I hope May is prosperous and joyful for you! I am back on a reading kick and out of my reading funk. I think the book I was reading was part of the cause for my disinterest in reading. Life was a little hectic as well. Anyway, since I am once again obsessed with books, I was interested in writing more book posts! I have posted book tag posts previously, and I also have a couple of random posts about lessons I learned from a couple books. Some of these posts will be linked below if you missed them but are interested in viewing them:
I know kid’s books are meant for kids, but adults can enjoy reading them too! I have read all the books I mention below and recommend them to both younger and older readers.
So, let’s get started!
#1 Misty of Chincoteague (Misty series)
I haven’t read this particular book (series) in a while. However, I enjoyed the first book in the series as it is contains animal characters and is an overall cute little story about horses. These are chapter books.
#2 The 39 Clues series
This is another book I have not read in a long time, but I do think it is interesting from what I remember. It’s basically a mystery meets scavenger hunt. There are several books in the series and each book is written by a different author. I have only read the first book, but the rest are in my (super long) to-be-read list. (If you want to see what I have read and books that I have stashed in my tbr pile, click on the goodreads icon below). These books are chapter books as well. I’m not a huge fan of Rick Riordan’s writing, so I was not enjoying the writing style of the first one, but I did enjoy the content. So, I’m hoping the second book is better.
#3 Curious George
Though it has been a minute, I have read some Curious George books and this was one of my favorite books growing up! I don’t remember what I loved so much about them, but I did. I read Curious George’s First Day of School recently with a new perspective as a young adult and thought it was a good series for kids. I do think the content is more kid friendly, but young adults and adults can read them every now and then as well to familiarize themselves with the content or to re-visit a childhood favorite. These books are mostly filled with illustrations.
#4 Dr. Seuss
You may or may not have deciphered this, but any Dr. Seuss book is truly magical and written by an amazing and talented artist! I love the creativity within the stories, the characters, the comedy, and (of course) the lessons! His books, in my opinion, are engaging, funny, and educational—a great combination! Some of my favorites are One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!
#5 Nancy Drew
I loved these books in sixth grade, and I love them now! It’s a mystery series about a young woman who’s the daughter of a lawyer, and she enjoys solving mysteries. The series is written by Carolyn Keene which is actually a pen name of the various ghost writers (a fact I did not know until later). This series is a chapter book and does have some illustrations.
#6 The Hardy Boys
If you think Nancy Drew is a great series, read the Hardy boys! The Hardy Boys is a great alternative and is similar in content. However, there are two main male characters versus one female main character (along with her friends).
This is one of my all-time favorite stories! I will say I both prefer and enjoy the movie more than the book, but the book is good too. However, I will say that this book is for older children due to more mature related content (i.e. Miss Trunchball). I loved this story because there are so many lessons in it, and the main character enjoys and thrives on education and learning. In fact, I may do an entire post on this book (and movie) because I saw so many messages and lessons within this story that resonate with me.
So, those are my favorite children’s books that I recommend to both a younger and older audience! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please like this post! And, if you have any children’s book recommendations of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
I hope you had a wonderful, productive April! Welcome to May! I wanted to post some sort of motivational type post for the new month as I am personally finding myself motivated (and looking for ways to stay motivated as this tends to wane throughout the year). Instead of writing a specific number of tips for motivation inspiration, I thought it would be more fun and entertaining to post someone’s story on how he or she achieved success.
I have multiple posts such as these. If you are inspired by this type of content, give this post a like or share and click on the following links for more of this content:
In this post, I decided to highlight Benjamin Franklin. I would say he was one of the most driven people (in history)! You’ll see why down below. Let’s get started!
About Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, MA to a middle class family on January 17, 1706. At the age of 10, he became an avid reader and taught himself how to skillfully write. At the age of 12, he became an apprentice for his brother’s Boston printing company. By 16 years of age, Franklin began writing essays under the pen name Silence Dogood for a newspaper published by his brother. At 17, he left Boston and moved to Philadelphia where he garnered a position as a printer. By age 20, he visited London England and obtained employment there in the same industry.
At 24 years of age, he met Deborah Read. Read’s first husband abandoned her so, due to bigamy laws, marriage was not an option for Franklin and Read. However, they did have two children together. One boy named Francis and the other child was a girl named Sarah. Sadly, Francis died at the age of four due to smallpox. Franklin had one more son, William Franklin, but out of wedlock. William Franklin was found to be loyal to the British and moved to England after being exiled.
Franklin’s Civic Accomplishments
At the age of 22, Franklin moved back to Philadelphia and opened his own print shop business and, ultimately, became extremely successful. By 25, he became the owner and publisher of a colonial newspaper known as the Pennsylvania Gazette. Beginning in 1733 (27 years old), he created Poor Richard’s Almanac, which was another success. This almanac contained popular witty sayings such as “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” In the 1730s, Franklin’s printing business prospered, and he began to delve into civic affairs.
