Tips for Artists & Keeping Motivated

While I generally enjoy populating my blog with tips for writers primarily, from the few art posts I have on my blog, you can probably tell that I dabble a bit in the realm of drawing both digitally and traditionally. It is not a source of income for me nor do I ever really plan on it being however, I still find myself in a much better mood having created something that appeals to my eyes (for the most part. Every artist knows you must create an abomination every now in then to keep thinks spicy).

So, all that being said, I felt like it would be fun to make a little “tips and tricks” post for my fellow artists out there for keeping motivated to draw and create even when you feel like you’re not improving or find yourself in a rut creatively.

1. It’s okay to have a pretty scuffed sketchbook.

I know first hand the discouragement that Pinterest drawing journal inspo can produce. On one hand, I feel inspired to create such beautiful pieces myself! On the other, it can cause me to obsess over the “cleanness” and perfection of not just my individual sketches but the state of my sketchbook itself. And, like I often say over here on my blog, perfectionism can be one of the biggest obstacles an artist must overcome. So take heart, artists with beat-up and banged-up sketchbooks! It is totally fine to have a collection of drawings with a few “scrap” pages and maybe a few coffee stains on the cover. Actually, I’ve found that I often draw more when I have a slightly scuffed sketchbook as it prevents me from being nervous about messing up the book with a less than perfect sketch.

2. Draw, Draw, Draw. Quantity (mostly) over Quality.

Just like with writing, often skill comes overtime with the production of a lot of creations. This is the whole practice makes perfect phenomenon. Not that you shouldn’t try of course. Keep trying, by all means. But try not to get all caught up in creating the perfect piece now.

3. Not every art tip you find online will apply to you.

This is another important thing to note when you’re an artist with an internet connection. You have an endless supply of lists of “Do’s and Don’t” that you should follow when drawing. However, while it is good to at least CONSIDER these tips when making your own art, you probably shouldn’t follow every single one. Certain things are creative decisions and a piece that follows all the “rules” can sometimes feel boring or devoid of creativity.

4. Practice the things you struggle with.

I don’t like this tip but once I decided that I was going to draw a hand every day for a month, I saw a huge (though gradual) improvement with my ability to do so. Now that’s a pretty intense solution that I don’t think everyone should do, but I think you get the idea. Try not to avoid things that you struggle with and feel you aren’t good at it. Not that you have to now make your living as a hand-sketcher but it really pays off to put extra practice into those artistic pet-peeves you have whether it be drawing hands, eyes, people, animals, etc.

5. It takes time to find your style.

Not to mention it also evolves constantly. That’s alright though. That’s actually good because if you weren’t changing, you wouldn’t be improving in the slightest. Remember, change is (usually) good.

And I think that’s about it! Thanks for dropping by and reading! Also feel free to let me know in the comments section below of what tips really helped you as an artist! I’d love to hear them!

And I’m outta here! Bye!

Signs you’re Experiencing Burn-Out

Hello there, readers! It’s me again, back at it with some self-targeted advice. I experienced some hardcore burn-out in the recent months and am only just now realizing that I show some very obvious tell-tale signs before I completely become useless to all my creative projects. I wanted to compile these signs here so both you and I can recognize them and identify them when we feel ourselves becoming less and less motivated. Usually they are indicators that I just need to step back and give myself a break from my work before starting back on it so here’s hoping both you and I can recognize these signs better in the future.

1. Constantly feel guilty and like you should be doing more.

I am the queen of self-induced guilt. I feel like I should always be doing something. All the time. Life is short after all? This sign usually shows up as a sort of guilt-inducing self talk. It tends to come in the form of phrases such as “You should REALLY be working on X.” and “Why didn’t you do X, today?? You had so much time!”.

2. You procrastinate.

I can procrastinate a lot in general but I find my procrastination spikes to new peaks when I am actively burning out. I find myself consistently putting something off, that is a sign of burn-out right there.

3. You feel tired all the time.

Forcing myself to work on something makes me twice as tired than normal. This is because I have to spend energy making myself motivated and then spend energy actually doing the task. And what’s even worse is it’s often a task I once enjoyed which segues right into my next point which is…

4. You can’t remember the last time you enjoyed your work.

Generally I burn out on tasks that I once enjoyed quite a lot. They’re generally hobbies. This means I CHOOSE to do them for FUN. At least I used to. But sometimes I can’t remember the last time I wanted to draw or work on my story.

5. You feel uninspired.

Writer’s or Artist’s block persists when I am becoming burnt-out. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just my creative juices tend to not flow as freely. It’s almost like those times in school when you find yourself staring at a math problem of sorts FOREVER. Then you get up, walk away from it, and come back to find yourself knowing the solution all along. You just needed a break in order to remember it.

6. You feel exhausted before you even do tasks.

Similarly to the “being tired all the time” issue, you find that the mere thought of doing certain tasks makes you tired. It’s this weird pull of wanting to do something but also DEFINITELTY NOT wanting to do something.

So, now that we got the signs out of the way, how do we fix it? What is the solution? Usually it’s simple. Usually its something like taking a break for a day or two. Sometimes its taking a LONG break depending on how intense the burn-out is. Sometimes it’s finding a new source of inspiration to reignite one’s passion for what they originally loved. It often depends on the individual. But whatever the case may be, remember creation should be fun. And if it’s not, it is not a crime to stop creating. Often life feels like a chore and it’s our own faults. Awhile back I came to the realization that many of expectations I felt weighing on my chest were my own. And while that’s was a hard pill to swallow, there was a bright-side to that scenario. It was in my power to fix it.

The thing is it is often our own expectations that lead us to burn out. And it sucks. But it also means that there is something I can do about it.

Things to Remember as an Anxious Creator

Being a creator of any sorts whether it be a writer, an artist, or anything in between can be an awesome experience with the internet. More than ever before, you can share your work with a larger audience than you would have ever imagined. But, if you’re anything like me, this can come with its own set of stresses. Especially if you’re a people pleaser, sharing your work can be a tough process especially when you find yourself fighting with your own insecurities. What was once fun and freeing can turn into a huge stressor as you worry about how people perceive you and the work you produce. So I composed this list of “Things to Remember as an Anxious Creator”. I’m not saying it going to fix some of the stressful aspects of being a creator who posts their work online but it may help you remember that the important thing about creating is that you enjoy the process and at the end of the day, no one can make everyone happy. Which, coincidentally, is the first reminder.

1.You can’t make everyone happy.

It’s unrealistic to think otherwise. The things you create won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Additionally, there are always going to be people who think you should be doing something differently. And while one should make room for constructive criticism, at the end of the day, your work will speak to some people and not to others. And that’s okay.

2. Nothing you create will be perfect. Take pride in your work but don’t agonize over it.

You are an imperfect person. So, by proxy, you will create imperfect art. You are always going to think you that you could have done something differently in a piece when looking back on it. That’s good, that means you’re improving. But don’t discredit your past work as being useless because it’s not perfect. Additionally, don’t discredit your present or future work because it’s not perfect either.

3. Don’t take every critique or criticism as gospel.

Listen to people’s advice but if you took in and applied everything people said about your work, it wouldn’t look like your work any more which would be an even bigger tragedy than producing something imperfect. Learn to filter the criticism and apply where you think it is needed.

4. Also note, that criticism is still good.

Don’t let the stressful thought of listening to others make you plug your ears and ignore ALL OF IT. This benefits no one and especially not you. You’ve got to walk the line between “taking all criticism” and “taking no criticism at all”. There is a happy medium to be found.

Also note that is still valid to walk about from some criticism when you feel like you cannot handle it AT THAT SPECIFIC TIME. If you are feeling that you are not in a good mental space to accept to respond to people’s critiques, it is good to recognize that and walk away from it and return to it when you feel you can handle it in a healthy way.

5. Perfectionism inhibits the artistic vision.

Don’t get in your head that as soon as you start a project that it must be perfect. I know I have reiterated this already but it is such a common struggle among artists that I feel the need to remind you again. If begin to fall into the lie that everything you make needs to be on a masterful level, you will most likely experience a sort of “creator’s paralysis” and will become so scared of creating something imperfect that you will not create at all.

Aaaaand I know this because I do this. A lot. And I have to continually remind myself that perfectionism has only ever hindered my act of making something. It never helped it.

6. Taking a break is okay.

Remember you are not a machine. Taking a step back from creating for a little while it healthy and you are more likely to return to your work with a fresher perspective and clear mind which will result in even better and more inspired art work!

Breaks are good.

7. Creating is supposed to be fun.

If you are stressed over your work constantly, it might be time to pause and take a step back and evaluate as needed. Creating is not supposed to be a pain staking act every step of the way. Also note that sometimes we are made to enjoy something only for a time and then move on. If you find yourself constantly hating the act of making your art, it may be time to change how you are approaching that art, or take a break from being an artist entirely. We all need to do this sometimes with all kinds of work, not just creating.

For example, if I found myself dreading the very thought of working every day in my field of expertise, that would be a sign that I would need to pause and evaluate my choice of career. Whether this means changing it entirely or simply switching to another job in the same career field but with a slightly different approach to that thing, depends on how I feel.

It doesn’t make you a failure to do this. Life is too short to force yourself to subject yourself to something that you hate on a daily basis. I repeat, take a step back.

And I think that’s it. Those are all the big reminders I have to tell myself as an anxious creator. I hope you got some sort of insight from them! If so, maybe consider following my blog as I post a lot of content similar to this on my little space here. I also encourage you to leave any thoughts you have on these reminders in the comments below and whether or not these helped you! Is there a specific one that you struggle with? For instance the *cough* perfectionism *cough* one? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Have a lovely day & take care of yourself!

How to Call yourself Out

Good Friday Afternoon! I hope this blog post finds you well and in good health! This post is going to be a little different from the usual writing posts but is an important thing that I just sort of wanted to write about.

Calling yourself out.

So what do I mean by this exactly? Well, to put it simply, we, as people, make mistakes. Lots of them. And sometimes, in situations we can be the “bad guy”. Other times (and most of the time) though, it’s not so black and white. People will wrong us and while this is a crappy move on the other person’s part, we can be guilty of responding badly to things and being in the wrong ourselves. We can be put in bad situations by other people and, despite the fact that this isn’t necessarily what we signed up for, can still be at fault for behaving badly or, more commonly, cultivating some unhealthy thinking patterns.

For example, have you ever been wronged by someone and just written them off as a “bad person” and tried to never think of them again or perhaps even stewed over what they had done. I know I have. And while I think in some cases it can be black and white, this person did you wrong and you did nothing wrong, more often then not we at least had some part we played. But our response is so overshadowed by the bad thing the other party did that we deprive ourselves of a little something called SELF REFLECTION.

To be clear, this isn’t me calling you out. This is me calling myself out.

It is really easy to label people as difficult or cruddy people and move on with your life. And sometimes that’s what you gotta do in specific scenarios. But we can’t do that with everyone. Because nobody is perfect and it’s up to us to check ourselves.

So, here are a few questions to help you call yourself out:

1. “Is that really how it happened or just how you remember it? Or even, is that how you WANT to remember it?”

Have you ever played the game “telephone”? Where people pass on a message from person to person with message becoming more and more ridiculous or unclear with each passing? Sometimes our memory and thoughts can be like that. The more we relive an experience in our brain where we believe we are wronged, we warp the memory more, the more the angrier we feel. And the frustrating thing is often, there is a seed of truth in where this memory starts. This person most likely really DID hurt us. But we must evaluate that we are recalling events properly and are not dramatizing it in our brains to make ourselves feel more and more like the victim in the situation.

2. “How are your insecurities effecting the way you’re viewing the situation?”

Another thing to take a look at is your “weak spots” so to speak when you’re analyzing a situation. Are you taking everything in the worst way possible because you doubt yourself in specific areas?

Nothing is wrong with having insecurities. But it is our responsibility to be aware of them. And these insecurities can make us perceive things in an inaccurate light in specific scenarios so just watch out for them.

3. “What parts of yourself do you see in the person you’re criticizing?”

This is a good way to take a negative (someone treating you badly) and turning it into a sort of positive. This is a chance for you to look at someone and their bad behavior and check yourself. They just showed you how NOT to behave so now you can more properly recognize such a negative trait in yourself if it exists.

4. “Are you more concerned with being right or evolving as a person?”

Ouch. This one I’m going to leave here because I’m still recovering from it.

5. “What blame are you placing on someone else that you can take accountability for?”

Yeah, this one can hurt a little too because, let me tell you, it feels good to cast every bit of responsibility to other parties involved. Taking responsibility implies that you, at least in some capacity, were wrong. Sure, someone else could be wrong-er but admitting that you had some part to play is difficult but still necessary in certain cases, especially if you expect to grow from it.

6. “What hard conversations are you avoiding having with yourself?”

When we throw blame everywhere else, this can often be a sign that we are avoiding some sort of “truth” about ourselves that we don’t want to face. We don’t want to face it becomes its uncomfortable or perhaps because it doesn’t fit our current view of ourselves. But again, we gotta ask ourselves, “how else am I going to grow?”

7. “What is your most toxic trait that you admit to?”

Similar to knowing your insecurities, this question can help you identify further bad habits you tend to fall into and that effect your behavior and how you view people.

8. “Is your ego getting in the way of your healing?”

Another ouch from me.

In situations where I feel like I’ve really been kicked when I’m down, I have a tendency to hold a grudge. I want these people to be sorry because I want to show them that they CANNOT treat me this way. But often this comes from an unhealthy place. A place of ego that demands that people ask for forgiveness at every turn when they say something that slightly offends or hurts me.

But this is not beneficial to healing.

We’re going to have to get comfy that there are people who will not ask for forgiveness. It might benefit ourselves to ask why. Sometimes its because they’re just not very self-reflective. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know they did anything wrong and I just EXPECT them to know.

But regardless, we need to examine our motivations for wanting them to come crawling to us. We must look for where ego might be getting in the way. We desire validation in this situation. And that’s only human. But if we keep anger and ego locked inside because we think that will somehow heal us because we refuse to let this person “get away with it”, we’re never going to truly move on from the situation.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE:

I want to be clear, in certain situations, you may go through these questions and reach the conclusion that you are indeed handling this as best you can, and the other party really and truly is wholly in the wrong. Bad people, insecure people, and rude people DO exist and definitely create situations where the victim of the entire thing did nothing wrong. It doesn’t happen maybe as much as we’d like to think, but it does occur. In those cases, I fully believe it is okay to just say “wow, they’re sort of a bad/insecure/rude person and I don’t need that in my life.” and move on. You are a growing and evolving person, not a doormat.

Love others but also take care of and respect yourself.

A Single Girl’s Guide to A Lovely Valentines Day Picnic

Hello, lovely people! I hope this post finds you well! Valentines day is around the corner and, I don’t know about you, but I am ready to have a cute, pink picnic to celebrate. So here’s a quick guide to what to bring to create your own Valentines Day Picnic and make it unforgettable.

Sparkling Pink Juice

Welch's Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Rosé Grape Juice Cocktail, 25.4 fl oz Bottle

I think sparkling pink juice is simply a must for achieving this lovely, whimsical and romantic vibe. Not only does it taste amazing, but the bottles are beautiful and can double as vases later.

Flowers

Flower PNG Images, Bouquet, Roses - Free Transparent PNG Logos

And just to be clear, they don’t HAVE to be roses (I know they can be CRAZY expensive). You can go for some daisies or wildflowers or whatever you can pick near you. A frugal Valentines Day is a good one in my opinion, not to mention I think Wildflowers are just as pretty as your romantic roses.

Cute Glassware

Amazon.com | BELLAFORTE - Shatterproof Tritan Plastic Wine Glass Pink,  12oz, set of 4, Laguna Beach Drinking Glasses - Unbreakable Glassware for  Indoor and Outdoor Use - Reusable Drinkware: Wine Glasses

I mean, what else are you going to drink your sparkling juice from? Not to mention they fit the vibe perfectly. Also, don’t be afraid to try out some adorable tea sets. Those also make for wonderful glassware for your main character Valentines’ Day Picnic.

Strawberries

Strawberry PNG images

Strawberries are a very easy snack to bring along on your picnic. Plus, they don’t make a huge mess to eat. Overall, they’re simple and effective in further establishing an immaculate vibe.

A Pink Cake/ Dessert of Sorts

pink flower cake png | Cute cakes, Cake, Cake decorating

Sweets for the sweet! Give your picnic goers or that special someone a slice of scrumptious cake. But, just to be clear, is doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be picnic. A white cream cake will do the trick in a pinch or really whatever you want. I definitely recommend garnishing it with strawberries, whatever it is.

A Cute Picnic Blanket

Where can I find a Red Picnic Blanket? : r/orangecounty

Okay, now you have this adorable spread but what should you set it on?? Well, seeing as how this is a picnic, it’s only fitting that we use a picnic blanket, but specifically one that matches all that you’ve laid out. Your picnic is going to not only be fun but look MARVELOUS.

And there you have it! A loose guide on what to bring to a Valentines’ Day themed picnic! Really you can change stuff up and go with whatever vibe you please. These are merely suggestions that I feel are cute or would be things that I would personally include in my own romantic picnic.

Hope you all have a fabulous Valentines Day filled with lots of sweets & hugs!

21 Little Ways to Love People

★ Send them cards.

★ Bake them bread.

★ Send them a bunch of memes that you know that will make them laugh.

★Write them a poem.

★Send them a perfume or lotion of a smell that makes you think of them or that you think they’ll like.

★Asking them how their day was.

★ Buy or pick them flowers and tie it with a ribbon.

★Spend time with them

★ Make them a playlist.

★Recommend them a movie that you know they’ll enjoy.

★Send them a little note of gratitude.

★ Write them a letter.

★ Recommend them a book that you know they’ll enjoy.

★ Make them soup.

★ Make them a list of things that make you think about them.

★ Draw them a picture or just making them some sort of art.

★Make them cookies.

★ Write them a short story.

★ Recommend them a flavor of coffee/tea

★ Send them a Bible Verse or a Motivational quote.

★Tell them you love them.

2021 Wrap-Up

Hello, Ladies and Gents!

Aaaaand we made it! As I am writing this, 2022 is merely hours away and soon, people will be cheering as they usher in a new year. 2021 has been rough for everyone I think but I wanted to take a moment and reflect on last years resolutions and my former self’s goal’s that she wished to achieve over the course of her freshman and sophomore year of college.

Last year I divided my goals into categories, much like this year’s. These categories were writing, photography, blogging, art, personal, and school.

So let’s see how I did, shall we?

Starting off with the writing category….

Finish 5 short stories – check! I finished this one quite early actually. I now see the goal as rather small but at the time of setting it I was doing significantly less writing by large.

Finish the rough draft of “SNOW” – Snow is the title of my full length, fairytale themed mystery novel based on the events of Snow White. I finished the first rough draft of Snow in the summer and was quite proud of myself. This year I hope to finish the second and get the third underway.

Create a new plot book – This one requires some explaining. Every year, I write down many plots that I cannot write so I print the ideas out and collect them in various “plot books” to keep track of them as well as flip through for inspiration. I finished two the year prior and wished to make a third this year. I completed this task as well.

All of these goals were met much to my satisfaction. This next year I hope to set a few more as well as more challenging ones as I feel I’ve gotten an idea of how much writing I tend to do throughout a year.

Next up is the photography category…

Have a photoshoot with my bestfriend – Did this in the summer along with most of these other shoots with the exception of the Medieval shoot which was done in the snow.

Have a Medieval themed photshoot – Check! Did this in February I believe.

Have a photoshoot in a ballgown – Double check! Did this one twice.

Have a superhero themed photoshoot – Check as well! Me and my friend wanted to have a photoshoot in our marvel costumes for comic con which made for some fun pictures!

Next, let’s review my blogging goals…

Achieve 200 posts – I am surprised at how quickly I was able to complete this one! I got into blogging quite a bit more than I expected to this year which is awesome!

Try and post at least once a week – Mostly completed this one. There were a couple gaps during the year but overall I would say this goal was mostly met.

Feature/interact with other bloggers more – Mostly completed this one as well! I’m slowing trying to get involved in the wordpress sphere of blogging and am slowly making some blogging friends as well!

Make some new graphics – Did this twice actually. Once mid-year and again just today. I wanted a new, clean look for my blog to usher in the new year with!

Next up are my art goals…

Paint at least 5 paintings – Finished this during the spring semester of college. I was enormously stressed out and painting helped me relieve such stress.

Finish a sketchbook – Check! I have moved onto a new one and its also already half finished!

Try and draw a realistic person – I usually draw cartoon-y styled people so this one was challenging but I completed it a few times for good measure over the course of the year. Drawing realistic people is unbelievably hard.

Illustrate a story – I illustrated a fairytale I wrote.

Make concept art for my novel – Done! I also made a map for the world of my novel as well.

Create 100 digital art pieces – Completed this one as well.

Make a self portrait – Check! Did this twice over the summer and once during the fall semester.

Next we’ll be moving onto the personal goals category…

Read at least 5 books – This might seem like a tiny goal to most people but at this time in my life, I had a huge reader’s block that persisted until the summer of this last year. Thankfully I was not only able to read 5 but 10 books this year.

Do a devotional daily –  Didn’t quite make this one. Slacked off during my fall semester where I would do my devotional on and off. Habits are hard man.

Drink more water – Mostly completed this one? I should have made this goal more specific but overall I drank more water this year than the year before (where I was regularly dehydrated) so let’s hear it for progress. I did way better at this after my freshman spring semester for sure.

Complain less – I’m still making progress on this one. I don’t know if I exactly failed this one, but progress is much slower than I’d like with this one. Complaining is a bad habit that has plagued me since high school (heck, my blog is even called LOW EXPECTATIONS). I’d love to stop whining so much but I just love letting the world know when I’m unhappy.

Eat 3 meals a day – This was a goal I added later on the year mid spring. I was in horrible health both mentally and physically during this time which was made worse by my response to stress which was not eating. I started not feeling hungry without even thinking about it. In fact, I only noticed this was becoming an issue when I started shedding weight like crazy which is pretty bad when you’re an already scrawny 5’1 college girl. So I made this goal.

And I’m happy to report that I’m in a much better place. While I didn’t achieve this goal perfectly, by large, I’ve been good at eating 3 meals every day. The habit was hard to form and I struggled through the summer but overall, the hard work has paid off.

And now, the school related goals I made…

Don’t fail a class – I was worried about this goal for awhile. In the spring, I all but flunked my midterms. I thought for sure I was going to fail Bio 1 (THE CLASS THAT IS MY MAJOR). But things really did end up working out and I ended up not only passing Biology but did so with a B. Hang in there, fellow students.

Make at least a B in Chem 1 – Again, I was worried about this one. Chemistry was incredibly hard for me and I’d spend literally 4+ hours on the subject daily, trying to teach myself the material as everything was online. It was horrible but I had an amazing course lay out which made it feel more manageable. I came out of the class with an A+.

Shoot for a B in Pre-cal – And a B is what I got. I test badly in math so I spent the entire semester cushioning my grade for when I took the final. I got a 54% or something like that on the final but came out with a B as I worked so hard on all other assignments because I knew I wasn’t the best at math tests, especially when they’re timed.

Test out of my Chem 1 final – In my Chem 1 class, if you were happy with your grade, you could choose to opt out of the final. And since you already know what grade I got in the class, you bet your buttons that I was NOT take that final. No, thank you.

Create a solid 4 year graduation plan – Completed this one during the summer. I sat down with my sister who had already graduated college and made an excel document with all my classes and when I need to take them. Incredibly helpful during registration week.

Take finals in a healthier mindset than in the spring – Another goal that I added mid year. So, taking my finals in the spring, I was kind of dead inside. I was shaken up after doing so poorly on my midterms a few months earlier that I almost expected to do badly. I ended up doing fine on almost all of them (except for the pre-cal but we’ve talked about this). Really, I was just in a pretty toxic head space at the time and a part of me knew it. I equated my grades and performance to my worth without even realizing it so when I flunked my first big tests of the year, I really struggled.

So I made a goal to take my next finals in a much better head space the following semester. And so I did.

Completing this goal was a product of an astounding amount of work I’d done on myself after the void of doom that was the spring semester. These last finals I got sick with the flu during the week but to my surprise, this didn’t exactly stress me out. Moving all my finals back and missing out on precious study time while I was sick was annoying but I wasn’t falling apart at the seams like I was during last finals season.

I took every test with a sense of finality and pride. I’d done it. I’d made it through the fall semester of my sophomore year and regardless of whatever grade came back, I knew I was going to be okay.

And that feeling was a victory I don’t think can compare to anything else I have achieved during this last year.

Next year mostly certainly come with some downs. That’s kind of life. But it will come with some ups too. And I’m so excited to see not only what the ups are exactly, but how I will grow this next year. I’m a little nervous, granted, but that’s alright. Because regardless, I’m going to be okay.

Happy New Year & Take Care!

How to Make Mornings feel less cruddy

Ladies and Gents, I have a confession to make- I am not a morning person. This early bird finds no joy in catching the worm. I may be up, but I am very rarely at ’em. My carpe diem is a little rusty.

What I’m trying to say is mornings are sort of a hard time for me. My soul is really that of night owl if I’m being honest. Its quiet and dark out with the exception of crickets and maybe a few frogs chirping. I’m all cozy in bed reading or doing whatever else I want to before I drift off to sleep. The day is over and I am very okay with that.

And then there are mornings.

I got a weighted blanket for Christmas and let me tell you, I thought it was hard to get out of bed before. I feel like the blankets are all but pulling me back into my warm little burrow and that fact that it is now winter and its getting cold out makes it even worse.

All that being said, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help improve my mornings even though they shall never truly replace my first love (being the evening). Because even though getting out of bed is something I rarely revel in, once I get going, things are significantly less hard and a few fun little morning habits will do nothing but make that part of the morning a little less hard.

★ Start your morning off with a little splash of water

In more way than one. I recommend washing your face and moisturizing before you start your day. It always helps to feel clean and refreshed. But I also mean this in the sense that you should definitely try and drink at least one glass of water before you start your day. For me personally, this tends to prevent me from sucking down a cup of coffee as soon as my eyes pop open. Coffee is terrible for me straightaway in the morning as it suppresses my appetite (so I’m tempted to have a small breakfast or skimp out on the meal entirely) as well as my desire to drink water for the next few hours which leaves me feeling shaky by 10 AM. This could just be a me thing but I figured I put the recommendation out there.

★Skip glancing at your phone first thing

This is a bad habit of mine that I want to improve as I find myself way more sluggish when getting out of bed. I also feel a little spacey or groggy for a bit longer than normal throughout the morning, as if I still haven’t fully woken up. Not to mention checking the news a bit too often can depress anyone. I just find my mind to be much more clearer when I wait about a half hour before checking my phone after waking up.

★Make a breakfast you like

It doesn’t have to be a feast but if you like boiled eggs, try and make one. If you like avocado toast, maybe have a slice with fruit. You don’t have to make a whole spread (as I’m sure few people have time for that), but something is always better than nothing and why not make it enjoyable as well?

★If you can, jot down what you need to do that day

This helps gets you brain into the zone to complete tasks and be productive. It also helps organize your thoughts and gives you a clear list of tasks to complete throughout the day.

★Fill Up a Water Bottle

I feel like this list is just me yelling at myself to remember these things, but really this is important (and something I sometimes neglect on hectic mornings). A water bottle that you can have on hand can really help keeping you drinking water through the day which, in turn, can help you concentrate better.

★If going somewhere, make sure you have everything you need

If you have devices, check and make sure they’re charged and that you have their charging chords on hand. Don’t forget deodorant or whatever else you’ll need throughout your day. This may seem like an obvious thing to do but its also good to have another reminder.

★Listen to Music that makes you happy to be alive

Music is the best medicine sometimes. And a playlist that helps me feel pumped for the day works wonders.

★Move around a little if you have the time

A quick 5 or 10 minutes exercise definitely helps me get going in the morning. Sometimes I have time for a quick walk , other times only a few stretches. But again, something is always better than nothing. Exercising a little also helps kickstart your brain and prepares you for the day to come.

And that’s all for now! Seize the day, lovelies!

23 Things I Want to Do Before 2023

Hey there! I just wanted to share a few of my New Year’s goals and resolutions before December 31st so people can draw inspiration from it if they so desire for their own goals. Most of it is writing related though some of it addresses other areas of my life such as my photography hobby or health related goals. Really, this is a pretty condensed version of more specific goals that I have for myself as I divided a lot of my goals into specific “areas of improvement”. (e.x. lifestyle, art, writing, photography, mindset, fashion, etc.)

1. Finishing my book’s second (and possibly third) rough draft.

Its slow work with school but I still want to keep plugging away at the task in hopes that ONE DAY I’ll finally be done. Someday.

2. Attempting to work my way through The Writer Games

Not sure what I’m talking about here? Click here for more information on The Writer Games Challenge.

3. Getting better at Digital Art

I got an art tablet for Christmas and currently I feel awkward at it. I really want to make pretty things but I must first try and figure out how to manage the many layers and tools available to me courtesy of my new art program.

4. Keeping a Bullet Journal

Not daily, but just a little notebook where I can pen my thoughts every now and then and keep track of things.

5. Creating a Cover Letter

I need to create a cover letter that I can attach to any submissions I wish to make to literary journals.

6. Submitting to 10 fiction/poetry journals

I hope to get SOME sort of publishing experience under my belt while also creating a sort of repertoire for myself as a writer before I go about tackling the enormous task of publishing a novel. Many literary journals are free to submit to so that’s nice as well.

7. Creating a Writing Portfolio

If not only to have on hand, to also get some sort of professional writing practice in.

8. Achieving 450 collective blog posts

A lofty goal but I’m already at 284 posts so I think we can get there.

9. Sketching AT LEAST weekly

Practice makes perfect.

10. Reading at least 10 books not related to school

I used to devour books when I wasn’t in college but now I read so many biology textbooks that I often find myself burnt out on reading most evenings. Still, I want to at least reward myself with 10 non-school related books if not during the semester, during the breaks (especially summer).

11. Not Failing a Class

Fingers crossed. Hasn’t happened yet.

12. Drinking at least (1) full glass of water daily.

This may sound small and easy but I am the type of girl who can become severely dehydrated without even realizing it. I’m busy enough that sometimes I’ll go about my day and realize I haven’t had a drop of H2O at 6PM and an embarrassing amount of coffee.

13. Participating in at least 10 Photo Projects/Shoots

If Writing is my first love, Photography is my second.

14. Creating a Character Creation Master list

I want to create a giant reference sheet that can help me create all sorts of characters for my stories. Lists of possible jobs (fantasy and modern alike), examples of various names, lists of strengths and weaknesses, and so on.

15. Finishing up at least (3) unfinished writing projects

I have an embarrassing amount of WIP’s. The goal is to finish a little bit at a time.

16. Promoting other bloggers

I want to get more involved with the WordPress writing community and promoting more bloggers and doing more tags/community activities seems to be a good way to do that.

17. Writing more letters

Because letters are still cool and should never go out of fashion.

18. Experimenting more with my wardrobe

I tend to play it safe (and warm) when it comes to my wardrobe but these days I really want to push myself to try out some new styles and combinations of clothing.

19. Exploring more music

Because I have a bad habit of listening to the same song on loop.

20. Not checking my phone as soon as I wake up

Generally just not the best way to start the day. I want to replace the habit with a devotional.

21. Experimenting with a new hobby

Because trying new things are good.

22. Creating or participating in at least (3) new/collaborative projects

Again, because trying new things are good.

23. Spending more time outside

Because I am vitamin D deficient. Also trees are pretty cool too I guess.

And that’s all! Hope you feel inspired to maybe set some goals for yourself! I know it’s a few days away but happy early New Year!

Things to Romanticize

A list I began for no reason and will probably continue. I just want to fall in love with the mundane again. It’s all in the little things I suppose.

Car Rides

The sleepy feeling of driving at night with someone you trust. Chill music playing in the background. Street lights whizzing by in the dark. The green glow of the radio controls.

Letters

Pen and ink. The wonderful scratching sound of writing on parchment. Being unnecessarily fancy. Writing in cursive. Talking about the weather and how much you miss them.

Elevator Rides

You feel busy and important but not so much so that you’re above smiling at those who get in the elevator with you. The little compliments you offer your temporary traveling companions. A shared moment of quiet in everyone’s day as the chime sounds after each floor.

Freshly baked bread

The smell filling the house. Soft butter. Soup. Cold, wet weather.

Lightning bugs

The smell of fresh July air. Mason jars. Contests between siblings to see who can catch the most,

Sun Rises

Being up and about before everyone else. Quiet time. Reading as you watch the world wake. A misty blanket which slowly lifts.

Lace curtains

Rays of sunshine streaming through. Patterned shadows being cast on the opposite wall. Quaint and homey.

Dabbling in many different hobbies

Who knows what you’re into this week. Fast paced. Knowing a little bit of everything. Endless possibilities. The joy of learning for the sake of learning.

Hand written notes (the handwriting doesn’t have to be perfect)

Personal. Gratitude for everyone in a small way. Smudged letters that reveal a message that has that person floating the rest of their day.

Moths

Flitting around light. Patterned wings. Night butterflies.