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 Project
    • Creating 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

3 Tips to Help You Recover From a Failed Writing Partnership

 

Hello World!

 

When you have a falling out with your writing partner that is also your friend it can honestly feel like the world is ending. At least that is how I felt. It didn’t help that the friendship I was in crashed and burned as well, so there will never be any form of reconciliation. Knowing that the project that you and the other person were working on will be on a permanent hiatus can be heartbreaking.

That is why I decided to share a few of the things that helped me recover from the pain and move on. Hopefully you can use these 3 tips and be able to successfully get over that creative break up and move on to other creative projects!

Now, lets dive in!

1.  The first tip is to take a breath and grieve. The one thing I wished I knew earlier was that it is okay to be upset. Taking some time to really grasp the situation can  help you accept what happened and allow you to let go of the negative emotions that you may be feeling. After you have taken this time to grieve you can move on to the next step of your creative recovery.

2. The next step is to decide if the project the two of you were working on was something you were passionate about. Depending on how  you feel about the project you can decide if you want to put the extra effort into making the project your own.

3. This step can be extremely time-consuming but it is crucial that you change every aspect of the story. You have to get rid of everything that you and your old writing partner worked on so that they can’t come after you legally. By doing this you also make the story your own and rework everything into something that you can be proud of. This step also helps you cleanse your creative brain of the old story and allow you to devote yourself to a new project.

     Here are a few things that you should remember to change when you are at  this step:

~ Any plot developments you developed together

~ Character personalities, appearances, and back stories

 ~ Anything created while you were world building

Those were 3 tips that helped me along my creativity recovery. I still can’t believe that it has taken me so long to finally move on from what happened but I guess that is how life works. Friendships end and you can be left picking up the pieces but everything happens for a reason. Sure, that project could have been awesome but now you have the opportunity to create a story that you are passionate about and allow your creativity to blossom.

I wrote this post because, in all honesty, I wished I had something like this when my creative break-up was fresh. The pain that accompanies any break is hard but you will survive.

Here is a quote to close out this post:

 

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.”

Ernie Harwell

 

I hope y’all found this post helpful and I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day

 

~Caitlin

 

 

Curious Reviews: The Shining by Stephen King

Hello World!

Welcome to the first book review to be posted on my lovely blog! I hope you enjoy it and if you want to learn more about the book click here and it will take you to its Goodreads Page!

Shiningcover

 

I recently developed an obsession with listening to podcasts, so I decided to finally listen to an audiobook and chose to listen to The Shining by Stephen King! It took me a little over fifteen hours to listen to this novel and it was worth every second. I loved Wendy and her resolve as she faced a husband that had a rapidly deteriorating mental state and a son that was being attacked by the undead residents of the Overlook hotel. Jack is such a wonderfully complex character and watching him unravel while learning bits of his background makes you want to listen to the whole novel in one setting. I am not going to lie, my favorite character was Hallorann, the cook that comes to the rescue. His wit and bravery really added an awesome level to this complex novel and helped sprinkle some humor into this thriller.

Stephen King really does have quite the talent for crafting beautifully deep characters that you want to root for. Even though I knew what was going to happen to poor Jack, I couldn’t help but hope that he can overcome the hotel’s hold and escape with his family. Watching Danny face the monsters that lurked the shadows of the Overlook while trying to learn how to control his shine without the help of his companion, Tony, was horrifying and intriguing at the same time. Even the monsters and demons that live in the hotel were all extremely detailed, from the old caretaker to the mobsters that resided in the presidential suite, monsters from different eras were present and ready to tear Danny apart for his gift and it was amazing to see all the work that went into creating this colorful cast of characters.

The plot was full of twists and turns while also not being too complex. The way that King sprinkles in flashbacks really did help paint a beautiful picture while making me want to read on to figure out why the characters were acting a certain way. Overall, this novel is absolutely fantastic and I am going to pick up Doctor Sleep so I can follow Danny on another amazing adventure.

Below I will list my top three favorite things about this novel and three things I thought could be better along with my rating of this novel!

AM 2.png

That is all for my very first book review! I kept it as spoiler free as I could and I hope y’all enjoyed it.

 

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin

Creativity is Calling

Hello World!

It has been a while since I posted on my lovely blog. Life has a crazy way of throwing curveballs at you sometimes. Don’t Worry! Everything is sorted out now and I have finally let go of the self-doubt and pain that had been holding me down. It is always hard to move on from a friendship, especially if the person was someone you were supposed to co-write an amazing story with. I know, I talk about this novel a lot on here, but until recently the story and the amazing world I co-created had been haunting me. A few weeks ago my creativity called out to me and I realized that there was a way I could write about my little world. I took a new approach and changed just about everything about the old project. Unwanted characters were taken out while others were remade, the plot was completely re-worked, and I molded the world into what I wanted it to be. The story finally became mine and I am in love with the revamped novel that I am now working on.

To be honest, I love this new world I made more than my old project. There is more magic and grit along with a complex cast that is fun to write. I guess I wrote this post to show y’all that I am still here and to share how much my creativity has been flowing lately.  It is possible to move on from a failed writing partnership, it may be extremely difficult and emotionally taxing but it is possible. There are absolutely no remnants of the old story in my new world and I am actually excited to be working on this lovely adventure along with my other writing projects!

That is it for my little life update for y’all today and I am happy to be writing and creating again! Look out for some awesome new content!

 

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Time to Celebrate!

Hello World!

Today is a day to celebrate! I finally bought my domain name and changed it from My Magical Writing Adventure to The Curious Novelist.  I decided to change my blog’s name because, honestly,  it is a lot shorter than my original name and it flows really well. I also took this opportunity to give my blog a bit of a face lift and I am in love with its new appearance!

Another thing to celebrate is that my dad and I adopted two puppies yesterday from the shelter. The story behind these fur babies is that the local animal shelter found an abandoned box of puppies left in an alley last week. After being held by the shelter for five days and being cleared by a vet, the puppies were available of adoption yesterday.

Rosie and Jolly Mon

Rosie on the left and Jolly Mon on the right

My father adopted the boy and named him after his favorite Jimmy Buffett song, Jolly Mon. I fell in love with a little girl puppy with black markings and named her Rosie. That name is important to me because one of the best characters I have ever created was a pirate named Rose. Rose was a part of this beautiful writing project that I had with another person that had to be cancelled after I cut that person out of my life. All that work and love I put in Rose and her fantastic world had to be thrown away and it honestly broke my heart. In the novel, Rose was a fearless pirate captain that had a sense of adventure and never backed down. When I saw this little brave puppy run around and explore the world I knew that the name Rosie fit her like a glove.

That is all for this little life update! I am off to write now and I hope you enjoyed my little update!

Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Cuties

Jolly and Rosie are such cuties!

Writing Life: Computer Vs. Notebook

Hello World!

It is a beautiful day today and I have been chugging through Camp NaNoWriMo! Worlds Apart is coming together and it feels so good to get so much work done on a novel that I love so much. Today’s post is a little writing life post that will be dedicated to the age old battle of writing in a notebook vs. writing on a computer! Cue the battle music! Something that I have noticed this Nano is that I have been writing so much more than I did in November and I honestly feel like it is because I decided to hand write my first draft instead of typing it out. I will go and type what I have written down  closer to the end so I can add more details and have an accurate word count. One of the reasons that I decided to ditch the computer until the end is that I found the computer to be distracting. While trying to type I would get distracted by the internet while writing in a notebook has caused me to really focus on it and not be distracted .

Here we go! I will write about the pros and cons of using a notebook and a computer and you can decide which one will be the best for your writing goals!

Writing in a Notebook

The first one I will be talking about is writing in a notebook! This is what my friends and I deem the “classic” approach. You break out your pen or pencil and write down the first draft of your beautiful story in a notebook. Even though this is an excellent way to really connect to the world you are creating there are some cons that  come with this approach. I have compiled a list of pros and cons for you below!

Pros:

  • Lower chances of getting distracted while writing.
  • Writing can feel so good when you do it by hand.
  • You can use beautiful pens.
  • You would be able to say that you wrote it the same way the great authors of old did. (wow that sounds dorky haha I really need to lay off the fantasy novels)

Cons:

  • Hand cramps! Writing for a long period of time can lead to them and they are AWFUL.
  • Depending on how long your first draft will be you will probably have to buy multiple notebooks which can be a pain.
  • If you are writing in pen and you make a mistake you will have to break out the white out or strike it through. This can be a hassle when you are in the writing groove.
  • Finally, the major con is typing what you have written. It is a blessing and a curse because you can add more details as you enter it in the computer but this step can be a bit time consuming.

Writing on a ComputerNow it is on to our next contestant, the computer! Writing on a computer can be easier since everything you need is in one place. There are a few cons that come with using the computer for writing so check out my pros and cons list below!

Pros:

  • Everything is in one place! Your research, playlists, and writing are all on your computer which makes it extremely easy to keep up with.
  • Less to carry around! You can pack your laptop, world bible, and a charger and be ready to write anywhere you want.
  • Computers can store all of your writing so you don’t have to worry about running out of space for your novel.
  • Spell check is a blessing. You would be surprised with how many words you misspell while writing your draft and this tool is so useful.

Cons: 

  • The internet can be so tempting when you are trying to write a project.
  • Computers can be hacked and some rude person can steal your manuscript.
  • Your computer can crash and you can lose everything. (This is why you always back up your work on to a flash-drive)
  • That battery life can dictate how much work you can get done  if you forget your charger.

Now that you have read the pros and cons of using a notebook or a computer hopefully you can now choose one that will help you along your literary journey! I hope you enjoyed this post!

Have an adventurous day!

~Caitlin