In addition, Benjamin Franklin played a part in establishing a library, a fire company, the American Philosophical Society (a group devoted to scholarly pursuits such as promoting useful knowledge), became the first postmaster general of the United States, and co-creating the Academy of Philadelphia among others. In addition to his accomplishments, Franklin also attempted to delve into science and, ultimately, created some new inventions.
At age 42, Franklin’s printing press became highly successful and was able to retire. Retirement allowed him a chance to pursue other interests such as focusing on public service and focusing on his interest in science. His most famous experiments and realizations that are documented relate to electricity. He invented a lightning rod, conducted a kite experiment to prove lightning was electricity, and coined a few terms including battery, charge, and conductor.
He also studied ocean currents, meteorology, causes of the common cold, refrigeration, invented a glass armonica which began trending and then later fell out of trend, created bi-focal eyeglasses for distance and reading, and created the Franklin stove which created more heat using less fuel.
As you’ve probably noticed, Benjamin Franklin is quite an accomplished individual! He used his time wisely and spent hours catering to his financial future and societal contributions through various writings such as essays by Silence Dogood and Poor Richard’s Almanac, creating a university, establishing a library, inventing bi-focal eyeglasses, creating a lightning rod, and more!
Franklin’s story is so inspiring because he achieved an abundant amount within an 80 year lifespan (or 70 years if counting from age 10 when he began to teach himself skills). Honestly, if a handful of people could achieve the amount of accomplishments he made in his lifetime, I feel the world would be a more flourishing, progressive, and compassionate place.
If you want to read more about his journey, click the following links:
I hope you are having a fantastic April and achieving success in your endeavors (whether it be working toward an entrepreneur goal or simply decluttering your space)! I was originally wanting to create a post for each room, but I thought the information would be a little lacking as you can declutter each similarly. With this, I decided to wrap it up neatly in one single post. So, this will be the last spring cleaning related post. I don’t plan on writing more posts like this as I do feel the internet is saturated with this type of content. If you do enjoy this content, give it a “like” so I know what type of posts you are enjoying and feel free to leave some suggestions in the comments below.
If you want to view the last two declutter posts, click here and here. And, if you want to see some old posts in regards to decluttering click the following titles below:
Declutter everything in the closet. Go through all of your shelves, drawers, and clothes resting on hangers. Next, skim through any other space such as nightstand drawer/s (if your nightstand has one), check under the bed, jewelry cases, dresser drawers, and so forth. Also, glance around and check your walls and counter space. Anything you no longer use or want? Click here for more detailed info on decluttering your space.
Conduct a quick sweeping glance of this space including shower space, floor, medicine cabinets, counter space, cabinetry underneath the sink, and so forth. You could also go by category such as hair care products, makeup, first aid kit/medicine (has anything expired?), cleaning supplies, and so on. Toss what you no longer use and/or expired items. For the stuff you do keep, develop ways to organize everything for quicker and easier access.
Give this room a sweeping skim as well. Do you have more lamps than you use or need? Do you need a huge entertainment center? Do you have several knick knacks you’re tired of dusting resting on this entertainment center (or other shelving in the room)? Do you need an oversized couch that’s filling up the room or will a couple of chairs and ottomans grant more room while still providing seating? Do you watch TV enough to keep it? Anything else you feel needs discarding?
This room may take a little more than a sweeping glance, but you can clean it out in a simple manner. Check all the cabinetry and drawers. How many plates and utensils do you need? Anything in the fridge or freezer that needs tossing? Do you need a smaller dining table, fewer chairs, or something else? Any other space you need to declutter or check?
Be sure to check the random hall closets or entryways as well if you have them in your living quarters. Can you sell or donate some shoes or recycle old keys you no longer use? Are there any coats or jackets hanging on the wall you rarely use? Toss what is no longer needed or rarely used.
This was a quick post, but I hope it was helpful! How did you spring clean this season? What spring cleaning/minimal tips do you have or implement in your own space?
I hope April is proving fruitful for you this year! And, I hope your spring cleaning is coming along nicely! If you missed my previous spring cleaning (social media accounts) post, click here. As I mentioned in the previous post, I normally don’t post this type of content because I feel there is already a ton of de-cluttering and organization ideas out there via Youtube videos and blogs, but this year I have felt extra motivated and inspired to get my life together and decided to share my process with you this time.
If you do enjoy this content and want more organization and decluttering ideas, click the links below:
If you want to discover some organization techniques for decluttering technology, continue reading!
Tip #1– Declutter/Delete Apps
Scroll through your phone apps and see which ones you still want to keep and which ones you want to delete. I recommend deleting apps that no longer serve you on your journey and ones you rarely (or never) use. For instance, if you downloaded a budgeting app but rarely use it for its purpose, then discard it and decide a more effective method of budgeting whether its pen and paper, a simple digital document format, a notebook, or another medium.
For some apps containing a memo or notepad layout for notes, scroll through all notes and delete what you don’t need. If you want to save them, transfer these notes to a digital document of your choice or write it down if this method is preferred. Make sure you are organizing these notes correctly the first time (and in the most preferred format such as digital or paper) so you won’t find yourself having to re-organize these notes later.
Tips #2–Re-organize Apps
Assess all the apps you did keep and decide how you want to organize them. I recommend placing the most used apps on the first and second page if possible. Another option is grouping all social media apps together, all business related apps together, and so forth.
Scroll through your contacts and delete random numbers you don’t know or use and contacts you longer need.
Tip #1–SD Cards & Flash Drives
Declutter all files and folders and delete what you do not need. Reorganize the files that are left into folders with the most appropriate title that describes all files within that folder.
One other organization option is to transfer everything to either an SD card, flash drive, or terabyte device. And, if you do the last option presented, be cognizant of the allotted limit (e.g. 4 GB SD card vs 64 GB SD card).
Tip #2–Home screen
If you save links to your laptop’s home screen, delete the ones you no longer read or need to keep for one reason or another. This will eliminate clutter from your mind as well as your visual when looking at your laptop. Mark tasks off your “to do” list by deleting links you no longer reference. If you still want to save the link but don’t want it on your home screen, bookmark it. (This leads me to my next tip).
If you bookmark website pages, then visit the list of “bookmarks” you made and clean out what you no longer need to keep. Similarly to the same concept mentioned in Home screen above, delete unnecessary clutter from your “to do” list by deleting links you no longer need to reference when working on a school project, gathering information for an application, or something else.
Once you have determined which links needed deleting and which ones you needed to keep, organize them into different folders by creating new folders for each category. (Keep in mind, laptops do not last forever. So, if this is something you experience, be sure to have a back-up of the links you need such as saving them all on one Word document, for instance.)
Scroll through your downloads if you download several documents, pictures, and so on.
Tip #5-Delete Apps
Laptops also contain apps these days, so delete any apps you no longer use or never have used on your laptop such as various games, planner apps, and so forth.
Tip #1–Declutter all Tangible Tech Items
Finally, sift through all of your tech items (i.e. phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc.) and sell or donate what you no longer use, tech items that are out of date, and so on.
I hope you found this information useful! What other ways do you use to declutter your technology? Did any of these tips help you? If so, which one helped you the most?
I hope you are enjoying the spring season so far! I’m excited for some warmer weather. How about you? I think most “spring cleaning” posts and videos are published in March, but I was busy with other things. So, I’m decluttering in April rather than March this year. Normally, I don’t post this type of content because I feel there is already a ton of de-cluttering and organization ideas out there via Youtube videos and blogs, but this year I have felt extra motivated and inspired to get my life together. I’m not sure how many decluttering posts I will end up sharing on my blog at this point, but I hope you enjoy each one and hope you find some useful information!
Also, I just wanted to mention that I have been doing my rounds on all the blogs I’m subscribed. I was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of blog posts coming to my email, so I created a simple, easy system to ensure I read others’ posts and practice more engagement such as liking or commenting on others’ post. If I haven’t “liked” or “commented” in a while, I’m trying to read a specific amount of blogs per day to catch up. So, I’m still making my rounds and will eventually get around to your post(s) if I haven’t already.
And, if you want to view more of this content, I have posts from a few years ago linked below:
With that said, I will list some ideas that I have created to assist me in my decluttering journey down below. I’m actually using these tips while I’m currently decluttering, and I’m sharing them with you so you can spring clean with me and organize your life too!
Let’s get started!
Tip #1–Declutter/Delete Boards
Ideally, it would be helpful to keep a low amount of boards in your Pinterest and a minimal amount of pins in those boards. This will make spring cleaning a swift chore as there will be less to declutter. However, it’s easy to quickly pin something to your board, ultimately, accumulating hundreds of pins.
So, declutter each board whether you have 5 pins or 100 pins. You may decide to move some pins to another board, or you may delete some boards all together. Also, make a mental note that you can private some boards if you prefer. For instance, if you have a business Pinterest account but want to create boards for your personal that are not in your “niche,” then you can “hide” some boards by making them private and reveal the boards you want your audience to see. This will make your overall Pinterest (business) account look more polished.
Personally, I decluttered several boards and did delete a few. I am also trying to keep fewer pins in each board. However, there is a lot of information I want to share in some categories, so some boards will have more pins (and links) than others.
Tip #2–Rename/Re-organize Boards
After decluttering some boards, you may want to keep a few pins that no longer fit the name of the board. In lieu of creating an entirely new board for the re-organization makeover you’re giving your Pinterest account, rename the current one instead. This will also save you some time.
Personally, I also decided to rename one or two of my boards and kept a few pins but overall dwindled down the amount of pins and boards I have in my Pinterest account.
Tip #3–Combine Pins and Boards
If you have 8 shoe pins, for example, and 6 bathing suit pins for “inspo,” then you can combine the pins and boards into one. (Examples: Summer Fashion Inspo or Shoes/Bathing Suits). However, if you plan on pinning countless pins to a particular board, then keep them separate. Otherwise, it will be difficult to refer back to the 8 shoe pins swimming in a pool of 100 bathing suit pins.
Personally, I did this with at least one of my boards. I combined travel and culture for one board because I don’t want to just travel. I want to experience the cultural aspects of travelling too. So, for me, it made more sense to combine the two topics. This also differentiates my board from other “Travel” boards.
Tip #4–Check Links
Browse through all pins in each board and click on the link. You will want to delete the pins with broken links. You may also want to delete pins that are no longer aesthetically appealing or outdated.
Personally, I had to delete several pins that were old and had broken links. I also deleted some that were not in the correct board, and I deleted others that were no longer serving any purpose within each board.
Tip #5–What is Your Purpose on Pinterest?
In other words, don’t just create a bunch of boards because you are obsessed with pinning and obsessed with trying to organize every single aspect of your life. Consider the following questions:
How often will you actually refer to the ____ board? (Ask this question for each board. If you created a Photography board, for instance, will you refer back to it on a frequent basis for xyz reason or not)?
Does the _____ category/board interest you anymore? (For example, if you were into fashion when you started your Pinterest account but gradually changed your perspective on fashion, you may want to limit the amount of boards related to this category or delete them all together if this topic truly no longer interests you).
Do you need a board for _______? (For instance, if you have a notebook or index card holder full of recipes, do you really need a Pinterest board for the same thing? Will you refer back to your handwritten recipes in the notebook or index cards, or will you be more likely to refer to your recipe board and pins on Pinterest?)
What is your purpose for using Pinterest and creating Pinterest boards? (Why did you create a Pinterest account? To organize your financial information? To organize your wardrobe? Recipe ideas? Educational information about college or something else related to education? Travel destinations? Organization ideas? Something else? What is your goal on Pinterest?)
Personally, I mainly use Pinterest for various categories from my blog as well as additional information gathered from other pins within the same topics. Sometimes I will pin other pins to a specific board if the information is valid, useful, interesting, and relevant for each category.
Tip #1–Delete Unused Pages/Posts
If you have several “Public Figure” Facebook pages, delete the ones you no longer need for your business, brand, or other use. You could also go through your personal Facebook account as well as your “Public Figure” Facebook page and delete old posts that no longer serve your business or your personal account. If you are not using Facebook often for business or personal, then delete one (or both). Use alternative platforms to connect with friends or just chat via phone call, text, or video chat (FaceTime-iphone, Google Duo-Android) if Facebook is not your thing.
Personally, my business Facebook account is fairly new as its approaching the one and a half year mark, so all I had to do this year was delete a few posts and determine what type of content I do want to post on this social media platform.
Tip #2–Rename/Re-organize Page
If you do have a Facebook page and still want to keep it, consider renaming your page or starting over by creating a fresh, new “Public Figure” page. Re-organize some of your thoughts and content you are interested in publishing. You could do something similar for your personal Facebook account. Do you want to use Facebook for posting, staying in touch with others, or something else? Use each social media account you have intentionally including Facebook. Use the platform as you originally intended. Do not get side-tracked.
Personally, I decided what content I wanted to share on this platform (which is always linked below). I have shared some blog posts as well as interesting articles regarding animal related posts and writing advice thus far.
Tip #3–Delete FB Friends
This sounds a bit harsh, but sometimes people just add random “Facebook Friends” they don’t know personally on their personal Facebook account. So, delete those Facebook friends that do not serve you, support you, share educational, self-improvement, or inspirational information, and so forth.
Tip #1–Delete Posts
Scroll through all of your posts and decide which posts you want to delete whether it is an account for the public or your personal, private account. Also, consider what posts you have been sharing on this platform versus what posts you want to start sharing on this platform. Does the content stay the same or align with what you currently have on your Instagram account?
Personally, I make it a periodic task to scroll through and delete posts that no longer need to be on my Instagram page. I also delete posts that are not in line with the type of content and message(s) I want to share. So, I do this rather frequently throughout the year, and I recommend the same to you. To keep this “spring cleaning chore” timely, do not post several pictures per day. Keep your posts minimal. This will keep your Instagram decluttering minimal as well (which will be a huge time saver).
Tip #2–Delete Instagram or Use it Intentionally
If you find you are wasting too much time on this platform and you are no longer using this platform intentionally, delete your account. If you are unable to determine how to use it or you feel you no longer need a business or personal Instagram account, then delete your account. Erase Usernames and Passwords you no longer need. You have enough of these in your life as it is.
Personally, I only have one Instagram account, and this is currently all I need. As I mentioned above, I frequently “spring clean” my content to ensure consistency in what I share on this platform. Keep in mind that subscribing and following multiple people on multiple platforms can clutter your mind as well.
Tip #1–Declutter Content
Continuing with the same theme, if you have random videos on your Youtube channel that do not pertain to your overall niche(s), then delete those. If you are subscribed to multiple people, declutter this as well. Do this with every other social media platform I have listed. If you are re-branding your channel and want to change your content, delete what will not fit your new niche(s).
Tip #2–Polish & Update Each Video
I recommend making an aesthetically appealing, eye-catching thumbnail for each video both old and new ones. This will display a more consistent and fresh look to the overall look of your Youtube channel. If you want to re-upload the video with a new intro or outro to keep it new, organized, and polished, then do this as well if you have some extra time.
Personally, I don’t have an active Youtube Channel, but I may start one in the future. We’ll see! So, I did not have anything to organize on this platform other than eliminating some subscriptions.
Tip #1–Organize Books
If you want to keep your Goodreads account more organized, separate your books into different categories, or “shelves.” You can also check your tbr list to see if you want to delete some books you are no longer interested after reading the summary or watching reviews. You could also spice up your profile by adding more or taking out information in the “About You” section or other areas of your profile.
Personally, I am still continuing to organize my books (because I have an absurd amount in my tbr pile). Before starting the organization process, I recommend thinking about all the categories you will want to use to get a general idea. This will take some time if you have thousands of books in your tbr pile, so set a measurable, realistic goal. For instance, set aside a certain amount of time per day or a certain amount of books per day if you have an overwhelming number. Also, I noticed some books in my tbr were duplicated. I also discovered a few books were added to my tbr list by accident such as a few short stories (1.5, 2.5, etc.) accompanying some series I want to read.
I also recommend straying away from broad categorizations such as YA Fiction and Adult Fiction. You may have a hundreds of books (or thousands) per category. Instead, it’s more organized if you have fewer books per category. This makes the books easier to find if you are searching for a new book to read. Of course, it depends on how you intend on using your “Bookshelves.” Categories such as Werewolves, Witches, Children’s Books, Animals, and so forth may be a better option to narrow down the books per category. You could also categorize by author.
Tip #1–Declutter Posts/Delete Account
As mentioned above for other platforms, delete posts you no longer want on your Twitter account. You could change up some aesthetics, delete some accounts you are following, or you could delete your Twitter account all together if you have no use for Twitter.
Personally, I haven’t done much with my Twitter account until recently, so I have not had much to declutter on this platform. I mainly post (or share) blog posts, quotes, and videos of animals as of right now.
I hope you found these tips helpful! I do not have a Snapchat nor do I have a Tik Tok as I have no use for these platforms. I feel I already have enough platforms as it is! So, if you do have these platforms, feel free to list some organization tips down below! How do you organize your Pinterest account/boards/pins? What types of pins do you prefer pinning? Any tips on how to organize other social media platforms? If you could only use one platform, which one would it be?
I hope March is filling your life with abundance! Since last year blindsided many people and their plans on achieving their goals, this year is seen as the year of action, especially as the months continue forward. Before 2020, I worked various jobs and continued searching for a good side hustle to pull me out of the “hamster wheel” cycle of life. I also contemplated various business ideas. However, I shot down every idea I created based on one reason or another. After my experiences last year and learning that I need to live life to the fullest and say yes rather than saying no and stop rationalizing why I should not do something and start rationalizing why I should do something because nothing will happen if I do just that…nothing.
This realization enlightened me and gave me a new, positive outlook on life, especially my financial life. I feel many of us rationalize why we should not take care of ourselves, why we should not start our dream business, start a blog, or something else. Instead, we should list reasons why we should do it. It’s easy to justify our way out of something and more difficult to jump into something that poses questions, fear, uncertainty, and the unknown. Below, I have listed ways as to how you can stay motivated and talk yourself into working on your goals now!
WHY START NOW?
When are you really going to start on your goals? When life becomes less chaotic? When you’re finished with your high school diploma or college degree? Next weekend? Or maybe around the holidays when you have more vacation time?
Well, does it really happen when you plan? Life is a constant game of dodge ball. I’ve learned there are always obstacles thrown in your way which means there is no “perfect” time. There is no better time to start than now. Otherwise, you’ll talk yourself right out of your idea and, ultimately, your dream life (while still spinning on that hamster wheel).
LIST REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD
You can obviously list a millions reasons why you should not start a business, a side hustle, or something else. But, can you list all of the reasons why you should start that goal you’ve had on your bucket list forever? If the list of reasons why you should begin is longer than the list of reasons why you should discard the idea, then maybe you should at least give it a try (now). Procrastination is never productive.
Visualizing is a fun manifestation activity but seeing the visual come to fruition is even more exciting! It’s frustrating to see ideas only in your head. Share them with the world! But, you can’t do this if you don’t start somewhere. It will take more time than you think to accomplish your goal. For instance, if you want to write a book, start researching about how to publish a book, who can publish your book, how to set up your book, and so on. So, begin with something small to gain momentum. If you are looking for a condensed, basic guideline on how to write a book, then click here.
Thinking about the end result should be motivation enough to achieve the goals you have on your list. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you put all your time and effort into something that is making even the most minute difference in the world and in people’s lives. And, if you can live your dream life while achieving your goals, what could be better and more motivating than that?
I’m hopeful you found this post motivational and inspiring! Did you find any of these tips helpful or inspiring? If so, which one(s)? What tips do you have to stay motivated and achieve goals? Thank you for reading!
Guideline on Writing a Book from Start to Finish (& I Published a Poem Book!)
Greetings Everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful March! For me, March has been quite a rollercoaster of a month! It has also been going rather quickly as I have been extremely busy this month putting the finishing touches on poem book and going through a learning process to publish it! Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s called CHECK: A Collection of Poems. CHECK is an acronym and encompasses five categories—compassion, honor, empathy, character, and kindness. The topic for this poem book was partly based on some blog posts I wrote a couple years ago. Click the following titles if you want to view those:
If you want to read more about how the content for this poem book came to fruition, you can read the preface and intro of my book. You should be able to view it for free on Amazon by clicking the book cover photo or by viewing a sample (click here). I began writing this poem book at the end of summer in 2019 and finally finished the editing process and publishing process this month! I published this written work as an eBook and may publish it in paperback later on. If you have any comments/opinions or suggestions on this, please leave them in the comments below! I would appreciate the feedback!
In addition to sharing this big news, I decided to share some basic steps you need to take to publish your book from start to finish. It’s easy to post in a list of passive income options “write a book,” but there are steps involved. So, how do you actually do this? There are more steps than I originally thought. So, I wanted to share a basic guideline and hope it helps you on your self-publishing journey. Since I used KDP on Amazon for my self-publishing needs, I have more experience with this and the publishing process I explain at the end will definitely help you through the publishing process with KDP. However, you can self-publish through another company. I’ll cover this in another post. The basic guideline for writing a book and getting through the publishing process is listed below:
What to Write
By this, I mean what type of book do you want to write? A poem book? A novel? A self-help book? Determine what you want to share with the world and stay with this focus. In making this decision, you could also consider other factors such as the length of time each genre will take to be written (e.g. novels take more extensive time to write and finish rather than a poem book) and in the best genre for your message.
This can mean many things. First, categorize your thoughts into titles, chapters, sections, or some other way. If you are writing a novel, an outline might be useful. Second, begin writing a rough draft. Aside from the story, there are other parts to a book you must consider writing. And, some authors just start writing and allows the storyline and characters to tell the story.
In addition to writing the poems or story, you may want to write a preface, intro, or both. If you are self-publishing, be sure to include a copyrights page. You may also want to insert a dedication page as well.
Other writings to consider for the back portion of the book include Acknowledgements and an About the Author if you want to include a short paragraph describing yourself. This is usually included as the last page or on the back of the book if you are self-publishing.
If you are self-publishing, this is an important step in the pre-publishing process. It is also the most tedious and most time consuming! Honestly, this is my least favorite part of this process, but it is an important aspect. Formatting ensures images will not bleed, text will not be cut off due to inaccurately sized margins, large gaps will not show within the text (chapters), and so on. If you are self-publishing, read all material provided by the self-publishing company on how to format and watch tons of Youtube videos to ensure you are formatting everything and doing it correctly. Note: eBooks and Paperback books are formatted differently. I’ll leave a few links below of Youtube channels I found helpful in my formatting process:
One last aspect to consider before self-publishing your book is the book cover. You can design the front and back, but I just designed the front since it was an eBook. You can use Amazon’s Cover Creator tool, you can use an alternative website or software, or you can hire someone to create it for you. If you decide to create it yourself, give it some thought and create several templates and compare each one to decipher which one is best for you and which one best matches your content.
Preview & Publish
Once you have finished writing the book, added a cover page housing the title, added additional pages such as front and back matter, and finished formatting, all that’s left is to publish your book! If you are publishing your book via Amazon, you will have to sign up for a separate KDP account (in addition to your regular Amazon account) then upload your manuscript to your bookshelf. After this is done, add a book cover, preview your book, and hit the publish button if no necessary changes or editing is needed.
This is a basic guideline. There are other components to writing a book as well, especially if you are writing a novel. Writing style would be something else to consider for this type of book, for example. Writing the content and formatting the entire book are the most time consuming parts of self-publishing. Anyway, I hope this post gave you some helpful insight into the process of writing a book, and I hope you found it useful! Have you published a book? Are you planning to publish a book? Is there something else to consider when publishing a book? I appreciate your support!
Discovering and Organizing Your Passion through the Ikigai Concept
I hope you are continuing to have a fantastic month! I have been trying to follow one of my own concepts in regards to achieving my goals. If you want to organize your life in a way that will help you live your passion, click here. In a way, this post will be an extension of the post I just linked.
While spontaneity is sometimes helpful and fun, planning and prepping is what makes real progress and eliminates procrastination. It’s difficult to achieve accomplishments by hastily jumping into your goal. When you’re in high school “you have all the time in the world,” but then graduation happens…and then what? So, it’s good to have some sort of idea and plan in place to act as a safety net. It’s better to stay ahead than to lag behind.
Anyway, you know finding a passion is important, but how do you begin deciphering your true passion(s)? An easy, concise way to do this is using the Ikigai concept. This was created by the Japanese culture. Ikigai loosely means the reason why you get up in the morning.
“Every person, it is believed, has an ikigai that they must search for. The search is long and deeply personal, but once your ikigai is found, it is what you devote your life to. It is your calling, your one true purpose.”
If you want to see the diagram, click here. And, if you want to know a little more about the diagram, click here. For the remainder of this post, I will discuss each topic and explain and illustrate how each one interlinks with one another down below:
What You Love
This category consists of two subcategories—passion and mission. According to Merriam Webster, passion is a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. And, according to the same source, mission means a task that is regarded as a very important duty.
This section prompts you to choose something you love to hone in on your passions. You can love many career fields but there are fewer passions within that pool of career fields that you find fun and interesting. What do you love and what do you feel called to do? For example, do you love living an eco-friendly lifestyle? Do you feel called to advocate this lifestyle through planting gardens, intentionally purchasing eco-friendly products, both, or something else?
What the World Needs
Branching off of the mission side first, consider taking what you love and turning it into something that the world needs. This category consists of two subcategories—mission and vocation. The definition for mission is above. According to Merriam Webster, vocation is a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action.
So, mission and vocation seem to go hand in hand when determining your purpose in life. This section prompts you to choose something you feel will help yourself and the world. What is something you love that provokes and sparks “a strong inclination” to initiate or correct something? I’m sure many conversations begin the question: What the world needs is more/less…?
What You are Good at
Branching off of the passion side, consider what you love, what the world needs, and your talent or skill. There are several definitions for profession. However, I will only list one definition for the purpose of this post. According to Merriam Webster, profession is a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive and intensive academic preparation. This section prompts you to feel where you are intuitively being pulled to take action and make change.
And, for this particular consideration, know that you can practice something you love and gain skill. You don’t necessarily have to be born with the talent/skill. Time and effort put into a passion will pay off. So, don’t feel limited based on this mentality. Remember that anything is possible.
What You Can be Paid for
This section prompts you determine how you can turn your passion, mission, vocation, and profession into income. How can you be paid for you passion, mission, vocation, and profession? How can you turn your passion into something the world needs and get paid for it? Everyone has their own variables in determining this such as the amount of money you can use to begin your journey, your field of choice, the business model set up, and so on.
Keep in mind that the sky is the limit. There are some odd, unknown jobs that very few people even know about! And, there are ways to make money with the most artsy or (narrowed) niche career fields. If you want to know more about potential jobs you can obtain through various degrees, click here. This link is also in my College Pinterest Board if you want to pin it to one of your boards for a quick and easy referral. And, if you are curious and want to learn more about your chosen interest, check the Outlook Occupational Handbook.
Consider these questions:
What You Love
What the World Needs
What You Are Good At
What You Can Be Paid For
Consider these terms:
Consider this a Sudoku puzzle. (Fun Fact: Sudoku’s origin is also Japan). Make sure no circle is neglected. If you the world needs another accountant and it is something you are good at and a service that you can offer and receive a decent living but it is not your passion, this will, ultimately, not work. Your purpose should fulfill all circles. Other notes to consider include spending too much time on something, spreading your time on multiple options, and doing little. Try answering each circle with 3 to 5 answers per circle. From there, try to determine which ones fulfill each circle the most. (Note:You may find all three or five answers fit each circle. However, organize your schedule to make time for each passion.)
I hope you found this post interesting and helpful! What career field answers all circles for you? Do you think there is something else to consider? Any other tips? Also, if you want to go ahead and pin that link to your board and discover what opportunities various majors will open, click the icon below.
7 Majors to Consider for a Secure Financial Future
I hope you are having a wonderful March! I’m sure many are trying to financially recover from last year’s catastrophe. In scrambling to get organized and figure out how to make a living, I assume priorities are shifting, careers are changing, and ideas are swimming. What can I do to make more money? I think one route that has been taken is learning a new skill whether through an informal online course or possibly going back to school and getting a degree. If you are an adult who lost an established position, a high school student jumping into college, or a college student still deciding on a major, then continue reading to discover seven majors that you can obtain for a more financial future!
As a side note before getting started, I wanted to mention that there are countless other ways to secure a healthy financial future such as becoming a nurse, doctor, or lawyer, for example. However, I wanted to stray away from obvious options as these are not for everyone (and I’m sure everyone knows these options). I was also seeking more flexible majors because a medical degree, for instance, does not open a variety of doors, only a select few within this niche.
Let’s get started!
This major is not a popular favorite, but it is helpful in understanding numbers and they work. A math degree can give you a competitive edge because, like I said, it’s not a favorite among the crowd! This will give you more leverage and you will be in more demand, especially as a teacher. If you want to gain a new perspective on this subject, click here. Essentially, this degree will help you open some available options, will secure a career, and will supplement your knowledge of personal finances (and/or business finances). After all, personal finance (business finance) requires some math!
Keeping with the same theme of personal finances, Accounting is a great major for those needing some knowledge in this area. This major can also help secure a position in careers within the finance industry including taxes, business advisory services, investment banking, commercial banking, and more. If you want to know more about this major (or any major listed here), search for schools that interest you, and read the degree description. Some universities will differ in what they offer. For instance, some schools offer Accounting but not Finance, and some schools offer both so do some research and determine which one you think is best for you.
Continuing forward with a personal finance theme of majors, consider Finance as your next (or first) major. Some universities only offer an Accounting major but others offer a Finance major in addition. There isn’t much difference between the two it seems. Although, the requirements and available coursework will vary from university to university. Check each college that interests you and see what they offer.
The next gradient on the finance spectrum is an Economics major. This major helps you understand finance on a personal, business, and government level. According to North Carolina State University, “Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, and governmental units manage resources.” If you want to know more about economics, click here.
Moving away from the finance field to create a few more (diverse) options, Computer Science would be a good major to consider as technology is progressing rather quickly, so there should always be an open tech related position. This major can help you build contacts and network within the technology industry, and it can also keep you up-to-date with technology as well.
If you are not into majors with a heavy math or science concentration, a good general degree to obtain would be a Business degree. If you want to know more about the financial aspect, I recommend Economics or Accounting. Overall, this general degree in business will help you learn more about various business models, organization structure, and more. According to North Carolina State University, “Business Administration” refers to the activities involved in running, or administering, a business or other similar organization.” Some universities will offer one or more specific concentrations so be cognizant of this when researching business degrees. Click here to view an example.
If you find business requiring too many math or science courses to obtain the degree as well, consider a linguistics major. If you pose a bilingual (or maybe trilingual) skill to a future employer, then you will have a more competitive edge. Be aware that some universities may classify Linguistics as a concentration (within the English major, for example). If you want to learn more about Linguistics as a major, click here to discover what one school offers and get an idea of how Linguistics (as a major) is structured. It will also open more doors for a potential position, an entrepreneur endeavor, or a digital nomad. If you want to know the best degrees for digital nomad gigs, click here.
I hope you found this post helpful! I tried to list a variety of options but also keep finance as the main focus. What other degrees should be considered for a secure financial future? And, what other ways would you suggest in securing a good financial future? Where are you on your schooling journey? Are you thinking about getting a second major or do you have a different goal?
3 Books I Enjoyed (but would not put on my bookshelf)
I hope you are off to a productive start for the beginning of March! Personally, I am working on trying to get organized for the rest of the year to ensure I’m staying ahead rather than lagging behind (in the most important areas of life). As my reading list continues growing, my haste in trying to read as many books as possible to catch up is also increasing! So, I’ve had my mind on books consistently within the last few months.
As I mentioned in a favorites post from last year, I’ve been utilizing the digital library I found online. However, I have been feeling an urge to read physical books (as I prefer reading physical books over ebooks). I would love to buy the books and read the physical version, but I realized this last year that I don’t want to buy books that I may not like. I want to support authors, but I also want to make sure I keep my space somewhat minimal. So, I decided to read books from the library that are on my list then decide whether they are good enough to purchase and have a spot reserved on my bookshelf. (If you want to read more on library versus buying topic, this post was an interesting read.)
While watching book haul videos and browsing through my read list to see what I’ve read, I remember really enjoying some of those books. Though, some were not enjoyable enough to place on my bookshelves. (Note: If you don’t think a book is good enough to place on your bookshelf but you enjoy the author and want to support him or her, then purchase the ebook version. This will help keep your purchase and space minimal.) If you interested in knowing which 3 books I enjoyed but would not put on my bookshelf, my list is below:
I did have some expectations going into this first book. I usually do not read the synopsis of a book because I prefer jumping right into it with little to know expectations or brief understanding of the plot. The cover of Envy by Gregg Olsen activated my imagination, so I had already semi-built a world and plot to the book that was not even close to its actual topic! For example, I thought the story would involve ghosts and ghostly activities, but it did not. However, I do think it’s worth reading because it does cover an important topic. I did enjoy one part in particular that I felt was unique and not prevalent in many books. It is a spoiler so I can’t share this in detail. Overall, I definitely recommend reading this book at least once.
Another book I enjoyed was Betrayal by Gregg Olsen. However, it was not as interesting as I had imagined. As with his first book in this Empty Coffin duology, I had semi-built a story about what this book would cover, but the story I created versus the actual content of the book differed. Although, I do feel this is an interesting book to read, and I recommend reading more about the origin of this book after you finish the novel if you are interested in knowing more about Gregg Olsen and the origin of this book’s content. I think my issue with his books is the content can’t quite match my creation of the story nor can the content match the book cover, but I did enjoy his pleasant writing style.
The last book I have read so far that I found entertaining but not worth placing on my bookshelf is Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I did have a brief overview of what this book encompassed. However, it didn’t quite meet my expectation. I was expecting more pretentious and ditzy dialogue to add small segments of humor throughout the book that would make me fall on the floor laughing, but the dialogue and the story line did not quite meet my humor expectations as well. However, I do think it’s worth at least one read, and you may find yourself laughing, maybe more than I did. So, if you want to rent this book or buy the ebook version, I recommend doing so and giving it a try because it was entertaining.
As you can see, I’m a little behind! These books were published several years ago, but I’m sure some of you have not reached these books on your to-be-read (tbr) list yet. I hope this helps you when choosing which book you read and which ones to purchase or rent to save you a little money! I hope you enjoyed this post! And, if you have any book post suggestions or posts of any topic you would like to see, leave them in the comments below! Thank you for reading this post! I appreciate your support!