January TBR

Why, hello there my lovelies!

In order to meet my goal of reading 50 books during 2020 I need to focus on reading and conquering my monster of a TBR pile. I also will be including the synopsis for every book so that you can learn more about them and hopefully find a new favorite!

Here are some of the books I plan on reading during January:

Don’t Keep your Day Job by Cathy Heller

This book is my Audible choice for the month of January. One of my goals is to listen to more audio books so I am going to start out with at least one per month. Check out the synopsis below!

“The pursuit of happiness is all about finding our purpose. We don’t want to just go to work and build someone else’s dream, we want to do our life’s work. But how do we find out what we’re supposed to contribute? What are those key ingredients that push those who succeed to launch their ideas high into the sky, while the rest of us remain stuck on the ground?

Don’t Keep Your Day Job will get you fired up, ready to rip it open and use your zone of genius to add a little more sparkle to this world. Cathy Heller, host of the popular podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, shares wisdom, anecdotes, and practical suggestions from successful creative entrepreneurs and experts, including actress Jenna Fischer on rejection, Gretchen Rubin on the keys to happiness, Jen Sincero on having your best badass life, and so much more. You’ll learn essential steps like how to build your side hustle, how to find your tribe, how to reach for what you truly deserve, and how to ultimately turn your passion into profit and build a life you love.”

Lord of The butterflies by Andrea Gibson

I received this book as a Christmas present from my best friend. I have been hearing great things about this collection of poetry so I am extremely excited to read this! Check out the synopsis below!

In Andrea Gibson’s latest collection, they continue their artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This is another book I received from my best friend for Christmas! This is a book I have been dying to read for a while now so I can’t wait to read this thriller! Check out the synopsis below!

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I went to Leigh Bardugo’s book signing back in October and have a signed copy of this amazing book! This thriller/fantasy mix has been on my TBR list for a while and I can’t wait to finally read this. Check out the synopsis below!

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After binge reading Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series I had to check out her other books! I usually don’t like too many books about fa but something about Maas’ worlds just draws me in. Check out the synopsis below!

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

That is my TBR list so far for January! I will make sure to write reviews as I knock out the books on this list and I can’t wait until I write to y’all again!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

Finding My Footing

If you have a mental illness that requires medication, you understand those intense first two weeks when you start a new medication. It is like you are trying to balance on a tightrope where one side is the fear of becoming an emotionless zombie while the other is the fear of the medication not working at all. Side effects are the worst during those first two weeks before they begin to fade as the medicine begins to work. My new anxiety medication caused me to have some emotional moments that lasted longer than the other effects so, I decided to add CBD oil to my routine. I know what you are thinking, oh man this must be a weird post that is meant to boost the popularity of CBD oil, this is not that kind of post at all. Sure, the oil works well with my medication and helped me regain my stride but it is not meant to replace my medication. My anxiety would literally cause me to feel like I can’t breathe, my hands would shake, and my mind was a cruel place. The thought of possibly going back to that dark place if I couldn’t get past this scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, with the addition of CBD, meditation, and having a kickass support system, I was able to push through and regain my footing!

So, my lovely readers, I wanted you to know that the tight rope of balancing your brain can be excruciating but, once you get past it you will feel so much better. I read somewhere that medication is a pair a glasses for your brain, it fixes the chemical imbalance and can help you regain clarity. Now, I need to tell you that if those major side effects last longer than two weeks you need to visit your doctor and have your medication adjusted. Finding the right medication can take time but it is worth it once you find the perfect fit.

Regaining something you never realized you lost is a strange feeling. I did not realize I lost my creative stride and motivation again until a few days ago. A few months ago, you couldn’t even force me to sit and write. Now, I can write almost four thousand words a day again! Finding my perfect combination for my routine really helped me find myself again. Hopefully, if you are fighting your own mental battles, this post inspires you to take that next step. See the Doctor, cut the negativity out of your life, reach out to loved ones, or just get out of bed. I know you can regain your footing, if you need help or someone to talk to, reach out to me.

I will always be here for y’all!

🌻 Caitlin 🌻

Here is a photo of Bruce to help inspire you!

A Curious Update

How can so many changes occur of the course of a month? Journeys, breakdowns, and discoveries helped shape my creative course during the month of June! After seeing how many of y’all loved my personal musings about my battle with anxiety , I have decided to shake things up. Gone is the cookie cutter blog and I am going back to my roots by sharing my personal thoughts and struggles.

I also want to announce that I have a Facebook Page and a Patreon!

If you want to support me on Patreon you will gain access to some incredible writing content, photos of my animals, and you can even receive monthly postcards or packages from me!

Click here to go to my Patreon

Click here to go to my FaceBook Page

Can’t wait to share my writing with y’all!

🌻Caitlin🌻

Guess Who is Back

Why, hello world!

It has been quite some time since I last posted on my lovely blog and I do apologize. Life has a way of pulling you in so many different directions! Thankfully, everything has settled back down and I can finally start posting on here again.

Before I announce some of the amazing content that is going to coming your way, I just wanted to share 10 amazing things I did during my brief break!

  1. I finally went to Ireland and embraced the emerald isle!
  2. I traveled to New York!
  3. I finally managed to visit the amazing Bookcon!
  4. I lost 20 pounds! *Happy Dance*
  5. I finally started to take better care of myself mentally and physically.
  6. I mended a friendship with one of my writing friends
  7. I rediscovered my love for writing
  8. I got bit by the travel bug and now want to go on more adventures (probably because of my successful adventures earlier this year)
  9. My creativity has finally come back to me and I am no longer wanting to be a couch potato!
  10. I finally ditched my self doubt and embraced my fearlessness!

Whoa, that list is full of some amazing things! I know there aren’t too many details but, that is because I will be creating travel blog posts and more amazing content so you can learn about how I traveled with my anxiety and embraced my fearless self! I apologize again for my absence but I am so excited to share all of my amazing adventures, book reviews, tips, and writing adventures with y’all!

 

To close this short and sweet post, I am going t share this quote by Alan Alda. I hope that all of my new content helps you along your own creative journey and I can’t wait to share my life with y’all!

 

Have a wonderfully literary day!

Caitlin


” Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
Alan Alda

3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not a Mary Sue

We all know of these characters, the ones that barely encounter any obstacles during their journey while winning the hearts of all their potential love interests. I could name several extremely popular books that are focused on a Mary Sue or John Doe. Unfortunately it is also extremely easy to accidentally write your main characters as a Mary Sue, especially if you are in the writing groove and really cranking out that novel. Have no fear, I am here to help guide you along your literary journey and help keep you from straying off the path of a well-developed character and being sucked into the land of absolutely perfect characters that can do no wrong.
Before I can help you I must give you a in-depth guide to the mysterious Mary Sue. The Mary Sue/ John Doe character is one that can probably climb Mt. Everest on their first try with little to no issues. These characters learn fighting quickly and can do things that a normal character would not be able to do as accurately . They are also known for having no enemies, there have even been some instances where even the villain falls for them. This leads to the story becoming dull rather quickly because the main character is completely unrealistic. I know you love your characters and you want what is best for them but they need to be realistic. A reader needs a character to relate to not a character that shoot rainbows of friendship from their fingertips while gliding to the finish line.
What are some ways that I can avoid this from happening? I am glad you asked!

Here are 3 Ways to Make Sure Your Character is Not A Mary Sue:

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1. When you are developing your characters for your novel you need to create a list. For the protagonists list 3 positive traits and 1 negative trait to help balance them out.

Ex. My Protagonist:

  • Optimistic
  • Intelligent
  • Adventurous
  • Anxious

Now when you are creating your balanced antagonist you need to also create a list but this time it needs to be 3 negative traits and 1 positive trait.

Ex. My Antagonist:

  • Manipulative
  • Cold
  • Sadistic
  • Intelligent

By creating these lists you are getting to know your characters and allowing them to become more dynamic and realistic.

2. Create a realistic back story. As much as you want your character to come from a perfect home and perfect life with amazing friends and no issues pre-novel you need to understand that a back story like that is boring. No one has a perfect life and in order for you character to evolve over the course of your novel you need to give them some form of obstacle or issue in their back story that needs to be addressed during the events of the novel.

Ex. My main character has to overcome her anxiety she gained after a frightening near death experience before the events of the novel. She learns to accept her faults and how to be a stronger person so her anxiety  can no longer define her.

Having something like this allows the character to be more relatable to the reader and it is a lot more enjoyable to write these characters and really watch them grow.
3. Make sure they fail. Yes, you read that right. Failure is a part of life and so it is important that failure is present at some point during your character’s story. You can make it something as minor as losing her car keys or something as major as running from the monster instead of facing them.

Ex. My character has problems mastering her bow and ends up missing a major target during the first altercation, this causes her to have a full-blown anxiety attack.

When you are writing about failure you are allowing the hero to travel along a journey where they can evolve and face their failures head on.

Creating characters for your novel may seem like an easy process but it is important to remember to make them human while you are actually writing your novel. It is easy to get swept away and dive into your story but you need to remember that a realistic and relatable character is one that a reader will love more and it will also allow you to grow along with your character as you write their journey to adventure, success, and freedom.

Have A Wonderfully Literary Day,
Caitlin

Curious Reads for February

February has arrived and I am determined to make a dent in my book mountain that has taken over my office. I have decided to also create a unique reading challenge as well so, you can say I have some ambitious reading goals! As I conquer my list I will be posting all of the book reviews on my lovely little blog so y’all can follow me while I embark on this literary journey! With that out of the way lets see my Curious Reads for February!

I just started a nifty reading challenge that is mentioned a lot in this post! Click here to learn more!

This post contains affiliate links. My full disclosure statement can be read here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The first book on my list is for the challenge I am beginning! I plan on conquering this world book challenge where you read books set in various countries. This first country on this list is Afghanistan and the book I have chosen to read is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini!

I read his other book, The Kite Runner, a few years back and really enjoyed it so I decided to pick this lovely novel up!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:A_Thousand_Splendid_Suns

 Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page 

Misery by Stephen King

The next book on my list is one that I started to read at the end of January but I hope to finish it during February and it is Misery by Stephen King.

I became obsessed with this author after reading The Shining and IT so it is no surprise that I want to scare myself and read Misery. Fun Fact: I have never seen the movie! I can’t wait to finish reading this book and see how everything unfolds!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:misery

Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader – she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

Dubliners by James Joyce

The third book I plan on reading this month is Dubliners by James Joyce. This book is not counting towards my  Adventurous Reading challenge. I wanted to read this novel before I head to Ireland next month.

James Joyce is a well-known Irish writer and I heard this book is a must read before you visit Dublin! It is a compilation of short stories and will be a quick read.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Dubliners

 This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Another book I plan on reading, or in this case listening , is The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I knew I had to read this book the moment I heard about it. The whole novel sounds like a realistic magical journey that will probably make me cry by the end. I chose this book as my monthly selection on Audible so I can wait to binge listen to this novel. For some reason I find listening to audio books to be extremely relaxing. I can honestly say that I accomplish more while I am listening to some awesome audio books.

Here’s its Goodreads blurb:The Immortalists

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. I am reading this lovely book in eBook format because I bought it on sale via iBooks. This book has a similar plot format as The Canterbury Tales, nine strangers have been brought together and they each have their own unique tale to share during the age of the plague. I have been wanting to read this book for a while and I can’t wait to finally get to it!

Here is its Goodreads Blurb:Company-of-Liars-cover-large

The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them.
Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all–propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

 The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Adren

This is another book that is from my Adventurous Reading Challenge! I am happy that more books focused on Russian folklore are being published and I have been dying to read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bear

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample

A hermit that disappears and travels to Antarctica? That sounds like an interesting tale to me! Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample is also on the reading challenge’s list, that means that I am already crossing off three books from my adventurous reading challenge this month!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bern

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is the fourth book I plan on reading for my adventurous challenge is set in Holland/ the Netherlands! This dark Cinderella tale is one that I have heard about from one of my friends and I have been wanting to pick it up! Now that I have a copy, I can finally read this book and cross another country off my challenge’s list!

Here is its Goodreads Burb:Stepsister

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty … and what curses accompanied Cinderella’s looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris’s path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household — and the treacherous truth of her former life.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The final book I chose for my Curious Reads for February is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue! This book is set in Ireland and is also listed in my reading challenge! I have been curious about this book for a while and I have finally decided to pick this little gem up and read it!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:thewonder

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

That concludes my list of Curious Reads for the month of February! As always, there will be books that will be read along with the ones present on this list. I will keep you updated with reviews throughout the month as well, so keep an eye out for that! If you are interested in my little Adventurous Reading Challenge click here!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day,

~Caitlin

Resolutions, Goals, and Dreaming of 2018

The end of 2017 is approaching and now is the time to set resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Surprisingly, 2017 has been incredible to me. I have written more than ever and I have completely turned my mental and physical health around. I am determined to continue making progress in 2018 and I hope that all of you do the same! I discuss my 2017 more in my post here~

2017

Now that my year in review is out of the way it is now time to plan for 2018. I am an optimist so I can’t help but have a ton of resolutions, goals, and dreams for the upcoming year. Setting resolutions is one thing but keeping up with them is a battle and I determined to actually stick to them while crushing my goals for 2018! I am not to going to lie, picking  resolutions for the next year was actually kind of difficult. I had to sit down and really think about what I planned to accomplish next year and how these resolutions will help me meet my goals and hopefully achieve my dreams.

2018 REsolutions

My 2018 Resolutions help make me continue my journey to becoming healthier and also try to keep me from becoming a hermit. I also decided to actually try to go on more adventures and make some amazing memories in 2018. I am positive that I can stick to my resolutions and crush my goals!

2018 Goals

Goals, goals, goals! I can’t wait to crush my goals and achieve my dreams. I decided to buckle down and work hard to achieve my dreams of publishing, traveling, and living a more creative life.

2018 Goals-3

Dreams are a lot harder to reach but I am determined to achieve at least one of my dreams in 2018!

Publishing a novel has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After crushing my 2017 word count goals, I am more determined than ever to publish one if not both of my novels by the end of 2018. It is quite the mouthful but I can handle it and I can’t wait to finally share my literary worlds with everyone.
Ireland is one of the places that I have always wanted to visit. My family’s ancestors are from there and I am in love with the mythology and fairy tales that are woven into the rich history of the country. I want to visit Ireland so I can appreciate where I came from and also visit one of the towns that I am writing about in my novel.
I have been wanting to see the Grand Canyon and since I live in Texas, the drive would be excruciatingly long. Going on an epic road trip has always been on my bucket list so I want to finally cross it off by going on a journey to the Grand Canyon.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed learning more about me and that you also decide to make 2018 your year. Chase those dreams, make those important lifestyle changes, and crush all of the obstacles that stand in your way. 2018 is the year for the dreamers and I can’t wait to see what the year has in store.

Have a wonderfully literary day and I will see all of you in the new year!

~Caitlin~

Holiday Reflection

The holiday season is full of love, celebration, and reflection.  I can’t help but realize just how blessed I am. I am surrounded by friends and family that support my writing career and mental health journey. If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this amazing place in my life, I would have called them a liar.  I am honestly happy that I have let go of my toxic and negative past and have embraced the bright future in front of me. My best friend from childhood reconnected with me recently as well and for this first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my year has turned out.

So many wonderful things have happened over this past year including:

  1. I graduated college!
  2. I started medication that helped me manage my anxiety!
  3. I have written a good chunk of my pirate novel!
  4. I  started to take better care of myself!

It may not seem like a lot, but I feel like I have conquered so much this past year. If 2018 is anything like 2017 then I can honestly say I am ready for the new year. Sure, there were a lot of times where I honestly doubted myself. It can be hard to fight the feeling of doubt but I did and now I am ending this year on a positive note. When it comes to the holiday season, you can use this time to ignore your doubt and look around. You are surrounded by the people that love and care about you  and that can be the boost you need to break through that wall of doubt. If you are alone this holiday season just know that I am here for you. I am supportive of whatever your dreams and goals are and you are more than welcome to connect through comments below so we can have our own little literary tribe.

