Book Review: A Noble Path by I. L. Crus (Book 2)

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all having a wonderful week, and that you are staying safe with this Virus. Today, I’m excited to be part of a blog tour for A Noble’s Path, a wonderful Fantasy novel by I. L. Cruz.

Author: I. L. Crus
Series: The enchanted Isles
Pages: 216
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: January 31st, 2020
Publisher: Bosky Flame Press

Blog Tour, Coffee n' Notes

Blurb

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

Review
5 Stars

Wow, just wow!

What a difference, this book was such a wonderful surprise to read. There were still some bits here and there, but none of that made the story nor the characters feel less fun or real to me.

I love Fantasy books since I was a child, so reading the second book just after finishing the first was a great comparison and I just loved the second book.

Here we continue with Inez’s adventures and I loved the obstacles kept piling up on Inez as she tried to achieve her goals. I think that is the main reason I connected more with the second book. It’s just like life, the are many obstacles in our way and more so than not, we can’t reach our dreams and goals very easily.

I also loved that the main character did learn things she needed to learn through those problems and obstacles, that made her more relatable even if it’s in a Fantasy world.

Inez is a mage, who tries to learn how to use and hide her magic better while being assigned to community service for a past recklessness. Inez is such a great character, from the start and from the first few chapters, I just wanted to know more about her. I loved that the author showed us (the readers) the fears Inez had to overcome.

Zavier, and Inez’s love interest. is a very smooth, loyal and smart prince but not a dush, Zavier is always there for Inez with support and kindness.

The other characters, not just the main character grew and developed throughout the story and it made me feel more connected to them. Especially compared to the first book, in this book the author did learn from the first one and the characters are very well developed and so is the world. The adventures and obstacles are just like in our lives, we need to overcome so we can grow and achieve what we want.

Overall this book was amazing to read and I can’t wait for the next one. I want to know more, see more and go through more adventures.
I do recommend this series to everyone who likes Fantasy with great and real characters. I am sure you’re going to love it.

You can find the book over at:

Goodreads / Amazon

 

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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*** I received the first book and the second book from the author for the blog tour reviews, for an honest review 🙂

Guest Post: How to Stay Sane While Writing By I.L. Cruz

Writing is a funny profession. I spend most of my time with different voices in my head or trying to understand intangibles like motivation, arcs, and dimensions. I don’t always understand it and the only rule that is absolute is “don’t be boring”. Those are the bullet points everyone talks about and I was prepared for.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how lonely writing can be. I spend a lot of time in my head, on a page or at a screen. When I have a real breakthrough after tackling a particularly sticky plot point, it’s a quiet victory. When I discover, to my horror, that the character I thought was integral to my story isn’t and have to slash pages and pages of hard work, it’s a solitary bereavement. And the day to day work of writing a chapter or editing a section can’t be shared with an officemate when your office is your home. The dog is silently non-committal.

It was only when I truly embraced the writing community in the blogosphere and on Twitter that I felt a little of that isolation was lifted. I have family and friends, but this was my tribe. And it never would have happened unless I got a piece of advice I hated.

Early on in my writing career, I was told by an agent I hoped would represent me that I needed an online presence. I loathed the idea of creating a Facebook profile, participating in Twitter or writing a blog. I’m a strange contradiction—a private extrovert. What could I put out there that wasn’t personal? How else did people gain followers if they weren’t willing to share everything from their breakfast order to the antics of a pet? I needed something I could write about those people—readers—would enjoy and I did, too.

Fairy tales were the natural extension of my writing, which was based on Mother Goose characters. I wanted to write about the relevancy (or lack thereof) of fairy tales in our modern lives. At first, it was a chore, but it came with an unexpected gain. I found readers and other writers. Explaining how I found the perfect twist to a plot in order to move my story along to family and friends who smiled and nodded but didn’t understand, I could share with other writers in similar situations.

If I had any advice to give new writers it’s to always write the story you’d like to see before you start editing and worrying about other people. But if I could give them a second piece of advice it would be to reach out to the writing community and share this weird and wonderful profession with people who get it.

I.L.Crus Bio

Author I.L. Cruz, Guest Post, Coffee n' Notes

I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008.

Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.

You can find her:

On Twitter @ILCruzWrites

On Goodreads I. L. Cruz

Her blog, Fairytale Feminista at https://fairytalefeminista.wordpress.com

Her website www.booksbyilcruz.com

And you can find her latest book on Amazon 

Coffee n' Notes, Blog Tour

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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A Little Update

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a great day ❤

Due to recent events and my mom’s cancer is back and she will need to undergo treatments again. I will take a break from the blog for a few weeks that will start after the 18th this month.

I don’t know for how long and I do hope not too long, but I need to be with her as much as I can and I won’t be able to complete all the things I want and need.

I will continue to read your posts and from time to time I will update you on what’s going on and everything else and if you want a more frequent update you can follow me on my Instagram where I post more in the story of my daily life. I don’t know about the podcast yet but I hope I will be able to continue with it as usual or maybe I will upload every two weeks (don’t know yet).

So to sum up a bit, I will take my break from posting here from the 18th until at least 2-3 weeks (for now).

Thank you so much for your love and support ❤

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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How to Write Memorable and Believable Characters

Hey everyone, I hope you are having a great day ❤

I wanted to share with you my latest episode on how to write amazing and unforgettable characters, and I also share what resources I use and how I create a character that will be remembered.

 

 

For me when creating a character I think of all the things that make great characters or characters that are still remembered even if one hasn’t seen them in a movie or read about them.

So keep listening and I hope these character profiles will help you as well, as much as it helps me.

Creating a character, Coffee n' Notes, Writer's life club podcast

Also, you can use this amazing character sheet for creating new characters, after you listen to this episode and learn how to use it 🙂

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: Strayborn (Draev Guardians #1) by E.E. Rawls

Author: E. E. Rawls / Elizabeth Rawls
Pages: 349 Pages
Genre: Christian, Fantasy, YA
Publication Date: October 14th, 2019
Publisher: Storyteller Wings Press

Strayborn, Coffee n' Notes, Book Review, E. E. Rawls,

Blurb

Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can train to become a Draev Guardian.

Cyrus Sole hates life. She’s half-human, with weak wrists, and not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say something mean about it. But when the forbidden power to manipulate metal awakens inside her, everything changes as the Argos Corps is sent to hunt her down…

Aken is a Scourgeblood, the last in a line of monsters. But all he really wants is to gain wings and be free, especially when a new power awakens, changing the course of his life…

The Draev Guardian Academy is their only sanctuary. But training to become a Draev won’t be easy. Cyrus has to hide her human side, as she gets placed in Floor Harlow with the outcast students, and nightmares of her deceased mother keep returning.

With creepy Corpsed on the prowl and whispers of Cyrus possibly being a reborn Hero, both she and Aken find themselves caught up in a web of secrets, racial tension, and an old legend with enemies that could spell their untimely demise…

Review
5 Stars

Okay, this review was such an easy thing to do, this book was a great story and a wonderful adventure to follow. I think this story is for a younger audience but I still enjoyed it a lot and didn’t diminish my enjoyment one bit, hehe 😀

The cover

Before I will start with the review I have to say a word or two about the cover.

It’s GORGEOUS! Okay, now for the review 😉

The characters

Cyrus Sole: This is by far my favorite character ❤

I wanted to know more about her, about her family, her inner struggles and thoughts, I just craved for more and more. At first, it was too Disney, but it quickly became darker and better. Everything about her felt better and the author did a wonderful job with her.

All the other characters were written masterfully as well, and I enjoyed there interaction and adventures. I enjoyed every chapter to get to know them all and follow them wherever they might go, no matter what they do (good or bad) I still wanted to follow them more and most of all I wanted to get to know them even more.

The relationship between Cyrus and Aken is written so beautifully and I was just enjoying seeing them both in the story and following all their hardships and adventures.

Nephryte: This character seemed as though the author worked the most on, He is so well written and I loved! following him. I want to know more, I want to know everything about this character. I can’t say much here but trust me when I say that this character is amazing.

The world-building

This story takes place in an alternate earth-like place, called Eartha.

Cyrus starting to notice that something is very wrong with the Draev Academy and through her eyes and actions we can see and find out many details about the Academy and it reminded me of the Vampire Academy a bit and even Harry Potter.

I am so glad that the author put more history in the book, it was so interesting to know more of the place, the races, I wanted to know more, I can’t wait for the second book to come out, I want to learn so much more. It feels like there’s so much more to know and see and so much land to discover in Eartha and I know that as soon as you will read this book, you will want to know more as well.

I am not a religious person, I do believe in a higher power of the universe and the elements around us and the author did quote the bible in this book several times, I may not be a religious person but I do know the bible a bit and it didn’t feel annoying to see all the quotes, because it meant a lot to the characters and it was written in a very nice and organic way.

Elemental Power Manipulation

Which is the magic system in tI love love LOVE the use of the elements and the elemental power, the author did a wonderful job here explaining how it works. She took the basic elements and made it into something more dynamic, fluid, where each of the Vempars has a very specific way they do magic and how they focus their powers, amazing!

The ending

The ending took me by surprise a bit and some details in the book just made it even stronger. I loved the little extra details she wrote and it is clear that the story is not near to it’s ending and there’s so much more to tell and I truly can’t wait to see where the story will continue.

Overall

If you love Fantasy, this book is for you and for the author herself I want to say…

Please write faster… I want more, lol, I need at least 4-7 books about these characters and about this world, the Academy and everything, lol.

Strayborn, Coffee n' Notes

Book Purchase Links:

AMAZON | KINDLE |BARNES & NOBLE| GOODREADS

FREE prequel storyhttps://mailchi.mp/22a2f2dce8c0/eerawls

Author Bio:

E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.

She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.

You can find the author on:

WEBSITE: https://eerawls.com/

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/eerawls_author/

You can find the book over at:

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Understand The Challenges

Understand the challenges you might face as you write your goals, objectives or even your daily to do’s.

The year is already rushing by fast. This month is full of action, some good some bad but overall, a lot of things are happening this month.

I am working hard on breaking bad habits and start new ones. Making my novel ready for publication and another project I’m working on hard. With each goal, new habit or old habit, I set a category of the challenges I might face while trying to achieve that goal or master that habit.

If you want to keep up with your goals and hit those milestones you set for yourself, you would more likely to succeed if you take in the challenges you might face while going after your goals.

Here is a small example from my own life:

2020 Goals, Notion App, Productivity, Coffee n' Notes

(This picture is taken from my workspace in notion – Click on the picture for bigger view)

As you see in the picture when I set a goal I write the challenges I will most likely face, while trying to achieve this goal or what I think can make me give up on this goal.

It may seem trivial, but I’ve learned that knowing the challenges we might face, makes it easier when we do encounter a challenge, and it also makes us more willing to be flexible and change our planes when needed.

Next to that, I have my why… Why do I want to achieve that goal?

If we don’t know why it is more likely you will forget about that goal or resolution and give up entirely. I write why I set a certain goal, to remind myself of my intentions.

After that, it is important to think of the outcome. How would you feel once you achieved a goal you’ve set for yourself. Try to see yourself achieving it, how are you feeling and how will it affect your life?

I know it sounds weird but it helps, especially when your life becomes a bit (or a lot) complicated.

I now even write my challenges in my daily tasks and to-dos, my weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. If I know the challenges I will face (even if it’s just – “I hate doing this, or I will feel too tired or lazy to do those tasks). So far, it changed how I go after my daily goals and my todos in a major way that even if I truly encountered a challenge I am more flexible with it and I don’t get stuck in blaming myself or feeling guilty or any negative thoughts.

Try to think of 3-4 problems that might happen and stop you from getting your objectives and achieving your big goals.

*** Let’s say, you want to publish a book this year (big goal)

You will need to…

  1. Finish writing your book (objective #1)
  2. Finish editing your book (objective #2)
  3. Finish beta readers (objective #3)
  4. And many more… (objective #4-20)

But now, with each objective write the challenges you might or can face while trying to achieve these objectives and your bigger goal.

The challenges can be…

  1. Laziness
  2. Family commitments
  3. Sudden illnesses of my family members or myself
  4. Not managing my time right
  5. Too much social media, or youtube
  6. Too many obligations
  7. Too many goals to work towards.
  8. Lack of motivation.

All these challenges are things you need to consider while I try to reach your objective and your bigger goal.

To some, this may seem obvious, and that’s amazing but for me, it’s something I have just learned this year. And since I’ve started writing my objectives (which are like milestones) for a goal and the challenges I might face while trying to achieve them, things have gotten much easier and I have learned to be better at being flexible if something does happen.

This works with every goal if you want to write a book, post 3 times a week on your blog, start a youtube channel or even working on your mental/physical health.

Any goal you’ve set for yourself, you can achieve it if you set smart goals, break your goals to achievable and measurable objectives by knowing the challenges you might face in the near or far future and stay flexible if things do go wrong and you can’t work on your goals for a while.

By knowing the Challenges we might face and setting Smart Goals we can achieve all our objectives and bigger goals.

How do you set Smart Goals and keep up with them?

 

Goals and Challenges, Smart Goals, Coffee n' Notes

 As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Book Review: All the King’s Traitors (Highwings, #1)

Author: Keylin Rivers
Pages: 358 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy, Dystopian
Publication Date: August 31st, 2019
Publisher: Astre Encre

All the King's Traitors, Book Review, Coffee n' Notes, Keylin Rivers

Blurb

Over a thousand years have passed since the first Godstones ripped through the skies and mangled the earth. With their fall came centuries of chaos and destruction, but also immense power.

Power that separates humans from Gods.

Now, in the Kingdom of Azanthea, two adoptive brothers flee from unjust conscription.

A fugitive struggles to truly be free.

A double-crossing warrior must choose where his allegiances lie: with his wife or with his daughter.

A traitorous heir to the Kingdom’s throne roams the lands in search of an army to call his own.

A prodigy in the House of Historian competes in a grueling trial to prove her loyalty.

And one God-King rules over them all.

Review
5 Stars

I was given an ebook form of this book for an honest review.
This is a spoiler-free review and trust me, when I say that I had to re-write this review a few times, lol. I always let some important details out.

I love fantasy a lot, most of my reading genre is Fantasy. I am not much into the romance that is in so many fantasy novels, I’m more into the adventure and the magic, but I don’t mind the romance 😀

First of all, let me start by saying that this book was such a great read.
You have multiple POV which I normally don’t like much but it is so well done here, everything goes smoothly as the changing in the povs happening and the author was able to keep me in suspense, the entire time. I loved it.

The characters

The characters truly made this story better, they are so relatable and fun to follow. And even the evil antagonist is OMG, wow… I love the bad guys/gals in a book and a movie, hehe. Through the relationship between the antagonist and the protagonist, you can truly see and understand the war so much better.

I enjoyed Vallich and Kari as characters and I wanted more of Vallich.

The romance was not my favorite thing in this book, but it didn’t bother me to put less rating. I loved everything else in the book so much that I kept it as 5 Stars ❤

My favorite characters are Vallich and Aurellia and not just because of Aurellia is my mom’s name, hehe. I felt more connected and every time they appeared in the story I dove deeper, eager to know more, see more. But Vallich is so well written, I mean you always on the age of the sit when Vallich appears in the story. The author did an amazing job here, wow.

The world-building

The world-building and the magic system are also so well developed and masterfully written, I felt like I’m in a new (but somehow familiar) dystopian world full of magic.

You get sucked into the story fast and when it ends you look at the book in despair “What…? I want more… Give me more… Write more… Write faster, lol”

But seriously I am so happy to have another great series to follow.
The author gives are some clues about the lives of the people across Azanthea and even the smallest details you read gives you so much information and you learn a lot about the history of this new world. I want more of that.

The Godstones were amazing to learn about, even though I wanted more information about all the abilities you get from them. Can’t say more without spoiling this for you, sorry).

Everything in this book was fascinating to learn about and I kept wanting more. I want to know everything about the powers and about this dystopian but fantasy world. I want to meet more people and see more of the land. I guess I just want more books, lol.

The ending had lots of omg moments, lol, because everything kept getting messed up and go sideways and then the book ended. The book ended on a cliffhanger – NOOO! I love it 😀

Overall, if you like magic, plot-twists, betrail, adventures, and amazing but diverse characters, this book is most definitely is for you!

You can find the book over at:

Goodreads / Amazon

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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Writer’s Life Club Podcast Episode 4: Finding Your Life Purpose Printable

Hey everyone just wanted to share some links with you to where you can find my podcast, hope you’ll enjoy listening to this episode of Finding Your Life’s Purpose and I add the printable I have promised with the questions I listed in this episode. But please note that if you want to put some actionable steps to your mission statement, please listen to the episode before or while you are working with this printable 🙂

Find your life's purpose, coffee n' notes, Writer's Life Club Podcast

(Right-click to save it and then print it to use it)

Be sure to subscribe if you want more content of me, there’s new content coming every week. If you have requests for a future episode, let me know in the comments.

You can find my podcast on Spotify as well ❤

You can find it on Itunes podcasts.

And on any other platforms, you listen on your fav podcasts.

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

GalitLet’s chat on:

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5 Steps To Writing Amazing Fiction

Hey everyone, I hope you are having a great week ❤ It’s almost weekend 😀

For me, it was a bit busy start to the week, but overall I am happy that I can do all the things I want right now. I still wish I had put some more time block for my editing but I’m playing with my schedule to see where I can fit it best so that I can edit more. My goal is to edit about 20K this quarter so I need to schedule more time for that.

But this site/app Notion is truly a gift when it comes to scheduling and working on my goals. My only wish for this app is to have a google calendar embedded in it, lol. But I am working with what it got and so far it goes well. If you want to get better at organizing your work and your life check it out because it’s a great tool to use and it’s free 😀

Over the years I have collected a few great ways to write fiction and not get stuck, so I thought I would share them with you as well 🙂

Going from, end to start

This rule is good for any type of fiction you might want to write. Knowing the ending can help you so much with understanding where your character will be along its journey, from start to finish. And, you will have an easier time plotting and outlining your story. Working backward always helped me when I got stuck with my story so I started working this way all the time.

Flawed characters are the new perfection

Characters are just like us, even in a fictional story. No one is perfect so why write a perfect character? Perfect is boring and most of the time not worth my time to continue reading. But flawed characters are amazing and perfect in their own broken way. They make the story much more engaging and interesting.

Struggles, struggles, and more struggles

Give your characters as many struggles you can think of. force them to confront their fears, battle with their weaknesses and struggles, break their spirit, lol. After that, find more ways to play with your character, hehe. Struggle in life is what makes us who we are, that’s what builds our inner strength and that’s what eventually gives us the motivation and the will power to push through those struggles and come out of it, hopefully, better and stronger.

Know the why

This is super and most important and I talked about it in my podcast and wrote about it in another post as well, knowing and understanding why this story matter to us and why we want to write it is the key to writing a great story. But you must also know your character’s why as well. Why your character wants to go where she/he/they need to go. Not just because you want your character to go as the author. People will enjoy your story more if they knew the character’s why. Now you don’t need to simply write it down in the story, lol, but you do need your character to know and understand. Your characters drive the story and their understanding of why they do the things they do will make their action powerful to the reader and more relatable.

Deadlines

Not everyone likes deadlines or alarms (me encluded), however, putting a deadline on your project is a key to finishing it. I only recently had learned the true importance of a realistic deadline. You must look at the end result of your project and start going backward with each step you will need to do to accomplish that project. Each milestone will go towards your end result, like finishing your novel. Each small milestone will have its own realistic deadline, that way you will always see your end goal, but also you will be reminded daily of all your smaller milestones in a way that you can achieve them.

What tips and hacks do you use to write great stories?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

Galit

Let’s chat on:

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How To Write During The Holidays

The holidays are upon us and with them come the holiday parties, family gatherings, lots of celebration that will lead us straight to the new year, and many yummy foods.

If you’re asking why even write during the holidays and why not just rest and recharge. Well if you take this time to recharge then you must need that, but if you just taking this time to be less productive or you just don’t know how to write during this chaotic time, well for that I wrote this post.

For me this is the perfect time to push through, start new things and not slow down, so that my new year will start better and stronger. There is nothing wrong with taking a break especially at this time of year, but for me and many others, we slowly fall into the writer’s block or slump, after not writing for so long. So I try and keep writing, even if it’s just a little each day, a few lines or just an idea, a dialog… Just enough to keep the writing juices flow in the next year. It makes getting back to my writing routine much easier.

So I gathered the best tips I use to write during these holidays and I hope they will help you enter the new year with strong writing motivation.

Read your favorite book

Reading always brings new ideas into my mind but reading one (or a few) of my favorite books seems to do that even easier. If you are going on vacation or visiting family, bring with you a book or two (ebooks if you don’t want to carry them with you) and a notebook or just use your phone and jot down any idea that you like while reading, a great dialog, a nice description anything that would later help you write faster and get more motivated to write.

Listen to music and make a playlist

I love to use Spotify and there are so many great writing playlists out there that will surely spark your imagination. I love making character playlist but also a place my character is going at or living in. The possibilities are endless and music always seems to help me get motivated and inspired.

Learn to write on your phone

Our phone is a wonderful tool, almost like small computers. you can capture an image that helps you describe things better, write in your notes (or other apps), and even record your thoughts and ideas. With your phone is like you are carrying an endless way to help you be a better writer. So, grab your phone and start writing, even if it’s just a few lines or random words that seem to spark an idea, anything that will later help you combine all of these things into a great story.

Do shorter but effective writing sprints

Even we are surrounded by endless parties and family gatherings, we still have a bit of time for ourselves, if it’s in the early mornings or before we fall asleep. Find these little moments and do some short writing sprints. put on a timer for 5 minutes if that is all you have and start writing. If nothing comes to mind then just journal in these 5 minutes. At least you are writing and that what’s important here, not what you are writing but the fact that you are… Writing.

Join the parties and the conversation, you will have tons of ideas later to write about before you fall asleep.

You have no idea how much I love to listen to random conversations, lol (I know, I’m weird), but look around you, try to listen to others or join the conversation if you want and can, soon enough you will find that even these random conversation with family and friends, coworker and strangers ca spark many ideas and inspiration to a few lines and description that you will later be able to jot down in your notebook or you can use your phone.

Don’t stress if you didn’t write, there’s always tomorrow.

If you still can’t write a day or even two, don’t stress and don’t be hard on yourself, just try again tomorrow. There’s always tomorrow to try again. And if you can’t seem to write anything, I would try to just journal about my day for a few minutes.

Bonus tip:

Build a small reward system not based only on food or shopping.

Try not to reward yourself with food alcohol or shopping. Find the rewards that will really excite you and bring you more motivation and inspiration. For me at least, I love to reward myself with more youtube if it’s just for fun or inspiration. I know that I earned that after all my writing, hehe. Rewarding with food, alcohol or shopping is fun as well but it can lead to bad behaviors that we do not wish to have. So choose your reward wisely and something that will feel like you earned that.

Do you write during the holidays? Any tips to share?

As always, thank you so much for reading ❤

Galit

Let’s chat on:

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