Thoughts on Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Not going to lie, I’m finding it incredible that I am already right on track with my new year’s resolution to read one fiction and one non-fiction book per month. It was difficult for me to read in Fall 2018. I feel like there was so much I wanted to read, but at the same time I was shifting my reading priorities. I completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge a few months early last year, so I didn’t know what was motivating to me to read or what to prioritize.

I guess I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I am a mood reader.

This year I want to really enjoy reading, so I’ve decided to take a break from Goodreads. I used to love tracking my reading progress and using the mobile app as a bookmark. But I ultimately have begun to feel like sharing my reading progress is giving me undue stress to read more quickly. I also feel the review system is a little broken. My feed is always cluttered by the same people and updates.

I do not I feel like I’m benefiting from a community either. I don’t engage in any conversations on Goodreads. In fact my only joy from the app has been when complete strangers find my old reviews and interact with them! That’s the only thing I’ll miss, beyond the ability to organize books by shelves.

All that said, I plan to continue these “Thoughts on…” posts throughout the year to talk about what I’ve been reading. Breakfast at Tiffany’s was my first full read of the year, but in this post I also want to talk about what I’ve been reading since my last blog post (see: Thoughts on AART + Heist Society).

CURRENTLY READING

I started two books in December that I did not finish, but I still consider myself to be “currently reading.” They are Disrupt You by Jay Samit and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. My reasons for putting both these books down are different. Disrupt You was not turning out the way I hoped it would. It’s turned out to be very anecdotal and argumentative in ways I do not want or need.

I put down Kingdom of Ash because I realized I wanted to take a step back to 1) start the blog post for the review because I was afraid I might forget the beginning, and 2) refresh myself on character names and relationship dynamics so I could fully appreciate the story without feeling like I’m missing why certain things are significant.

At the beginning of January I felt like picking up The Democratic Surround by Fred Turner. I’m about two chapters in and really like it, but I’ve had to set it aside while getting back into the swing of things at work. I wanted to read something fictional, so I picked up The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

Over the holidays I finally got around to watching the third season of the Amazon Prime original show. While I wasn’t as captivated by it as much as I was the first two seasons, I am still eager to find how the story will wrap up. Since it took two years for the third season to arrive, I’m not holding my breath for the fourth and have decided it’s a great time to read the book the show was based on! About thirty pages in, I’m already surprised by some of the character differences. I don’t know what to expect now!

• ⟡ • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote  • ⟡ •

I finally decided to pick up this novella after starting to read The Democratic Surround, just because the time period in which the novella is set is the same more or less as the time period discussed in the academic text. I felt these texts would compliment each other, and I do think fiction is a great way to become immersed in places and times long past.

I really love Truman Capote’s writing style. It’s so clear and concise, yet still so evocative in its simple descriptions of place and people. There’s also a fair amount of humor subtly weaved into the story from dialogue to situations. It’s not at all surprising so much of the dialogue from the movie starring Audrey Hepburn was directly lifted from the book.

On the topic of the movie, after having now read the book, I think the movie is an excellent adaptation. It keeps Holly Golightly’s spirit alive. While the movie does paint her a little bit nicer and give her a more hopeful ending, I think the more important aspects of her character and strife are preserved. She is often manipulative and just plain mean, but there’s something I really respect about her self-awareness and how she lives her life by her own moral code.

I feel like this novella is absolutely a must-read for anyone who loves the movie beyond its superficial façade. You get to see how truly clever and bold Holly is. Additionally, the novella really helps to illuminate certain parts of the story and lines from the movie that have long stuck with me, including how she can still be so fond of the man who she married as a child (although, I’m still horrified) and how she justifies her scandalous lifestyle.

…good things only happen to you if you’re good. Good? Honest is more what I mean. Not law-type honest…but unto-thyself-type honest. Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart…

One thing I found myself thinking about after finishing the novella is how much Holly Golightly reminds me of Jay Gatsby. They are both models of self-improvement and ambition. Both characters are extremely charming despite humble (and mysterious) backstories. They both work hard to advance in life, but ultimately fail to live their lives to their fullest because they are haunted by great loves they are unable to leave in the past.

I’m not sure what I can take away with me from this book. I’m no Holly Golightly, nor do I wish to be. For me Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a love letter to people who refuse to accept the lot they are given in life and are shameless enough to strive for more. They’re dreamers who actually do something to pursue their dreams, which is more than can be said for a lot of people (myself included). I think that is why I was first so moved by the movie and now by the novella.

☙ ❧ End Note ❧ ☙

I was feeling really optimistic with my reading at the beginning of the month but it has since dissipated a bit. I don’t really mind, though! I’m glad I’m reading at all. I hope to finish The Man in the High Castle this weekend as I have three days off. I would also like to reread Truly Devious immediately after as the sequel, The Vanishing Stair, is coming out soon! Ideally I would like to read both that and King of Scars. I’ve pre-ordered both and can’t wait to finally hold them in my hands.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

January Writing ⁂ ✧.: *: ・

It has been a while since I blogged about the writing, but that is only because I have not been writing. Today I decided it was time to provide a update, as things finally seem to be rolling! I hesitate to start this blog post only because I don’t want to jinx it. But I feel like it’s a good time to record how the writing is going.

I did not enter January knowing what I wanted to write, only that I wanted to rediscover the joy of writing. I didn’t want to outline. I didn’t want to force myself to write anything specific. I was going to be perfectly fine if each day I started a new project if what I was writing the day before was not speaking to me.

What I didn’t realize I needed at the time was to figure out what time works best for me. I’ve struggled to write at night, because I generally want to unwind and relax in the evening after a long day at work. I’ve also struggled to write in the morning because it feels like a luxury I don’t deserve, because I am still looking for full-time work. Also, I didn’t know how I would fit it in as I started working mornings in December.

It seems like I’ve found a routine that will work for me right now, and I’ve decided to embrace it while while I can.

January 14–23

As I mentioned above, I now work in the mornings. I must wake up around 5 a.m. to get ready for that shift, work about two hours, then I have about five hours until I need to leave for my regular afternoon shift. So my days are really structured at the moment, which I like. It’s taken me a while to get my bearings, but I feel like I have plenty of time to do everything I want and need to do within my work schedule.

I think my writing schedule will be 9–10 a.m. Monday through Friday, which will give me about an hour each day to write my goal of 1,000 words. This goal is short-term, as I really want to use the next week while my friend is out of town to get a good foundation laid for the new story I am writing so I can surprise her.

The story has not been outlined. I have a couple of rough ideas of where it might go, but I’m open to that changing as I learn more about the world and characters through writing. I suppose I’m writing chronologically, but I may start jumping around if I feel like there are scenes demanding to be written ahead of time. I really just don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I’m not sure when I’ll be updating you all again. I’d like each update to feel special and come only at significant points in the writing. I’m not sure what that looks like, but things are looking up. And the writing is fun. In other news, I’m reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. My thoughts on Breakfast at Tiffany’s will be coming Thursday.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

Hello, 2019 | Week in Review

All things considered, the first week of 2019 has been wonderful for me. Yes, I entered January with severe back pain. But I think it was just as well. It helped jolt me out of my usual complacency and into action. It also made it so I could have the week off to enjoy the last week before school started again. I do wish I could’ve worked, but the silver lining is I had time to work on myself and start the year off on the right foot.

