Saturday, 30 April 2016

#BookBuddyAThon 2016 TBR

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After participating in the #BookBuddyAThon last year, I thought I'd once again team up with Jennie for a week of reading sprints and bookish chats. The #BookBuddyAThon is a week long readathon created by Elena and this year it's running from the 7th May to 13th May. 

The idea is to buddy up with someone (could be someone online, a blogger or booktuber, a family member or friend, whoever) and the aim is to read and chat books for the entire week - either choosing books according to the following guidelines or just going full yolo and picking out books that the two of you want to read regardless of the set challenges. It's a chilled out readathon so you don't necessarily have to stick to the script. 


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

How To Get Rid Of Creative Anxiety

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For someone who would describe themselves as a 'creative', sometimes I find it really difficult to just...create. The perfectionist in me, perhaps, stunts my ability to put pen to paper and my anxiety tells me that I can't put anything on the page unless it's good to go there and then. This creative anxiety is most prevalent during the writing process, for me, and I know that it is something that also plagues many other writers. For some writers, the anxious adrenaline helps to drive their projects but, for others, such as myself, it can stunt them. 

I'm here today with a few ways, tried and tested by me, in which you can get rid of creative anxiety during the writing process. These methods are quite specific and not going to be relevant to everyone, granted, but I can only speak from my own experience. Share your tips in the comments below, particularly if you're a creative of a different discipline! 

keep a designated 'messy' notebook
As a child, I found it really difficult to have mess around my 'good' work. If I made a mistake in pen, I would start the page in my textbook again. Now that I'm older, I find it useful to have a designated 'messy' notebook in which I allow myself to make mess and write as many horrible bits of horrible poetry as possible. No one needs to see its contents and it gives me the chance to play around.


I have a real habit of editing before I've even really put pen to paper. Whilst being a sufficient editor is a pretty good skill to have, I find that it really affects my writing process. I have taken to giving myself different days to wear different hats. For example, some days I will pop my writer hat on and do just that. Other days I'll switch it up and put my editor hat on or my researcher hat on. By allocating myself different roles on different days, I minimise the temptation to edit before I have written. 


If you find that you feel quite pressured by other people's response during the creative process, keep your work to yourself to begin with. Don't tell anyone about it. Don't think of this or that person reading it or viewing it for the first time. Let the piece be yours for the time in which it needs you. By doing this, you should allow yourself to create something that is free of anxieties about what other people think. Not everyone will worry about this but for some it is a big hurdle.


Your 'shitty first draft' may not be your magnum opus but by giving yourself the chance to create a vision of something you're allowing yourself the chance to properly reflect on how to take your piece further. The 'shitty first draft' may be abysmal, unshareable perhaps, but it will more than likely birth ideas and images that you can work with and transform.


The most important thing to remember is that creativity, much like everything else in life, usually involves a process that you follow from A to B, from designing or creating a concept, to signing off on a project or sending your goods onto others. The writing process, in this instance, may be grueling at times, confusing at others, but it is totally necessary. Allow yourself to accept and enjoy the process from start to finish and you'll be all the better for it. You have to write a bunch of words that won't see the light of day outside of your messy notebook in order to get to the 'shitty first draft' and beyond. 

I would be really interested in your thoughts on the matter. Do you have to allow yourself to experience the creative process? Does perfectionism prevent or fuel your creative projects? How do you, personally, get rid of creative anxiety? May you all now go on to write your magnum opus and get rid of your creative anxiety! 

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

#AuthorAThon TBR

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After wallowing for far too long, I have decided to take my own advice on how to get out of a reading slump by participating in this week's AuthorAThon readathon. I participated in a few readathons last year (such as the BookBuddyAThon, Bout Of Books and the Booktubeathon) and they all proved to be fruitful so I'm hoping that this will have the same affect!

The AuthorAThon is a week long readathon, created by Joanna and Sam, running from 12pm on the 18th April 2016 to 11:59pm on the 24th April. You could either read books from one particular author or you could participate in the following challenges. I happen to really enjoy picking out books that fit specifications so I decided to go with the latter.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Book Reviews feat. Children's Books

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March, for me, was the month of children's books! The following four beauties, sent to me by my good friends at Puffin Books and featured in my March Book Haulpulled me out of my intense reading slump and I am now adding a billion different bits of children's lit to my wishlist as a result. I'm looking at you Pax!


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Book Haul feat. Chinua Achebe

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My 'accumulate less books' thing is going incredibly well so far this year (check out my book hauls for proof) but, unfortunately, I have also found that my reading has dwindled completely. I can't work out whether my slump is attributed solely to things going on in my personal life, or whether my lack of bookish extra-curricular activities is limiting my reading?! One of life's big questions. I only bought one book during the month of March but I managed to accumulate quite a few other newbies thanks to publishers and friends. 

As always, let me know what books you have bought of late in the comments or whether you've read any of the following books so that we can have a chat about them!


Saturday, 2 April 2016

16 Books To Read In 2016

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I'm trying to read unread books from my shelves this year (she says, in the midst of an intense reading slump) so I'm here today to share 16 books from my bookshelves that I want to read in 2016. Some of the books in this selection have been sat, patiently, for years waiting for me to turn my attention to them, whilst others have merely just begun to settle in.

Inspired by Amanda and her concise book hauls, I thought I would share three short phrases about each book that allude to either what drew me to the particular title, what it is about or what I hope to get from reading it. No rambles from me today, pals. Miracles do happen! 

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