DISCUSSION: IS THERE PRESSURE TO READ NEW RELEASES?

Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with a new discussion post, talking about one of my favourite bookish things – new releases! I think we all get a bit caught up in new releases at times, especially on Goodreads on our blogs so today I wanted to talk about them with you!

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Continue reading “DISCUSSION: IS THERE PRESSURE TO READ NEW RELEASES?”

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HOW TO STAY ORGANISED // how I keep my life from going pear-shaped

Hey guys! Today I’m coming to you with a sort of How To instructional kind of blog post for you guys. This is slightly ironic because I did start Uni for the first time this month so naturally life is pretty hectic and everything from my sleep schedule to my blogging schedule is changing. So, I figured I would write this post now to try and motivate myself and keep myself on track and then maybe come back in a year and see how i’m going and if anything has changed. 

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SCHOOL & LIFE

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I am currently writing this on June 30th so I haven’t actually started Uni yet and I also haven’t been to school since back in September so I only have my past experiences to go off. Hopefully, I’ll be able to update this in a year with a Uni proof version.

USE A DIARY

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Use a diary! Seriously, it’s not dorky or stupid, it’s smart! This used to be compulsory for us in high school but, it is one of the few things I will be taking with me into my Uni life for sure! I prefer this method because I can write down my notes and plans and cross them off (the best way to feel accomplished) and I also tend to integrate any blog posts I plan to write that week so I can prioritise all assessments and hobies together. But, another easy thing to do (honestly, I’m a planning freak, so I do this too) is to have a Google calender on your device or phone so it is more easily accessible.

 

MY STUDY LIFE

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My main piece of advice for controlaholics is just to use a diary to help formulate your day/week/term etc and to incorporate anything from lunch plans, what you want to wear the next day to the weather forecast for the week & your assessment dates.

Apart from using a diary, my other “big” tip is to prioritise the right things. If you know you have a bunch of exams coming up, or even just one, then try to prioritise those exams. Prepare other things you know you’ll want to do so you won’t get distracted. For example, write a bunch of blog posts in advance, cook a bunch of meals in advance and try not to focus on other things. For example, if you’re a reader, either don’t read at all or just have a small pile of books you want to read, maybe one or two.

BLOGGING

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SCHEDULE POSTS IN ADVANCE! I schedule all my posts. I have a few (maybe 20??) posts in my drafts folder, but for the most part, all of my posts are in my WordPress schedule, roughly all of my posts from now to March 2019 are all planned out and at least my posts up until October are outlined.

I’m serious guys, having my blog posts pre-planned like that has saved my life. It’s really helpful for when I get into an idea slump and for when I’m in school and a bit rushed for time.

I schedule them on my blog, I have them added into my blogging google calendar (my calendars are nuts Y’all) & I also have them in a word document so I can cross them off when I’ve written them which I find really helpful whenever I quickly have to check what I’ve written. I also find it super motivational when I’m having a big writing day when I can see that I’ve crossed 3 or 4 post titles off in a day, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I also try to have my blog posts written at least 1-2 weeks ahead of time, but the goal is to eventually be a month+ ahead of time. A girl can dream, right?

In terms of finding the time to write blog posts. I’m sure this will change pretty quickly, with assessments + my new school schedule, but when I was in High School (last year) I would try to write mostly on Friday nights and weekends. I would mostly spend Sundays focusing on my blog and use that spare time to chill and get ahead on my blog posts.

READING

In terms of staying organised with my books, this can be pretty hit and miss. I used to mostly just have a Goodreads Goal and that would be how I stayed on top of what I had read for the year. However, this year I have started to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything (author gender, star rating, release date…etc.).

I did mention this before, but the main way I stay organised with my reading is to write down reading goals in my diary. For example, I will write down that I want to read 50 pages of [insert title here] on Saturday. I know this tip is really simple, but I find it really helpful, so hopefully, it will benefit you too!

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HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANISED?

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MY READING: AT A GLANCE | 2018 #2

Hey guys, I’m coming at you with my latest wrap up for the year! You can click here if you want to read about what I read January through March. Today, I will be going through what I read in Aril, May and June! You can also read about what I’ve been watching here!

Click on the covers to go to my review! (???)

