Tuesday, 30 January 2018

How Books Have Become Such a Large Part of my Life

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When I was a child I loved doing book reviews for school, it was so fun talking about a book and designing the pages of my workbook. However, one day when I was slightly older, I was reading a Sabrina the Teenage Witch book (one of my favourite television programmes) and my teacher said that it was rubbish and that I should not be reading it. Instead, I was given The Railway Children which as a child, I did not enjoy. This put me off reading for a long time (and is why I am an advocate for letting children read what they want to read because they are still reading). I ended up not enjoying reading books for class and missing years of reading so many books. I remember picking up Twilight, I think because everyone was reading it. Then my friends introduced me to manga which I really enjoyed and then I progressed on to reading more young adult and adult fiction. During this time, I was writing. I had written a poem in class and got the bug for it. I think I loved poetry because I was writing about what I saw in the world around me and putting it into a rhythm that sounded beautiful. I submitted poems into competitions and had quite a few published. Finally, I had found my talent, something that I enjoyed and that I could do. I started writing short stories and larger ones. I remember writing what I thought at the time was a whole novel, in fifteen days, and then realising that there was a massive plot hole right at the beginning of the story. I kept reading and writing. I enjoyed reading because I have always loved stories and it still seems so magical to me that a whole world can be contained within a book. I love writing because when I write it feels like I’m pulling something from deep within me; I am doing something that feels like me. It is hard work which uses a lot of mental energy but I love it. It feels wonderful to write and although it is not always easy, I would not change it. In fact, a world without writing seems so sad to me.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Winnie the Pooh Book Review

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As a child, Winnie the Pooh was one of my favourite characters. I watched his television programmes, films and even had an interactive book. However, I never read the entirety of the original tales. I picked up an old copy of Pooh in a charity shop and decided that I would read it this week. Here is what I thought of the source material:

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

How Anxiety and Depression Can Affect Reading and Writing

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(Notebook quote by Alexandra Bracken, notebook from a subscription box)
This is just from personal experience.

You become even better at procrastinating. You avoid the things that bring you joy because they require mental power: energy that your brain just wants to use on thinking about anything else but your, or anyone else’s book world.
You find it difficult to concentrate for very long, your brain wanting to go back to worrying and obsessing.
If a book isn’t a quick, intriguing read, it takes a very long time to get through and you will be tempted to abandon it and start something new.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Turtles All the Way Down Review

Author: John Green
Publication Date: 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Number of pages: 288
Trigger warnings: OCD, anxiety, self harm

Turtles All the Way Down follows Aza, a teenager with OCD who gets pulled into investigating the disappearance of a corrupt businessman, who happens to be the father of a boy she was friends with when she was a child. This book follows her mental illness, friendship, family and romantic relationships.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Four things you should know before writing a novel: tips from a writer

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         1. It requires a ton of discipline

I have never struggled so much to get myself to actually just sit down and write. When you are studying, you have to work each day because you have impending deadlines, if you are just starting to write your first novel and do not have an agent, you do not have set deadlines. You can try setting deadlines for yourself but I have found that I do not always write the same number of words in each setting and to push myself to meet word counts may mean that the quality of writing is not as good and I just scrap what I have written anyway. Instead, I now set myself to write on certain days and have a minimum word goal I would like to achieve in mind.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

I joined a book club and why you should too

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Book clubs are certainly not new, in fact the one that I joined has been running for a very long time indeed but I had never been a member of one before. I had thought about it but I wasn’t sure what to expect. Book clubs can be physical or virtual. I have a Goodreads account and there are book clubs in the groups section but I had never found it motivating enough to actually read the group read, there simply was not enough accountability. I have anxiety and it was suggested that I try some things outside of my comfort zone, such as joining a book club! So again, I looked into book clubs and decided that I was going to go to just one meeting and see what I find. Here are the positives that I have found:
           1. You get to read outside of your comfort zone:

I love books, I love reading and I love writing. To improve your writing skills it is always recommended to read more, and not just in one genre but across different genres and different topics. In joining a book club, I have found that the group picks are completely out of my usual choice of books and do you know what? It’s great! I started reading the first one, one I had never heard of and was not sure what to expect and I found that I actually enjoyed the writing style and the story intrigued me. If I had not joined the book club I would not have started to discover books that I ordinarily would not have picked up.