January Monthly Wrap Up Post (2018)

“Aria???? Where in the world have you been????” you cry furiously at your computer screen, as you smack your desk repeatedly with the palm of your hand, “You promised that this year you were going to actually write more blog posts, and then you just… disappear into thin air! What’s up with that??? Are you lying to us to our faces???????

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m sorry. One month into the year and I’ve already failed one of my goals, which was to post at least one blog post a week. I got off to a pretty good start and then… stuff happened. School. Work. Dare I say… procrastination? But that should have only been for last week! I was all geared up to try and get some posts out this week, and then disaster struck, in the form of a very nasty strain of the flu.

For multiple days I have been laid up in bed, basically unable to move, much less to write a riveting blog post. But, at last, I have returned. I’m still a bit sick, but I think I’m well enough to recount all the stuff that happened this month. Hopefully…


January Monthly Wrap Up

(Yes, I am making new banners without the year on them. I figure it’s way more efficient than making a whole new set of banners every single year!)


Highlights:

  • I went to see Secret Midnight Press on tour with indie musicians Tessa Violet and GiveMeMotion, and it was amazing! There were more people there than I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed both parts of the show (they had the musicians do their sets first, and then Jesse and Ashley from Secret Midnight Press came and read their poetry). It was at a smaller venue, which was nice, and the atmosphere and ambiance they created was very cool. I even got to talk to Ashley a bit after the show, and she signed my copy of Smoke Signals! 10 out of 10 would see a Secret Midnight Press show again. I had an awesome time.
  • I discovered some amazing small YouTubers during this month/the end of last year, and I wanted to give them a little shout out because they’re all super cool, and you should go check out some of their videos. I don’t normally watch smaller YouTubers, because it’s difficult to find ones with good quality content, but a while back a couple of my internet friends started YouTube channels, and they are through-the-roof-amazing. So make sure you check out That Girl with a Blog (My friend Hannah Marie’s channel. She does vlogs, storytimes, and is just generally hilarious and relateable) and also Jeneca Zody, Bethany Stevenson (they’re both amazing artists) and MasterEth (he makes hilarious clean comedy videos and is a friend of Hannah’s)
  • I started listening to Welcome to Night Vale! You may have heard of it at some point or another on your journey through the internets. It’s a fiction podcast about a tiny desert town somewhere in America where really weird and random paranormal stuff happens. The podcast is super bizarre and a little creepy, but I actually find it quite funny, mostly because of just how random it is. I’m almost finished season 1, and I’m loving it so far! The creators of Night Vale have also made another podcast called Within the Wires, which has a totally different vibe and is super suspenseful and exciting. I listened to the first season, and highly enjoyed it. Until recently I didn’t really know fiction podcasts were a thing, but Aimee Meester’s Bright Eyes Project sort of introduced me to the format, and I love finding new podcasts to enjoy. ^_^

Posts from January 2018:


Looking Forward:

Yes, I am going to try to do better about actually making blog posts in the future. But, I mean, hopefully I won’t have any more surprise attacks of the flu, so we should be good. I’m also hoping to make a YouTube comeback as soon as my voice doesn’t sound like a dying rat! I made a channel a while back and posted like one video… and then I never posted anything again. I have a couple of super cool ideas, though, and I’m hoping to make at least a few more videos very soon! I let you know if/when that happens.


Thanks so much for reading my January wrap up post! How has your January been? Have you discovered any cool new YouTubers, podcasts, TV shows, books yet this year? Do you have any favorite small YouTubers? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon.

🙂

My (Belated) 2018 Goals

Okay.

I apologize.

In my ‘Best of 2017’ post, I said in the Looking Forward section that I had basically zero plans for 2018. For me, this is always the case. It’s the end of the old year and there’s a whole entire 365 days spread out in front of you and its all so bewildering and you’re like “lol wat i don’t even know like what am I supposed to do with all this time?????” I don’t know if anyone else struggles with this, but I always seem to have what I’m going to call ‘New Years paralysis’, as in for the first couple of weeks of the new year. Basically it feels like I’m just going through the motions and I feel totally bewildered and have absolutely zero plans to accomplish anything at all.

And then BAM! 2018 smacked me in the face with like eight million opportunities and goals and all that stuff, and here I am writing a belated ‘2018 goals’ post so that you, the collective internets, can hold me accountable when I recap all the slacking off I did at the end of the year.

Please enjoy this seemingly impossible (but probably barely adequate) list of goals.


2018 Goals

 


  • Publish Esmeralda’s Story. I’ve talked about this several times before, but I wrote a novelette set in the world of my first book, Behind Her Mask was Death, which features the backstory of one of the main characters. I really love this story, and I wanted to publish it around Christmas time last year, but what with sickness, poor preparation and, lets be honest, a lot of procrastination, that obviously didn’t happen. I’m hoping to publish it very soon, though, and I’ll let you know when that happens!

 

  • Write and revise at least one book. Recently, I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be. It started back in the fall when I forced myself to complete a 57,000 word first draft in less than a month, and ended up burning myself out. I am a very slow first drafter normally, and maybe trying to finish this project so quickly just wasn’t the right idea. Anyway, I ended up with a finished first draft, and actually wrote a bunch of the first draft of another book before the burnout caught up with me, and suddenly I looked around and for about two months I’d written absolutely nothing. I’m slowly starting to ease myself back into first drafting for another novel, a prequel to Behind Her Mask was Death that I hope to be at least 50,000 words at completion. I’d like to say that I’ll try to finish it and publish it this year, but we’ll see. I’m not always the best with sticking to the plan.

 

  • Get my driver’s license. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I should have at least started working on this by now. But I’ve been… procrastinating. Up until now I’ve been able to rely on my family to drive me everywhere, but I’d like to maybe get a second job, and sometimes it’s just difficult to get a bunch of different people to soccer practice and work and robotics meeting and whatever, especially when they’re all happening at the same time. So I’m studying up and hopefully I’ll be able to get my temporary license this month and have my full one by the end of the year.

 

  • Read more. Everyone who knows me would probably describe me as a voracious reader. And that’s true… sometimes. Or it used to be, anyway. But I honestly feel that I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should within the past year or so. It probably has a lot to do with finally getting wi-fi in my room, which while it sounds amazing isn’t necessarily the best thing for your concentration. Sometimes I feel like I’m at my best when the computer is off and I’ve forgotten where I left my phone. But I really do want to read more, and I especially want to read more indie books. As an indie author, it’s probably a good idea to know the market and read other authors’ works, right? Yeah. And guess who had literally only ever read one indie book in her life right up until Christmas 2017? Yeah.

 

  • Make more artistic stuff. I used to sew all the time. I always had a project I was working on; a cute plushy from one fandom or another that it seemed like I needed in my life. Now? Ha. Nothing. But, to be honest, I’m the kind of person that has to have an inspiration or some kind of goal in mind before I start a project, and I just haven’t had any new ideas for plushies in a while. So at least I could be honing my drawing/painting/colored pencil skills, right? Nope. This is yet another area where I need to have inspiration, and the muse does not visit often. But, hopefully, I’ll try to do a few more paintings or drawings this year. (You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you’re interested in seeing any of my artistic endeavors.)

 

  • Embrace my emo side. You may think that I am already emo, but this isn’t even my final form. I dyed my hair the other day (say what????),  but I’m not done yet. Dangly chain earrings, my favorite black choker, cross necklace, pencil eyeliner (if I can ever figure out how to apply the stuff) and clothes in varying shades of black are all on hand. In the new year, I plan to embody all the best things about my two style icons: Josh Dun (brightly colored hair, eye-catching earrings and necklaces, smudgy eye makeup) and Dan “black-clothes-are-the-answer-to-everything” Howell (self-explanatory).
Style Icons

My style icons: Josh Dun of Twenty Øne Piløts and British Youtuber Dan Howell (better known as danisnotonfire).

Even if I don’t do the full emo look every day, at least I can enjoy being v emo inside, and all the issues that go along with that.

*smudges eyeliner and runs off to join the Black Parade*


Okay, back to the goals:

  • Procrastinate less. This is a big one. Basically all my problems are caused by procrastination, and most of them would be solved if I just sat down and did whatever it is that I’m supposed to be doing (right now I am procrastinating math and Latin homework by writing this blog post). Maybe this is an impossible goal, but I hope to do my best to put down distractions and actually accomplish the task.

 

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. Kinda self explanatory, I guess. Get in shape, and all that. I’ve been doing a daily 10-minute Pilates workout, as I have a lot of back issues and pain and strengthening your core muscles can help alleviate this. I just need to buckle down and stop forgetting to do it or procrastinating my life away. I also want to get outside more and walk around the neighborhood or ride my bike, but the weather hasn’t been super cooperative recently, so…

 

  • Write more blog posts. Sometimes, I honestly just don’t know what to say. Weeks go by without a post. Some compassionate soul out there might be wondering if I’m dead (i’m not i’m just procrastinating again friend). I’m making it my goal this year to have at least one post per week, and hopefully more, unless of course I’m away or on an official hiatus or something. (So if you’re interested in getting sarcastic rants, cool quotes, movie and TV show reviews, and more sent right to your inbox, you can subscribe to this blog by email down below…)

And… that’s about it. Right now, it seems a bit like an impossible mountain, but I’m sure at the end of 2018 we’ll all look back on this list and laugh at how horribly I failed in completing anything.

In all seriousness, the best way to accomplish something is to have a good attitude about it, and then actually buckle down and just get it over with, and hopefully with that attitude, and with a lot of prayer and hard work and anti-procrastination methods, I can actually do something worthwhile this year. 😛


Thank you so much for reading this post! Sorry it’s a bit more sarcastic than normal. I’ve just been reevaluating my time-usage and it has come to my attention that I really do have a procrastination problem, so… yeah. Kind of being sarcastic at myself, if that makes any sense.

Talk to me, friend! What are your hopes and dreams for 2018? And does anyone else have trouble with this sort of ‘New Years paralysis’ I talked about at the beginning? Let’s chat in the comments below!

See you again soon!

🙂