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booksThe Diviners (The Diviners, #1)   Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)   Sovereign (Nemesis, #2)   Unearthed by Amie Kaufman   Juliet Takes a Breath   Caraval (Caraval, #1)

★★★★☆  ★★☆☆☆  ★★★☆☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★★☆

THE DIVINERSACE OF SHADES / SOVEREIGN / UNEARTHED / JULIET TAKES A BREATH / CARAVAL

booksLair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)   Tash Hearts Tolstoy   Tyler Johnson Was Here   The Female of the Species   People Like Us  The Nowhere Girls

★★★★☆  ★★★☆☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★★★  ★★★★☆  ★★★★★

LAIR OF DREAMS / TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY / TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERETHE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES / PEOPLE LIKE US / THE NOWHERE GIRLS

booksThe Wicked Cometh    The Royal We   Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3)   The Dinosaur Lords (The Dinosaur Lords, #1)   Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)   The Perfect Mother

★★☆☆☆     DNF     ★★★★☆     DNF      ★★★★☆   ★★★☆☆

THE WICKED COMETH / THE ROYAL WE / BEFORE THE DEVIL BREAKS YOU / THE DINOSAUR LORDS / HP + THE GOBLET OF FIRE / THE PERFECT MOTHER

booksTo Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo   The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart   Undead Girl Gang   Warcross (Warcross, #1)   Caraval (Caraval, #1)   Legendary (Caraval, #2)

★★☆☆☆  ★★★★☆  ★★☆☆☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★★☆

TO KILL A KINGDOM / THE LOST FLOWERS OF ALICE HART / UNDEAD GIRL GANG / WARCROSSCARAVAL / LEGENDARY / 

booksMoon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF   Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 2: Cosmic Cooties   Giant Days, Vol. 1 (Giant Days, #1)   Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)   The Song of Achilles   The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)

★★★★★  ★★★★☆  ★★★☆☆  ★★★★☆  ★★★☆☆  ★★★★☆

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR VOLS 1 & 2GIANT DAYS VOL 1 / THREE DARK CROWNS / THE SONG OF ACHILLES /

 

booksThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society   Final Draft   Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 0: Don't Call It A Team-Up   Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve, #1)   Elementals: Ice Wolves

★★★★☆     DNF     ★★☆☆☆  ★★★☆☆  ★★★☆☆

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY / FINAL DRAFT / SPIDER-MAN/ DEADPOOL VOL 0 / WIRES & NERVE VOL 1 /

 

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Click on the covers to go to the reviews I posted in the last 3 months!

BOBOOKSOKS booksDreadnought (Nemesis, #1)  Sovereign (Nemesis, #2)  Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) Juliet Takes a Breath

bBBOOKSOOKS ooksThe Perfect Mother To Kill a Kingdom The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart Undead Girl Gang

bBOOKSBOOKSooksThree Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1) Legendary (Caraval, #2) Final Draft

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WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING LATELY?

HAVE I READ ANY OF YOUR FAVOURITES?

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Let’s Discuss Diversity In Books, Specifically Our Reaction to Said Diversity ft. Tash Hearts Tolstoy

Okay guys, so if you follow me on GR you might already know that I read Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee earlier this month and I had quite a few thoughts on it. Or more specifically I had quite a few thoughts on how we, as a bookish community have reacted to said book. So, sit back, grab some tea and a biscuit because I’m about to rant.

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Tash Hearts Tolstoy

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is your run of the mill, typical geeky YA book. Think, Queens of Geek for classics nerds. It’s not a bad book, in my opinion, it’s just mediocre ya contemporary (keeping in mind that ya cont is not my fave genre). So what’s my gripe with this book? Well, actually nothing. It has good rep, it has different and 3D characters and a pseudo-interesting plot. Tash Hearts Tolstoy has a lot of good things going for it. So why am I writing this blog post??

Well, as I was reading Tash it occurred to me again that whenever I have heard someone talk about the book, it’s been only to brag abt the Asexuality rep the book contains. The mc, Tash is romantic asexual and that’s all you will know via booktube or most blogs unless you read a review or look the book up because no one seems to be divulging any other information. Which got me thinking, why do we treat diverse books like this? We show them off in our hauls and tbrs but how much are we actually paying attention to the book itself?

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My issue is not with the book. My issue is with us as a community. My issue is with how we flaunt sexuality without paying attention to the content. This is not in reference to anyone in particular, or even to the whole community. But, I have noticed that a lot of us do this. We attain a book purely because of the rep and that’s it. I’m not discounting the rep, or saying representation (good rep, that is) is bad. But, I am saying that the actual content should matter, not just the characters’ sexuality, skin colour or position in life etc.

I am all for accurate representation in books, but I think the actual book itself should matter too. Don’t just buy the book because of the rep, get praise for it in your tbr, and then never touch it again.

And, on the flip side, if you do read it, don’t expect a pat on the back and don’t give it five stars just because the mc is black and you’re not. Don’t give the book 5 stars just because it taught you what Asexuality is. It’s great that you learnt something new, but what about the book itself? Taking the rep out of the equation, was it any good? If the book had been about a straight white teen would you have rated it so highly?

Don’t hate me, and if you have a different opinion please talk to me in the comments! But, I think that it’s almost an insult to the author to give their book 5 stars when you really thought it was pretty lacklustre. Also, with the rise of authors chucking ill thought out and terrible rep into their books (particularly non-ownvoices) shouldn’t we be praising our diverse rep and showing these authors that hey, I loved the rep but maybe the plot left a bit to be desired?? But, I’m still looking forward to seeing you improve and seeing yourr writing develop over the course of your career!

Shouldn’t we be building up and supporting our diverse authors instead of just reading books written by people who honestly don’t really know what they’re writing about (*coughs* Becky Albertalli)???

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Look, I honestly don’t know where this discussion has gone as I’ve been writing it but, I stand by what I’ve said and if I lose a few followers over it, so be it. But, having a book with good rep (aka Tash) is amazing but, shouldn’t we actually then go ahead and read the damn thing??? All I’m saying is we need to actually pay attention to these wonderful diverse books we’ve been blessed with and actually read them instead of hauling them or putting them on a tbr and never thinking about them again.

If you want to read any of my thoughts while reading Tash Hearts Tolstoy click here.

I hope this discussion/rant (???) wasn’t too dramatic and that I actually managed to get some kind of a point across within my rambles. Either way, thanks for clicking on my post and have a god day!

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HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS TOPIC? AM I COMPLETELY WRONG & OUT OF LINE?
DO YOU READ THE DIVERSE BOOKS YOU HAUL?

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WHY YOU WON’T CATCH ME READING ABOUT MY DISABILITY

Hey guys, so today I am coming to you with a short discussion talking about why I generally don’t like to read about characters who share my disability (I am deaf). I think it really depends on who you are as a person and what defines/makes you up as a person as to whether or not we like to read about characters similar to us – whether that be a disability, gender, sexuality or any other trait. But, I at least at this point in my life, don’t like to read about deaf characters.

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BOOKS WITH DEAF CHARACTERS I WON’T READ

books books books books a27 Hours (The Nightside Saga, #1)   You're Welcome, Universe   Whisper

^The number of books with deaf characters in YA is laughable^

I rarely read books with deaf characters, part of this is down to the fact that books rarely have characters with physical disabilities (aka. not mental health issues) but mainly it’s because I purposely avoid them. However, I have read two notable books with deaf characters that I would recommend. Aka. the Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. You can read my gush reviews here & here. I will say though, and this will definitely contradict this whole discussion and probably come back to bite me on the *ss later. But, there is a character in The Raven Cycle with the same disability as me and he is pretty much the main reason I love that series purely because I relate to that character so deeply.

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So, now that I have talked about the books with deaf characters that I do enjoy, let’s discuss why I generally steer clear from deaf characters in books! 

So, I am an 18 year old deaf female. I have been deaf my whole life and I pretty much never experience representation when it comes to my disability. Don’t get me wrong rep means the world to me, because not only does it makes me feel validated and like deaf people matter, but it gives others an insight into the struggles we face just in the day to day. So… why don’t I want to read about deaf characters? Well, I showed some books above and excluding 27 Hours (hella problematic author) I have made a conscious decision over the years to not pick up books about me. I don’t want to read about a teenage deaf girl in high school because up until this year, that was me. I lived that for 5 years and I’m done – I don’t need to go through that again.

I don’t need to read about deaf people going through a hard time in public school because that was me. I have lived that life and I don’t need to go through that special brand of hell again. I think that rep is amazing and such a great thing for other deaf people, and can be educational for fully hearing readers who quite frankly don’t have a clue (no offence, sorry) but, I am the character. I don’t need to read about people not understanding my disability because, been there done that.

So, do you guys like to read characters similar/the same to you or are you salty like me and is it just too close to home?

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DO YOU READ ABOUT CHARACTERS SIMILAR TO YOU?
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING REP IN BOOKS? DOES IT MAKE YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOK?

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THE WORLD DOESN’T STOP AND START WITH STATS???

Hey guys! Today I am done. Just, done stressing out about my blog statistics. In my opinion, my stats aren’t what they could be, but right now I am tired and just want to stop stressing out about my stats for once. 

So, because I am stressed out about my blog and all I have wanted to do lately is improve it and my stats, today I am going to talk about why I should stop stressing about it. 

If you want to know more about how WordPress statistics work, you should check out the support page here, it’s super helpful!

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VIEWS

Views can be important, especially when you’re talking to publishers, but generally, they don’t matter. To me views aren’t all that important, I usually don’t pay any attention my views number per month. How do I know that all my views aren’t just coming from the same 10 people? Are people actually reading my posts or just clicking in and out of my blog?

What’s the point in stressing about stats you really cannot do anything to improve?

VISITORS

 

So you got 1000+ views a few months ago but now you’re down to 300-400 a month. Crazy as it sounds, that’s a good thing – you have regulars, you’re famous!

Along with views, I typically don’t stress about my visitors stats per month or even per week. Sure, it’s nice to know that a bunch of people have said h to your blog that month. But, really, your visitors, along with your views will also help when you’re trying to request from publishers – it shows publishers that you have a frequent audience on your blog.

Though, if you are trying to improve your visitors and views stats then you should try Top 5 Wednesday or another meme like that because it’s easy to get people to look at those. If you also link them to the pages on GoodReads that could also help your views.

LIKES

 

Look at how many people like you! Don’t worry if the numbers are down, who cares about likes anyway? These stats are not indicative of how good a post was or how popular your month has been with your followers, that doesn’t mean you didn’t rock their bookish world. I rarely even look at my likes stats because honestly, so many people forget to even like a post anyway. What’s the point in stressing about a post that a bunch of people possibly did read – just didn’t remember or have time to like or comment on.

COMMENTS

I feel like comments are the stats people fret over the most – why? Well, how do you comment? If you comment back then half of them are from you anyway. You only had 90 last month but now you have 190, what did you do differently? Did you engage in some conversations? Plan a buddy read? Did you enjoy your new comment style or did you hate it? Did you write a post that engages your readers?

In the same way that likes often don’t show how popular a post was, comments don’t always do that either. Often people want to say something but are too shy or just don’t know how to say what they want to say so they might like and leave. Don’t worry about it, your blog is awesome and you’re probably killing the blogging game and making people super jealous!

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At the end of the day, your stats won’t define you – you define you. If you need stats to make your day better then you’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places. The world doesn’t start and end in stats so take a moment and enjoy your blog for what it is. Your blog.

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ARE YOU CONSTANTLY WORRYING ABOUT STATS?
DO YOUR STATS MATTER TO YOU?

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DO WE PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON OURSELVES?

Hey guys, today I’m coming at you with a new discussion, in which I discuss blogging pressures!

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FULL-TIME BLOGGING

I’m pretty sure that most of us on here are full-time bloggers, at least I know that I am one. By full-time blogger, I mean that we post regularly, answer comments and still manage to pay attention to the posts coming in on our reader.

Being a full-time blogger myself, I know that it can be quite daunting knowing that I should have at least one post up per week (according to my anxiety-inducing schedule inside my head) and that I should have my posts up by a certain time each day.

So, my question here is, why do we put all this pressure on ourselves? Because I feel like our followers would be chill with a hiatus and would understand if we didn’t put up a post along with our usual schedules. So why do we put the pressure on ourselves?

I don’t know why I do it, to be honest, but I know that my anxiety certainly plays a big part in it, also stats have really started to bug me lately so there’s always that.

KEEPING IT COOL (AS A CUCUMBER) & STAYING RELEVANT

I find that’s also hard to keep my cool (especially when it comes to stats) a lot of the time, especially around school exam time (which is now over haha suck it high school).

What I struggle with most on my blog is remaining calm about whether or not my posts are relevant and whether or not they actually make sense. I try to split my posts up into sections which is what the pink writing is for, but sometimes I just don’t make sense to myself or I’m really tired and then posts like this happen.

WHY AM I NOT READING RIGHT NOW?

I think the main thing for most of us though, is that as book bloggers we feel like we should always be reading, and this really doesn’t help if we’re in a reading slump (*cough* like I am now*).

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DO WE PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON OURSELVES??? 

I think the short answer is yes, we do. But, I think as the year goes on and as we get more comfortable with our blog and our followers, we end to care slightly less about whether our posts go up at the exact right time. That being said, I don’t think that the blogging pressure and stress ever fully goes away.

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How do you handle blogging pressure? Does the pressure ever go away?

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