book tags

Monday Minute: How to Get Out of a Reading Slump

To be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. And that means making a regular habit of reading and reading widely. But what happens when you get into a reading slump and don’t really feel like reading?

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writing quotes

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Anton Chekhov

This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Anton Chekhov, a Russian writer and playwright who is seen as one of the best short story writers in history. Chekhov contributed much to the modern short story and he certainly knew how to craft words in a compelling way. Continue reading “Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Anton Chekhov”

writing tips

Monday Minute: 5 Reasons to Try Scrivener

Not long ago, I decided to take the plunge and buy the writing program, Scrivener. I had played around with the trial version before but was overwhelmed by its lengthy tutorial and variety of features. But since I’ve started using Scrivener, I’m hesitant to go back to my old ways of using Google Drive and Mac Pages.

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writing tips

Monday Minute: Keeping an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

I don’t usually post about blogging advice on here but since it falls in the realm of creative writing, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about editorial calendars. I’m no expert but I’ve learned that having an editorial calendar is key to keeping your blog organized and on track.  Continue reading “Monday Minute: Keeping an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog”

Fiction/Non-fiction

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 2, Failure

Quotes about success have been catching my attention lately. I think it’s due to the place I’m at in my life right now. I’m in my mid-twenties and still in the early stages of my career. In the same token, I feel like I’m also starting to take my writing more seriously.

But amidst all successes and triumphs is failure. Failure is often seen as something bad and something to be avoided but some people have a different viewpoint on it. In my experience, failure is part of the recipe for success. It prepares you for the future.

Continue reading “3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 2, Failure”

Fiction/Non-fiction

3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge: Day 1, Daily Routine

I was chosen to take the 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge by At Milliways with a Pen. Thanks again, JRose88. 🙂 Check out this blog: it features a great blend of posts about gratitude, musings, writing updates and quotes. These are usually writing or reading related but also cover other interesting topics.

For this challenge, you have to write a post with a quote for 3 days and nominate 3 bloggers every day.

Here are the 3 bloggers I nominate for the 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge:

  • enchantedface: This is a great blog with a feature called “Quotable Sundays.” The posts are inspiring and there’s always a great selection of quotes. I also love the honesty and openness in the posts; it feels like a friend is talking to you through them. After reading the blog posts, I always feel better too. Be sure to check out this blog and its encouraging content!
  • My Pink Champagne Life: Meredith wears many impressive hats: she is a mother of four kids, a wife, an Executive Director of the Wegener Foundation, co-owner of Mad Cow Enterprises and author of My Pink Champagne Life. Her blog features posts about daily life that are fun, interesting and light-hearted. Check out her blog and the links to her book!
  • Cafe Book Bean: This awesome blog covers the topics of books and coffee (two favourite topics of mine as well). Posts cover anything from different types of coffees to book tags to book discussions such as Book Bean Symposium. Check out this one as well!

Now that I’ve finally found the time to do this, I’ve selected this quote for today:

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

As someone who is interested in self-improvement, I’ve heard this repeated by people time and time again. Like others, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past and written down goals I want to achieve. However, I didn’t really get anywhere by making really broad, general goals without numbers or timelines. I never gave myself a deadline to reach or a specific measure to keep myself on track. I always went about it willy-nilly.

I’ve since learned that it’s not the goals or milestones we reach (although those are important and certainly cause for celebration), it’s about the daily routines and habits that we establish. The habits that will lay the foundation for success later down the road.

The past year has been a lesson in this. When I made a habit of writing at least 500-1,000 words daily, I won NaNoWriMo. When I set aside some time for reading, either before bed or in the morning, I not only met my 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge but I exceeded it, reading 18 books in total compared to the 15 I had set out to read. When I made a daily schedule for my job hunt, I was more organized in how I spent my day and felt more confident in my job search. I also set a target number of jobs I would apply for in a week. Since then, I’ve achieved some progress in my job search.

As I’ve said though, it’s not the milestones that are as important as the habits you form. Winning NaNoWriMo was great but even more important was the habit of writing I’ve formed for myself. The true success of creating a writing habit lies in the fact that I’m dedicating time to my craft and enjoying it. The same is true with a reading challenge: it’s fun to challenge and push yourself but in the end…the true reward lies in what you gain from these rewarding activities. Reading makes me feel calm, inspired and more enriched.

And by forming a routine for my job search, I’ve honed my organizational skills and my creative thinking abilities. I feel more in control of my situation and I’ve learned to think outside of the box in using different job search strategies.

I don’t think it’s unusual that some of the most successful people have formed daily habits and routines. I’ve read articles about how successful people are normally early risers and get ahead of their day before it really starts. My daily routine is something I still have to work on and although I don’t write and read everyday or always reach my targets, I still have those habits to fall back on. John C. Maxwell has it right when he says that “the secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” I believe our daily routine says a lot about us.

writing quotes

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Sylvia Plath

This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Sylvia Plath about finding material  everywhere in life. The big question is often: what do I write about? I’ve heard different pieces of advice about this such as “write what you know” or “write about what you love” but while these are good rules of thumb, I believe that with a little research and creativity, we can write about anything.

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