Confession: Book Grudge

As a book lover, I am ashamed to admit it, but I am guilty of having some pretty intense grudges against certain books. I am talking about long term grudges that result in a boycott of other books by that author.

First, let me be clear. Neither the books or the authors are bad. In both cases, these authors write best sellers and have huge fan bases. I loved prior books by these authors. I am not going to point out the authors or books in this post but you can watch the video  to get the low down.

I have a 7 year book grudge that has kept me from reading books from an author I loved

I have a book grudge.

So why the grudge?

I took the time to examine that question before making the video and writing about this.  It boils down to one thing. Not plot, character, or even writing style but expectations.  My expectations of the books and their respective authors were extremely high. This led to an intense emotional downfall when the books did not live up to my expectations. The end result is that I have no desire to read any more books by these authors because I don’t want to risk having another emotional disappointment.

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My expectations of these books and their respective authors were extremely high. This led to an intense emotional downfall when the books did not live up to my expectations. The end result is that I have no desire to read any more books by these authors because I don’t want to risk having another emotional disappointment.

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On an intellectual level, I know this is ridiculous. Disliking one book so much that I don’t read another one by that author for over 7 years is extreme. As an author, I know that I should not judge an entire collection of works based one or two books that let me down. I have a passion for books. I read over 100 books a year. In most cases, I can dislike a book without having a book grudge.

 

So, why are the stakes so high for certain books and not others? Again, it is all about my personal expectations and my emotional response to the book not furfilling my needs.  All three of these book grudges were birthed because the plot didn’t sustain me and the ending failed to connect with my expecations. I kept reading and waiting for something to happen but I did not get the emotional impact I desired.

So, tell me. Do you have book grudges? Do you take it to the extreem like me and stop reading books by that author? I would like to know!

 

 

 

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Need writing motivation? Love kittens?

I found a fun website that combines writing motivation and kittens. I couldn’t resist filming a quick video to share it with you.  I came across the website, written kitten while searching for tangible writing rewards to help writers stay motivated.

Watch the video here

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I admit this isn’t exactly what I was looking for but it served its purpose. It motivated me to write. The moment I stumbled onto it  I jumped in and started writing and earned myself a couple of cute kittens.

Of course, they weren’t real kittens but the next best thing, adorable kitten photos! The website is simple to use.  Just set a word writing goal for yourself, type into the provided text box, and get rewarded with kitten photos when you hit your goal. You can select 100, 200, 500, or 1000 word goals.  The kitten photos are pulled from flicker.

Write words and get kittens!

Need writing motivation? Love Kittens?

Not a kitten fan? No worries, you can select puppies or bunnies for your reward.  Yes, this is a simple concept but if it helps you write it is certainly worth its weight in kittens. The best part? This is completely free. You write words, get kittens, and make progress on your writing.

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My Experience:

When I was finished earning kittens, I simply cut, copied, and pasted my writing into my Scrivener file. Unfortunately, you can’t take the kittens with you but you can come back anytime and write for more kittens.  I recommend this website if you enjoy baby animal photos and enjoy setting small goals with instant rewards.  I doubt I will be using this daily but it is a fun way to mix up your writing routine and rewards.

So, how about you? Do you love kittens, bunnies, or puppies? Have you tried written kitten? Did it work for you? Do you have any writing motivation tips to share? Let me know!

Book Love Review: The Sandcastle Empire.

This amazing book was the June Owlcrate selection.  Armed with a field guide to a mysterious island and a vial of her father’s blood and teeth Eden attempts to escape her war-torn world to find refuge and answers on the island.

Watch my video review

 

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What I loved about this book:

* It was a quick easy read.
* That it takes place on a mysterious jungle island that is more than it seems.
* The writing style is engaging and detailed without slowing the pace.

*  Chapters alternate between regular length and 1-2 pages.

*  Chapters alternate between regular length and 1-2 pages.
* The overall plot is interesting and it has a lot of neat world-building aspects.
* Excellent 1st chapter that grabs you and keeps you reading.

* Some details will stick with me forever. The Vial of blood and teeth. The beetles.

I rated this four stars instead of five for a few reasons that are a bit hard to pinpoint. There was nothing I disliked about this book but here a few reasons I didn’t rate it 5 stars.

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My Opinion:

* The world, although fascinating, didn’t work for me at first. After I started thinking of island in the terms of the tv series LOST instead of  I think of when I think of a Dystopian world it felt a little more realistic to me.
* The plot seemed to fall into place to EASY. There are many excellent setbacks and twists but something about it just felt off.  I never felt that the character was in grave danger even when she was in the midst of it but it was still interesting enough to keep me reading. Honestly, I think my expectations of what I thought the book was going to be was what caused me not to rate it five stars.  It was more sci-fi than I was anticipating.
* The end. I hope this is a series because the end left me hanging and not in a good way. I needed a little more resolution even if it is a series.

Want Owlcrate? Get it here.

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Overall, this is a fantastic book that is easy to dive into and get lost in. It has a lot of tech and sci-fi elements, suspense and  I can see this series blooming into something addictive.

Motivation Monday: 5 Tips to help you get and stay motivated.

Are you struggling to stay motivated? Procrastinating? You are in good company. I have been having those issues that last two weeks. It was beyond frustrating. It seemed that the more I focused on the problem the bigger it got.

I am the sort of person who likes to get to the root of the problem and fix it. I did some research, soul searching, and then came up with a plan to put into action. I wanted to share some of what I learned with you.

Watch my 5 Tips for Motivation Video

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What was causing my lag in motivation?

Summer. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. I adore summer. Hot weather, swimming, and not having to take the kids to school are all things that make me smile. I made the mistake of trying to do too many work related things. I felt like I was missing the summer fun and suddenly writing became a chore.

The next issue was that I did not have dedicated end time for my work day. I  was spending a lot of my evening time writing and working. All of that caught up with me and I found myself procrastinating about writing and then feeling guilty. On my research quest about I discovered a profound truth.

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Are you getting a bigger reward from NOT DOING the task than you are from finishing it?

Think about it. While procrastinating about writing I was doing things I enjoy. Reading, taking photos, playing around online, and swimming. I was rewarding myself for not doing the task. Even though I felt guilty about not writing I was still getting enjoyment from the things I was doing instead of writing.  The trick is to flip this. Reward yourself for finishing the task not putting it off.

5 Tips To Get & Stay Motivated:

  1. Make a list of Instant Gratification Rewards: Make a list of small but enjoyable things that you can reward yourself with immediately after finishing the task. Example: Write 30 minutes and then reward yourself by watching a funny video, reading a few pages, or having a treat.
  2. Use your rewards: Remember the key is that instant gratification. You want the rewards to keep you motivated. If you cheat yourself out of the reward you may find yourself lagging in motivation and rewarding yourself by procrastinating.
  3. Make a detailed schedule: Have a clear start and end time for the task. Don’t just plan to write 30 minutes today. Plan to write 30 minutes between blank time and blank time. Give yourself a deadline.
  4. Flexibility: Allow yourself some flexibility when things you can not control derail your plan. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. This will only set you up for procrastination.
  5. Remove Distractions: When you have specific deadline and time set for the task set yourself up to succeed by removing all distractions.

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This week is already off to a great start. I took 3 days off from writing to research and enjoy life.  On Saturday morning I wrote 3000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and it was amazing because my motivation was back.

What helps you stay motivated? What rewards to you rely on to stay motivated?