My Bookmas Tree
My Bookmas Tree

I am going to wrap this up now so I can get back to my little Christmas celebration! hope ya’ll have the happiest of holidays and keep an eye out for more posts in the future!

Enjoy this picture of my Bookmas Tree~

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Ways to Stay Motivated After NaNoWriMo

Hello World!

The month of November flew by! Now that NaNoWriMo is over I finally have the time to sit down and update my lovely blog. This year was the first year I was actually able to conquer my writing goals for NaNoWriMo and I have to admit, it feels amazing! It took three whole years but I am happy to announce that I am actually a winner this year and I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my novel.

I have been working hard to find different ways to stay motivated now that the pressure of writing so much during NaNoWriMo has been lifted off me. Life has a way of interfering with progress sometimes and staying motivated can be a bit tricky but it is crucial that this first draft is completed before the end of the year! If you are in the same boat then have no fear! I have managed to discover 3 tips that can help you stay motivated and crush your writing goals!

Let’s dive in!

  1. Set Weekly Goals!

Setting up mini goals for the week can be extremely helpful! Sometimes having one giant goal can be daunting and stop your creative flow in its tracks. By breaking your giant goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish every week, you are keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed while writing your novel!

Some examples of these mini goals are:

  • Write for 30 minutes every day.
  • Plot and write a whole chapter in a week. (You can do more than one if you want to!)
  • Flesh out your main characters.

2. Reward Yourself!

Rewards are a nice way to treat yourself as you meet your writing goals. Setting up a way to reward yourself for every writing milestone is a good way to help you stay excited and hopefully avoid the severe writer’s block that can hit after meeting a major word count goal!

  • A Good example of this is what I did for NaNoWriMo! I saved up throughout the month so that once I met my goals I was able to buy a beautiful owl purse that I had been wanting for awhile!

3.Take a Break!

This tip may sound a little odd! Trust me, taking a moment to breathe is absolutely crucial to staying motivated. Pushing yourself too hard can lead you to being burnt out and you can unfortunately lose the motivation to write. Taking a short break allows you to clear your mind and have a mini vacation from your novel. You can revisit your work after your break and be able to crush that word count goal!

I hope y’all enjoyed my post and I also hope that these tips help you along your writing journey!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

3 Nifty NaNoWriMo Prep Ideas

Hello World!

NaNoWriMo is almost here and I am excited because I am actually going to be ready for it this year! I have been prepping and working on my novel for the past few months and I am excited to smash my word count goals this year. For those of you that don’t know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) occurs every November and serves as a way for writers to crank out 50,000 words in one month. You can participate in local write ins and other nifty events while trying to accomplish your goals and it is honestly a blast. If you want to learn more about this amazing event click here!

One of my favorite things to do for this epic event is prepping so that I can be ready to tackle the word count in November. There are several creative ways that you can approach this task and I am here to share 3 of my favorite prepping ideas!

  1. Create a Pinterest Board for your Novel ProjectCreating a Pinterest board allows all of your inspiration and reference photos to be in one place. You can even pin some interesting writing worksheets that can help you along your NaNoWriMo prep journey! If you want to see the Pinterest board I created for my NaNo project click here!
  2. Fill in a Workbook!I discovered a really nifty writing workbook last year that really helped me shape my literary world. The workbook was actually created by the team at NaNoWriMo and it is Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook ! This workbook helps you with shaping your ideas, fleshing out characters, and even developing your plot. This nifty workbook can be found on the NaNoWriMo website along with some of their other prepping books! You can also find this lovely book on Amazon!
  3. Create a Bullet Journal dedicated to NaNoWriMo!Bullet Journaling is a nifty way to keep all of your ideas and goals organized in one notebook. Starting a bullet journal can be intimidating but there are several bloggers that have created useful posts on starting  a NaNoWriMo journal. My personal favorite is the very informative guide written by Boho Berry! Click here if you want to go read through her post!

Those were 3 of my favorite prepping ideas for NaNoWriMo! Feel free to try any of these wonderfdul ideas and leave a comment below if you want to share some of your Preptober ideas!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin