It’s already 3rd December, but I don’t think it’s too late to share with your some of the things I enjoyed during November!
Favourite Song: I’ve listened to ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa at least once a day, I love it!
Favourite Book: I’m currently reading, and enjoying ‘Wolves of Calla’, the fifth book in the ‘Dark Tower’ series but ‘Wizard and Glass’, which I read during November, stands out for me as the best installment so far. *Mild Spoiler* The majority of this novel is a flashback, but I really think it helps the reader to understand the main protagonist Roland Deschain, much better than any of the previous novels within the series.
Favourite TV Series: ‘Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets’ BBC series.
My mum saw the first episode of this new series and recommended that I watch it. Initially, I assumed that I wouldn’t like this at all, considering this is about stately homes in the U.K., however I found the first episode about Highclere Castle (AKA ‘Downton Abbey’) fascinating. A mixture of history, cooking and learning about the day to day running of these magnificent buildings; complete with Mary Berry’s charm and wit, means this is an interesting programme. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of this series.
Favorite YouTube Video: Ariel Bissett’s Discussion on ‘Competitive Reading’. I have been a subscriber to her channel for a while now and really enjoy her posts about reading and writing. The other day, she posted a video about ‘Competitive reading’ and her comments about reading pressure and ‘Good Reads’ resonated with me. At the beginning of this year, I signed up to the GoodRead’s Reading challenge and found myself reading books for the sake of it, rather than to discover new stories, characters and authors. I realised that the goal I really wanted to achieve was to enjoy the experience of reading, rather than reading to increase the number of books I read. So I stopped doing the Good Reads challenge and do not plan to participate next year. This video is quite long, but worth watching in my opinion :
The ‘Favorites’ series will be back at the end of December and I’ll also do a Reading Wrap Up at the end of the month!
What are your November Favourites?
Way back in August, I wrote a post on my discovery of ‘Morning Pages’, a creative journaling practice which encourages the individual to do 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning, immediately after waking up. The reasoning behind this, is that it is supposed to clear the mind of mental rubbish and release creative energy.
My initial experience with this daily writing was actually quite powerful, but surprisingly, in a negative way. Instead of leaving me feeling clear of negativity and full of energy, I felt irritated, weighed down with emotion and I more or less carried that around with me, for the rest of the day. I stopped doing ‘Morning Page’s after about a month.
The main reason I quit doing ‘Morning Pages’ is that I feel that I benefit more from journaling in the evening. I can write about my problems and thoughts at the end of the day and then start the next with a fresh slate. Also whilst I was doing ‘Morning Pages’, I found that I slept worse, because I did not have my usual daily ritual of writing before I went to sleep.
Now I’m not saying that ‘Morning Pages’ were a complete waste of time. In fact a few times during the fog of writing ‘I don’t know what to say’ and ‘This is pointless’, there were moments of real insight, which really surprised me.
So I’m not going to say that ‘Morning Pages’ is something that you shouldn’t do, but for me, I’ll stick journalling in the evening.
For more information on ‘Morning Pages’, click here.
I’d really be interested to hear about your experiences with ‘Morning Pages’, whether it be positive or negative.
Usually at this time of the week, I post a review of a book I’ve read. This week is going to be a bit different, as I would like to talk about my first week of doing ‘Morning Pages’.
Some of you reading may already be familiar with ‘Morning Pages’, but for those who aren’t, basically this concept was devised by the writer Julia Cameron and is featured in her book ‘The Artist’s Way’ . It involves a strict regime of writing three pages of stream of consciousness, preferably in the morning, every morning. By doing this, it is supposed to rid the mind of unnecessary clutter, allow for creativity and a clearer mind.
I have been writing a journal consistently for the last year or so and found the practise of daily writing, highly beneficial. It has helped me to deal with many issues and reduced stress. When I saw the term ‘Morning Pages’ mentioned in several YouTube videos connected with journaling, I decided to see if it would work for me.
At first, writing first thing in the morning wasn’t something I looked forward to, as I’m like a bear with a sore head most mornings. During my research of this process, I discovered that the majority of people doing ‘Morning Pages’ did their pages at the first opportunity, so that their ego didn’t get in the way of writing their true feelings.
My first couple of my entries were filled with ‘I don’t know what to write’ and ‘This is stupid’. I resisted the exercise entirely and toyed with the idea of giving up after only a few days.
One morning I remember writing such negative things, that that negativity carried on through the day. ‘How could this be beneficial?’ I thought to myself, as I felt like all I wanted to do was go back to bed and let the world get on with things.
Suddenly however, whilst I was writing my usual ‘I don’t know what to write’, I started writing down thoughts I didn’t even know I had. Through all of that mind fog, I was writing raw, unreleased emotions that were so surprising, that they didn’t even sound like me.
As the week has gone on, I still complain, moan and write utter nonsense, but I’m finding that after each of these writing sessions, I feel lighter and actually more motivated to create. So much so, that I felt compelled to try water colours, something I had previously been scared to try.
Whether this was because of the ‘Morning Pages’ I have no idea, but it’s giving me glimpses into parts of my mind, I never knew existed. It’s too early to tell whether or not this exercise will have long term effects on my creativity or moods, but I think I will continue to do this, despite the early mornings!
Some of you might think that ‘Morning Pages’ are utter nonsense, but I think this practise is worth giving a go if you are stuck in a creative rut.
I’ll post more on my progress after I’ve done a month of ‘Morning Pages’, that’s if I can keep it going for that long!
Do you do ‘Morning Pages’ or journaling? How does it help you?
I’m a terrible blogger. There, I’ve said it.
I could write another one of those posts where I apologize for not posting in a long time and give you the reasons why, like life got in the way and all of those usual excuses, but I won’t.
Instead, I’ve come back to what I love doing and that is talking about books, films and TV programmes and I promise you that I will do my upmost best to post at least twice week. If I can post more frequently, then that’s a bonus.
I haven’t stopped reading since I last posted though. Reading remains a constant in my life. Over the last few months I have read the following novels:
‘A is for Alibi’– Sue Grafton
‘A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man And His Cat Found Hope On The Streets’– James Bowen
‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’– John Tiffany
The ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy-Philip Pullman
‘Billy and Me’– Giovanna Fletcher
‘My Sister’s Keeper’– Jodi Picoult
‘The Gunslinger’– Stephen King
It has been a mixed bag with my choices of reading. Some of these titles I have enjoyed like ‘A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man And His Cat Found Hope On The Streets’ and some that I haven’t enjoyed, for example, ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ (possibly a controversial choice). However, I haven’t stopped enjoying the reading experience.
Writing has been put on the back burner over the last few months, I’ve probably written a handful of pages. By getting back into blogging, I hope that this will re-ignite my passion for writing.
I have some exciting plans for future blogs. I want to start a regular film reviewing series and possibly collaborate with other bloggers, so keep coming back to see what’s new on the blog!
If you have any suggestions or would like to collaborate with me on future posts, then post in the comment box below, or send me a tweet on Twitter.
Have you read or want to read any of the books I have read over the last few months? Have you made any new book discoveries that you think I need to read?
Look out for some film talk on Friday!
It has been 6 months since I last posted on ‘The Avid Reader’!
That’s not to say that I haven’t been reading, I’m as avid as ever ( In fact, I’m currently getting to the end of my third re-read of ‘The Hobbit’,), but I lost my mojo for writing. Not just writing blog posts, but writing more of the detective novel that I’ve been trying finish for the last 3 years or so.
Part of the reason that I lost my mojo, is that life has got in the way. I won’t go into any details of that (I don’t want to use this blog for whining and whinging, I feel very lucky with what I have) but over the last week or so, I’ve found the joy for writing again hurrah!
To be honest, I’ve probably read too many books in the last 6, to properly catch up with reviews on the blog but I will try and post my thoughts on a few of them shortly. Let me know about your best reads of the last 6 months.
I’m also going to see ‘Bridget Jones Baby’ next week, so I with review it after I have seen it. I’m not a big fan of Chick-Lit, but I have enjoyed the ‘Bridget Jones’ series. To wet your appetite, here’s the trailer: