Goodbye, 2019. Hello, 2020

Happy new year everyone!

2019 was… something. It was a hell of a year, to be honest, which is why I didn’t have the motivation to even think about a year-end post/summary. It feels like 2019 lasted a full decade, considering all that went down.

Anyway. I wasn’t going to write a new year post and intended to jump straight into a book discussion post about this weird book I read sometime last year (won’t spoil which book but let’s just say that for a book published in 2015 its slut-shaming was gratuitous and unabashedly virulent). But whenever I opened my blog I just couldn’t shake off the feeling that it was missing something. I don’t know why when I rarely add anything to my blog. Eventually I realized what felt so off. Without a post welcoming the new year, my blog felt like it was still stuck in the old one. I know that sounds lame and nonsensical but somehow I just couldn’t ignore it. I don’t have much of an audience here in my blog but I am really big on sentimental spectacles for myself. Heck, I’ve been blogging for so long purely because I wanted to document my boring life over the years.

So even though it’s about a week late, here it is. My 2020 post. This thing won’t have much of a structure, I think. I’ll do a quick review of how I fared in 2019 (a resounding meh) but I’ll mostly just talk about my plans with this blog of mine, which aren’t much considering my inconsistent blogging schedule.

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Epistolary #6: 50k Words and I'm Barely Halfway Through My Novel (Yes, A NaNoWriMo Post)

I’m alive!

Yeah, it’s been nearly two months since I set foot in this little book blog of mine all because I decided to take another shot at NaNoWriMo. I’ve grumbled about this before and I’ll grumble again but my first serious attempt at NaNoWrimo/writing a novel didn’t end as well as I’d like. Took me ages to even get to 50k words (the default goal). Back then my writing process was so all over the place that a single scene could take me days, even weeks, to finish because I had no idea what was going to happen next. When I realized that I was literally just writing in circles, I had to call it quits.

It wasn’t easy breaking up with my first WIP. I had spent nearly a year writing and it just felt like I flushed all that work down the drain. I considered salvaging it but, alas, the story was barely hanging by a thread in the first place. Rewriting it would have done me more harm than good. It’s hard to save a story that had little to offer in the first place. But! I did end up using the magic system that I oh so meticulously crafted in my current WIP. The thing still needs a lot of work but it’s something to tinker with.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a little self-indulgent personal blog about my experience with NaNoWriMo this year and how ’17’s failure taught me more about my writing process and preferences.

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New Bullet Journal, New Me (sort of)

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every personal post but this one has been a long time coming. Really. I’ve had this post in my drafts for about three(?) months now and, honestly, after several rewrites it’s not even recognizable anymore. Originally, I wanted to talk about how my recent stationery addiction was getting out of hand – I had even several anecdotes all typed up and ready to go – but although I could talk about notebooks and pens and papers all day long, I found myself just plain bored with that blog post idea.

Don’t get me wrong, my stationery addiction is still a struggle I have to deal with but, after some internal digging, there really isn’t anything interesting about it other than my clinical need to fill a void inside me. While I didn’t altogether scrap that blog post idea, I also didn’t really find myself all that motivated to see it through. But then I fell into a very specific rabbit hole in YouTube: the bullet journaling community. The number of plan-with-me’s and stationery hauls and journal flip-throughs I’ve watched over the course of a few weeks cannot possibly be healthy. Those videos, however, got me really motivated to take bullet journaling seriously.

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Epistolary #5: Goodbye Book Ban | Hello New WIP | A Little Pupdate

I blinked and already it’s the middle of the year. I don’t know what I did for the past six months but I’m sure it was nothing worthwhile.

Anyway. It’s been about a month since I wrote an Epistolary post and although my life is still the same mind-numbing bore that it was in the 4th post, I suppose I can dredge up a couple of things to talk about here. Naturally, this post is going to talk about three things that I love: books, writing, and dogs.

So let’s just jump into it.

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Epistolary #4: Cleaning Out my Desk Drawers and Getting Philosophical | Brainstorming and Idea Mining for a WIP | Fostering a Pup and Learning How to Love Again

Much like with most blog posts that I write, this Epistolary post was slated much earlier, preferably on the first week of April but then I got lazy, and then I lost interest, and then I forgot entirely. Story of my life, really.

Anyway. A couple of things has happened in the past month and more than once I found myself opening a new post to write down my thoughts and such but then I realized that no one but me really cares about my personal life so I’d close the window and file the idea away. Thank goodness I have this little blog series so I’ll have an excuse to write about my mundane existence.

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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.

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Journaling Then and Now | First Month of BuJo 2019

It’s been almost a decade since I got my hands on my first ever journal. I was in high school then, just recently coming to terms with the fact spilling words on a page was the most satisfying and comforting feeling in the world for me. Ma, I think, got an inkling of this newfound passion of mine and got me this thick and clunky journal for Christmas and although I only kept at it for about three months – and considering how each day had a full page dedicated to it, a full page that I was obligated to fill regardless of how inane my day was, I think I held out well enough – my 2010 journal was what sparked my love for daily journaling.

I dare not examine the pages further. No doubt 14-year-old me had atrocious writing and devastatingly cringey thoughts.
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2018 Silver Linings: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Normally, my end of the year wrap-up post would have such a sappy title. More often than not, I’d just choose a couple of photos of the year’s highlights, write a short description, and call it a day. This year, however, I want it to be different. I think we can all agree that 2018 was, well, bad. For a lot of people. Locally. Nationally. Internationally. The year really put us all through the wringer, y’know?

I forced myself to title my year-ender post a sentimental 2018 Silver Linings to look at the bright side of the shit show that was this year, to comfort myself, if only just briefly, in believing that things weren’t all bad this year, couldn’t have been all bad. I owe it to myself to not focus too much on the negative all the time and what better time to be optimistic than on New Year’s Eve?

So. Here it is. Around two thousand words of me looking at the bright side of 2018. I actually surprised myself a few times. I nearly forgot that I did quite a number of things this year that can be considered as, dare I say it, accomplishments. Wild.

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Epistolary #2: Closing In On 100 Books, Saying Goodbye to Coffee, and Killing My First Draft

I meant to write another Epistolary post – since I insisted that it’s a “series” I’m doing on my blog now – but I kept putting it off in favour of working on more interesting, more pressing posts. Honestly, last week was supposed to be that Ruthless Magic in-depth analysis that I’ve been vaguely working on for weeks but… apparently themes are much more difficult to sort out than I expected so that post will have to wait until next year. 

Anyway, ever since my first Epistolary, a lot of things have happened. Not all of them good but most of them aren’t nearly as bad as I thought it was. Though my paranoid pea-sized brain does tend to exaggerate every little inconvenience so that’s not really saying much.

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Epistolary #1: Fighting Dust Bunnies and Trying not to Hate Everything I Write

Y’know I recently realized that the main reason why I keep neglecting this blog of mine is because… I’ve lost the spirit of what it means to blog. No joke, I really think that, along the way of trying to improve my content, I may have forgotten what got me into blogging in the first place. Way, way back (as far back as my Livejournal days), I used to be able to write without a care. Sure, I may have overshared a little bit and, yeah, my writing was garbage (more so than now, I mean), but blogging was actually fun back in the day. It was enjoyable and cathartic. Nobody read what I wrote – thank god! – but I loved opening an empty text box and just going all out.

Now on my quest to be a better writer, I may have put too much unnecessary pressure on myself and, as a result, spoiled what was once a very enjoyable hobby. Crap.

So! To reignite the spark I once had with blogging, I’ve decided to start this, uh, let’s call it a series of sorts. The “Epistolary” series is going to be just me writing as casually as I can, trying to go back my LJ roots where I wrote personal anecdotes or whatever came to mind without caring if my post would be interesting or worthwhile to anybody but myself. Not like I have actual readers now but for this series I’m not even going to pretend that someone might give a damn about my blog.

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