11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer

Found this excellent blog post on Catherine, Caffinated and just had to reblog it. I sheepishly admit that all eleven apply to me, but I love a good game of Monopoly.

11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer.

via 11 Signs You’re Meant To Be A Writer.

[411 Toolbox:] GoodReads, A Booklovers Best Friend

“Can you print out a log of everything I borrowed in the past month?,” is a question that I am asked at least once a day by library patrons.  I am a booklover–plain and simple. As a booklover, I love to keep track of what I’ve read or what I’d like to read so I can reference it in the future. I’ve always done this, more or less, but I never realized the value of this until I started working at the library. Regrettably, our system doesn’t keep a running log of everything a patron has read, which makes me grateful for my membership at GoodReads. GoodReads is a must-have membership for all booklovers and I highly recommend getting it if you don’t already have it.

GoodReads is basically a all-in-one for all booklovers. Membership is free and at no cost you can look up books, look up authors, keep track of books you’ve read, keep track of books you’d like to read, and so much more! I mean, it’s everything a booklover could hope for!

Here are a few reasons I use GoodReads:

1) It helps me keep a reading log.
There are two shelves I use often: Currently Reading and To-Read
With the “currently reading” shelf, I can keep track of books that I’m reading as well as my progress. Yes, you can update your progress on the book by page or location or percentage for Kindle users. You can comment on your progress and share it through Twitter or Facebook. I really love this feature and use it often to share my progress with friends on Facebook and Twitter. It’s helped me meet many new people.
With the To-Read shelf, it does exactly as it says: keeps a log of books I want to read. And what’s really neat is I use this feature with the scanning feature–more on this later.
GoodReads does have a “Read” shelf that keeps a  log of all the books you’ve read and it does track dates. So when you’re finished with a book, from your “Currently Reading” shelf you can update it’s status to “Finish reading” and it will automatically move your book from Currently Reading to Read and tag it with the date you finished.

2) It helps me meet new people.
Social Media is the biggest thing on the internet today and GoodReads fits right into this community. It has a Facebook feel where you can meet other people and “friend” them on GoodReads. This allows me to view other people’s profiles, bookshelves, and updates. I find this very beneficial. The fact that you can meet cool people, and many authors, appeals to me. I’ve made some really cool friends through this community of booklovers–including authors.

3) It’s an app!
Because apps are a big things with smartphones, I am happy to report that GoodReads has an app. From my iPhone I can use all the features of GoodReads as well as a few more things. The app has a feature that I’ve found so useful, especially since I work in a library, and has made my membership with GoodReads even more valuable. It allows me to scan books. With my iPhone app, I can tap on “Scan” and scan the barcode on the back of the book to search for it on GoodReads. When found, I can pull up the book summary, what my peers have rated it (5-star rating system), and even add it to any of my shelves instantly.

There are so many other features that GoodReads offers, but to list them all would make a rather lengthy blog entry. The reasons I mentioned are the main reasons I’ve used GoodReads for over a year and have not been disappointed at all. I can’t really think of any negatives about it, honestly. It exceeds all of my expectations and fits my needs perfectly. I’d recommend this free service to all booklovers and fellow fans of reading.

Edited: 03 April 2015

Personal Essays

Part of the reason for me not blogging as much is the fact that I’m going to school. Now, I understanding that this may seem like an excuse to most and I won’t deny that, but I do offer it as an explanation. The fact that I had a developmental writing course last semester and now I’ve moved up a level this semester (I’m actually taking a course that counts to my degree, yay!), I’ve been doing a LOT of writing.

So, I decided to post my essays. After all, I did write them, right? And I’ve had several family members and friends asking to read some of it so why not feature them here? Which brings me to my newest category: Essays.

I will start posting some of my essays (only the best ones) soon.

I’ve enjoyed the writing classes I’ve had. Formal writing, well . . . scholarly writing is a challenge for me. I guess it’s because I’m more of a private journaling type of person that it’s hard when I have to stay within a certain writing format and then do research and then make sure I cite my sources. But, I love the challenge and I know it only makes me a stronger writer.

Blogging Confusion

Again I find myself wide awake, past midnight, deciding I should blog my general thoughts. Again, I find myself thinking about my blog.

I seriously thought I had gained a footing in this blogging business, but I’m back on finding my niche. Perhaps if I keep blogging, regardless of subject, I’ll notice a pattern and can start honing it. Everyone says to blog a niche. A really great blog I found, Write With Warnimont, also suggests finding a niche. In fact, it’s a really great blog entry with some really great advice. But what’s my niche? What can I consider myself an expert in?

I’ve established that I love writing. I’ve established that I’d love to give whatever I can to the film and entertainment industry. I’ve established that I love learning and information. But how do you take all that and combine it into a workable platform? Especially a platform that hones in on a particular subject? This is a tough one. I think, too, that I’ve read that you should just blog about anything and everything from just as much people as those who say “find a niche.”

Isn’t funny? But what does that mean to me and how can apply that?

I guess this is just something I’ll need to figure out on my own. And actually, as I mentioned before, I’m kind of excited to see what blogging pattern I develop. So far it seems that I’m blogging about blogging! Of course not exclusively, since I’ve managed to come up with a couple of book reviews. I know I’ll zero in on something, hopefully soon, but only time will tell . . . and blogging of course.

Random 411: The Art of Writing

‎2/‎28/‎2013 – I’ve decided to give my mind a chance to speak. *sighs* Yes, yes. I’ve been hiding out from my mind. My inner most thoughts have caused my conscience mind to distract itself by diving into books and watching movies or my beloved TV shows. What is my conscience afraid of? It’s rare an occasion that I distract myself from writing. Journaling has always played a significant role in my life. I’ve been journaling my life story, regularly, since I was in the 6th grade. Yes, I pride myself on that because I find it rather impressive that my eleven year old self thought it was important to keep a journal. Admittedly, there was a time when I thought it not important to keep a journal and forgoed the practice for about a year or two. I’m kicking myself for it today because I think those were some important years and important events happened during that course of my timeline that I wished I recorded.

Writing in general has been a constant practice for me. In addition to journaling, I’ve written letters to everyone who wished to humor me from the moment I learned how to write a letter. I believe I seven years old when I learned to write a letter and my first, most faithful correspondent was my grandmother. I’d exchange with her drawings I did in class, updates of how my day in school went, tattle-taled on my brothers (and sometimes my parents), and just about anything that piqued the interest of a seven year old. *laughs* I think I wrote so much letters to my grandmother that my mom would throw some away when I wasn’t looking. I know it may not be true, but I really did write about everything. I know my parents humored me on most of my letters, but it would not surprise me in the least if my mom confirmed this suspicion.

I was so excited when one of my elementary classes, I can’t remember if it was in the third or fourth grade, when they introduced “The Pen Pal.” I believe at the younger ages, back in my day (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have “back in my day” stories!), they would do class exchanges. I think it wasn’t until the fifth grade where you could exchange individually, as a class, with students from another school. (Did I make any sense right there? I’m trying to think of a way to word it differently, but  . . . I got nothing. In my defense, it is 11:55 p.m.) I was so excited to write to someone other than family.

I can think of only positive experiences with pen-paling  . . . no wait, that’s a lie. I remember one experience where I felt really bad because I had no idea what I had said to offend the student, but he didn’t want to be my pen pal any more–at least, that what my teacher told me. I was in the sixth grade. My teacher didn’t want me to write an apology. He said that I shouldn’t feel too badly, that sometimes people just take things the wrong way and he was certain it was a simple misunderstanding. *shrugs*. I still feel really bad until this day, even though I can’t remember the boy’s name or even what school we were exchanging letters with.  And letter-writing is what helped me keep in touch with my grade school friends when I moved to a different island. I exchanged letters with my best friends until high school, a good three or four years before life got the better of us, and even some of my other classmates.

Other moments soon replaced that bad experience though. I’ve had the wonderful pleasures of exchanging letters with friends I made at Kamehameha School’s Computer Camp (June/July 1996)and Kulia I Ka Pono Programs (July 1997, two week program). Some of these friendships extended all the way until graduation, before email was commonplace; before MySpace or Facebook.

I kept those letters for a long time–all of it, the letters from my grade school best friends and classmates, letters from my Computer Camp friends, letters from my Kulia friends. And I’d re-read them. *sighs*, and then the Dark Ages. *laughs* That is what I call the time when I thought journaling wasn’t important. I went through a dark spell and I believe it was during those years I decided to get rid of all the letters of my pen pals. I’m still cringing over that. It brings me near tears every time I think of if. Would you believe I went desperately searching for those letters? Well, I did about six months ago. I went hunting for them in storage, desperately hoping that my “Jimney Cricket” talked me out of it at the time and I really stashed them somewhere. No such luck. They must be lost. At least I had the sense to keep my journals. Believe it or not, I do have all my journals, at least I think I do. I know I have most of my journals. I read them every now and then and it’s sometimes is more entertaining than those books, movies, and/or TV shows I watch! Of course there are some most embarrassing moments that I hope my older, future self will learn to laugh at instead of cringing (which my present self does every. time.), but we won’t get into that. =)

Reflecting back on the past–what is it, twelve years? sheesh I feel old–that I’ve been writing, I’ve realized it’s more than me just recording life events. I realized writing helps me clear my thoughts. It helps me to have a conversation with myself. It helps me to discern what’s bugging me and what’s not. I’ve written about hopes, dreams, life, death. I’ve predicted my future, reflected upon my past, and relived my present. I’ve discovered my strengths and my weaknesses, recorded my success and my failures. I am proud of the writer in me. It’s helped me take snapshots of my life and preserve them for me to ponder and reflect, and most importantly, to learn and to grow.

Honestly, I have no idea if I’ve come to a point with this soon-to-be-blog entry, but since I’ve allowed myself to write, I can’t believe I actually wrote. You see the power writing has? Words. Feelings. Thoughts. Ideas. They all come into play. I’m truly glad I just let myself write whatever came to my head. We’ll see what doors writing this entry have unlocked this time. Until next time . . .