How Writing Has Shaped My Everyday Life

Saturday, September 24, 2016
(Thank you, Emily Drown, for submitting this question in my Q+A vlog! This was one of those that I couldn't possibly answer in a video, so here it is in a post. :)

I have been writing for almost three years.

In some ways, that's not a long time, but that's also a very, very, very, very long time. SO MUCH CAN HAPPEN IN THREE YEARS! I ice skated for three years. I did gymnastics for three years. And now I've almost been writing for that amount of time. (crazy how passions change. Can't imagine writing ever changing, though.)

So how has writing shaped my everyday life?

This is just an amazing question, and I'm going to go right in and ramble about my thoughts. Let's do this.

Writing has basically changed the way I do everything. From when I wake up in the morning to when I lay my head on the pillow, most things have to do with writing.

Thinking about my characters. My story. The plot. How can I make it better? How can I improve the story? What else does it need? 

It's changed the way I read -- I look at things with more of a critical eye. I analyze the writing and flail over a beautiful sentence or character development. The same goes for movies -- how do they show a story? How can I tell a story in the same visual way, but with words?

(side note: I wish that writing would help me with writing essays and research papers, but unfortunately that's something creative writing hasn't aided me with. :P)

I now have so many online friends I connect with all the time. Skyping with them, flailing with them, writing, reading, and being the best of buddies. Without writing, I wouldn't know that they even existed. (Except when they someday become famous authors. ;)

That's... a weird thought. Without writing, I wouldn't be blogging, and we'd all be nameless nobodies to each other. o.o *has a small crisis thinking about that, and is immediately very thankful that we all are aware of each other's existence*

Writing has changed the way I look at things for inspiration. That old house isn't just an old house -- it has a story. That song -- there's a story. The forest of birch trees -- just another story in this giant and magical world. Everything has a story behind it.

I don't look at people the same as I used to. I'm trying to say this in a non-creepy and stalkerish way as possible, but I study people. How they interact. How their eyes thin into a happy scrunch when they laugh and how they might play with their hair when they're nervous.

Often when I'm in a crowd of people, I'm just amazed. Because every one of those people has a story. A dream. Fears. Hard moments, and good ones. 

And as a writer, I get to write about these people. For these people. It's a terrifying and wonderful thing.

Another drastic thing that's changed my everyday life because of writing, is the fact that EVERY SPARE MOMENT IS FILLED WITH WRITING. After school and work, then it's time to writewritewritewritewrite. If I'm not writing, I'm blogging or reading or social media-ing which all totally counts toward writing in a strange way. (blogging and social media --> platform. Reading --> inspiration, research, + so many things to learn through it.) 

It's exhausting. It is. Sometimes I just want to flop and lay on the floor and say, "THIS IS SO HARD." But if writing a book was easy, where would be the satisfaction of saying, "I did it," at the end? Being a writer is a special kind of warrior -- of pushing through this mentally and physically draining personal project and conquering it. 

(I don't even know WHAT I thought about before writing. Probably pizza. But I dunno, man. IT MUST BE SO WEIRD TO HAVE A MIND WITHOUT WRITING THOUGHTS CONSTANTLY RACING AROUND. o.o)

And most of all, writing has given me a dream. It's given me motivation and determination to get published and making my dream of becoming an author a reality. It's given me a passion to work as hard as I can so I can pursue publishing after high school.

Writing is an amazing thing, and it's crazy how much it's changed my everyday life. I don't know what I would be doing without writing. (probably reading 300 books a year. and scrolling through pinterest endlessly. )

Basically, writing has changed my everyday life drastically. Sometimes, more often than not, it's a scary journey with doubt and stress and so much mental energy... BUT it's also the best thing in the world, and it's so thrilling to be able to call myself a writer. I can't wait to someday have a published book to show for all of it. :D

// katie grace

how has writing shaped your everyday life?

End of the Year Goals for 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Summer is officially over. *cue the crying*

I actually really like fall, but it's a very busy and stressful time which makes it hard for me to enjoy it quite as much.

Last year about this time (well, a month later, but oh well) I wrote about my end of the year goals for 2015. That ended up being one of my popular posts, actually, so I'M BACK TO DO IT AGAIN. (it's also really fun to write lists within lists.)

   a. No, my goal is not to read one hundred and twenty-five books in the next couple months. I just want to hit the total for the whole year. :P
   b. I've read 108 books so far. I should definitely be able to make it to 125, but my not so secret goal is to read more than that. WE'LL SEE.
   c. Some books I'm looking forward to reading:
          - Scythe by Neal Shusterman
          - Gemina by Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff
          - A Time to Rise -- a reread, because this book is beautiful and every one of you must read it.

   a. this isn't as much of a goal, and more of a limitation.
   b. (because I have a habit of wanting to read allll the beta novels at once. not a great idea)

   a. I have never plotted out a full book before.
   b. This might be a little insane.
   c. Okay, it's a lot insane

   a. Notice how I say "a novel" instead of a proper title?
   c. But don't worry, I'm not freaking out.
   d. hahaha actually totally freaking out because NANO'S IN 43 DAYS AND I'M NOT PREPARED.
   e. this year I'm going to spend a week-long retreat with another epic NaNoer and MORE ON THAT LATER)

   a. I am determined to finish this by the end of the month OR ELSE.
   b. (this draft has been the evilest draft and I swear it wants to kill me. So. many. plot. issues.

   a. I know blogging isn't supposed to be about numbers but yet it's STILL EXCITING to know that people are reading what I write. xD
   b. (And I think we all pay a little bit of attention to it)
   c. Besides, two hundred is a really exciting milestone to hit.

   a. Bullet journaling has exploded over the internet all of a sudden, and I decided to join the craze and give it a try myself.
   b. So far it's been really awesome? It's helped me manage my time and be more productive
   c. Pictures will come later once I remember to take some and get better at the arting skills.