  • New Year’s Eve. I was still suffering from my back pain as I run in the new year, but it was a surprisingly pleasant evening. I stayed in with my parents and brother. We flipped between Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and the Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey. My dad made buñuelos and we snacked until it was time to clink our champagne glasses to the new year.
  • Keto diet. I started the keto diet again. My friend convinced me to try it last month and the couple of weeks I tried it were not difficult at all, and I was quickly able to see a difference. I don’t feel deprived in any way and am enjoying everything I eat, but the only problem is I do miss carbs. Especially breakfast biscuits, chips, and hashbrowns.
  • Started my bullet journal. I started January out skeptical of how much use I would make of my journal, considering how debilitating my back pain was. Somehow I’ve managed to keep up with it every day so far! It’s actually become something that helps keep my mind more present, if that makes sense. I feel more in control of my day now and less like life is slipping through my fingers. And I feel such satisfaction when I complete a task on my to-do lists! ICYMI: My 2019 Bullet Journal + January Spread
  • Skillshare. I was able to try out this website for another two free months. I tried it out last year but didn’t get too much use out of it. To be fair, what I learned from the classes I did take on SEO and cover letter-writing have stuck with me, so it’s a pretty good resource if you have the money. This year I want to learn about starting a small business and freelancing, so those are the main topics of the classes I have been bookmarking.

I don’t have any New Year’s related blog goals or resolutions, as I know how unpredictable life is and that blogging is not always a priority in my life. Even though it’s not a priority, I love my little corner of the internet that I’ve built and believe it will continue grow with me.

I think I mentioned this already, but I’m still seriously thinking about upgrading my blog so I can have my own domain name (probably something entirely new) and more control over the functionality/design of the blog. I’m making changes really slowly to make sure I don’t jump into anything prematurely just to ditch it!

I’m loving this new sense of freedom to post more outside of books and reading. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around and is still interested in my ramblings. ^_^

B L O G  P O S T S

B L O G  G O A L S

I don’t know if I will complete these tasks this week or why you would want to know about them, but I’m recording them more for my own benefit and records than anything else.

  • Update About page
  • Add Bookshelves page: Read in 2019

Because of my back pain, I was sleeping on our upstairs couch as it offers more support than my ancient mattress. As result I found myself more likely to reach for a book instead of my laptop, which I kept in my bedroom. With my little battery-powered reading light, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and cracking open a book to read when I couldn’t fall back asleep.

The first book I picked up was The Democratic Surround, a textbook written by Fred Turner that I bought after being assigned a few excerpts in one of my last grad school classes. I remembered a lot of what it was about and have enjoyed picking it up whenever I have a spare moment to learn more about how the U.S. government collaborated with artists and intellectuals on art to combat fascism and, soon after, communism in the 20th century. It feels oddly relevant these days.

Eager to read some fiction, I picked up Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. It’s been on my TBR for many years now, and I’m so satisfied to have finally finished this novella. I am still debating reading the other stories in the short collection Capote’s works, but right now I feel content enough to return to the other books I started in December.

For my thoughts on these books, keep a look out for a post this Thursday. I’m not sure if I’ll be finished with The Democratic Sound, but I’ll post something regardless.

I can’t promise I’ll keep up with this weekly series on a weekly basis, but I will endeavor to produce them whenever I’ve had a really noteworthy week. I love the headings I’ve created and would like to put them to good use.

This will be a busy week. School will be back in session so I will be back to working regularly Monday–Friday, not just after school but also before school! I also need to finish preparing for a job fair I’m attending this Tuesday with my mom. We’re both looking for full-time jobs now, so it’s been oddly motivating to have someone in the same boat as me!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

My 2019 Bullet Journal + January Spread

Over the past couple of years, I have begun dabbling in bullet journalling. I’ve always loved stationary and keeping a planner in school. I’ve also always been highly reflective, creativity-inclined, and goal-oriented, so bullet journalling felt like a natural fit for me. I’m also attracted to the fact that it is something I could make and hold in my hands since so much of my time is spent online.

In total, I had created three monthly spreads before this month, for June 2017, September 2018, and October 2018. Each time felt like an experiment. When I was first starting out, I didn’t know what page elements I would want or need during the month. I didn’t know what was practical and or what would work for me.

I’m not going to lie, I did not complete filling out any of these previous spreads, abandoning each project at some point during the month. But each time I started a new one, I got closer to the right layout and elements for me.

In this blog post, I will share my inspiration, my January spread, and my rationale for what I decided to include in my bullet journal this month.

My Method

I was recently watching AmandaRachLee‘s 2018 Journal Flip Through for ideas when I came to an important realization. While I love her artistic style and creativity in spreads, I do not feel motivated to make my bullet journal a planner. I don’t have many important dates to remember each month and prefer to keep an actual paper calendar on my desk for quick reference.

Rather my aim with my bullet journal to track progress on my projects over time, to brainstorm, to keep a log of the things I want to do and actually do. Some people also make their bullet journal their diary, but I personally am keeping that in a separate notebook. I treat my bullet journal more as a physical manifestation of a online blog, highly selective and curated towards what I want to share and remember.

If you’re interested in starting a bullet journal, I highly recommend:

  1. Immersing yourself in the bullet journal communities in the blogosphere, on Pinterest, on Instagram, and on YouTube. There are a lot of fun ideas to parse through and only you know what spreads will work best for you.
  2. Practicing first in journals you already have. You don’t need to buy special notebooks or pens when you are just starting out! It will most likely just psyche you out anyway if you have perfectionist tendencies; you will be too anxious not to make mistakes.
  3. Using sticky notes to organize your layout. Some people like to create story board-like rough drafts before they start putting pen officially to paper, but I find sticky notes work just as well. After I list all the page elements I want, I go through my journal and figure out where things will fit most naturally.

I went back and forth with the idea of buying a new notebook for my bullet journal this year. The specific one on my wish list was the Scribbles That Matter A5 dotted notebook. It was only $20, but money was tight over the holidays and I wanted to buy gifts for my loved ones instead. *le sigh*

Also, the more I thought about it, I realized using a regular notebook would work just as well. It would be my gimmick if I started dedicating more of my blog-space and focus to journalling. So I looked through my small collection of notebooks I had collected over the years and decided to use a more recently acquired journal, my Target decomposition notebook. It’s a nice size and makes me happy every time I look at it.

One negative to this notebook is that my pen ink (Pilot G-2, fine, ball-point) bleeds through the pages quite easily. My current solution is to tape pages together so I do not need to worry about the visibility of the ink marks. It feels a little wasteful of page space, but I figure I might find better solution later on this year. I know there’s liquid paper I could paint over the back, and I could also start gluing in loose leaf.

My January 2019 Spread

I decided to make clouds my January theme because it’s been a very rainy winter in Texas this year and because I always feel like I always have my head in the clouds, especially around the new year. Clouds carry a lot of symbolic meaning.

I did not come up with this theme on my own. My spread is heavily inspired by my bujo idol AmandaRachLee‘s April 2018 set-up, from the distinct cloud design to specific page elements like the mood tracker. Where I deviated was primarily in the actual layout. I don’t love drawing out calendars, so my spreads have elements that lend themselves better to list formats and brain dumps.

Directly after the main page, I have a page for my mood and habit trackers. I find it enlightening to be able to see at a glance how happy or unhappy I was during a month, particularly since I generally end the month without remembering everything that went on. I’m still working out how I want to visually depict my mood (e.g. via size of rain drop, length dropped, or color shade of blue-grey).

I used to make my habit trackers a simple table that would take up half a page. I decided to try out this mini-calendar design to better be able to see how consistently I was sticking to the daily habits I wanted to nurture.

Next up is my two-column January event planner. I break it up into personal and blog categories for better spatial organization. Personal plans might be related to work, appointments, or social events. For the blog section, I like to keep track of the blog posts I plan to write. Once they are complete and published, I go over the final titles in ink so I can see at a glance what went up that month.

Next to my plans, I like to be able to see the specific goals I set for the month. The ones shown in the picture below (see page on the right) were ideas I had last week before I hurt my back. I plan to get to them once I’m 100% again!

I also like to keep space for brain dump. Here I record any special ideas I might have regarding writing, blogging, or any number of my projects. It’s not a lot of space, but I do find that it’s enough room key ideas that remind me what I was thinking at the time.

The newest addition to my monthly spread a place for weekly notes and to-do lists. Many people allot space for diary-like notes they want to remember. I personally see myself just writing to-do lists and short life highlights. I folded a page in half to reduce the number of times I would have to draw the side-bar calendar. 

I have still been thinking about how I want to use this space, so I’ve not applied much ink beyond the side-bar calendar. I do think it will be a place to keep track of what I end up doing each day or maybe job positions for which I apply.

 ☙ ❧ End Note ❧ ☙

I hope you liked this blog post! I have been wanting to start talking about bullet journalling on this blog for a long time. In case anyone’s interested, I think I will try to share a flip through this spread at the end of the month with some more commentary about how well my set-up worked. I’d also like to start doing more focused posts about the set-up of my bullet journals.

I will be back this weekend most likely with a writing update + 2019 writing plans. I have a post on my recent reads that is nearly complete, but I think that I will not be able to finish the last book I want to talk about until after this weekend.

Do you bullet journal? How do create your monthly spreads? Is your set-up organized entirely differently?

 

2019 Resolutions ⁂ ✧.: *: ・

Happy New Year!

This post is coming at you a little later than originally anticipated on account of the fact that I’ve been dealing with a flare up of back pain since last Friday, and it is probably the worst my back has felt in the five years since my first back injury in 2013. It’s slowly getting better, but it was hard to do anything that involved sitting up properly. Which is to say most things.

Fortunately for me, I’ve not had regular work hours. So I had already been planning for 2019 all last week! I had set my goals for the new year, prepared my January bullet journal, and even been working on some new blog ideas. I’m ready to make 2019 the best year of my life despite this rough start!

  1. Upgrade my blog. I’ve been thinking of recommitting myself to my blog by upgrading so I can take more control of what it looks like into my own hands. I’m currently playing around with new blog names, but I have some brainstorming to do before I make anything official.
  2. Read 24 books. My mini-goal at the moment is to read one fiction and one non-fiction book each month. I know I will have months where I will read much more than that, but I do feel like I want to get through more of the older books in my physical TBR this year.
  3. Journal. I have so many notebooks I’ve collected over the years that I want to finally put to good use. Last year I started dabbling a bit more seriously in bullet journalling and I would like to start blogging about it.
  4. Write like it’s 2012. My best times writing were my sophomore year of college, and I would like to take myself back to basics this year. Outlining has not been working out. I feel like I need to stop trying to force myself to work on WIPs when I don’t feel like it. So I simply want to write anything on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be a cohesive. I just want to write.
  5. Level up my German and Spanish. I started learning both casually in early 2018. I’ve kept up with the German, but I want to pick up Spanish again as well. I’m hoping to find a good balance of study time between the two languages this year.
  6. Reset my forms of online recreation. I want to start a new YouTube account for subscribing to different kinds of channels and eventually start uploading my own content. I want to stop using Tumblr and Goodreads, because they are not essential.  I want to cut myself off from my smartphone after 8 p.m. each night so I can end the night doing more chill activities. Basically, I want to shake things up.

These are just a few of the goals I have for myself. I also have some collaborative goals with my writing buddy, some personal health/wellness goals, and some career-related goals that I don’t want to get into on the blog just yet.

I’m hoping to start posting every other day or so on the blog, but only so long as 1) it is fun and 2) I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time or yours. Next up I will probably talk about my bullet journal and my most recent reads.

Let me know if you have any similar goals!

Thoughts on AART and Heist Society

I just realized that both of the books I talk about in this post have to do with the value of art. I probably didn’t make the connection before, because it was quite coincidental that they have been my most recent reads. But I did want to dedicate a post to these books that I would be able to look back on if need be. The result today is spoiler-free, so if you have no yet read them, you can safely read ahead.

As you might’ve been able to guess, I’m writing this introduction after having already written my thoughts. So I can tell you how hard it was to limit my discussion to just the first major points that came to mind. I feel like I could rant for thousands of words sometimes on the books I read, but that would just be too much.

• ⟡ • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing • ⟡ •

I read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green primarily in October. It was a book I had highly anticipated as a casual viewer of the vlogbrothers YouTube channel Hank shares with his brother John. I’m not the biggest fan of John Green’s books, having only been able to finish The Fault in Our Stars, which I actually did like. But Hank’s book appealed to me purely based on the synopsis, so I was happy to be able to support his debut novel.

I set AART down extremely satisfied with the book. It stayed in my mind for a few weeks after. It has one of the best finales and denouements I’ve ever read. After meandering on the smaller details for most of the book, it becomes extremely action-packed and…emotionally impactful. There’s a moment towards the end that had me shed a tear. It was unexpected! It’s hard to talk much more about the final scenes without spoiling the book, so I won’t go any further!

Early on in the book, you realize that AART is being narrated by the protagonist after all the events of the book have gone down. It led to some satisfying foreshadowing, but I also found it annoying at times. April May makes a lot of mistakes in the book, some of which I didn’t particularly find myself sympathetic to, even after the fact. I dislike how she frames them, like, she knows she was wrong and thinks that her awareness of the fact makes it less bad. In my opinion, it’s akin to the author trying too hard to make readers feel or think a certain way.

Also her logic, or line of thinking, is at times hard to follow. I think that the biggest problem actually was just that Green assumes that everyone is going to have the same socio-political stances as he does. I do, but I’m not as far left as he, or April May more accurately, seems to be.

Other than that, I really loved this book. I think it’s so timely and relevant with how social media can give people so much power and how important it is to wield it responsibly. I also think it’s important in exploring how humanity can work together towards and common goal. It’s very reminiscent of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which I saw Hank say was intentional, but different in its selection of villain.

So many staples of science fiction, that I’m aware of, paint massive corporations as the bad guy. In AART, the villains are people who fall prey to the fear and anger exacerbated by fear-mongering conservative pundits.

I feel like this book is so a product of our current political climate in the U.S. It’s uplifting and terrifying at the same time.

• ⟡ • Heist Society • ⟡ •

I took a bit of break from reading after AART as I worked on my novel leading up to November. I was also busy with other projects and life this fall. My next read, had it been immediately gripping, would have actually been Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, the finale to the epic Throne of Glass series. But I was not able to become invested quickly enough in that 900-plus-page tome, so one day mid-November I decided to pick up something that would be a considerably easier read.

I read Heist Society by Ally Carter mostly over Thanksgiving Break. It wasn’t a high priority read, so I took my time with it. In fact, I picked it up because I realized I was in a bit of reading slump and I find YA contemporaries perfect for reviving interest in reading, because they are 1) generally easy to read and 2) seem to be written with the aim of being captivating.

I also almost picked up White Cat by Holly Black but I read it last year (around this time!) and couldn’t find it (which reminds me I need to look for it).

I was not as impressed by Heist Society as I was hoping to be. It’s not the book or author’s fault (it was published in 2010), but at this point I’m a bit exasperated by books where teens are these unbelievable super geniuses who are more qualified and capable than adults with experience to save the day. I don’t mind their age specifically, but when books seem so intent on emphasizing the mental prowess of teens in contrast with bumbling adults, it is just so overdone at this point. And unrealistic.

I don’t think that teens can’t or shouldn’t be able to accomplish amazing things. But I don’t need them all to be highly enlightened or brilliant minds. It’s not even that it’s just realistic but more importantly it’s not all that relatable.

Other than that major critique, which may or may not have been better explored elsewhere, I found the plot a little predictable at some point. Also, the heist was pretty clever, but since there’s no proof of how brilliant these cast of characters are beforehand (beyond them all being super confident and constantly alluding to past jobs) it didn’t feel too authentic. But I liked the characters and their interactions with one another. I also appreciated the fast pace of the story, which was filled with appropriately high stakes.

 ☙ ❧ End Note ❧ ☙

If you were interested in these books, I hope I was able to give you a good idea of what you might be able to expect along with my personal thoughts on them. In the future I may go into spoiler territory, but I think that will mostly be whenever I feel very strongly about what happened and need to vent (à la Tower of Dawn). Maybe my book talk on Kingdom of Ash will be such a post, whenever I get back to it!

I must say, however, that I prefer writing spoiler-free reviews. Particularly if I know I would like to read the book again. It’s nice to let yourself forget some of the details of a book you love so you can still enjoy it the next time as if it’s the first time.

Right now I leaning towards starting Heist Society‘s immediate sequel Uncommon Criminals. But I can’t say for certain, as I’ve not actually started it yet. Maybe I’ll jump back into another book I’ve wanted to read all autumn. Who’s to say at this moment?!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

Beyond Betwined Reads ⁂ ✧.: *: ・

In which Lori explains her absence and plans for the future of the blog.

Hey, everyone! It’s me, Lori. I’m back again. Hopefully for a good while. I’ve missed you, and I’ve missed blogging. The longer I was away these past couple of months, the harder it was to jump back into it. I think I know why.

For most of the year, I started each month by setting some goals and trying to figure out what kinds of things I wanted to do on the blog. It was fun, and it also gave me an idea of where to focus my energy and attention. There are always so many things I want to do, I always find myself needing to reign it all in.

For some reason in September my blog started to get a lot more views and follows than I’ve experienced all year. I wasn’t sure really why, but it was exciting, and I wanted to nurture it by posting more often. I decided to get more serious about blogging and set up a schedule so that new followers knew what they could expect and I also knew what I needed to be working on each week. It was very ambitious, and it was the beginning of the end.

As much as I tried to adjust and stay happy with what I produced, I couldn’t keep up with it. Not when I wasn’t reading or writing behind the scenes. Not blogging became stressful. It was a chore in which I found no joy.

So I didn’t blog much in October and haven’t blogged much in November. I’ve thought a lot about what I wanted to do, because despite all the turmoil I’ve been feeling I still want to blog. There have been so many times where I thought I might start back up again but felt stifled because I wasn’t sure how to address my absence, particularly since I felt I’d done nothing substantial with my time offline.

Last week I decided I wanted to blog, but something needed to change. I went back and forth over the idea of starting a new blog fresh and without a specific niche. But ultimately I realized that while the overall format is probably going to change, I still want to blog about the same sort of things, mainly reading and writing.

The biggest difference will be that I will be writing for myself. I want to be able to blog when I feel like it and not feel inadequate if I’m not doing x, y, or z. I want to be able to get more personal on my blog and in turn inspire others to feel happier in their lives no matter what they are doing. I don’t want to feel like my value comes from the quality of my writing or ingenuity of my posts. My blog is not proof or validation my worth but a record of my life.

From now on when I talk about books, I will not try to be too objective or overly insightful. I don’t see any reason I should be stressing myself out over book reviews or having more original and nuanced thoughts than the next person. I’m not a book seller/critic/marketer, nor do I want to be one unless I have a salary! I don’t want to be a arbiter of taste. When I think back about the books I’ve read, I want to remember my life context (i.e. where I read, why I picked up a book) and my immediate reactions.

Similarly with my writing posts, I don’t want to look back on old posts and just see what I wrote for my blog readers’ sake. Rather I want to be able to remember how the writing was going and have the details (i.e. illness, mood, sources of inspiration) why it was going well or poorly.

I don’t know how many people will find this post very necessary for me to have written to explain. I realize I could’ve just made these changes quietly and moved on, but I feel like I had to write this post for myself. Not to justify my choices but to organize my thoughts.

Regardless, I hope this post finds the eyes that need it most. I’m not sure how deeply my absence has been felt. If you’ve wondered what’s been up with me or where I’ve been, I deeply apologize! I always find it difficult to know when I need to take a hiatus. Just know that if I ever give up on the blog, I will most definitely announce it in a farewell post. Additionally, I’m constantly on Twitter or Instagram, even if I’m not posting, if you ever want to give me a shout!

I’ve got to go to bed now. I’ve been reading Heist Society by Ally Carter and it’s been a nice read so far. Nothing mind-blowing or earth-shattering but fast-paced and intriguing.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.