months, that it really will only take a couple more months. For some reason that terrifies me! I want to have a second draft. Even with a second draft, there’ll be so much more work to do. Maybe what scares me so much is that I don’t know very much about what to do after besides have a friend/s proofread…

The unknown can be scary at times. I am totally fine walking around cities by myself without a plan, as long as I know I can find my car again. But when it comes to life, the boundaries are less obvious and the safe zone of the “car” is harder to figure out how to get back to. Or maybe it’s that life’s map is much harder to read than a city map. Or maybe it is that I’m less sure where I want to go in life. I can wander around a city without a destination in mind, but life there really should be some goals along the way, even if I’m not completely sure where I want to be in the end.

I think we all self-sabotage in some ways. We work towards a goal for so long (in my case, I’ve been working on this book for 5 years), we build it into something so big it seems unattainable. Something that maybe started as a project becomes a dream, then scares us into becoming a project again—a project that can be set on the back burner for now, but now becomes weeks, months, years, never. Sometimes we think we dream too big, but I think that really we dream too small. Or maybe we dream big enough but are too afraid to admit it. We convince ourselves things aren’t for us when we were made for them.

Maybe I’ll never be published, but the friend I started writing this book for deserves a nice draft! I deserve to celebrate that I’ve written a book! I didn’t celebrate finishing a rough draft (I think I only told one person. I still haven’t directly told too many others that I have written a book. I occasionally post something about it on my Instagram, but that shouldn’t really count), so I need to celebrate when this draft is done… How should I celebrate?

Changing subjects, self-doubt can be related to self-sabotage, but are they the same thing? Doubting yourself opens yourself up for failure. When I started this blogpost, I was thinking that some doubts are warranted. I have an interview tomorrow with Reading Corps. I have a reading disability. I consider it only a slight disability now a days (elementary school was hard for me, but I do have a bachelor’s degree in English), but reading aloud brings back all those doubts. Of course, reading is part of my interview tomorrow. Thinking about my trouble reading makes me stumble more.

This job is something I want to do so much. I have always thought about tutoring, but I have also always doubted that I am proficient enough to help others with reading. I stumble at reading, I am terrible at spelling (I had to change the spelling of tutor and I want to be one?!), but I desperately want to help kids because I know how it feels. Maybe I’ve never doubted my intelligence, but I do still feel stupid when I have to read in front of a group.

Well, now that you know about my self-doubts, tell me your thoughts! Are self-doubts ever not self-sabotage? Do you have any recommendations for overcoming self-doubts and/or self-sabotage?

Posted in Bookish Thoughts, Music, Uncategorized

Lullaby (Be satisfied with small beginnings)

So my last project in college I wrote a paper about the use of music in The Hunger Games trilogy and composed music for the songs. It was a super fun project. I’ve been wanting to make a new project out of it and post it on YouTube. It has been such a pain. But I think I’m done with it and will be laying it out there even if it’s terrible. You have to start somewhere… One day maybe I’ll have the time, patience, and courage to perform the lullaby myself (the uploaded audio is electronic, but it sounds pretty good, much better than I do at the moment…).

I still sing this lullaby to the kids I’ve watched for the past 5 years. I hope one day when they read The Hunger Games they’ll remember me singing it to them and that moment will be even more emotional for them, because I can be heartlessly heartfelt like that… (I know they probably won’t remember me singing them lullabies since they’ve all been really young)

I guess this is a reminder to me that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at the beginning. Debut novels are almost always hit and miss. Watching some YouTubers’ first videos is embarrassing for everyone. First learning to crochet, I thought slip stitches were single stitches (it took forever to crochet a scarf!), and we’ll not talk about how uneven it was. As long as I continue to learn from mistakes and keep trying harder, I’ll improve. I won’t reach perfection, but I can fail a bit closer to perfect each time.

So, if you’d like to watch my version of the Lullaby go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3WGyPsvnng

I’m so sorry that some of the photos ended up so blurry. I still think it was a cool idea, but I apparently don’t know how to make it come to life… One day I’ll get there. Be patient with me.

If you are interested in what I wrote about the music in the Hunger Games (the impact it has on the plot of the books and interaction with the characters, why I made the musical choices I did, etc), let me know! Or I might just not care and post it whether you want it or not!

I’m sorry, I’m tired. I’m glad I’m done with this particular project, but I also am not really satisfied with it…

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It’s not the thought that counts

There’s a big difference between remembering I need to write a blog post today and actually doing it. There’s a big difference between meaning to do something and actually doing it. The best of intentions mean absolutely nothing if you never act on them. Even if that action is saying that you meant to do something.

Actions do speak louder than words.

What are your actions (or inactions) saying?