// katie grace

What are your end of the year goals?

RELAX -- blogging doesn't need to be stressful

Saturday, September 10, 2016
Sometimes blogging gets stressful.

Before I go on, let me quickly say that it's not always stressful. The fun is there -- almost always there -- but often enough I'll let the stress of blogging get to me.

I've been talking to lots of bloggers lately, and I've realized that we all feel the stress to a certain degree. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in that... but why? We blog because we enjoy it, right?

Of course. But it's so easy to put the joy behind and let the stress rule instead (gosh, this is especially true for real life). 

I'm going to explore the fears + doubts + stresses + pressures + thoughts we have about writing and talk about why they're insignificant. Let's do this.

But you are posting. 

Let's face it -- blogging takes lots of time, and especially with school being a happening thing, time is hard to find. Sometimes you gotta enjoy the time you have and not fret about posting seventy times a week. (or even weekly. monthly. school and life is a thing and it's evil.)

Relax -- it's okay to push yourself to make time for blogging, but don't overdo it.

I struggle with this thought. If you struggle with it also, I'm gonna stop you right there. Your posts are interesting to someone. Different readers have different tastes. Some like humor, some like serious posts, writing inspiration, pictures, writing advice, wrap ups... the list goes on and on.

Not everyone is going to enjoy your posts, and that's okay. You have a blog because you have passion and talent. But someone out there is going to love what you do. (*points to myself* I love what you do, so there.)

Relax -- if you are writing what you enjoy, someone else is going to enjoy the same thing. 

So keep doing the thing.
I HONESTLY FEAR THIS A LOT. What if I run out of things to post? What if everyone has already blogged about everything there is to blog about?

But I have to keep repeating these reminders to myself: 
  • You will always grow and learn.
  • You will keep writing books -- and have new things to write about through that.
  • The world is always changing. Life is changing. You're changing. That alone is a great and wonderful story.

You may have "blogger's block" at several points throughout time, but you have a mind to keep creating posts.

Relax -- don't let your fear consume your creativity.

Bloggers. Need. Breaks.

I can't reiterate that enough. I highly suggest that bloggers take "mind breaks." (a hiatus) It could be a week, a month -- however long you need to recover your poor, exhausted brain.

Will people be mad at you for taking a break? No. Disappointed, perhaps, that they won't see some posts for awhile, but you'll return and the wait is so worth it, then.

Will people stop reading your blog for you taking a break? Ha, no. The break helps them catch up on all the other posts you've written. 

Will people forget about you once you take a break? No. Your blog will still be there. Their email subscription will still be there. 

They might miss you while you take a break, but most of your readers are also bloggers. We understand. And even if they aren't bloggers -- it's easy to understand that life gets crazy. 

Relax -- taking a break is important, and don't be afraid to do the thing.
... brainstorming some post topics that I'm really excited to write about.
... planning a blogging hiatus. (Not sure when. Either December or November. Or maybe half and half. WE'LL SEE.)
... creating a giant list of blog post ideas so I won't run out of posts anytime soon. (or so I hope -- ha.)

katie grace

Can you relate to any of these?
Does blogging ever stress you out?

Being Real // burning youth

Saturday, September 3, 2016

It is ridiculously hard to be real on the internet. 

Before you jump to conclusions, no, I'm not a robot, or a creepy man, or a serial killer pretending to be a real "Katie Grace on the internet."

I'm just me. A sixteen year old girl who has dreams too large for her own good. Who has the ability to cry too easily, eat a whole pizza, back up into a garbage can, and get bad grades in her schoolwork.

But in my head, I'm Katie Grace. She is the writer who writes 20,000 words in one day, who has it all together, who writes blog post after post and novel after novel. 

The sixteen year old me fails at deadlines. Who looks at the tasks on her to-do list and the bags under her eyes and the unreasonable time blinking on the clock and just sighs. 

Katie Grace won't stop. The clock is always ticking. There's always things to be done, and she will continue like her energy is limitless. Bigger goals. Smaller deadlines. Do things faster, better, go, go, go. 

But which one is really me? 

Both. Both are me. I'm Katie Grace -- the sixteen year old girl who loves to write, but is unsure of her ability to actually do it well. 

I'm the girl who blogs a lot and it's working out well for her, but she constantly fears that she will someday run out of material. Or that people will become uninterested.

I'm the girl who writes about doing so much, but not about the struggle and the stress to get that done.

I've been thinking about this for awhile, now. How to balance the two and be real without sharing every part of my soul.

And then the fabulous Kate emailed me about a blog project. A group blog. A blog that writes about real things. Real struggles. Real feelings. A perfect place where I could share my real thoughts and feel like they belong. I haven't written anything on there yet, but I will. And so I thought I'd let you know about it.

Here is a snippet of the lovely mission statement Kate wrote up --

we are the young ones
the emotional ones

the restless,
the drifters,
the dancers,
the artists,

the midnight cereal eaters,
and drivers of dirt roads that got lost
between the trees.

we are the up all nighters,
with the wide eyes,
and the dreams that won't call it quits.

So I guess this post was a mixture of a lot of things -- something I've been thinking about, self promo, pushing you over to a blog where fifteen amazing minds have joined together to create this beautiful anthem. I hope to see you over there. <3 

// katie grace

Can you relate to the struggle? 

Hope to see you over at burning youth. <3

(also, congrats to Mary H. and Anika for winning the giveaway!)