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2018: My Year of Change

New Year 2018 Image

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

I know I’m being ahead of myself here whenever I wish you all a Happy New Year. I know it isn’t 2018 yet when I’m going to post this because I’m writing this ahead of time, due to already having reflections of 2017. But I wanted to get a head start on this because I was really itching to write and reflect about this year we’ve had.

2017 really has been quite the year. It’s been a year I know I’ll remember, maybe more than many of the others we’ve all left behind. I believe part of that is because so much has happened, yet almost everything feels exactly the same.

In 2017, I made quite a few changes I felt were needed in my life. I quit a job that did nothing but drain me emotionally and I fell in love with someone I never expected to, which allowed me to move on past my last relationship. I also continued writing here, even going so far as to making changes to my blog that I felt were necessary in order to make my blog into what I wanted it to be.

All of these different changes were things I needed to do to improve my life. However, I know there’s more changes I still have to make. That is where 2018 comes in. I hope with this new year to continue making changes in my life.

In 2018, I hope to continue improving with my writing by bringing in a variety of writing topics. Of course, I plan on continuing writing book reviews and talking about video games, but I want to continue writing about other things as well whenever I can. I also want to learn more, which means the possibility of making big decisions in my life in order to make that possible. I want to continue doing whatever is necessary to make writing a part of my life and eventually my career. And of course, I want to continue improving my blog in every way I can. I know I’ve already started down that path by changing my blog’s name to something more personal and changing the design. But I want to work on changing it some more if I can.

I want 2018 to be my year. I want it to be the year where I try new things and get completely out of my comfort zone. I want it to be the year where I continue reading new books and play video games I might never have tried before.

But I know in order for all of this to be possible, I have to step up and make these changes happen. Only time will tell for certain whether I’ll be able to do that.

Thank you everyone who reads my blog for being here with me in 2017. I hope you continue following me into the new year and that 2018 is what you want it to be. I know I’m definitely going to try the best I can to make it one of my best years yet.

Confessions of A Writer #4: I am A Writer, Despite My Lack of Experience

I Am a Writer Jessica F. Hinton Quote

I am a writer. I might not have all of the experience or knowledge as those who write for a living, but I am a writer because I have the passion for it. I am a writer because I enjoy it, it’s the one thing I know how to do and it’s the only thing I can imagine myself doing for the rest of my life.

Yet, others wouldn’t consider me a writer because I don’t have a job where I get paid to write. Or because I don’t have a novel or story published for readers to enjoy or critique. Or even because I don’t have enough knowledge or experience in writing to work for a major newspaper or publication.

But the thing is, I’ve been writing since 7th grade. And I haven’t quit since. Yes, I don’t work for a major publishing company or have 3 to 4 years of publishing/writing/newspaper experience, but I did study writing during my four years of college. I did an internship for a year with a nonprofit that worked with independent bookstores called Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. This allowed me the opportunity to meet some Southern Authors at one of the trade shows I attended and gave me an insider’s look into the world of booksellers. I also was a part of my college’s online newspaper The PostScript for a year, where I wrote news stories that we published online and was the editor for a semester. For those interested in seeing for themselves, the page with all of my published stories can be found here. Being a part of a newspaper for a year was a rewarding experience. It gave me good insight into what it was like deciding what to write about in the community and gave me a better understanding of writing in a way I’d never thought of before.

And then, there is my blog here on WordPress, which I started in 2015 months after I graduated from college as a way for me to continue pursuing my passion in writing. A writing atmosphere that I find allows me the opportunity to continue writing the way I wish but also allows me the ability to improve my writing. A community of writers who’ve been nothing short of supportive as I continue on my own path of writing success.

During the two years I’ve been blogging on WordPress, I feel like I learn something different each time I set out to write. I’ve also found I’ve enjoyed writing a lot more now that I can write freely without following a specific set of guidelines. I think it has to do with being allowed on my blog to write in whatever style I choose, making changes whenever I find it necessary. But at the same time, I’ve learned that blogging is a lot different than reporting and each style of writing has its own unique rules.

I know my path of becoming a writer isn’t the traditional route of getting there, but I’ve found I’ve learned a lot since I first decided writing is what I wanted to do. In college, I gained the solid foundation needed to understand how writing works. Now, I am continuing to work on my writing style to see what suits me as well as just writing whenever and about whatever. I’m learning more about the blogging community and working on improving my blog to the best of my ability.

But at the end of all of this, I am a writer because I believe I am one. I am a writer because I enjoy it and can see myself writing for the rest of my life.  And if you feel the same as I do, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Confessions of A Writer #2: I Don’t Write Every Day

I Need to Stop Talking About Writing and Actually Write Something

One of the many misconceptions about being a writer is that you have to write every day. Otherwise if you don’t, you apparently don’t enjoy it as much as you say you do or you don’t want to be a writer as much as you think. While some people might think this is true, I believe not all writers need to write every day as long as writing itself is still a part of your life in some way.

That’s why I’m willing to confess that I, myself don’t write every day. I try the best I can to make writing a weekly habit, even if it means jotting down an idea or two occasionally. But if I’m not in the right head space to write or don’t have any ideas, I don’t do it.

For one, writing is much more difficult to do when you don’t know what you want to talk about. Like I said in my last confessions post, writing is hard and it’s much easier to do when you already have a clear idea of what you want to talk about.

I also find writing to be fun and enjoy it more when there’s no added stress to doing it. That’s why I normally write whenever I feel like it because it becomes something I enjoy instead of being like a job to me.

So while other writers might write every day, I don’t because it doesn’t always work for me. It benefits me to write whenever inspiration strikes because that’s normally when my best ideas will truly emerge. That’s when I’ll truly make progress on whatever it is I’m currently working on.

 

If We Were Having Coffee: Taking a Chance on Life

If We Were Having Coffee 06

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve been having a wonderful week like I have. I know last weekend, I unpacked a lot on you about what’s been going on in my life lately. Chances are high that I’ll be doing the same this weekend too, but for different reasons. Some things I haven’t shared with you yet that I’ve wanted to share. Not because I don’t trust any of you, just had something else I had to do first before I could acknowledge what I’m about to share with you today.

So I think I’ll start with that. This week, I made the not so difficult decision to quit my previous place of employment. I quit the job I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve hated so much because there’s so much drama, and the environment hasn’t been healthy for me. To give an example, I had a panic attack at that job one day during one of our rushes. It was really hot there and just felt like I couldn’t breathe, but I couldn’t get a second to calm my anxiety down because we had a rush come through. It was so bad that not only couldn’t I breathe but I cried in frustration over it because I kept messing up everyone’s orders. I also had one night while I was still working there where I couldn’t sleep because I was having really bad chest pain. It was to the point where I was mentally debating on whether I should go to the hospital. I didn’t end up going, and the pain eventually went away. But it was still on the back of my mind even when I ended up being okay. There’s also the fact that management wasn’t necessarily the best and made it hard for me to even want to come in to work. There’ve been many days at that job where I was tempted to just walk out and not look back. Because management didn’t reprimand the people who weren’t doing their jobs. They also made a fuss at us about silly things, like complaining to my coworkers one day before I’d clocked in that we were using the bathroom too much. I found this out from one of my coworkers when I came in and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about the whole thing. So instead, my coworker and I made the decision to time each other when we went to use the bathroom. It became our little joke because we just couldn’t take that complaint seriously.

This job was getting to the point where it was affecting my health. So I knew once it reached that point, it was time for me to get out of there. No matter what happened, I knew this place wasn’t where I wanted to be at in my life. While I had so many fond memories at my college, I knew it was time for me to go. To move on, to make a change in my life for the better by putting all of my effort into a job I actually enjoyed going to every day. To take a chance in my life and see where it takes me. Because while there were things about that job I enjoyed, there were even more things about it I was starting to hate. And comparing the two things together, I realized how much being there isn’t worth all of it anymore. I know life doesn’t always give you the opportunities you want and that you have to make the most of what you’re given, but you also have to realize to let go of things in life that are causing you pain too.

And that’s what I did once I turned in my two weeks’ notice.  I felt like this whole weight was lifted off my chest and this sense of peace washed over me. I was at so much peace that when I walked off campus, I skipped on my way back to the car. I was so giddy knowing I was done there for good that I felt like I could conquer the world.

The only thing that was good about that job is what I want to talk about now. I hate that I’ve kept this such a secret online these past couple months, but I hope this post will remedy that. During the course of these past seven months, I’ve been seeing someone. One of my coworkers from that job, to be exact. He and I’ve been talking to each other months after my last relationship ended in heartbreak. I knew him before because of the job, but I was attending college there so our interactions at the time were very few and far between. We didn’t really talk outside of work during those days because I was more focused on finishing my education and getting my degree. I was also seeing someone near the end of my last year of college until that relationship ended in heartbreak, and he wasn’t working there at the time. I don’t remember when he came back to that job other than it was after I had my heart broken by my ex, and I was still dealing with it. But we started talking outside of work. He was interested in being more than friends. At the time, I wasn’t because I’d just had my heart broken months before and needed time to get over my last relationship before getting involved with someone else. I didn’t think it would be fair to get in a relationship with someone when my thoughts were still on another man.

So we continued talking, using this time to get to know each other even better. It was during this point when I eventually realized that I was starting to feel the same way he did about me. So when he asked me out, I took a chance and said yes. I could sense these feelings were beginning to become something more and didn’t see a reason to ignore them anymore. It took me awhile to accept my last relationship ending, but I didn’t see the point in reflecting too much on it anymore. I realized instead of reflecting on the past, I needed to embrace the present in order to live for the future. If there’s a possibility I could build a future with someone else, why not try and see what happens?

William has become one of the best things that came to me from that job. He’s very supportive of everything I do. He listens when I need someone to talk my feelings to and doesn’t waver in his devotion to me and making sure I’m doing okay. He’s not only the friend I can always count on, but someone I find myself falling even deeper for with every interaction we have and every moment we spend together. We might not always agree on everything and argue from time to time, but we never go to sleep angry with each other. When things get bad, we talk about our problems and do whatever we can to sort them out. We don’t let our problems stop us from talking to each other. Instead, we use our problems as a way to see what we can do to improve our relationship and make adjustments where we see fit. We work together and build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

William truly knows how to make me happy. He makes me feel not so alone and lets me know I’m loved. I hope I do the same as he does for me. As our relationship continues to grow, I know he’ll be there for me even in the darkest of times. I hope to do the same in return because I hate to see him hurt and care about him very much.

William, if you’re reading this (which I’m sure you will be at some point) I want you to know I love you so much. You’ve made these past couple months some of the happiest for me. I want you to know I care so much about you and can’t wait to see where our relationship will go from here. We might have some moments where we want nothing to do with each other, but I know we can work through whatever hoops life decides to throw at us. As long as you have my back, I know there isn’t anything in life I can’t accomplish. But I can’t imagine doing anything in life without you. Thank you for having my back these past couple months and being the rock I needed to get through some of the most difficult moments of my life.

The reason we kept our relationship a secret online is because we both still worked at that job. We weren’t sure how they’d feel about us dating and figured it would be best not to say anything until we both got away from there. But we didn’t keep it completely a secret. Our closest friends and family knew about our relationship. We just didn’t post anything about it online until this week when we both decided to quit that job. It was something we both wanted to do for the longest time now, and figured there’s nothing keeping us from doing it now.

I’m completely glad to have someone in my life like William. He’s really one of the best things in my life and I couldn’t be any happier. If I get the chance and with William’s permission, I hope to have a picture of us together sometime in the near future posted here on my blog.

There really isn’t too much else this week that’s happened for me besides quitting my job and William and I making our relationship official online. Or let me put it this way, anything that isn’t quite as exciting or interesting that you’d like to know about. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend and can’t wait to hear about what’s happened in your life this week.

If We Were Having Coffee: Room Reveals

If We Were Having Coffee 05

It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these posts once again. A lot has just happened since the last time, and I just didn’t have the chance to share everything with you. We painted our whole upstairs, which took roughly two weekends to do because of me having to go to work. We also had our carpeting upstairs because it was starting to look outdated. Then, my older sister moved back home last weekend so I was busy because of that too.

But like I promised, I’m going to share the room colors for me and my sister’s rooms. I’m sure you’re interested to see how they turned out.

Painted Room Laneys Room

For my sister’s room, which no longer has the desk because it’s been moved into my room, we chose a dark green that she and Mum both liked. Originally, Mum had picked this pistachio green color that she thought would brighten up the room. But it didn’t turn out quite the way she expected so she talked to my sister and they both agreed on this color.  I actually like this color in my sister’s room because the way she has it looks really nice.

Painted Room My Room

Painted Room My Room 2

Now for my room, I chose blue! A blue that when I look at it reminds me of both the sky and ocean. The blue I picked isn’t quite as light as the pictures make it out to look, but it looks really nice with our new carpeting, which can be seen in the first picture.

Along with painting and carpeting, my room is now completely rearranged. We’ve moved a lot of my belongings around to give me more space, and it turned out splendidly. I have my bookshelves and television on one wall and my bed is now close to the window so that I can have cool air blowing on me. I also have the computer and desk that was once in my sister’s room since I no longer have my laptop, which allows me easy access to it whenever I want. Everything else is tucked away, either in my one big dresser or in one of my closets. Overall though, I’m really enjoying my room. It feels completely new and more adult and gives me more space than I expected to have.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you besides doing a room reveal, I’ve been doing a lot of other things too. Like usual, work has done nothing but keep me busy. My other job is supposed to be starting back up soon. But I’m hoping to get more hours at my new job so I don’t have to go back there again. I’ve also started rereading one of my favorite trilogies, which I wrote a blog post about a couple weeks ago along with started to watch Pretty Little Liars, which has been quite a pleasure to enjoy. I’ve also been listening to this podcast I heard about through one of the bloggers I follow called What Should I Read Next? which I’m debating about doing a review of. It’s something different from what I normally write about here, but it still has to do with books, which is why I’m really considering it. But I haven’t made up my mind just yet if I’m going to do that or not.

I’ve also ordered a couple books and eclipse glasses from Amazon, both of which have already come in the mail. The solar eclipse is supposed to be coming here on August 21st, so I needed to get glasses to make sure I can view it safely. The books, however, I bought for my own reading pleasure for in the future. What books I’ve bought I’m not going to say because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But after I’m done reading the trilogy I’m enjoying, these books will be the next ones I’m going to read and write reviews about once I’ve completed them.

I’d also tell you I’m finally doing something I probably should’ve done years ago: learning how to drive. A friend of mine had me get behind the wheel the other day and back out of where he parked only to drive forward and have me park somewhere else. The main reason I haven’t tried to learn to drive sooner is because the thought of it scares me. I don’t necessarily know what about driving scares me, it just does in a way I can’t explain. The only thing I can say is that I have a bad feeling about it for some reason. But I’m finally taking the steps to learn it anyway to the point where I’ve downloaded the manual that I need to read before I take the permit test. While I’m still nervous about the whole thing, I’m going to try the best I can anyway to be the best driver I can be.

Other than that, I haven’t done too much else. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I would love to hear all about it.

Two Years Later and All I Want to Do Is Write: Reflecting on My Blogging Journey

Two Year Blogging Post Image

On July 28, 2015, I made a decision that changed my writing life in ways I never imagined. I created this blog, which I’ve found has grown for me as a wonderful space for me to write about the things I love.

Over this second year, I’ve learned just as much as I did my first. I learned more about my blogging space, realized that my blog’s name and appearance needed an update, and made the changes necessary to make my blog appeal to others. I came up with a name I personally connected to so that others could find ways to connect to me and would want to follow my blog.

I also realized how much I enjoy using this writing space to write, even at times when I don’t feel like writing. Lately, I haven’t been writing as many posts as I’d like. Part of that is due to having a busy life: adjusting to my new work hours, things going on around the house such as painting bedrooms and replacing carpet (speaking of which, I’ll definitely have a new #weekendcoffeeshare very soon where I talk about all of these things), basically life is keeping me hectic right now. So one of the things I hope to do within the next couple weeks is get more writing done here.

My overall experience this second year has been amazing. Like the year before, I see that my writing is improving with every post I publish. I also find myself wanting to write more, to just keep writing whenever I find myself itching for it. I also hope to do a variety of writing. I don’t want this blog to forever be a place for just book reviews and video game posts (though I haven’t been doing much video game playing lately so that’s something I’ll definitely have to work on). I want to branch out, use this blog as a place to experiment and try writing about different topics. Maybe even do more fiction writing and poetry, whenever the mood strikes me. As the years go by, I want to grow with my blog and my writing to continue improving with each word I write.

If I had to give advice to a new blogger, I’d tell them to just keep writing. I’d let them know there are going to be days when they don’t feel like writing and that’s okay. I’d tell them not to get discouraged, to keep trying because giving up is not an option. I would also tell them that if you love blogging enough, everything will work out as long as they keep patient and keep going with it. I’d also tell them that when they aren’t writing blog posts to read other bloggers. Because what other bloggers say might be a good source of inspiration for your next blog post, even if you don’t realize it or you can make connections with amazing people who enjoy the same things you do. Oh, and to comment on other blog posts too. Not only to let a blogger know you’ve enjoyed their work, but to start a conversation, to continue being involved in the blogging community. All of these things are lessons I’ve come to learn during my two years here at WordPress.

While I’ve yet to know what this next year of blogging has in store for me, I’m currently happy with the way my blog is right now. I have a good group of followers who are supportive with my posts, and I’m continuing to enjoy the writing process when it comes to blogging. I can’t wait to see what this third year has in store for me because I know it’ll be just as great as the others.

Rereading Memories: The Inkworld Trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)

Inkworld Trilogy Book Covers

Growing up, I didn’t always have as deep of a love for the written word as I do now. When I was a child, I actually spent most of my days playing video games and watching television. It wasn’t until one of my English teachers mentioned Inkheart in the sixth grade and I read that book during the summer that my love for the written word manifested into what it is today.

If you’ve read my blog post How I Became a Reader and Writer, you’d already know this. In that particular post, I talk about Inkheart’s influence on me. I’d like to further continue that conversation by saying that I feel like the Inkworld trilogy as a whole has taught me so much. It has taught me not only about myself and my own reading preferences, but also some important lessons every writer should at some point learn.

I say all of this because I’m currently rereading this trilogy once more and want to have an open discussion about the Inkworld and its influence in my life. Because while Inkheart out of all of the books in this trilogy really shaped me into who I am, I believe Inkspell and Inkdeath also helped contribute making me into the fantasy loving person I am today. This trilogy taught me lessons no other series (well, maybe except for Harry Potter) has taught me. Every time I read these books, I find myself discovering something new within their pages.

Inkheart opened me up to the idea that there are books I’d enjoy. As a child, I didn’t enjoy reading quite as much as I do now. But this book in particular sparked an interest in reading for me I never truly experienced anywhere else. It made me believe in the power of the written word, and that fantasy was truly the genre I was destined to enjoy. I read this book at a time when I still felt like I was a child, right before things changed in my life for the worse. It’s the first book that truly spoke to me, made me want to open myself to becoming a more creative person and brought about a spark in me I didn’t have before.

Inkspell completely set my imagination on fire. With its detailed description of the Inkworld, I found myself drawn to its pages, wishing I could go to this world myself, despite its many dangers. This book especially drew me into the fantasy genre because I could feel the magic all around me as I followed Meggie and the rest of the characters into this enchantingly dark world. Like Inkheart, I found myself continuously flipping through the pages to find out how this book would end, wanting to see if things would turn out alright for everyone involved. I read this book at a different stage of my life than whenever I’d picked up its predecessor. I was struggling because my life had been turned upside down and I needed a book to escape. This book was perfect for what I needed because I wanted to get away from the real world and this book helped me do exactly that.

Inkdeath made me realize that I can be the hero of my own story. It also taught me that every character in a story has an important part to play, even if you don’t realize it at first. This book also taught me that even when things seem bad, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. To never give up hope, even when that’s exactly what you want to do. For me, this book came at a point in my life when I exactly needed it. I was dealing with some difficult circumstances and this book helped me believe in myself and made me realize that I’m the hero in my story. And that when things seem dark and scary, there’s always going to be light too.

Rereading this series once again many years later, I find the child within me coming alive. I’m reminded of why I want to be a writer to begin with, and find myself inspired to keep writing even at times when that’s not what I want to do. I’m reminded of where my love for the written word truly came from and try the best I can to never forget that.

As a writer, Inkheart taught me some of the basics when it came to character development. I learned through the pages how to create life-like characters who I could imagine standing in front of me. I learned about dialogue, how to make the words that come out of a character’s mouth sound believable, even when you have a hard time with it. I learned voice because of Mo/Silvertongue and Meggie’s ability to read characters out of their stories. I could imagine the way they talked, almost as if they were using their gift in front of me.

In Inkspell, I learned about world building. I learned how to create a place so believable that people could see it in their imagination. About making things detailed so that when someone is reading your story, they can see it themselves without you having to give too much away. I also learned how to further advance the plot of your story so that the reader doesn’t lose interest along with including interesting information that’ll make your reader want to continue reading. Learned to end stories in a series with a cliff hanger so that my readers will want to read the next installment to find out what happens to the characters.

With Inkdeath, I learned about conflict. I learned how to build up conflict so as the keep the reader hooked. I also learned how to surprise readers by making the unexpected happen, such as having minor characters play a crucial role in the story arc. I also learned how to kill off characters only to bring them back changed in their development.

Each book in this trilogy offered so much to me as a writer. But this trilogy as a whole also taught me so much about myself and the things I enjoy. It made me realize how much reading and writing mean to me that it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I hope others enjoy this trilogy as much as I do every time I read it.

If We Were Having Coffee: Being a Productive Member of Society

If We Were Having Coffee 03

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week and are enjoying your Saturday so far. For me, I’ve been pretty busy, which is what I’d like to begin with talking about for this post.

In my last #weekendcoffeeshare, I mentioned that I was going in for a job interview on Tuesday. Well, I definitely had the interview and guess what? I got the job! They had me start the very next day, had one of their coworkers show me what my main responsibilities would be while I was there. So the position I applied for is to handle the front of the deli, but specifically, I’ll be handling the salad bar foods and helping serve to customers whenever my section is running slow. I’m also responsible for cleaning the bathrooms and cleaning the salad bar whenever we close, because I applied for this position to specifically work at nights in this section. Whenever I applied for this position, I was told by my friend that they didn’t really have someone for this position at nights and that they were having trouble finding good people. So I figured, why not me?

So far, I really like it. I like it because I’m constantly on my feet moving to restock my section. There’s no down time for me or anything at all, which is good because I like being busy. I don’t like just standing around with nothing to do when I’m at work so it’s nice to have a job somewhere where that’s not really much of a problem. I also like it because my coworkers are a friendly bunch and there’s no drama. I come in, do my job the best I can, leave whenever they are satisfied with my cleaning abilities and there’s not too much fuss about any of it. As long as I do my job and they are satisfied with my work (which so far, has been the case, from what I’ve heard) then there’s not a problem. I also like that we get 50% off on food and get free refills of fountain drinks. It’s nice to know I can save my money whenever I eat there. We also get money from credit card tips that’s split up among the people working during a particular shift. These tips go into our total paycheck, which is nice because it’s additional money I can save and it shows how much the company values their employees.

There are however, some small downsides to this job so far. For one, I’ll mostly only be working nights. While it’s nice because I’ll be able to sleep in and use most of my day however I please, it stinks in the sense that I won’t be working quite as many hours as I’m used to. I also have to adjust to working again, to being a productive member of society. What I mean to say is I’m having to get used to being on my feet again, which is something I always seem to struggle with whenever I go back to work after having summers off. I know part of it is because I’m always at home during the summer and don’t take time out of my day to work out or go walking, which is something I should probably be doing. But I can never seem to put that into my schedule for whatever reason. I don’t know, but it’s something I can always work on in the future.

But so far, I’m really pleased with this job. Everyday I’m there, I’m working with different people, all of whom seem really friendly and am constantly on my feet the whole time. I go home, usually tired but satisfied about my day because I know I’ve done a good job. But it feels right because I don’t feel quite as miserable. Because I have a new job though, I’m going to have to make some adjustments when it comes to my writing. I’m not sure yet how often I’ll be posting here on my blog. Once I adjust to these hours, I’ll know for sure. But right now, I’ll have to play it by ear and see.

I’m not at work today though because Mum got tickets from work to go to see one of our local baseball teams play. So whenever I was interviewed for this position, I let the manager know about it beforehand. But other than my new job, I haven’t been up to too much this week. I did however finish reading Before I Fall and am still continuing to play The Sims Freeplay on my phone. I’m still debating whether I want to write a review on it in the near future or if I’m just going to continue playing it and not worry about a review. I think as of right now, I’ll just wait and see as I continue playing it how I feel. Playing this game though has really made me interested in wanting to play other Sims games. To the point where I’ve actually been watching another Youtuber I enjoy play The Sims 4, which is the one I really hope to one day get whenever I have the funds to buy myself a new laptop.

Before I forget, I also want to let you know I’ve also recently decided to share my blog posts on my Instagram account. I figure it’s one more means of getting my blog out there with the possibility of getting more followers through it. I mean, it is another form of social media so I really don’t see too much of the harm in it. Hopefully that will get me more followers and it’s another form of social media I use quite frequently.

So I think that’s really all I have to say about my week. I don’t know yet if I’ll be doing another one of these posts next week since I’m still getting used to my new work schedule. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how the baseball game went. But I hope you’ve all had a good week like I have and I’ll talk to you again soon!

The Importance of Journal Writing: Why You Should Write in a Journal

Journal Writing1

I remember starting to write in a journal when I was in middle school. It was the summer after 7th grade, after my family moved before I started going to another school. I don’t remember why I started journaling. What I do know is that I haven’t stopped since, even during those moments when I wasn’t writing in my journal very often.

Now, I’m on my ninth journal and still going strong. As a writer, I think it’s important you keep a journal. You don’t necessarily have to write in it every day (I know I don’t), but I believe it’ll help you in the long run.

What I love about keeping a journal is being able to write my own personal thoughts down on paper. Nowadays with advancements in technology, digital platforms are becoming an increasingly more popular mode of communication. Emails, texts, social media—everything is digital. Even writers use digital forms to store their writing somewhere safe. But with digitalizing everything comes risks to your writing being stolen or worse, accidentally deleted. So it’s nice to keep a journal because I can physically write my thoughts down on paper without having to worry about someone else reading them. It’s also nice going through the motion of physically writing things down because it allows you to stay in practice of handwriting.

I love keeping a journal too because I can write without judgment. I don’t have to clean up my handwriting, make it neat and pretty or worry about someone else reading it. My journal is for me to express my thoughts only so I can use it however I want and not have to worry about any writing mistakes I may make. It’s also a nice way for you as a writer to express all of your thoughts, allowing you the chance to get whatever thoughts are buzzing around in your head out.

Notebook Creative Lifestyle Journal Pen Write

Whenever I was in college, one of the classes I took was called Creative Nonfiction. In that class, we were assigned the task of writing about personal experiences in our lives. And one of the things we talked about was using writing to heal. About how by writing about some of your most personal experiences, you are acknowledging your past and can use it as a means to heal from the trauma and move on. I think writing in your journal works in the same way too. For one, it’s a very personal mode of writing where you document all of the experiences you’ve gone through in your life. But you document them from your own experience, sharing your own thoughts about what happened and how it’s shaped you as a person. I like writing in my journal in this way because I’m able to bring fresh thoughts out that I might not be ready to share on my blog yet. I can write about the most personal things, and not have to worry about someone else seeing them when I’m not ready.

I also like journal writing because I fully believe it helps you improve as a writer. It allows you to get any thoughts out that might be stopping you from writing. But I also think it can improve the way you write by allowing you to write in whatever way you want. When writing in a journal, the only person you’re writing for is yourself. You don’t have to worry about someone else reading your personal thoughts, so you can write about whatever you want, which can improve your writing because you don’t have to worry about writing for a perspective audience. You can write about whatever’s on your mind with no care in the world.

I also like to write in my journal because I feel like I’m accomplishing something. I’m already on my ninth journal, which feels like quite an accomplishment to me. And seeing all those blank pages I have left makes me want to continue writing in my journal to see how long it takes me to fill them. I also like it because I like how writing in a journal feels. It feels like I’m writing in my own personal space where nobody can bother me. Each journal feels like a different chapter in my life, like I’m telling my story in different parts. It’s like an adventure story where I’m just waiting to fill in the next journey I myself as the character am about to go on. I don’t know where it’s taking me; I just know I’m going somewhere. And with each journal I complete, I learn something new about the world around me and myself.

Raney Journals
Five of my completed journals over the years, not in complete order.

As a writer, I believe journal writing has vastly improved my life. It’s allowed me to keep writing, even during moments when I don’t feel like it. It’s also allowed me to continue expressing myself in whatever way I see fit as well as makes me feel like I’m accomplishing a lot even when that really isn’t the case. I know it’s something I’m going to continue doing in the years to come, and I can’t wait to see how many more journals’ pages I’ll fill.

What about you? Do any of you write in a journal? Leave in the comments below your own experiences with journal writing and whether you feel like its benefited you in anyway.

 

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