When What You Read Isn’t What You Write

I had a revelation recently, and it took some time for me to come to peace with it. But now I have, and I think I’m better off for it. Maybe time will tell even more, but I feel better. I feel like I’m past the time of confusion and frustration, and bound toward a more hopeful future.

So what in the world was my revelation about?

Writing, my friends. Writing and genre and how it’s okay if you don’t read what you write.

Let’s back up; here’s what my situation was. A few years ago, I rediscovered my love of reading (when I finally had more time to read, around the time I first started this blog). And I absolutely DEVOURED a number of popular fantasy series from the past few years that I’d missed out on during my dry spell (*cough*and everything Brandon Sanderson ever wrote *cough*). I became obsessed with fantasy novels, and rightly so! They were and are amazing! I got a ton of delight out of reading them.

Not only that, I would finish a book and feel inspired to write something so amazing, something that could evoke such deep feeling from a reader. That itch grew and grew until finally I tried to take up writing again. I started to develop a book idea involving time travel and a fantasy world. I wrote a few thousand words.

And then I hit a wall.

It just wasn’t working. I felt lost with it and couldn’t see myself moving forward with it. So I set it aside, and well, a few months later, I went through the same cycle again: developed an idea, wrote a bit, and eventually realized it was NOT working for me.

I was honestly sort of crushed. I wanted to write–it’s always been a dream of mine to be a published writer, and I desperately want to make it happen! But how could I do that if I couldn’t even write the first few chapters of a book I spent months planning? Even worse, I knew what it was like to plan a story and write it as if the words flew from my mind onto the page, with no problems, an endless flow of inspiration, and great joy and satisfaction when I wrote the final word. I wanted that again. But how to get it?

I didn’t realize how until I took a step back. My best writing experiences, to date, have come when I wrote contemporary fiction. I absolutely love fantasy, reading and watching, but I don’t think I have the right brain to conceptualize a brand new world and pull it off satisfactorially. So, I thought, what if I went back to contemporary fiction? What if, instead of the epic fantasy and extreme worldbuilding and complex magic, I dialed it back to family drama and coming of age and sweet romance?

The outcome? A happy Brianne.

I’ve been working on my new project during the month of April, and I feel like if I haven’t quite recaptured the pure joy I’ve experience while writing on the rare occasion, I’m damn close. Writing these past two weeks has not been a chore, it’s been exciting and fun. I set a goal of 1,000 words a day, and it’s never been easier to crank that out in half an hour before work every morning. I almost can’t believe how easy it is.

But that’s what has proved to me that it’s all okay. Maybe it’s even meant to be. I can love fantasy novels, and I can write contemporary fiction. What I learn from and enjoy in the fantasy genre, I can still apply to contemporary fiction to infuse a new flavor into it. You can learn about craft and good storytelling from any genre.

So, my opinion? Write what you want and read what you want, if that’s what makes you happy.

Someday, I hope I’ll be able to pull off an epic fantasy novel, but for now, I’m happy right where I’m at.

What are your thoughts? Can your reading genre and your writing genre be completely different?

Until next time,
Brianne

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I’m back!

Well hello there! Long time, no see. I haven’t posted to this blog since November 2017. In the throes of NaNoWriMo, I lost the time and brain energy to keep up with my blogging, and life hasn’t slowed down since then.

Let me tell you, 2018 was a crazy year for me. Crazy. Lots happened; various parties were planned, good times were had, and I think I leveled up a bit in a few different ways. (Stories for another time.) It was a pretty great year, and I’m glad, because becoming an adult had been pretty rough for a few years there. I was lost and wandering for a while, but now I feel I’m in a place I’d like to stay for a while. That’s a good feeling.

Anyway, all that to say, I’m ready to pick up blogging again and make it a thing in my life. I decided I don’t write enough–I used to write all the time when I was in school. Not only writing for school assignments, but writing for fun. I was pseudo-blogging on Tumblr back then and also writing fanfiction like a fiend. One year, I wrote over 300,000 words of fanfic! Ridiculous. Now I’m lucky if I write 100 words a week for fun.

Which is why I’m here again. The creative writing will also happen again too, which hopefully I will share a bit about here! This blog might be called “Bookish Brianne,” but from here on out, I plan to continue sharing more about not just books and reading, but writing, bit from my job at a publishing company, my craft projects, food and fitness, and more. I suppose this will technically become a lifestyle blog, but we shall see.

Tentative posting schedule will be twice a month, since I’m busy and have way too many aspirations for this year. I’m finding this to be a good and bad thing.

So, I suppose that’s it!

Until next time,
Brianne

i’ve made some health and fitness goals

I’m once again here with a Friday post that expands the bounds of this blog. What can I say, I like to babble about whatever’s on my mind. I’m into it.

Anyway, today’s topic is health and fitness.

The backstory

A few years ago, I began my career as a teacher and had not a thought in my mind about health and fitness. I was much too preoccupied with lesson planning, grading papers, and catching up on sleep. Plus, I was on my feet all day long and most likely hit at least 10,000 steps a day–not that I had the tracker to prove it. Regardless, my unhealthy eating and lack of thought in the fitness department wasn’t affecting me too negatively.

About a year ago is when I decided to take a step back from teaching, move back in with my parents, and find a new job. I was no longer getting all those steps in, but I had a ton more time to do my favorite free time activities–read and surf the interwebs. Neither activity is particularly active, as I’m sure you all know. Unfortunately, these activities, combined with everything else happening (or not happening) in my life, made me progressively less fit by the day.

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Now that I’ve been working at the same job for four months, and am planning to stay on for longer, I have settled into a routine and realized just how gross I’ve been in terms of health and fitness. I’m not necessarily talking about weight here; just in general, I wasn’t thinking about what I was eating or being active. Simply put: I got lazy.

Then, a month or so ago, my best friend got engaged. I won’t say this was my motivation to start being better about health and fitness, but it may have been the catalyst. My younger sister and I both realized that if we wanted to look dang good in wedding photos, and feel good about ourselves in general, we would have to start taking action. And so we have!

How I’m taking action

I started by tracking my calories. Notice I don’t say “counting” like most others would. I like thinking about it as tracking, simply seeing what I’m eating, where the nutrients are coming from, if I’m getting enough protein and fiber in a day, etc. To start, I wasn’t even concerned with going over my “calorie limit.” I just wanted to get a look at what I’m working with and see if I could notice any trends.

I use the My Fitness Pal calorie counter, and you’d be surprised by how fun it is, especially if you get friends or family to do it with you. Yes, it can be depressing. It can be shocking when you learn just how much sugar is in that smoothie you just ordered, or how many calories are in a burger at your favorite restaurant. But it’s also extremely informative. It has helped me learn that I hardly ever get enough protein, I usually consume too much sugar, and I only get enough nutrients if I eat my fruits and vegetables. Sometimes easier said than done.

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Finally, the fitness. My sister and I both agreed that we would be more motivated to get active if we had the opportunity to do things together and possibly take some classes. So, our conclusion was to get a gym membership. It’s expensive, but I already feel that it’s worth it. So far, we’ve been going three times a week–two times to do our own thing (walk, use the bikes and other machines) and once to take a Zumba class. I think it’s been going great.

The number one reservation people seem to have about joining is a gym is worry over making time for it and getting their money’s worth. I’ve found that somehow I feel like I have even more free time in my days now that we’ve been going to the gym–how does that work? I suspect it all comes down to scheduling and prioritizing. When you make the time for something, you don’t notice that a little bit of your free time is gone. You still fit in all you want to do at some point in the week. And when you start to feel restless and ready for another workout, it’s a positive, doable thing, not something negative that will take time away from whatever else you’d like to do.

My overall goals

As I’ve gone through this experience in the past month or so, some overall goals have shaped themselves. This has been a real discovery process for me, and I am so pleased that it began in the first place and that it began organically, if you will. For the most part, anyway.

My goals aren’t anything specific; I think that’s where I would start getting frustrated with myself and possibly too obsessed with results. I’m thinking of a broader picture, here. This isn’t just a thing I want to do to lose weight right now. I want to make a lifestyle change.

So, my goals are simple:

  • Eat clean (aka cut out processed foods as much as possible)
  • Eat balanced meals
  • Be active (ideally, working out 3 times a week)
  • Do what works for me

That last one is the kicker. As I’ve read blogs, watched Youtube videos, and started my own fitness journey, I learned one important thing: There is not just ONE way to go about being fit and healthy. There are many ways. It’s up to me to figure out what works for me, and that will take some experimentation.

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Having this mentality is what will, I believe, give me perseverance with this life change. It has kept me positive and excited about it so far! I won’t deny that I’ve been stressed a few times, but I’m learning how not to be. It’s a process, and it’ll be a long one, but it will be worth it.

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Do you have any health or fitness tips to share? And what are your favorite ways to eat veggies? That’s honestly what I need the most help with right now! Comment down below!

Until next time,
Brianne