Posted in Bookish Thoughts, Uncategorized

Well-behaved vs. Rebel

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I have very few but a lot of questions and thoughts. Lately I’ve been wondering what’s so wrong with well-behaved women? I know the quote “Well-behaved women seldom make history” I love it! But at the same time I feel like there might be layers of well-behaved and rebel. A lot of presidents’ wives would fall under the category well-behaved but they’ve done impressive things! Or in literature, how about a lot of the females in the Harry Potter Series. Mrs. Weasley is definitely an amazing wife and mother, and part of that is protecting her children, which we all love her for! Or Hermione does occasional rule breaking, but overall she’s pretty well-behaved (at least to those casually know her). Then there’s Tonks who is absolutely brilliant and rebellious to tradition.

I think maybe the trick about well-behaved and rebellious is looking at what they rebel against or why they follow the rules. Some governments are worth rebellion and others aren’t. Was Dumbledore a perfect headmaster? There’s no such thing! Would you rebel against him? Hermione did in a way. She cared so much for House Elf freedom she rebelled. That’s another trick to successful rebellions and rebellious characters—they have to have something they are fighting for and not just against. The Hunger Games trilogy is a great example of how things can go when the fighting for is a bit vague or not everyone is on bored. It gets a bit complicated…

Is the world so black and white that there is only well-behaved and rebel? Where does Prim Everdeen fit in if so? She follows rules but does it for a rebellion. In a world where standards are so complicated is there such a thing as well-behaved anymore? Will there be a point where rebelling becomes the standard and therefore rebelling is well-behaved? Are there some rebels we love just because they’re rebels even if they have nothing they are rebelling for?

Please let me know your thoughts! I’d love to have a real discussion.

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello again!

Well, it has been a while. I’m sorry about that, but it’s always a good time for a fresh start, right? Please, give me a second chance at being consistent!

What have I been doing for the past almost year? I’ve read a lot (yay!), learned to knit (fun!), explored the East coast a fair amount (so much to see!), and moved back to Colorado (It’s been a month, why have I still not been to the mountains?!). What have I not done (much)? Blog posts (obviously), edited the book I finished writing over two years ago (I’m working on editing chapter 9. Only 36 more to go… Yikes!), writing (I briefly tried NaNoWriMo this year. I don’t think I lasted a week. Boo!).

My biggest problem is consistency, and I know I’m not alone in this. There are some huge goals in my life that I’m super excited about, but sometimes the big goals get put on the back burner because there are so many little things to get knocked out quickly. But then the big things never get brought back to the front. It took me three years to write the book, it’ll probably take me three years to edit it. Wait, I have less than a year to finish that impossibly long deadline I gave myself?! How did that happen? Day by day. Just like accomplishing a goal is done day by day, losing track of it also happens slowly. I’m sure you’ve all seen the meme “How it feels to write after a long time” and the guy is using a pen that has about 50 pounds of weight on the tip. Let’s stop procrastinating!

So, I’m going to try to be more consistent and present! I am going to try my hardest to write a blog post once a week! Let’s aim for Thursdays! In the meantime, here are some tips for being consistent:

  • Break large goals into smaller goals.
  • If you are trying to do something once a week, chose a day to do it. Once a month, pick a day; once a day pick a time. Make a schedule.
  • Goals will most likely take sacrifices. Prove to yourself you really are committed. Make a sacrifice. Make sure the most important things come first.
  • Have a reminder. I know I’m bad at looking at my planner more than once a week. Maybe a post it note, whiteboard, or alarm on the phone would be better.
  • Get encouragement. I don’t know about you, but I hear a lot of great things about mentors, especially being in a position where you have a mentor and you are a mentor. You always have stuff to learn and you always have stuff to teach. And if being a mentor terrifies you, imagine how much it’ll challenge and teach you (all the beset things are terrifying at the beginning).
  • Have somebody you are accountable to. Maybe this is part of mentorship or maybe this is someone else. Be accountable for doing your daily best. Or maybe you need someone who will tell you it’s okay/get off your butt when you fail! Life is better with a support system. Even if you always meet your goals and don’t use the support system, know who you would turn to and let them know you appreciate and trust them.

 

I think that is it for today. I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to continue to not proofread blog posts. Is that okay? If it really bugs you, let me know, but to be completely honest, I have a novel to edit and proofread! Please don’t make me do more! (I know proofreading would make this blog much more professional, but right now I have four subscribers and am not too concerned about professionalism. This will probably come back to haunt me, but right now I don’t care…)

Posted in Top 5 Wednesday, Uncategorized

July 13th: Books You Wish Had Sequels

I like endings. I think it’s better for a book or series to leave you wishing there was more than to just keep going endlessly. Even if there isn’t complete closure, I like knowing it’s done and that I can just imagine whatever I like for the character(s) afterwards. That being said, here are the books/series I can think of:

  1. Bayou by Jeromy Love – I almost forgot about this! There are two volumes, but there has to be more to the story because there’s no resolve at all. This is the darkest, beautiful, haunting graphic novel I’ve read and I want more.
  2. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – It’s less that I want a sequel as much as I want an epilog, or maybe I novella following any one of the characters. So much happened at the end of this book.
  3. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card – This was one of my favorite books last year. It ended wonderfully. I’d take more though.
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I don’t know what a sequel would look like, but I just want more. More of Morgenstern’s writing, more of this magical world, just more.
  5. Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle (and others) – Where are the other years?

