Things That Make Blogging and Reading Easier (Top Ten Tuesday)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book themed meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are listing the top ten things that make life as a reader/blogger easier. This is a different one as it doesn’t involve actual books! Here’s my list:

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1) Goodreads

I’ve been using this website for longer than I’ve been blogging but it’s an excellent help. It helps me to keep track of what I’ve read as well as books I want to read. It’s also a brilliant social site with lots of interesting book clubs to join for inspiration. You can find my Goodreads profile here. Feel free to add me!

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2) Bloglovin

I’ve always used this rather than google reader so it didn’t effect me as much when everyone changed over. It’s a really useful way of subscribing to a huge number of blogs so you never miss a post. I also love how you can categorise the blogs so I can easily keep up with all the latest vegan blog posts as well as Friday Fictioneers and Top Ten Tuesdays.

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3) Top Ten Tuesdays

Is it odd to include the meme in a list for the meme? Top Ten Tuesdays is a really fun weekly community to take part in. I love seeing other people’s lists and I often feel challenged when making my own!

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4) You Are Here Bookmarks

I’ve only had these for a couple of weeks but they’re really useful when you want to make notes about the books you’re reading so it’s easy to review them when you get to the end. They were only £3.95 from Waterstones!

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5) Planning

It might seem boring but the only way I can keep on top of posting on both of my blogs is my fortnightly blog planner. I print a few copies off at a time and when I think of an idea I mark it on the planner. That way I always know my blog will be updated!

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6) Charity Shops

I buy most of my books second hand. It means I can impulse buy any books that look remotely interesting without having to worry about the cost. I get some good bargains!

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7) Waterstones

This is my favourite bookshop. As much as I love second hand books, there’s nothing like the feel of a brand new one!

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8) WordPress

I previously dabbled in blogging and used Blogger. I much prefer WordPress though as it’s easier to use and you have more control.

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9) Pinterest

I get a lot of inspiration and ideas from pinterest as well as being able to pin books I want to check out. I also use it to keep a lot of writing prompts and tips which can be useful. Follow me here.

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10) Friday Fictioneers

I’d never written short stories before this time last year. Friday Fictioneers is a really fun way of writing. Every week a photo is posted and the challenge is to write 100 words of fiction using it as inspiration. It’s good practice and can be the beginning of further ideas!

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What tools/websites make your blogging life easier?

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NOTE – I am currently away at Leeds Festival but I will answer all comments when I return!

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What Inspires Me As A Writer? – Part 2 – Growing Up With Books

This is the second in a series of posts where I explore the the things that originally inspired me to write and those that keep me writing. In my first post I discussed the power of books. Here I want to talk about growing up surrounded by books.

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(The original link to this image is broken. I found it here – http://pinterest.com/pin/282319470363418236/)

As a child I always had my nose in a book. I was THAT girl. The one who sat on her own and read books rather than playing. I don’t regret one second of it! I was always fascinated with escaping into imaginary worlds. While other children were playing football I was climbing the faraway tree with Moonface and Saucepan Man. The girls were playing with Barbie dolls and I was travelling to Hogwarts with Harry, Ron and Hermione. The one character I related to as a child was Matilda. This was a girl who understood the importance of books and fought against anybody who told her they were useless. My kind of character!

The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village. (Roald Dahl – Matilda)

I believe books are so important for child development. From an educational point of view there can be no argument. Books teach children to read and write. However they also teach children how to dream. They remind them never to give up because there is always an adventure to be had. They build on a child’s imagination which is the most useful thing a child could have.

The project I am currently working on is Young Adult fiction. It is one of the most important genres in my opinion. In these novels teenagers learn that they can defeat their obstacles and come out the other end smiling. The characters in young adult novels can inspire and teach young people in ways that adults may not be able to.

This is why I write. I want children and teenagers to be inspired like I was when I was at school. I don’t want the magic of books to ever be forgotten.

 

What Inspires Me As A Writer? – Part 1 – The Power of Books

I’ve been thinking recently about the different things that inspire me to write. I’ve always enjoyed writing, even when I was a child, but I’ve never stopped and asked myself why. For the next few Saturdays I will be exploring the reasons I’ve always be inspired to write and the things that keep me writing.

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This week I want to talk about the healing effects of reading. By this I don’t mean that reading can cure all ills. I’m not talking about homeopathic remedies made out of crushed up pages heavily diluted in water and I don’t mean tablets made out of compressed novels.  I’m talking about the healing effects of disappearing into a make believe world for a while. There’s nothing better than immersing yourself in the world of a character to take some of your own stress away.

I use books in this way all the time. How many of you have thought “I’ll just read for 10 minutes” and then checked the clock to find an hour had passed? Your mind loves to be occupied in somebody else’s hopes, dreams and even problems. It gives it a chance to relax and think about something else for a while.

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Writing is even better. The power of writing is phenomenal. Again you get that feeling of being in somebody else’s shoes for a while. I often write for hours without realising so much time has gone by.

The power of writing is even more intense though. Through poetry you can pour your emotions, stresses and worries out onto the paper. Through fiction you can empower your characters, and therefore yourself, to make a change in their life and come out stronger on the other side.

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The power of books is one of the things that keeps me writing. I want to create worlds that readers can immerse themselves in and characters that can inspire. Villians (both personified and emotional) that can be beaten and underdog characters that can rise up and stand for what they believe in. I want to create poetry that inspires readers to pay attention to things they wouldn’t usually notice and non-fiction that educates and informs.

I truly believe in the power of reading and writing and am proud to call myself a writer.

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