Epistolary #3: Following My TBR List, Writing Some Stuff, and Bullet Journaling My Way Through Life

Wow. I haven’t written one of these in a while. And by a while I mean literally not since last year. Somehow every time the idea of writing an Epistolary post pops up in my mind, another, more topical idea elbows its way to the front. Speaking of, I actually still need to write a Sequel Sunday for The Heart Forger…

But not just yet.

Since it’s the first day of the month, I figured that I should at least try to start it off right. And what better way to do that than by reviewing the first two months of the year in a loose and casual personal post. It’s weird because 2019 so far feels like it’s gone on for much longer than two months but at the same time like not much time has passed at all. A real paradox, I say.

In Which I Actually Stick to my TBR List…?

The past year I realized just how absurdly packed my to-be-read shelf has gotten and have made a conscious effort not only to avoid buying more books until I’ve made a considerable dent in those shelves but to also actually read the books I’ve bought. I have this counterproductive habit of putting certain books “on hold,” especially the ones that I had been looking forward to for so long, because I want to savour them for much longer. Or something.

Basically, my tendency to not read the books I’ve gotten while also continuing to buy a ton of books at a given time has led to my TBR shelves nearly collapsing under the weight of my folly [a minor exaggeration sprinkled with a dash of truth. one of my shelves has started to droop at the center… probably because it’s not a proper bookshelf so much as a reappropriated shoe rack.].

I’ve been trying to do better though and, so far into the year, I think I have. Save for one or two books, I’ve been pretty faithful to my monthly TBR list. I know that this is just a minor thing that a lot of people don’t even have to think about but, for me, this is something of an accomplishment. If it’s not already that obvious, I’m not very meticulous or organized so having a list and sticking to it each month is quite Off Brand of me. It’s bizarre.

Not gonna lie though, I’m quite happy with this new development. Not only am I making progress on my backlog but I also don’t have to waste so much time and energy deciding what book I should pick up next. With a monthly TBR, I have a set of books at the ready and, surprisingly, rather than feeling constricted, I feel so much freer. Narrowing down my choices every month helps me concentrate on the books I’ve prepared. No more agonizing over which books to read first because I now have a system in place that reassures me that I’ll get to those other books in the near future.

All of this ought to be common sense, I know, but do recall that my brain is very dumb. Given so many books to choose from, my brain will insist that I read all of them at once. Which is just physically impossible. Plus I can’t go back to having a currently-reading shelf in the double digits, I just can’t.

Long story short, I’ve figured out a way to read more and stress less and I’m quite pleased.

Whereas Things Get Written and Actually Finished

Although I’m still not very satisfied with my writing, I do want to say that I’m rather proud of myself for posting more this year. I’ve tried to post once a week – twice if I can – but in some weeks I just don’t have anything to write.

I’m particularly happy that I’ve finally finished my first ever multi-part Book Talk. Ruthless Magic had been hounding me since I put it down so many months ago and I’m glad to finally move on from it. I’m also really glad to have written my aromantic experiences post. I was afraid that I’d get some of the terms and such wrong but, thankfully, I didn’t. Rather, no one’s put my ass on blast for anything yet.

I’m still trying to write more book reviews, particularly with books for #YARC2019 but book reviews just don’t come to me as easy as it used to. It’s just harder now for me to make a review be more interesting, especially knowing that there are so many other, better book blogs out there.

Or maybe I’ve just gotten too lazy to try. Probably that.

Meanwhile, my scrapped unfinished novel’s first draft is still all of that: scrapped and eternally unfinished. I have yet to start finding a better story to work on because I’m still learning how to write again but… I’m getting antsy. Hopefully, I’ll have a WIP soon. I want to write fiction again, dammit.

In Which I Talk Some More About Bullet Journaling

Honestly, this section isn’t really all that important but I didn’t want to write only two things for this Epistolary (Rule of Thirds and all that) so here’s some more stuff about my bullet journal that no one but myself really gives a damn about.

February’s theme is sunflowers. That decision was completely arbitrary since I’m not very fond of the color yellow – too festive for my cold and dark heart – but at the time I assumed that sunflowers ought to be fairly simple to paint… right?


it looks worse in real life, trust me

Turns out I still haven’t gotten the hang of watercolor painting flowers of any kind. Plus I grossly underestimated the how intricate sunflowers can be.

That being said, yellow/brown/orange actually looks pretty nice on the page. Probably because my journal has orange accents. And while I still couldn’t paint flowers for the life of me, I still tried to incorporate February’s theme on every page. Because why not.

Also, not to toot my own horn again but I got 9 out of 11 books checked off my list. What a nice and foreign feeling, this sense of accomplishment.

Speaking of checking things off a list, I’ve been moderately successful in every week’s to-do’s. Does that mean that I’m getting my shit together? Doubt it since my tasks every week are hardly worth celebrating or even acknowledging.

I’ve yet to finish the cover page and Monthly Goals page for March but I do know that this month’s theme is bluebells which, after sketching out the basic outline, I know is going to be even trickier to paint. But I know I’ll do it anyway because I love to make myself suffer for no reason.

And that about does it. Basically, the first two months of the year have been mostly ok. Haven’t accomplished much but also haven’t messed up much so I’m stuck in limbo of mediocrity. But then again, that’s hardly news is it?

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