Blogging Newbie: Beth (@ myownbrandofwisdom) | Why I Write

Beth from My Own Brand Of Wisdom is here today to talk about why she loves writing! With NaNoWriMo coming up, it’s a lot on my mind as well, so I hope you enjoy it!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?:

I’m Beth, I’m 19 and a Journalism student who can often be found with her nose in a book.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?:

Initially, I started a blog to write book reviews and but run in tangent with my instagram (@bethsabibliophile). However, a desire to be more creative in my writing has led me to also compose posts that are more diverse. I’ve begun to do more ‘rambling’ and ‘ranting’ type posts which I think a larger audience might find more interesting.

Why did you start blogging?:

I started blogging due to a love of writing. The concept of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and spreading a message is amazing.

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Why write?

We all have our own reasons for writing, be it a way of expressing ourselves or simply a love of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys).

Admittedly, most of our ‘masterpieces’ and brilliant ideas flop. They say everyone has an unwritten book in them and most of them stay that way, completely unwritten or abandoned part way through. So there are notebooks and Word documents scattered around the world, with stories with no conclusions, perhaps poorly rounded characters or chapters neglected mid-paragraph. What motivates us to start something, but never finish it?

I think most people that write, love the idea of their work getting out there. Perhaps some are motivated by money or fame, but most are motivated purely by the idea of having something we’ve completed ourselves; a world that we have created and successfully composed.

I think there are many people out there who have a brilliant novel in them, who possess great writing ability but will never even reach the first chapter. Then there some (me) who aren’t necessarily blessed with an innate ability to tell a captivating story yet are still full of a desire to get it written.

For years, I couldn’t remember the difference between an adjective and an adverb, didn’t know how and when to use a semi-colon, didn’t know the meaning of words like hyperbole (let alone how to pronounce it). I still spend half the time I’m writing trawling through a thesaurus to make my sentences flow or googling words to see if they actually mean what I think they mean.

But does that make me less likely to finish writing a novel? No, of course not. When you get a burning desire to complete a task, no matter how hard you think/know it will be, it gets done. If you want something enough, you do it.

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I hope you loved Beth’s post! If you’d like to follow her social media, the links are here: blog, goodreads, instagram, twitter, tumblr!

Why do you write?

Blogger Newbie: Amy (@GoldenBooksGirl) | The Reasons I Love Reading

Today Amy from Golden Books Girl is doing a guest post on my blog so I hope you’ll enjoy it! If you’re interested in doing a guest post yourself, I am looking for new posters so check out this post.

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?:

I’m Amy, I’m a teenage book blogger, and my life revolves around books, dogs, TV/film, photography, music and food.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?:

My plan for my blog is to talk about books that I love as many ways as I can, whether that be reviews, blog tours, guest posts from other bookworms or participating in memes. I’ve also recently started doing interviews with authors, which I really hope to make a regular feature as I love preparing questions and hearing the answers.

Why did you start blogging?:

The short answer is I’m not entirely sure. The long answer is basically that it was a combination of being inspired by all the amazing bloggers I’ve read for years, and just really wanting to give it a go. I’m so proud of how far my blog has gone in the past couple of months, and I’m so excited to see what’s still to come.

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The Reasons I Love Reading

It`s an escape

I have some pretty significant health issues and spend a fair portion of time in hospitals so and reading is very simply a way to leave this world for a bit and go somewhere else and be a different person. A book is also a lot more transportable than other methods of storytelling (such as film or TV) as I can and usually do take books everywhere I go, but lugging a TV/DVD player would take a good bit more effort, so it`s also the most practical method of escapism. A good book can make even the worst day a little bit brighter, and this is probably the main reason that I love to read.

The community of book lovers I`ve met

I haven`t been blogging for that long compared to a lot of people, but the online community of book lovers I`ve met is definitely one of my new favourite things about reading. Getting to share my views with like-minded people is a lot of fun, and sometimes inspires me to read books I`d never usually think of reading, or opens my eyes to parts of a book I may not have picked up on. Now I can`t imagine not blogging/interacting with others alongside my reading!

I can learn new things

Most books contain at least one fact or piece of information I didn’t know about in as much detail or hadn`t even heard of, and I love that reading lets me learn while I`m having fun. Often, at school or while watching a quiz show on TV (my favourite is Pointless, in case you`re interested) I`m able to answer a question that no one else knows the answer to. Can you guess what I say when someone asks me how I knew that? I read it in a book.

It helps me understand other people

As I touched on in my first point, reading is special in that for a while, we`re immersed in someone else`s world. Perhaps the most interesting thing about reading is that it allows us to experience things we never will. Taking a recent week as an example, I read and loved stories far from my own existence and empathised with each and every character; I was a gay boy afraid to come out, a person who swapped bodies every day, I was two Indian-American teens falling in love, I was in the nineties and the forties, I was in a mysterious, magical world where a plucky heroine solved the mystery of children disappearing from all over the country and I was at a boarding school. There have been a bunch of studies which suggest readers are more empathetic than people who don`t read, and with very few exceptions I think this is true.

I don`t know who I`d be without it

Since I was three years old, I`ve been able to read. That`s 80% of my whole life where I`ve been a reader. My life is basically defined by the books I`m reading, as they can affect my mood and the choices I make about how I want to spend a day. My brain is linked to the words I`m reading in a way I can`t explain (I`m not being metaphorical here, by the way. I don`t see images in my head, I only ever really think in sentences), and I never want that to change.

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Is your life also defined by books (I know mine is)? I loved reading this post and I am really happy to feature Amy’s guest post! Thank you Amy! If you also enjoyed this go follow her on twitter or subscribe to her blog! What are your reasons for loving reading?

Blogger Newbie: Angela (@ Books of A Shy Girl) | Diversity & #Ownvoices

Today, I’m happy to invite Angela from Books of a Shy Girl to talk on my blog! I hope you enjoy her post!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hi, everyone!
I am Angela, a Chinese girl who was born and has always lived in Italy. I’m a high school student who studies languages and I’m a bibliophile.
Since I was small, I liked reading. It is now my main passion and, since I wanted to share my opinion about books I had read, I decided to create a book blog: Books of a Shy Girl.
I know I’m not very good at reviewing since I started my blog a few months ago, but this is really important for me.
In fact, it took me almost a month to just decide the name and I chose it because I’m a very shy person.
My dream is to travel all around the world, learning new languages. visiting places that have a long history behind them and knowing new things about a folk.
I’m curious about everything and will probably annoy you with how many questions I have.
Other things I love are photography. listening to music, Mythology and milkshakes!

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: My blog is about books. I focus mainly on Young Adult, but I accept other genres if someone wants a review from me.
I’m trying to be more active on social medias and in the book blogging world, participating in book blitzes and blog tours.

Why did you start blogging?: As I’ve said before, I’ve started book blogging because I wanted to share my opinion about books I had read.
Before creating Books of a Shy Girl, I read other book blogs about whether reading a book or not.
Their amazing posts made me want to say my own thoughts about a book and, after a lot of time, I decided to finally create my blog.

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As I’ve already said, I am a Chinese girl in Italy.
I’ve been bullied and I am a victim of racism. I think in all countries there are those people who don’t want foreign people to live in the same land as theirs, or don’t like the difference in body and culture.
I was and always will be hurt by their mean words.
I was probably traumatized when I was a child as I am not anymore that outspoken and extrovert little girl I once was. Now, I’m a really shy high school girl who is too self-conscious of herself. I don’t like crowded places and I prefer staying at home reading a book and watching TV or helping my parents at work, rather than going out on Saturday nights.
This is probably why I don’t have many friends. But better few than many fake friends, right?
However, there’s a good thing that racism has brought with it. My love for foreign countries, my love for learning new things about different cultures, my love for speaking other languages. In fact, I consider myself a Cosmopolitan person, this is, if you search the meaning of the world in the dictionary, you will found the following meanings:
– free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.
– belonging to all the world; not limited to just one part of the world.
I am a “citizen of the world”, I prefer explaining when someone asks who a Cosmopolitan person is.
I don’t divide the population in Chinese, Italian, Russian, homosexuals, people of color. I see only humans, people who have feelings, who cry, who laugh, who hurt, who smile.
In the last few months, I have been highly active on Twitter and I started following #ownvoices and #DiverseBookBloggers people.
These people are not ashamed of who they are or of their heritage. People such as @theshenners who promote LGBTQ+ and Diverse books.
It’s thanks to her and other people that I decided to read more #ownvoices books, because in the world there are more than 7.5 billion people. That’s a lot!
And every one of us is different than the other.
We need more books that represent us, with our thousands of facets, our own fears, our own diversity.
Read more, be kinder, spotlight diverse books!
#WeNeedDiverseBooks!

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I loved reading this post and I am really happy to feature Angela’s guest post! If you also enjoyed this go follow her on twitter, facebook, instagram, goodreads or google+ or contact her via email (booksofashygirl@gmail.com)!What are your thoughts on this topic?

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Blogger Newbie: Raine (@ The Raine Spectrum) | How To Deal With Anxiety

Today I’m happy to share with you, Raine’s tips on how to deal with anxiety. I know there are a lot out there that has to deal with this so I hope you find this helpful. I give the word to Raine!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You? I’m Raine!! I am a total geek and gamer. I love reading novels, comics, textbooks, anything I can get my hands on. My favorite games are FPS or questing. My Hogwarts house is Slytherin, and my best friends are Hufflepuffs!!!

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it? My blog ( @therainespectrum ) is about my journey through mental illness, my eating disorder, daily thoughts that I have, poetry, random reviews, pro-feminism, body positivity, pro-equality, and support for anyone who needs help. Really it’s just my ramblings, but my main goal is to channel my problems into artistic and creative ways, and to teach others how to do the same. I want to show them that normality is possible when nothing feels okay.

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging because I wanted to help people. I have been obsessed with superheros for like ever, and they’ve inspired me to help. Because I don’t have superpowers, I’d always wanted to bring joy to other people and help them in the little ways. I want to show people that everyone is beautiful and we all deserve the same opportunities, because nobody deserves to feel worthless or lesser.

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Anxiety can strike at any time, and it always sucks. It makes you irrational and frustrated. It’s so easy to get rid of that feeling, but it feels impossible to want to get rid of it because it is consuming.

Step 1.
Firstly, you need to breathe. If you aren’t breathing, it’s easier to panic. When you are in control of your breathing, think of something that makes you happy. Step 2.

Step 2.
Make a list of things that make you feel better. Do these things. Go through that list when you’re feeling anxious. For example, on my list, I have
1. Wash face with warm cloth
2. Drink a glass of cold water
3. Stretch
4. Write a short story and/or sketch a picture
5. Sing a song with my sister
Doing these things really help me, and I suggest that you try, because your list might prove helpful to you, too.

Step 3.
Call a friend. Sometimes talking to people makes things better, even if you don’t feel like talking to anyone. Having a friend is a lot better in the long run, rather than pushing them away in a moment of unhappiness.

Step 4.
When I am hungry, I get so irrational, it’s not funny. My family calls it “hangry”. Therefore, eating always makes me feel better. Even if it’s just a strawberry or some grapes. So, if you’re like me, and get hangry , then eating will definitely help.

If you want to feel better, the first thing you have to do is take control of the situation.

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I hope these tips were helpful and interesting to read! Thank you Raine for them! If you liked this post or want to read more like them, go to Raine’s blog here and follow her!

Blogger Newbie: Leanne (@ Bookish Revolution ) | 3 books that changed my life

I got an exciting guest post from Leanne over at Bookish Revolution! Let me just give her the word!

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Who Are You?: I’m Leanne, I’m relatively new to the world of book blogging. I’m an avid (but slow!) reader, and I’ll read pretty much anything except romance, which no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get into! I also love belly dancing, running and my cat Coconut.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: My blog is about books, but I’m not doing many straightforward reviews. I prefer to look at how books have shaped my view of the world, or how they’ve helped me in some way. I also like to do a light-heartes post once in a while – like pictures of my cat with books!

Why did you start blogging?: I wanted to connect with people and discuss books with them – that’s pretty much it! I also want to improve my writing style and develop my own “voice”. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I finish a blog post.

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Which books changed your life? Here are 3 of mine

This week I’ve been reflecting on my reading progress for the year. Not just in terms of the number of books I’ve read, but also the quality of those I’ve read and the level of diversity I’ve managed to achieve.

I’ve read some great books this year that have all resonated with me in different ways. That said, with the possible exception of Roxane Gay’s wonderful Difficult Women, which I talked about in an earlier blog post, nothing has jumped out at me yet as a book that I’ll remember for years to come. You know the sort I mean, the book you look at sitting on your shelves and immediately start reminiscing about the time you read it and how it made you feel.  It makes you want to capture that feeling again and again.

Now, I know we’re only in July, so there’s still a few more books left to read before the end of the year. I also recognise that the important books in your life tend to be few and far between, and that’s part of what makes them special – you’d probably be rather emotionally drained if every book you read left you pining so deeply for the experience of reading it again, and sometimes that’s really not what you need from a book anyway.

But it got me thinking about some of the books I’ve read that have had a big impact on me over the years, and some are probably ones you wouldn’t expect! Here are 3 books that, in very different ways, have changed my life.

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To be honest, I can’t remember exactly when I first read Harper Lee’s classic. It wasn’t when I was at secondary school, although I certainly owned a copy at that point – I think I may have been at university before I finally managed to read it.

I could see immediately why it’s such a popular choice on the curriculum in American high schools, and I really hope it still is today. It addresses so many important themes – race relations, gender stereotypes, what it means to have courage and to follow your own moral compass. To have compassion for others who aren’t like you. Things that I think are more relevant today than they ever were.

To Kill A Mockingbird taught me that doing what you think is right isn’t always an easy option – but you should do it anyway. When I re-read this book a couple of years ago, I remember sitting on a bus and reading the end of a particular chapter – and having to close the book for a second so I could hug it. I never do that.

Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight – Linda Bacon

And now for something completely different!

I first read this book about 4 years ago, after having a conversation with a work colleague on the bus home. I’d been going to Slimming World for about a year by that point, and I’d never really considered any other viewpoint than the one espoused by pretty much everybody, from doctors to friends – being fat is unhealthy, and you’re only going to be happy if you can get thin and stay thin.

Oh, how the science in this book completely changed my perspective.

I’ve never been happy with my body. I come from a family where dieting is the norm, and being fat is just not something that is acceptable. This book helped me move away from the diet mentality – and consequently away from low self-esteem. Until I read this book, I hadn’t realized how much of my self-esteem was wrapped up in trying to attain a socially-acceptable body (or how much emotional energy I was expending trying to do it). I’m not only happier because of this book, I’m healthier – I don’t obsess about eating, but I’m still able to make food and exercise choices that help me maintain my well-being and a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to the constant weight cycling and “all-or-nothing” approach to healthy eating that I had before. It also got me into reading other books about the obsession with the obesity “crisis”, as well as size-acceptance movements and intuitive eating.

I have a lot to thank Linda Bacon for – I can’t imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn’t ditched the diets and started living my life.

Kindred – Octavia E. Butler

This is the first book by Octavia E. Butler that I read, and I hope to add more to the list!

I enjoyed this book so much – the plot had me gripped and the nuanced relationships between the characters had me hooked. But these aren’t the reasons it’s important to me.

Kindred made me look at diversity in books in a new light. I’ve felt for a long time that it’s important to read more than just white male authors, who generally don’t experience the barriers to publishing or exposure in the book community that other writers do.

This is hard for me to admit, but reading this book made me realize that I’d been making assumptions about black writers and writing that really weren’t true. Embarrassingly, I’d never heard of a science fiction book written by a black person, never mind a black woman, and this had never occurred to me as odd. I’m cringing as I write this, because it all seems completely ridiculous to me that I could ever have thought this way.

I’d never really considered that black writers who get publicity in the UK tend to be writing about particular subjects such as slavery, or the political situation in Nigeria, themes that you’d probably expect black writers to explore. There is nothing wrong with this – I’ve read some brilliant books on these topics. But I think it does lead to black writers getting pigeonholed, because the reading public is often only showcased a particular sort of writing. I think this can often be true for writers from other backgrounds too. I’m sure it’s not an accident that science fiction is overwhelmingly white, and male. Even though Kindred is widely dubbed a classic, and isn’t a new book, I’d never heard of it. I know it deals with slavery and race relations, but I’d never seen them approached in this way.

As I said, I loved this book, but it also raised some questions about diversifying my reading that made me feel uncomfortable. I’m glad about that. It made me realise that, if I was going to make sure that diversifying my reading didn’t turn into a tokenistic gesture, I needed to make an effort to find authors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds other than those established enough to be getting a lot of publicity, or those writing in mainstream genres that tend to have big marketing budgets. It’ll need a bit more effort, but I think it’ll be worth it. There are so many books by a diverse range of writers out there that we don’t get to hear about because of the barrier such writers face, and I’d like to help remedy that if it’s possible.

So, there you have my 3 life-changing books – which books are important to you?

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If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow Leanne on her blog, twitter, litsy (@LeanneAslin) and/or instagram! Which book(s) changed your life?

Newbie Bloggers: Tina (@TinaHoganGrant) | Lessons about writing

Welcome to another edition of Newbie Bloggers, in which I introduce you to new bloggers! This week I’ll introduce you to Tina, who is not only a blogger but also a writer!

I give the word to Tina:

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Who is Tina?

Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hi, My name is Tina Grant and yes a newbie. Less than a week in fact and I’m excited to be a part of this community. I live in southern California and trying to grasp the fact that I will soon be a published author. (Yeah!) I just signed the contract earlier this week with my publisher to publish my works “Reckless Beginnings.” A fiction novel based on actual events. I’m married (24 years). We have a son and two wonderful grandkids. My husband is a professional falconer, We built our home in the mountains of Frazier park. My passions are reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, boating, gardening, fishing, exploring small remote towns and antiques.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: I just launched my blog yesterday announcing the news of my book. I plan on using it to share with others the process and events that evolve up until launch day. It will be used to promote the book and other works. (Right now I am working on a sequel “Better Endings”) I plan on sharing writing tips and ideas and making new friends with my same interests.

Why did you start blogging?: I started blogging to mainly promote my book and share my interests with others. I also find it a great way to learn from others too.

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My passion is writing and reading. there is never enough hours in the day for all the books I want to read. I developed my passion for these from my father famed science fiction writer James P. Hogan. Books were his world and are now mine. Sadly he passed away suddenly seven years ago but I cherish the lessons he has taught me and lives my life by them.

Never Give up

If you have pushed yourself hard, give yourself one more shove

Never use the word carn’t.  [note from Lia: I am assuming this word should be can’t but I would also recommend to never use the word carn’t 😉 ]

If you are afraid to do it.. just do it.. you will discover that it wasn’t that bad after all

Your mind can be your worst enemy.. sometimes you just have to stop listening to it
I could go on, these are just a few lessons my dad taught me.

I live a content life in the mountains with my husband of 24 years with our two dogs (a Brittney named Tess and a Jack Russell named Ellie. We designed and built our house ourselves (When I say ourselves .. I mean just that. We did most of the work ourselves.)

My husband is a professional falconer and does bird abatement for a living. I’m at an exciting time in my life with the launching of my first book in the near future and I’m very excited to be here.

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What did you think of Tina’s life lessons? What is one lesson you learned in life that helps you write? Or just in general? If you liked this post and are interested in more of Tina’s posts (or her book!), go check out her blog here.

Newbie Blogger: Kelly (@ Aura’s Child) | What Should I Write?

I’m back with a new blogger, namely Kelly from Aura’s Child! She’s such a sweet person so you should definitely check out her blog. But first, her post!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who are you?

Hello! I’m Kelly Kawaguchi.

I am a very flawed and fairly uninteresting and untalented enigma on the internet. I like talking to myself and pretending I know what I am doing. I take pride in my personality, although, I can be a careless person much of the time. I pity very little and don’t apologize for my strong opinions. I am fickle and confused about just about every aspect of myself and the world.

Fun fact: My keyboard’s letters “g” and “p” don’t work. I add in those letters later after I’m done typing, so I apologize if I missed filling in any.

What is your blog about and what are you planning to do with it?

I write about my opinions and feelings about all sorts of topics, events in my life, etcetera. I will probably hit just about every topic, from recipes to literature to world current events.

I would like for my blog to, potentially, become an outlet for people who would like to express their thoughts, experiences, and such.

Why did you start blogging?

I started off by posting a journal entry. Essentially, it was going to be my online diary. Things were getting rough and I knew I needed an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. Blogging let my mind express what it needed.

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What Should I Write?

My mind has been a mess lately. I want direction. But I guess everyone wants direction. Or do we already have a direction, we just do not see it yet?

I love to write but I have little skill in it. I am interested in movies and nature and health and animals and botany and so many other things. I read somewhere that you spend approximately 80,000 hours of your life working. I don’t know if it’s just me, but that is quite a few hours to spend doing something you may not enjoy.

I want so much to enjoy life. But is that just a new way of thinking? A western culture way of thinking?

That doesn’t mean it’s a wrong way of thinking, just maybe a more self-centered way.

Hundreds of years ago, people really had a place in society. Each had a job to do. Sure there were those that were privileged and those who were trampled on by society, but for the most part, people were all part of a big working machine. We all had more purpose in my opinion.

Side note: I’m not saying back then was “better”.

Now it seems to me everyone is looking for a new way to please themselves. Even if people do things for others, many are just seeking for their own fulfillment.

What are we going to waste our lives on next? Is there a right or wrong answer?

This post was very much so a stream of consciousness. I wanted to whip up an interesting post, but whenever I began typing, it felt fake. I want my blog to be real, raw, and beyond all else, I want it to look like me.

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What did you think of Kelly’s post? Do you agree with her opinions? Let her know! Follow her on her blog and twitter!