Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #25 – Becoming A Morning Person

Hey readers!

So first of all, I’d like to apologise in advance for the lack of posts over the next couple of weeks. I honestly am trying to get better at posting regularly, I really am, it’s just that, as many of you will know, it’s currently ‘exam season’. This means, that like hundreds of other students at the moment, Alice and I have exams! So we’ve been busy studying and preparing ourselves, and will be for a few weeks more, so won’t have much free time to write blog posts (I am currently writing this on my 10 minute break from studying that is now entering hour 2 – justifying this by “I sat an exam today, I deserve a break”)

That actually brings me onto my next point for this post – exams. I had the idea of doing a “study tips” post – original idea, I know – but when thinking about what I’d actually write I had no clue. I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t have any tips to hand onto other people. I just sit down, write notes and work, really. The only thing that I might perhaps say is get started early so you’re not left cramming it all at the last minute (something I do because otherwise enter PANIC MODE and get nothing done at all), but other than that, I’ve got nothing.

However, just because I don’t have any exam/studying tips doesn’t mean that my studying hasn’t given me anything to write about. This is because during the time I had off school in which I was studying, I found myself becoming very productive in the morning. So that’s the topic for this post – becoming a morning person (yet another extremely original idea).

Before this year, I have never ever ever thought of myself as a morning person. I hated getting up in the morning, I was always tired and never wanted to do anything. But when I got some time off I made the decision that I wanted to become better at getting up early and getting stuff done earlier in the day – so being the 21st century person I am, I clicked onto YouTube and searched “how to become a morning person”.

So here is my list of tips and tricks to become a morning person that work for me personally, collated from a whole bunch of YouTube videos and various other sources. I can’t guarantee they’ll work for you guys too, but it’s worth trying them out if you really want to become a morning person.

  1. Establish a time to wake up. There’s no point trying to become a morning person, if you’re waking up at 6:30 one morning and 11:00 the next. You need some routine in your life. Decide on a time you’re going to wake up every day, and stick to it. I would recommend setting an alarm at first, although once you’ve been constantly waking up at the same time for a while your body will adjust to it and start waking up at that time naturally.
  2. Get enough sleep the night before. If you’re running off 3 hours of sleep, I don’t think it’s very likely that you’re going to be productive. In fact, in that case, it would probably just be better to stay in bed and catch up on your missed sleep! I think I once read somewhere that the optimal amount of sleep is 8-9 hours every night, so try and go to bed at a time where you can have that much sleep and still get up in the morning. For me that meant going to sleep at/before 10 pm, as I wanted to be awake by 7:30 the next morning (that’s 9 and a half hours, I know, but it worked for me).
  3. Put your devices/screens away at least ½ hour before you go to sleep. I was once told – quite a while ago so apologies if I’ve remembered wrong and this is incorrect – that if you go on your phone or computer or another device immediately before going to bed then it’s harder to fall asleep. I believe it’s something to do with the radiation that the devices emit, but I’m not 100% sure that that’s the scientific reason behind it. But even if it isn’t, I find that putting it away half an hour before I go to sleep helps me to relax and unwind so I get to sleep better.
  4. Put your alarm where you can’t reach it from your bed. From personal experience, if I can reach my alarm from my bed and turn it off without moving, then I just tend to roll back over and fall back to sleep rather than getting up and being productive. When my alarm is on the other side of the room, then to turn it off I actually have to get out of bed and move to turn it off I don’t go back to sleep and am actually productive.
  5. Have a drink. Again, this comes from something scientific I saw that I may be remembering incorrectly, but from what I recall the video I watched with this in said that if you have a drink of cold water when you first wake up in the morning it gets your metabolism going and makes you more productive, or something like that. Even if that isn’t scientifically correct, it’s quite refreshing to have a nice drink in the morning, and helps to wake you up.
  6. Make your bed. There is no scientific thing behind this point, but I’ve found that making my bed when I get up helps as I feel like it’s then been made and I’m not getting back in and that’s that.
  7. Have something to do when you get up. Don’t get up and have nothing to do. Have a purpose, something to do. For me, during my time off, it was studying. I would get up, study for as long as I felt like (I don’t like time restrictions), then went and had breakfast. It was a system that worked for me, but it might not be something that works for you! Maybe you need to eat immediately, or perhaps if you go and have a shower straight away it’ll help to wake you up. Just make sure you know what you’re going to do, so you can get started on it and be productive and not spent hours wafting around doing nothing because you weren’t prepared.

And that’s it! My simple 7-step guide to becoming a morning person. After about four days of doing this, I actually began waking up naturally at about 7:30, which I felt really good about (as it made me feel like I was making progress), ad started getting lots done in the morning.

Of course, there are plenty more methods to becoming a morning person and getting better/more sleep and becoming more productive etc. So here are a couple of useful YouTube videos that I watched and pulled some of these tips from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdF7d7TdjfM (studyign on YouTube, also posts very useful stuff about studying and stopping procrastinating and being more productive etc.!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TLn_WoFTb4 (krist & yu on YouTube, posts lifestyle videos covering a wide range of topics and also a bunch of Japan Vlogs)

Of course, being a morning person is not for everyone, and that’s okay! Some people are really productive at 11:30pm at night and in 10 minutes can do all their studying for 3 exams and dust an entire mansion at that time, but personally at about 9:30 I shut down and can’t do much past that time, which is why I wanted to become better and getting stuff done early on

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for this post. I hope you have enjoyed this more structed post that has a clear topic rather than just my rambly ramblings that I normally post, please let us know if you do! You can contact us in the comments on this site (www.writeaweek.wordpress.com), via email (writeaweek@gmail.com), through tumblr (http://write-a-week.tumblr.com/) or on Instagram (@writeaweek)

Bye!

~April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #23

Hey readers!

So for once I actually have something to talk about in a blog post (*party poppers “Hello Internet” style*), but before I begin I’d just like to say sorry for the absence of posts recently. I’ve not posted in… a long time, and I honestly have no excuse for that. I just lacked motivation, so no blog posts happened.

So, what I wanted to talk about today was a Writing Tool I recently discovered called Hemingway. Basically what it does is highlight all the ‘bad’ things about your writing/what could be improved on in it, such as sentences that are hard to read, or unnecessary words, or where you’ve written with a passive voice rather than an active voice, so you know what can be improved on. I’ve found that for me the most useful part is highlighting hard-to-read sentences, as I often do find myself rambling on for too long and overcomplicating what I write (aaaaand I just proved myself right there, didn’t I?) It can also give you a word count, a letter count, and an estimate time for how long it takes you to read it. This might be useful for when planning a speech or a debate or some other form of public speaking and you only have a certain about of time to speak for. Or it might be nice just for interests sake!

For example, I put the above paragraph into Hemingway (I have since edited the above paragraph slightly as I wrote it on a different day to the day this is being published, but the point still stands), and this is what it showed me:

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In summary, it was a bad paragraph.

Personally, Hemingway is the only writing tool that I use. I’ve seen things about another tool called ILYS (that hides what you’re writing so you can’t get distracted by editing until you’ve reached your word count goal) that looks good, but when I googled it, it turns out you have to pay money for it, and I’ve not actually seen that much about other writing tools. It doesn’t really matter though – I quite like being able to go back and read over what I’d written and edit as I go along, otherwise I feel restricted and lose motivation. What about you? Do you prefer to write freely and do what you want when you want, or do you prefer to have structured writing time dictating what you do and when?

As it’s been a long time (about a month) since my last blog post, I’d have expected myself to have read a lot since them, however, it’s not been as much as I would have liked to have done. This is for one simple reason: my TBR pile. I have found, over multiple occasions, that the predominant reason for why I get into reading slumps is because my TBR pile is too big. I think it’s just the fact that there’s a physical manifestation of how many books I want to read/should have read but haven’t, and it gets me down in the dumps, and as a result I just tend to… stop reading. However, to combat this, I have returned a bunch of books from my TBR pile to the library (but written the titles down for future reference) and hidden the rest of my TBR pile – made up from books that I own – under my bed so that I can’t see it. Problem solved!

So, now for the rambly part of the blog post where I talk about the books I’ve read…

I’ve managed to finish Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan which I’d just begun when I wrote my last blog post, and I really enjoyed it. One element I really liked was how it told the different stories of multiple different people, but how they all linked together somehow. It reminds me of a story I began writing a while ago – about the same time that Alice began writing her now novel-length story, in fact. In that there were several different characters who all lived completely different lives, but as time went on their lived began to overlap. That reminds me, I really wanted to finish that, maybe I should go back to it?

After Two Boys Kissing I read a book called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. I have a confession, and that confession is that I only decided to read it because I saw a bookstagram which posted about how many Harry Potter references it had in it, but I am honestly SO glad that I did. I LOVED IT. It’s a book that I’ll definitely recommend to everyone – however it does have longs of swearing, and it all about a murder and justice for the murder and guns and shootings etc. so it might not be for everyone. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and along with hiding my TBR pile it’s recently helped me out of the reading slump.

Now I’ve moved onto Perfect, by Cecelia Ahern. IT FINALLY CAME OUT. Alice leant me the first book – Flawed – back around Christmastime, and immediately after finishing it I messaged her to ask if I could borrow the sequel mentioned at the end, and got the sorry message back that it wasn’t going to come out for another 4 months. But now it has come out, and I am reading it! Hooray! I’m about halfway through now, and I love it so far. So many twists and turns and unexpected events!

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for today, so this is where this blog post it going to end. If you have enjoyed this post please do let us know via the comments on here or our Instagram page (@writeaweek). Also, if you see any free writing tools we could try out, or have any book recommendations, or there’s something you’d like us to write about, then also let us know.

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello Again & Things to Say

Hello Readers,

It’s Alice, and I have quite a lot that I want to say, and here is where I’m going to say it:

So, school started again last week, after the christmas holidays, and it already feels like we’ve been back forever. Since it started, both April and I have been drowning in homework and tests (fun, not) and that’s my excuse for not posting as often as I’d like :s

51448-funny-quotes-about-homework

So, I wanted to tell you something reading/writing related. Just before the start of 2017 (literally a couple of days), I started writing a story, because the characters popped into my head and demanded to tell their stories. I’ve been writing quite a lot, but have been limited by the stacks of homework (ugh). Despite this, I have written almost 19,000 words and am only just getting into the story, meaning that if I finish it, which I really want to, it will probably be novel length! I have decided that my new year’s resolution is to finish a story, so hopefully there won’t be quite so many loose ends as there were last year…

The story is mainly focused around three people: Michael, who is grieving from the loss of his family, Henry, who is Michael’s god father and is looking after him now his parents have gone, hiding the secrets of his past, and Emily, who along with her own problems, is inexplicably tied to Michael mentally.

I’m really excited about developing this story, and when I have edited it (and written more), I’ll post some, if not all of it on here for you to read!

faulkner

 

Also, April and I have entered a book photography contest on our Instagram (@writeaweek), so be sure to check that out!

Also, I’ve been writing poetry – don’t groan, poetry is good! I used to hate everything to do with poetry, but now, I really love how you are in charge of everything and you don’t have to follow the regular rules. If you’ve ever got something nagging at the back of your head, or you’re feeling particularly sad or happy, or even just normal, pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write whatever comes to you, even if it is truly awful. I’ve found that it helps me focus, or get my thoughts in order, and maybe it will do the same for you?!

john-fowles-poetry-quotes-we-all-write-poems-it-is-simply-that-poets.jpg

Happy reading,

Alice x (sorry for the inactivity :/ )

Posted in Uncategorized

Acesta este un blogul în Română!!

Hei cititori!

+ Acest lucru este Alice si Aprilie aici, scriind un post pe blog comun împreună. Acum, s-ar putea să nu fie înțeles acest lucru, așa cum este scris în limba română (nu vorbesc limba română, am folosit Google Traduceți, deci scuze dacă este foarte prost scrisă română). Ne-am decis să facem acest lucru pentru că în octombrie am luat o pereche de vedere din România, așa că ne-am gândit că ar fi frumos să scrie în limba Română. (De asemenea, doar pentru a vă anunța paragrafele cu + la începutul sunt scrise de mine, Aprilie, iar paragrafele cu Directiva pentru – la început sunt scrise de Alice)

–  Alice aici – am de gând să fiu sincer cu tine, aceasta a fost ideea tot din aprilie, astfel încât să puteți mulțumesc ei dacă încă lectură, adică. Așa că hi! Mi se pare personal foarte greu să ne imaginăm că există oameni din întreaga lume (acordat un număr foarte mic, dar totuși …), care de fapt, ia timp pentru a citi ceea ce am postat. Așa că, vă mulțumesc pentru a face asta, ne face atat foarte foarte fericit 🙂

+ Da multumesc! Am luat chiar unele puncte de vedere din America o dată! Din păcate, nu putem scrie în american, deși, Google traduce nu pare să aibă această opțiune pentru un motiv oarecare…

– A fost aprilie încercând să fie amuzant … ^^^

+ Da, cuvântul cheie fiind “încercarea” xD

– Recent, noi (mai ales pe mine) nu au fost foarte active deloc, atât de rău :/ Eu promit că vor exista o mulțime de mai multe blog-uri regulate și posturi – de fapt, noi scriem o poveste cu tematică de Crăciun în ultimele câteva zile pre -christmas, scriindu-l așa cum am scrie acest lucru, de fapt. Asa ca, cu siguranta se uite pentru că unul, și va fi mult mai multe vor apărea în curând, așa cum am fost amândouă fac o mulțime de scris recent.

+ Da, ca Alice tocmai a spus, asigurați-vă că pentru a verifica unele din lucrurile interesante care le-am luat planificat. Sunt într-adevăr așteaptă cu nerăbdare să toate de el și așa ar fi foarte recunoscător dacă ați putea da o citire! 🙂

– Sper cu adevărat că acest lucru a lucrat traducerea în mod corespunzător, dar dacă nu, și pentru cititorii noștri vorbitori de limba engleza, am atașat o versiune în limba engleză de mai jos, care, gândindu-mă la asta este un pic inutil cu adevărat. Acest blog a fost ceva dintr-un proces, așa că, dacă vorbesc limba română și acest lucru are sens pentru tine, vă rugăm să ne anunțați, prin e-mail: writeaweek@gmail.com, instagram: @writeaweek, sau Tumblr: @write-a-week

Pa!

(translation below)

Continue reading “Acesta este un blogul în Română!!”