Thoughts on productivity

A picture of the tent that a couple of dances have been held in the past two weeks – most recently, homecoming last night. Though this is from that first dance two weeks ago, the setup is the same.

Time management is not something I’m especially good at. In fact, I have a tendency to push myself too hard and too far, without taking a break, and then things aren’t pretty.

Of course, sometimes outside circumstances create the need to push oneself too hard and too far – without even being able to take the time for a break.

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Comfort reading

Hey! Let’s discuss books. More specifically, those books you always come back to and read over and over and over again. The ones that bring you joy and happiness and leave you with a lovely sense of contentment.

Those books make up my comfort reading.

Earlier I posted a short list of books that fall in this category for me (maybe not so short – some of those were series. Actually, I think most of them were series… I guess that just means I like to read series?). You can find that (relatively short) post here.

And, naturally, there are a couple of simple guidelines for how I choose my comfort books:

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Life bubble 1

Life has been pretty hectic since classes started! And I, naturally, have been doing a lot of thinking as I work on adjusting to college life.

The picture above is from my college campus – that’s Johnson Pond. It’s on the far side from me, but, going to a small school, that isn’t actually too far away. I can walk there in a bit over ten minutes. It takes about half that time to get to my first class, and the nearest dining hall is actually in my dorm building. When that’s closed, the next nearest is only a couple minutes away.

As I’m experiencing independence (and adjusting to it), here are some thoughts I’ve had during the week:

  1. Classes are fun! So far, I’m really enjoying them. Especially my Latin American history class – more on that later.
  2. Lab periods are really long… which will definitely take some getting used to.
  3. Doors get slammed. A lot. Especially since the doors in my dorm building are really heavy – so if you just let go, they’ll slam.
  4. It’s important to not do homework all the time. I knew this already, but it really sank in the first few days of classes.

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Moving past writer’s block

Have you ever been at a point where you’re just stuck and can’t think of what to write – and everything you do write sounds terrible?

Yeah. I’m at that point right now. But I’ve been here before so I know how to get out of it! And I thought I’d share that here.

It’s usually called writer’s block. And I guess I do think of it as writer’s block, though I know I’ve heard other names for it.

There’s really not much to be done about it except powering through and continuing to write. Write even though you think your work is awful. Write whatever random things are in your head. Keep working on your current project – just keep adding words. Chances are, your writing isn’t horrible, and you can always go back and edit. Don’t edit until later, though.

The other option is to take a break. It’s okay to not work on your current project for a few days. Sometimes, breaks are helpful. Over the summer, I took a month off of writing a project – I just wasn’t feeling inspired and needed a break from that one. I wrote another story in that time, and went back to it after a month. And surprise, I was feeling inspired and was able to finish that other project.

That won’t work if you’re writing towards a deadline. For a deadline, it makes more sense to just plow through and revise and edit later.

Right now, I haven’t been pushing myself too hard to find something new to start – college classes start soon! – but I have been looking. My fingers start to itch if I’m not writing something, so I’ll most likely start something new when I find something that speaks to me. (I will discuss inspiration and musings some other time.)

Good luck, and happy writing!

Comfort reading: a list

As a reader, there are books I always come back to.

In fact, there are books that I could reread over and over and over again. It’s a lot of fun, actually. Later I will delve into why some books stand out to me more than others, and there are different reasons for each book that eventually becomes beloved.

But here is a list of some of my favorites:

  1. Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce
  2. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  3. The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
  4. The Frontier Magic trilogy by Patricia C. Wrede
  5. The Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce

These are actually some of the books I’m taking with me to college!

It’s important to always have a way to relax and to keep yourself from fracturing; I do so by reading. Especially by reading my comfort books. They help me keep from going insane.

I would love to hear your favorite titles!