Is it obvious I was getting desperate towards the end?

Posted in Bookish Thoughts, Uncategorized

Not finishing books

I almost always finish the books I start. It might take me months or even years to finish a book (for example, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. I’d put that book down for months at a time) but I do eventually finish them. The last time I didn’t finish a book was probably college… I get as far into the book as I could (usually), but once we moved on to the next book it was silly to try and finish the last one. Even then, I’d like to finish several of those books.

The reason I’m writing about this today is that I’m about to put down a book without knowing when I’ll pick it up next. The book is Red Raising. And before you get all offended let me say that I’m really enjoying the book—well, maybe enjoying isn’t the right word. I think if you “enjoy” dystopian books there’s something a little wrong with you. They can be your favorite genre, but there’s something very unsettling about taking joy from them. Anyway, my problem is that I’ve been trying to listen to the audiobook which is amazing, but I think I’d get a lot more out of it if I had the physical book as well. Also, I feel like it’s just not the right season to read about such a desolate landscape and story.

I’d really love to read another book or series that takes place in a forest or where a forest is a major part of it (I think that was part of the reason I loved The Raven Cycle so much). It’s just nice and summery outside, and I enjoy listening to audiobooks while walking. Do you have any suggestions for a book like that?

Anyway, I know that this was all a bit random, but my point is that you can put down a book for a month or a year or however long and still get back to it. If you know you’d enjoy a book more later, read it later. There are too many good books to read to not thoroughly enjoy the books when you read them. Maybe this winter or next winter I’ll read the Red Rising series. Until then, I’m not going to stress over it.

Posted in Top 5 Wednesday, Uncategorized

July 8th: Favorite Books Outside Your Comfort Zone

Okay, so I think reading books outside of my comfort zone is my comfort zone. I like reading books that make me think, make me feel slightly uncomfortable, and are about things I don’t know about. But here are some books that I surprisingly enjoyed—is that the right way to put it?

  1. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  3. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  4. Dawn by Elie Wiesel
  5. Jackaby by William Ritter
Posted in Uncategorized

T5W: Settings I want to see more of

  1. Academia like in The Historian – I love reading about places filled with books and people who love to learn.
  2. Universe in the Lunar Chronicles – I’m interested how society got to that point and how much its changed since the series ended. Not just a few years, but a generation or two (seriously, those characters would be adorable!)
  3. Infernal Devises – I loved the take on the time period.
  4. World in the Raven Cycle – I am currently living on the East Coast, so the real world made me feel a bit more at home here, but then you have this other world in the book that was so magical yet dark.
  5. The World in Stardust – There’s so much more exploring to be done!
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Rereading Books

So, starting last year I discovered just how much I enjoy rereading books. When I first discovered Harry Potter was when I first began to enjoy reading. I cannot remember how many times I reread that first book especially. I know I read other books around that time period, but I hardly remember any of them. Then I got to a period where I didn’t have much time to read for fun and so I didn’t really reread. There are so many amazing books out there—how is there possibly time to read all of them let alone reread some of my favorites?!

But I started rereading books in college because one of my professors said that that was a great way to write those big, detailed essays. And I could not agree more! If it’s just a little essay or just a reaction or such, it’s not worth it. But if the essay is a final essay or worth a significant amount of the grade, make time to reread—you’ll thank yourself later. Read the first time for the story, to understand as best you can what is happening and why, the characters, etc. Decide what you want to write about. Reread. You’ll be surprised how much there is on your topic in the text. Mark the quotes are references you want to put in your essay (so time saving). You’ll have so much more to say and be able to say it a lot better.

Then there’s rereading for fun. Last read I started reading a ridiculous amount which was great, but it also meant spending less time with the characters and stories I adore. But it’s always possible to return to them when I reread the books. And I realize just how much I missed on the first reading! There’s always so many little hints or nuances. Plus, it takes me a while to keep the characters straight in my head, so rereading a book is great because it’s a lot less work.

Rereading has spoiled me. I now feel like I need to reread a book or series before I can have a good enough feel for it before writing a review for it. For example, I really want to reread the Raven Boys Cycle! I want to write about it, but I read it so fast (all in one month) and I know there’s so much just waiting in it for me to discover or look at in a new light. I also want to reread it because I miss the characters already. They’re so adorable and funny and the ways they interact with each other are hilarious. And there’s so much to the plot as well. I want to reread it so badly! But it’s only been about two months since I finished it and I don’t want to exhaust myself with the books because they’re too good for that. Plus, I have so many books to read! So I will wait patiently until I am really ready for a good reread.