Book Bloggers Who Made My 2018

Ahem, *shuffles papers nervously* so I actually am a sentimental person. I mean I kept my secondary school books for 2 years, in case I wanted to look back on them later in life. Pfft I got rid of them a few weeks ago, cause it’s time to get rid of things I won’t use or need. BUT I want to say thank you to these book bloggers, who made my 2018 that little bit brighter.

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Supporting Me, My Content & Others

I’m coming at you with something very exciting, it’s something I’d been seriously considering for a while now. Now though, I know roughly what I’d love to be able to do and that requires your guys’ help.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Ko-Fi before; simply it’s a way to give donations to creators for their work. I recently set up a page on there and I have plans to hopefully invest in getting Ko-Fi Gold to test out and see if that can help me, and in the long term my fellow book bloggers, out.

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No My TBR Did Not Murder Me (Life updates, Anouncements & More)

Wheeee hello all. I know it’s erm kinda been a while hasn’t it? So, firstly no I did not get murdered by my TBR. I am still living, sorta and breathing. I’ve just become a hermit recently because thing sgot overwhelming and I stepped back from posting on my blog, to sort some things out.

What’s been happening I hear you ask? WELL LEMME GATHER MY LIST HERE AND TELL YOU.

Bookending Winter 2018 AND Tidyathon

Yep, if you somehow missed those things then hop to it and click onto the related post in the title! Sam and I have worked so hard on Bookend Events, and it’s still a puppy albeit an excited puppy, we’re both new to this whole event running business. BUT we’re determined to make it work, and the Tidyathon is my puppy which is part of the Bookend Events.

A brief rundown is Bookend Events runs quarterly and began with Blogoween. Sam and I got our heads together, to rename it and add in 4 events (one for each season) so it become more of a long term thing. And so it wasn’t a major stress fest at the end of the year. Bookend Events is the umbrella term for Bookending Spring, Bookending Summer, Bookending Autumn/Fall (was called Blogoween originally) and Bookending Winter. We evolved the events, as well as making them as inclusive as we possibly could. The main event is to write 3-5 blog posts. Though the Tidyathon is an extra which happens alongside each event.

For more information though, do check out the posts! We have big plans for the event next year and erm…even into 2020 *smirks* we’re not partners in crime for nothing. We’re just trying to the book blogging community closer together and eventually…maybe even the whole bookish community? Who knows…

Blog Redesign

I’ve been working on this on and off since like August or something ridiculous like that. Basically, I started it and then stopped midway through realising I wanted a new direction. So I found my direction and I’m happy with it, what you can expect (hopefully on the 1st Jan it will be live)

  • My blog theme will be switching from Lovecraft to a new one
  • New colour scheme
  • New featured images
  • Colour revamp on graphics
  • New and updated pages (providing they don’t eat me first…I had a meltdown about them misbehaving on my test blog ok. *sobs*)
  • Some new graphics and the sidebar is gonna look prettier…hopefully

OH YEAH just a warning, cause I’m switching themes my new theme doesn’t have post excerpt enabled in it. So please don’t hurt me for my old posts showing all of itself, I’m hoping to get to reformatting some of them in the Tidyathon. But I won’t get to them till next year probably, so I’m sorry in advance for that.

Content For 2019

I’ve been getting my prewriting game on. In the sense of I basically have two reviews left to write up to post in January, and then January posts are basically written. Except for the goals and wrap up post. I’ve also been planning out content up till March and roughly outlining up to June. Since I like being able to see what I’m planning on having haha. So that’s kept me busy.

Life…aka College

I love college but also hate it at the same time. Mainly because I stress out over everything, overcomplicate things and have zero confidence in my designs haha. Still, what’s new? I’m still currently working on an assignment, which is a Zine assignment. That’s due in 7th December though…so soon.

Also hi, I’m super lazy at the moment so you get zero graphics in this post because most of them will get changed anyway. Anyway, Bookending Winter actually starts TOMORROW well for me in about 2ish hours. But I’m planning to snooze first.

What’s been happening with you all? Are you joining in on the event/s? 

 

18 Tips On How To Juggle Your Life And Blog (collab with Merv @ Merv Reads)

Wheee so this is a special post for you guys, as Merv and I found out that our birthdays are next to each other. We figured instead of us just doing a post on our lonesome, we’d collab on two. One for my blog (the one you’re about to read) and one for her blog. So hi, I’m 18 today and below you will find 18 tips (9 from myself, 9 from Merv) on how to juggle blogging with your life. 

We hope you find them helpful, also stick around for little Q & A with Merv at the end, where I ask her some random (not bookish) questions. Also, thank you to everyone who’s said Happy Birthday to me today, you’re all awesome ❤

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1 – Merv

First: Prioritize. Know for yourself if blogging is your main thing or not. Once you know your priorities, it would be easier to work on things!

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2 – Clo

Scheduling helps; if you’re not a scheduler then definitely planning posts out and have a few prewritten can help. I do have a series coming on my blog in 2019, Book Blogging 101 where I’ll talk more about scheduling.

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3 – Merv

Keep yourself inspired. I think this one goes both ways for blogging and living. You just gotta keep yourself anchored and floating. But not too much.

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4 – Clo

Journals/Planners/Visual Planning – it’s not for everyone but for me, visually seeing everything I want to get done, helps me attempt to organise myself. I say attempt because I still have a habit of working on something else, which could have waited. But for sure, writing things out, To Do Lists, what posts you want where are super helpful.

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5 – Merv

Choose your people. Okay, I admit that’s a bit ridiculous to hear but it’s true. With the right people, you could be yourself without having to explain everything. That’s exhausting. Rather, they would surely understand if you’re not able to do a blog post because of your life or (vice versa) they’d know why you’re blogging instead of doing some random stuff from life.

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6 – Clo

Hiatuses – don’t be afraid to take a hiatus however long. The community is understanding, we get that you have a life. Sometimes, the juggling act we manage to well comes tumbling down. It’s ok to step back, take a breather and recoop. We don’t want you burning out, stressing out or not finding it fun anymore. So if you feel like a hiatus however short or long, would help, take it.

I have been on a few hiatuses in that the only posts I was posting, were my weekly wrap ups. I took a step back from the posting content for about a month, all of July I think it was. I needed to break from it, I was draining myself out too fast, it happens, cause I’m bad at knowing when I’m reaching that point, of burn out.

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7 – Merv

Environment and BOTM matters. Have you ever heard of book clubs? Most book clubs have something called Book of the Month or BOTM. I’m part of three book clubs so, yes, I have a few BOTMs. They’re great because when life is throwing is craziness at you, and you’ve finished reading a BOTM, then you’ll have lots of people to discuss the BOTM with you.

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8 – Clo

Guilt – when life gets in the way, or we’ve just got no time/energy for blogging and the duties which come with it. Guilt will often creep in, making you fell really bad about slacking off. You need to remember, this juggling act we do, we do because the blog is something we love. It’s a hobby, NOT our job or responsibilty. Our mental health and well being should always come first.

So this guilt you may start to feel when you get overwhelmed, is normal. Just remind yourself it’s ok to not be on top of everything all the time. We’re human, we have education/work, a life, reading and a blog to juggle all at once. You’re doing great! Remember that, no matter how bad the guilt get to you, you’re awesome.

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9 – Merv

Speak out. If you have rants about your life, may it be bookish or not, just remember that at least one person would listen. Don’t keep it in. That way you could blog/live without having too much thoughts inside of you. I really want to emphasize this because you can’t blog/live if the other is suffocating you. If that happens, it may come to the point that you have to choose between two and that’s not something to look forward to.

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10 – Clo

Procrastination – this is something I am known for doing, as are a lot of us I suppose. My procrastination has gotten to the point at times, where it makes me get overwhelmed with everything I’ve procrastinated so please…from my own experiences. Break this habit now. Before it gets out of hand, before it becomes this habit that’s so hard to break because I’m trying to break it. It’s hard but baby steps helps, my book blogging friends help a lot too. Just…be wary of how much procrastination you do. It can quickly get out of hand.

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11 – Merv

Treat blogging as if it’s your best friend and your IRL as family. Both are truly of utmost importance and are treasured! With family, you leave no one behind, yes, Lilo and Stitch. With best friend, you are building the world you wanna live in together.

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12 – Clo

Why you started – when things get too much, as will sometimes occur when struggling with this balancing act. Take a moment, to remind yourself…why did you start blogging? What made you want to start that blog? Why do you love it? What posts do you enjoy writing? What posts do you want to write?

Write the posts you want to read and write, don’t write the posts you see others write unless it sparks an idea for one of your own. Maybe your own take on it, maybe it gives you an idea for something else. If you can remember why, you can start to regain the balance you lost within yourself.

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13 – Merv

Holding on tightly to your blogging schedule may ruin your schedule IRL while ignoring your blogging schedule may cause a little slip on your blog. Find your middle, your balance.

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14 – Clo

Pressure – we have a habit of putting ourselves under a lot of pressure. No one puts this pressure on us, it comes from us. Like this post isn’t perfect? The formatting sucks. What if no one likes it? What if…you stop pressuring yourself? You’d feel a lot better. I know it’s a lot easier saying it than doing it, but it’s possible if you put your mind to it. Once you stop pressuring yourself, you’ll feel a lot better in the things you create, do and in yourself.

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15 – Merv

Volumize your effort depending on where you want to be. Say, for example, you aim to be recognized worldwide, or you plan on making this a huge part of your life. Then I guess the amount of time should also be on that rate. But it doesn’t that the time you put is equal to your blog’s importance.

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16 – Clo

Accept What You Can Handle – by this I mean don’t go crazy requesting ARCs, or signing up to Blog Tours. It’s tempting I know, but it’s a sure way to leech the fun out of reading your blog and burning yourself out. Be picky, consider things carefully, your blog is your space. You decide what you post on it. After all, blogging duties often come second to our education/work duties. Don’t take on more than you can handle.

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17 – Merv

Doing things at your own pace is better than forcing yourself to squeeze in blogging at all times.

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18 – Clo

Time Management – this is key. Planning, scheming, more importantly actually sticking to your plan. I love planning things, scheming away but actually sticking to things is harder for me. Yet, the more I practice the better I’ll get at sticking to my plans and schedules. This can really help you make the most of your days, time and get a lot done in a day.

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Q & A With Merv 

What’s one thing you would tell your 12yr old self, with everything you know now?

“Be bolder.” I was always the shy one. There are stuff I wanna do that I don’t; talk to some people but I hold myself back, wear cute clothes but I think it wouldn’t look good on me, or join some events but I feel like I’m gonna be left out while everybody’s having fun. I’ve been inside a box my whole life and it’s really hard to get out. Up to now, I’m still trying. So far I’m doing okay with the first: talk to some people. I can’t wait to see more progress now that I’ve turned 20!

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Dream house/flat what does it look like? Describe it…(ok seriously I’m really curious cause I have in my head how I want my future place to look, it involves books in all rooms…except the bathroom haha)

I think I’m better with a flat. With white walls. White walls with watercolor-calli paintings. Then black to grey furniture. One corner and built-in shelf just for books. The rest would be clean and eye pleasing. Everywhere would be comfy for reading. Also, a cream curtain. No mirrors, that’s gonna creep me out.

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3 important lessons/values you learned from books? (characters/themes/plots etc)

These are my opinions, my thoughts are run by emotions…
1. Hope is a fragile little thing. Hold onto it while you have it. Remember it while it’s fading. Look for it when it’s gone.
2. There’s no turning back once the deed is done.
3. Read Paulo Coelho when life’s getting crazy.

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Wow, so I didn’t know this post was gonna be this long. Still, make sure to head over to Merv’s blog tomorrow, for another collab post where we share 20 Things We’ve Learned From Blogging. You also get a mini Q & A from me, where I answer Merv’s questions.

How’s your day been? What did you do for your 18th? Or if you’re under 18, what are you planning to do? I’m probably going to be sat watching Supernatural whilst sorting out blog posts haha.

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The Veil Is Thin

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

*sips tea* Yeah I know it’s a pretty boring drink, but I’m British…and a stereotypical English at that. Now then, this prompt came about because I know Halloween is a day when the veil between our world and the otherworld/spirit world is at its thinnest. That what is said, whether you believe it is up to you.

But Halloween originates from being a day to ward off evil spirits, since the veil was thin, it was perhaps easier for them to get across. So I thought, we could use today to write about what spirits we want to ward off.

They can be paranormal creatures from books, evil characters or things like writers block, procrastination. It’s entirely up to you how you go about this prompt!

What Will I Be Warding Off?

  • Self doubt
  • Writers block
  • Procrastination
  • Fear
  • Oh and grievers…yeah they can stay away from me god they were really creepy in the books but the movies. Man the movies just brought them to life.

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Self Doubt

I’ve spoken about this recently in a wrap up, but basically I’ve been struggling with self doubt recently. It’s not fun particularly as it’s usually me doubting my writing abilities and/or drawing abilities. Like, am I good enough? Will I ever make it to being published? Along with many other questions, where I just add more weight to this dam.

I think for the last part of September and October, I found my drive again. 2018 hasn’t been a great year for me on a personal level, but I just sorta carried on. Throwing myself into the things I love which happen to be this blog, writing and reading. Whilst my reading has been suffering, I found this fire within me for my blog again.

The thing about doubt is it stems from a fear in us, and it’s not easy to tell yourself that all your hard work will pay off. Particularly when you’re panicking over writing stories cause you’re so used to fan fiction now what if you fail miserably?! *coughs* my point is, I’m going to make it a point to acknowledge my doubt, accept its there and move on. It can’t control me, I won’t let it when I know I can write, draw and I am good enough. But I can always get better.

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Writers Block

I truly hate writers block. What I hate more than that is having the ideas but not having the motivation or energy to write them, which is what happened on the blog back in July. In terms of the block for stories, I have a way through it in that I just keep writing, until well…I’ve written the block out of me. I’ll go into more detail on my process of dealing with writers block next year, as I’m planning on rebooting Writers Den (it may get renamed) Still, I truly hope the block stay away for the rest of the year.

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Procrastination

I’ve been a huge procrastinator on so many things, and I think that’s been down to my mindset as well as my mood. The good news is, I’m working on my mindset and mood, working to try and get out of the procrastination habit because if I’m being totally honest with myself, I don’t have time to procrastinate. Too much to do, like read, write, blog, college work and work on growing as a person. Procrastination isn’t allowed. It’ll be a slow process to get out of the habit though, first step is to start trying.

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Fear

I don’t have a lot of fears per say, but I do fear change, the unknown and not having thing a certain way I want it to be. The whole fearing change and unknown are sort of entangled, and I think it’s cause I’ve grown up in one place. Like…I’ve never really been slapped in the face with a huge change in my life until I started college. That was pretty scary for me, just cause new people and I really withdrew from people and just socialising in general.

So change is something which makes me nervous because it leads onto my fear of not knowing the outcome or at least knowing what’s going to happen. I like knowing roughly what will happen, where to go this that and the other, maybe to just cut down on talking to people I don’t know. (which I really struggle with)

But also in social situations and in general, I like knowing my way out of a situation – I need an exit. I probably won’t ever use it or need it, but there’s a part of me which needs to know if I need to get out of whatever situation I’m in, I can leave. Leave easily cause I already know where the exit is.

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As for the last thing, you can read my post on Embracing or Destroying Our Inner Perfectionism? where I talk about my thoughts on perfectionism and how I’m going to go about tackling it. I do know that I can’t control everything, but I’ve realised over the years I really like knowing what’s happening, having some control over the smallest of things helps. Probably because I’ve been let down before by other people saying they’ll do something, then they don’t…so it’s just easier for me to do it myself? I don’t know…I do know I am plotting away for things in 2019 which may or may not appeal to you guys.

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Soooo they’re what I’m hoping to ward off this Halloween and the rest of the year. I really hope you all enjoyed taking part in Blogoween and I can’t thank you all enough for actually taking part. Also thank you to my wonderful co hosts who made this event a lil’ easier to handle.

Sam, my partner in crime and co organiser of the event, you rock. All the hosts, you guys were awesome, thank you so much for being part of this. We all rock, I hope you all have a spooky Halloween if you do celebrate Halloween.

If you don’t, lemme know what you’re gonna get up to today. I can confirm this event will be back next year…reVAMPed hehehe and I’m already excited for that. Until then, keep your eyes peeled on my blog and the others as we have another announcement coming your way in November.

Oh yeah, tomorrow is my birthday and I have a special post going up! So please, do come back for that ❤

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