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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HOW I’VE CHANGED AS A READER OVER TIME // Bookish Discussions!

We’ve all evolved as readers, no matter how long we’ve been reading for. I have definitely evolved over the years, I am no longer obsessed with a paranormal romance about a clumsy chick and a vampire. Now, I even dabble in adult books every now and then! So, since I’ve been thinking about my reading journey lately, I figured I would share it with you guys!

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I’ve been reading my whole life so naturally, my tastes have changed over time. I grew up reading Giblewort The Goblin then transitioned to Harry Potter to Alex Rider and Percy Jackson. Then, over time I moved onto different stories. I was introduced to Twilight and Divergent and The Hunger Games. And, eventually, I found there was a whole age group called YA. I found new stories like The Lunar Chronicles and The Giver.

I’ve changed so much as a reader, even in a few short years. I never used to be able to handle so much as a scuffed edge on one of my books. And now, I annotate them myself. I fold the corners on pages, I tab my books, I highlight and this year I’ve even been trying my hand at writing in my books.

BOOKS I LOVE NOW, BUT WOULDN’T HAVE 10 YEARS AGO

book a Warcross (Warcross, #1)  Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1: BFF  Peter Pan  The Female of the Species  Lost Boy  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I’ve changed as a reader so much over the years! I love audiobooks, I read comics and graphic novels. I make tbrs and reading goals and I have a whole shelf of unread books. Years ago, that never would have been a possibility. I used to just read a book as soon as I got it, there was never a chance of me not picking it up until months or years later.

I’ve found lately, that my taste in genres has also changed. Even 2 or 3 years ago I would never have said that I actually enjoyed the contemporary genre, but here we are! Simon Vs The Homo Sapien’s Agenda & The Female of The Species are some of my favourite books! I’ve found this year that I also really enjoy historical fiction and murder mysteries, often together!

I also read much more diversely now. I don’t know if this is due to the availability of content now or because I’m just more aware of what I’m reading but, either way before a couple of years ago I had never even heard of a book involving an lgbt+ character. I had no idea it was even a thing, let alone books with characters of my own sexuality, suddenly reading presented a whole new ballgame!

And, I saved the most obvious for last… I run a book blog! I now feel semi-qualified to recommend books. I mean, I have been reading my whole life but, it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve actually felt, that hey, yeah I can do this. I can recommend books!

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That’s all I’ve got for you guys today but I’d love to hear about your reading journeys (no matter how long or short) and I’d really love to know how you’ve all changed as readers!

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HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED AS A READER OVER TIME?
HAVE WE HAD A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE?

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SHOULD WE REGRET READING BOOKS?

Hey guys! Today, I’m coming at you with a new discussion! Today, I’m talking about whether we should we regret ever having read a book. I personally have never regretted reading anything, but I know that isn’t the same with all readers! Let me know in the comments which books you regretted after reading them!

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HELPS YOU DISCOVER WHICH BOOKS YOU DO AND DON’T LIKE

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Reading books helps us discover our tastes in life. We can learn whether we have an inquisitive mind and enjoy mysteries and thrillers, or if we love a good gooey romance combined with a really cool space war. Books like Twilight and Alex Rider are books that really helped me to infer my reading tastes. I discovered the YA age group through Twilight and with Alex Rider I discovered that I actually love books (and movies) involving spies.

Twilight also introduced me to staying up all night to read a book. it was y first all-nighter and I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything.

NO READ = NO DISCUSS

Carry On

Okay, so if you know me at all then you know that I hate Carry On with a passion and originally I wasn’t even going to read it. But, how would I have known that I detest this book if I never picked it up? If you never read the book, in my mind you don’t get much of an opinion about it unless you have actually sampled some of the media you’re talking about. Because doesn’t that just make more sense?

So, reading the book enables you to discuss the book. It doesn’t matter how you felt about the book, because now you get to dive into the book as much as you want to, and you can get something out of the book, other than just plain reading it.

WELL, NOW YOU KNOW

andThe Night Gwen Stacy Died   Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)   Fangirl   Wild Awake   Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Think of the books you’ve most disliked in the last couple of years, do you wish you hadn’t read them? I see this talked about a lot in tags and other bookish discussions, and I see people talking about books they really wish they hadn’t read and I’ve always enjoyed this discussion. I think it’s really interesting because I can dislike a book or even hate it, but I’ve never regretted reading one. Sure, upon reflection Twilight isn’t great and I didn’t exactly think the Fifty Shades trilogy was the best literature available but, hey now I can join in on the discussions and have a properly informed opinion!

Why regret reading a book when you now have that experience, that you’ve hopefully learned from? Reading books is an experience, it teaches you what you enjoy and it shows you how you are your preferences can change over time.

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DO YOU EVER REGRET READING A BOOK?

DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD REGRET READING BOOKS?

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Book Adaptations & Why I Love Them!

WHAT WHAT THAT DEMON BLOGGER IS BACK WITH ANOTHER PROBABLY TOO OPINIONATED DISCUSSION!!

Cool, so now that that’s out of the way… Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with a new discussion in which I blab on about why I love book adaptations!

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ADAPTATIONS I LOVE

a books books and booksImage result for simon vs the homosapien agenda movie poster   Image result for jurassic park movie poster original   Image result for spider-man: homecoming

I love book adaptations and I have no shame about it, but I know that quite a lot of people are not totally fond of them. You can read about me defending adaptations against the haters here.

So, why do I love book adaptations and feel the need to defend them against the haters? (probably because a defence is the best offence)

  • They bring your faves to life & it can also bring amazing rep that you might not usually get on screen, to the screen. For example, I never thought I would be able to see a high school “rom-com” style movie about a gay kid but hey, 20-gay-teen is real.

 

  • Without book adaptations, we wouldn’t have Gene Wilder’s take on Willy Wonka and quite frankly the world would be a darker place without that movie. But, I guess, going by that logic, maybe we do live in a certain hell because we have to deal with the monstrosity that is Where The Wild Things Are. Honestly, whoever made that movie should go sit in a corner and think about what they’ve done.

 

  • Also, just straight up, if we didn’t have adaptations, the MCU wouldn’t exist and neither would the DCEU (though, I wouldn’t exactly be complaining about that one). We would have no superhero stories – which means no 60’s Batman and no emo Peter Parker dancing in the street and now I’m gonna cry, you guys.

 

  • I love seeing my favourite stories told on screen (tv, mini-series or movies), whether the adaptation is good or not. I love that someone thought a book was good enough to bring it to the big screen, imagine being that author and getting that call??? The excitement!

 

Basically, I love adaptations and I wish more of the reading community would too!

ADAPTATIONS I’M EXCITED ABOUT

books books and booksImage result for alex rider books   Image result for the raven boys   Fahrenheit 451 Poster

Alex Rider (tv), The Raven Cycle (tv), Fahrenheit 451 (tv)

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DO YOU LIKE ADAPTATIONS?

WHICH ADAPTATIONS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?/ DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?

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READING ALL THE BOOKS! + DOES IT REALLY MATTER??

Why does reading all the books really matter? Does it really matter? Why should we care if we read one book in a year, or 200 books in a year or nothing in a lifetime? Does reading all the books help us or are we just consuming books at a ridiculous rate and then not retaining any of the information?

Why are we always feeling to read more and to read faster?

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BOOKS I’VE READ RECENTLY

books books andMoon 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)

So, does reading a copious amount of books per month or year really matter? Why do we push ourselves to read more and to read faster? Is it important or are we just trying to meet a number? If we read too much and too quickly aren’t we more likely just to find more duds than favourites, and to forget characters and plot at a faster rate?

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BOOKS I PLAN ON READING SOON

books books anBad Romance   Giant Days   Final Draft   Elementals: Ice Wolves   Jane Eyre

is it because we want to read all the stories we possibly can or because it’s a competition and we must win??? Are we all just trying to meet our Goodreads goal (even though so many people, including myself, made it a goal of 1 this year)??? Or are we all secretly competing with each other???

Why is it so important to so many readers that we read as many books as we possibly can in our lifetimes or in a year? Should we be spending less time worrying about our book count for the year? Or, should we be trying to read faster?

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I think reading is a great skill and an even better resource, but I also think that as a bookish community we’re all slightly obsessed with reading too. I think we’re all crazy about the idea of being constantly reading and constantly moving onto a new book. I don’t know about you, but for a while, I’ve been at the point where I feel guilty about not picking a book up. And, I’m sick of it. I’m a reader, I mean, hell I run a book blog! But, that doesn’t mean I have to be constantly reading and constantly reading the newest releases. I love reading and I will always be a reader, but sometimes I think we all just need a break and to learn to step away. Reading should be a hobby (and even a profession/career path) but never a chore or something to stress over.

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DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO READ AS MANY BOOKS AS POSSIBLE?

HOW QUICKLY DO YOU READ?

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ANNOTATING BOOKS: WHAT’S TO HATE? // BOOK VICES

Hey guys, today I’m coming at you with a new Discussions category on my blog which I’ve decided to call Book Vices. In this discussion feature, I am planning on talking about the controversial side of reading. By that I mean the things that we either don’t like to talk about when it comes to reading, or I’ll try to tackle the topics we tend to trash people for, hence today’s topic: Annotating books.

Let me know if you enjoy this type of discussion and want to see more of it. Or, better yet, let me know if you annotate your books!

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TABBING

Of all the annotating hate I really don’t understand this one – apart from maybe the aesthetic Bookstagram photos I really don’t understand the hate for tabs. I just find it so much easier when I’m writing reviews or want to go back to a scene to re-read. I’m genuinely curious, is it a vain aesthetic thing or do you not tab your ebooks either?

I really love tabbing my books – physical, ebook or audio. I think it actually looks really cool when you see the physical product once a book has been fully tabbed. I think it shows that I loved my book or at least that I had a lot of thoughts or opinions on the book. I have always tried to keep my books in good condition so tabbing my books is my sort of way to show outwardly, without cracking open the pages, that I have really loved a book.

Also, come on, tabbing helps out so much whenever I want to go re-read a book or scene and even when writing reviews. So, besides photos and a clean aesthetic, I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with tabbing books.

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WRITING

In a way, I do understand this, because what if you end up giving the book away or unhauling it? But, isn’t it sort of cool to be able to access your thoughts from the moment you were reading the words on the page. I would love to be able to read what I was thinking the first time I read Harry Potter or Twilight or Stalking Jack The Ripper!

But, does not writing in books also extend to not getting books signed if you’re given the chance? I don’t know if I could live with that, I love getting my books signed and getting to meet authors.

I am still easing into writing in my books, but from what I’ve done so far, I am really enjoying it. I plan on picking up Twilight soonish so I think I might fully annotate the book throughout the whole month and then pick it up every 5-10 years and annotate just so I can see what my thoughts are. I am also annotating my audio copies of Harry Potter as I read them throughout the year and I am really enjoying it because I missed so much when I was younger!

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FOLDING PAGES

I understand this one to a point. I’ll admit that I generally don’t fold the pages in my books. But, hey, if I don’t have any spare paper of any books marks with me, then yeah I’ll fold the page. The only thing that would stop me from doing this is if I was borrowing the book from a friend.

I understand the argument for this one. Why not just use a bookmark? Maybe because I don’t have one or because I’m too lazy. Either way, I think the argument is pretty simple: It’s my book and I’ll do what I want. #Hatersgonnahate

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DO YOU ANNOTATE YOUR BOOKS?
DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE BOOK VICES DISCUSSIONS?

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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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