My Thoughts on Game of Thrones

It’s been about a month since Game of Thrones the TV series ended. I was pretty sad when I watched the last episode knowing that there would be no more episodes to look forward to. I wrote many drafts of my thoughts on the series in this past month, and this one is a combination of them all. I also talked with my friends and family about their thoughts on the series and the ending, which gave me a lot of food for thought. Game of Thrones has meant so much to me. It was the first HBO show I ever watched, and it inspired me to write my own epic fantasy.

When I first started watching the show, I had no clue how popular it was or that there were books. Currently, I am halfway through the third book, which I think is the best so far. I’m a fan of both the books and the show. Martin is very good at setting up the world of Westeros and has a great set of characters. I admire the fact that he can keep track of so many at once. It’s like a bunch of short stories put together into one book. It can be challenging to keep track of all the characters at first, but eventually, you get the hang of it. As a writer, I don’t think I could have so many POV’s. I have done two or three POV’s before, and even that was a challenge in itself.

Weiss and Benioff truly brought Martin’s work to life. Some characters look different then I imagined, but that’s to be expected. For the most part, I think the main characters are pretty spot on. I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing them. I like how they stuck to the book for the first few seasons, but then also put their mark on it. Not to mention Martin hasn’t finished the last two books, so they didn’t have much to go on for the last two to three seasons. For the past month, people have been giving Weiss and Benioff a lot of flak for how it ended. It’s one thing not to like how something ended, but to start a petition is going too far.

Overall I thought the series was done well. I believe that the ending was a bit rushed, but overall, most of what happened made sense. Were there certain things I wanted to happen or people I wanted to end up together? Yes, but it is what it is. At the end of the day, it’s just a book series and a show. With this kind of series, it’s impossible to please everyone and give all the character’s happy endings.

Here are my thoughts on the show, characters, and the series as a whole. Since the books aren’t completed this will mostly be about the show. Once all the books have come out, I do plan on doing a comparison and contrast. But for now, here is what I think.

Arya Stark
I’m going to start with my favorite character, which is Arya. I identify a lot with Arya because as a young girl, I was a major tomboy. I hated dressing girly and didn’t like being held to what people thought a girl should be like.

Arya never wanted to be a lady. She wanted to be a knight, but it was an impossible dream. Her brother Jon and her father were the only ones who truly saw her for who she was. Jon gave Arya her first sword, and her father gave her the lessons to learn how to use it. I enjoyed watching Arya grow up and break away from what people were trying to push her into being.

While traveling with Gendry, Hot Pie, The Brotherhood, and The Hound, she learned that honor and loyalty do not always guarantee safety. She became disillusioned with the idea of a hero and was became somewhat of an orphan. She watched as her friends and family died and didn’t have much power to do anything about it. This left her with a desire to get revenge on those who have wronged her and her family.

For the first few seasons, Arya has a lot of bark, but no bite to back it up. She is not without skill, but it’s not enough to go against grown men skilled in fighting. Eventually, she does gain the skills to fight during her time training as a Faceless man in Bravos and then returns to Westeros to kill Walder Frey and Cersei Lannister while she does kill Walder Frey and those involved in the killing of her mother, brother, and loyal soldiers she ultimately chooses to go home to her family rather than killing Cersei.

Arya has changed a lot throughout the series. Sansa, Jon, and Gendry all think that she’s the same girl that they once knew, but eventually, come to realize that she is not, when she presses the issue that she is not a lady but a warrior she has the skills the back it up. Seeing Gendry again ignites feelings in her that she thought were long gone. Before the war between the dead and living begins she acts on those feelings. Then during the battle, she kills the Night King and is proposed to by Gendry after he becomes legitimized by Daenerys.

While Arya loves Gendry and is touched by his feelings, she has been running from being a lady her whole life. And to become the thing she never wanted to be is not her. Arya is a warrior. She was a lady and knew that even if Gendry doesn’t expect her to be a traditional one eventually, she would have to slip into that role. She is also still very much blinded by her plight for revenge and in the end, rejects his proposal. However, when presented with another chance to kill Cersei, she is persuaded by The Hound to choose life and put away her revenge.

All this time, Arya has wanted nothing more than to be with her family again. When everything is said and done Arya decides to travel West of Westeros to see if the world ends there or if there is a whole other world to discover. While she loves her family, there is nothing left for her in Westeros. She does not wish to be a lady and has become accustomed to traveling.

All in all, I like where Arya’s journey led her. I think it’s cool that she is going to travel the world and wish they were doing a spin-off of it. Do I wish that she and Gendry could have found some happiness? Yes, but she’s not a Lady, and she knew that she couldn’t be what he needed her to be.

Jon Snow
Jon started as a cocky guy who thought he had been dealt a lousy hand being the bastard son of a Lord and that he was a better fighter than his brothers at The Wall. He soon learned that he had a better life than most, and the only reason he was good was because he was trained. He also learns that not all the men at The Wall have done something terrible and that most of it were misunderstandings.

The main thing I like about Jon is that he can easily slip into a new situation. When he goes undercover with The Wildlings, he can get most of them to trust him. But at the end of the day, he shows that he is loyal to The Watch. Eventually, though when he learns that The Wildings want shelter from the White Walkers, he tries to broker a temporary alliance with them which is not met well.

It is not until he is voted Lord Commander that this happens and as a result, his brothers stab him to death. Jon is very much like his father. He is bound by honor and duty and believes that others will be as well. He puts too much faith in others and underestimates his enemies.

His is brought back to life shortly after but is left disillusioned as a result and plans to leave The Wall when his sister Sansa arrives after escaping the clutches of Ramsay Bolton. While he resolves to be done with war, his sister convinces him to fight to take back their home so that they can truly be safe.

Again Jon underestimates his enemy and does not listen to his sister who knows Ramsay well as his wife and almost loses the war and his life. When he is made King of the North initially, he has no wish to be a King but accepts the honor to appease his people.
Knowing that the White Walkers are real and coming, Jon goes in search for allies and hopes to get the materials needed to kill the White Walkers from Dragonstone which is currently occupied by Daenerys Targaryen. His first meeting with Dany does not go well as he refuses to bend the knee and she does not believe his stories about the White Walkers.

Eventually, she allows him to mine the Dragon glass but will not help him in the war unless he bends the knee. In an attempt to get Cersei and the Lannisters on board with fighting the White Walkers, he sets out with a motley crew to East Watch to obtain a dead person to show their enemies that the dead are real and they need to put aside their differences to defeat them.

They are ambushed during their mission by the army of the dead and Daenerys comes to their aid and ends up losing a dragon, which in turn gets her to agree to help him. In return, Jon bends to the knee, and eventually, their relationship becomes romantic.
Jon’s love for Daenerys and his desire to not be a ruler blinds him to the fact that Dany may not make a good queen. He ignores his families pleas to see reason and then when he finds out that he is a Targaryen and Dany’s nephew that drives a wedge between the two. She wishes him not to tell anyone, but he says he cannot lie to his family.

After Dany sacks, Kings Landing Jon still attempts to come to her defense, but he also cannot deny the anger and horror he feels of it all. When he sees that she plans on wiping out those not willing to be loyal to her new world, he realizes what he has to do. Even though he knows he could be killed for it, he kills Dany. As a result, he is sent to The Wall to live out his days to appease the Unsullied.

All in all, I was okay with how things played out for Jon. He didn’t want to be King. He just wanted to be free and not have to fight any more wars. Sadly, he won’t get to see his family again, but at least he doesn’t have to stress out between choosing his family and the woman he loves. I’m sure it will haunt him forever having to kill the woman he loves, and he will always wonder if he did the right thing.

Sansa Stark
Initially, Sansa annoyed the hell out of me. But, on some level, I was able to identify with her. We all have this idea of how we want our life to play out and are waiting for our prince charming to sweep us off our feet. But like Sansa most of us learn the hard way that life is not a fairytale. Sometimes though even when we realize that our Prince is a psychotic jerk, we still think we don’t deserve any better.

In Sansa’s case, she had to pretend to love Joffrey after he killed her father to survive. She did get her quips in here and there and ended up being saved by men who were regarded as monsters when Joffrey tried to have her publicly beaten. When Sansa had the opportunity to go away with The Hound, I understand why she didn’t want to go with him because she was scared that if they were caught, she would be punished.

When she was forced to marry Tyrion, she found some sense of calmness around him as he did not try and force her to consummate the marriage and shielded her from being attacked physically.

Her time with the Lannisters wasn’t all for naught. She learned quite a bit from Cersei and Littlefinger. When she fled Kings Landing following Joffrey’s death, she put her faith into Littlefinger and ended up being sold to another monster. When she realizes that Ramsay has broken Theon at first, she is glad because she believes Theon killed her little brothers, but then tries to get him to help her. Initially, he betrays her, but then he does help her escape.

Sansa has come into herself by the time she and Jon reunite. She is not afraid to speak her mind. While she is wary of Littlefinger and his desire for her, she almost succumbs to the seeds of doubt he tries to plant in her mind when her sister arrives in Winterfell. Initially, Sansa and Arya have a tense reunion. Sansa finds out who her sister is and where she has been all this time and becomes fearful that her sister plans to kill her.
Sansa and Arya both come to realize Littlefinger has been manipulating them and they both beat Littlefinger at his game and kill him for betraying their family. Because of Sansa’s time spent with powerful and manipulative people, she is very wary of Dany when she first arrives. Her first instinct is not to trust her, which further intensifies when Dany refuses to grant her an independent North. Dany’s further actions and reactions toward Jon’s true parentage, and obsession with the throne also confirm Sansa’s fears.

In the end, Sansa gets what she wants. She receives an independent North and becomes Queen of the north. All in all, I like the way her story played out. Sadly, she had to learn things that hard way, but as she told The Hound, “Without Joffrey, Littlefinger, Ramsay, and the rest I would have stayed a little bird.” It’s kind of sad that she will have to do it all alone with her siblings away and Brienne in the South with her brother.

Bran Stark
Bran was not one of my favorite characters. I felt like there as so much potential for his story arc, but it was boring to watch and even read about in the books. Yeah, it’s cool he can warg into bodies and that he can see the past, but I felt like a lot of the time his story was forgotten or inserted at the last minute.

Having him fall out the window in the first episode was what made the series exciting and him surviving it was a miracle. But I had a hope that somehow he would gain the ability to walk again and have some higher purpose.

When Theon takes Winterfell and forces Bran to yield, I kept waiting for him to take it back from Theon. Instead, he escapes, and then returns hiding under Theon’s nose and then goes back out. When he encounters Meera and Jojen, I thought things were going to pick up for him. But instead, we mostly go scenes of him warging into his wolf Summer.
Eventually, he crosses paths with Jon, but the latter does not see his brother as he is busy fighting off The Watch deserters. Bran has the opportunity to reunite with his brother but is then convinced by Jojen that they need to move on and that if his brother sees him, he won’t let him go on.

Finally, after a long journey, he comes to the Three-eyed raven and then learns that The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers. From there, his storyline begins to pick up as we get to see the past. And then the White Walkers find them because Bran gets cocky and he and Meera barely escaped while Hodor holds the door.

From there eventually, Bran finds his way to Winterfell where he informs his sister that he is no longer Bran and Meera realizes that the Bran she knew is dead. When Sam, Jon’s brother from the Wall comes to Winterfell, they both deduce that Jon’s birth parents are Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.

After that Bran’s character is kind of thrown to the wayside. When he encounters Jaime again, you think there is going to be some showdown, but instead, he tells Jaime he doesn’t care anymore. And then during the battle, he is a sitting duck while the Night King comes to kill him until his sister comes to the rescue.

At first, it didn’t make sense when they named him King. Tyrion goes on about how he has this great story, but it’s not that great. I mean it’s somewhat inspiring that he left, but he hasn’t done much of anything. All in all, though I kind of get why they made him King. He isn’t power hungry, and he seems more likely to listen to his advisors that Jon, Dany, or anyone else. I wish that Martin and Benioff and Weiss would have done more with his storyline.

Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys is another character I identified with in the beginning. She had her brother, but she was mostly alone and at his mercy. She never knew her parents because they died when she was a baby. It was interesting to see Dany rise from the ashes. Literally. She was sold to a Dothraki man by her brother and was able to turn the relationship into one of love. She embraced their culture and found a voice inside of her.

I understand her want for the throne. Her whole life her brother has told her that the seven kingdoms belong to them, which I guess is technically accurate, but like Robert Baratheon, the Targaryen’s also usurped the throne. They originally lived in Valyria until it was destroyed. Robert was continually trying to kill her, which added more fuel to the fire.

She did good work in Slavers Bay. She freed the slaves, showed people she wasn’t just a silly little girl, and raised three dragons. She had a great group of advisors who kept her in check. She genuinely cared about the people and felt for them because she too was once a slave of her brother and to her husband for a brief period.

The Dothraki crossed the sea for her, and the Unsullied chose to follow her even after she freed them. I admired the fact that she didn’t command people to be by her side, but rather let them choose her. When she burned the Khal’s and the slavers, it was understandable. The Khals were going to rape her and kill her, so there was not much choice there. She did give the Masters a chance to rid themselves of slavery, which didn’t work out after she left Astapor.

Dany learned how to rule in foreign countries, which led her to have outdated views about Westeros. She believed that they were slaves and that they would liberate themselves. Tyrion and Jorah tried to warn her that it would not be easy, but she didn’t take it at face value.

She believed that people were spinning good stories about her and that they would welcome their one true Queen. But the fact is they don’t know her. All they know are the stories of her and her dragons burning cities to the ground and causing chaos. She didn’t give people enough time to see who she was. She expected people to bend the knee to her without even knowing her.

I did like the scene where she, Olenna, Ellaria, and Yara are all grouped with the goal of taking down Cersei. It was great to see a group of woman all working together, but they weren’t smart about it. I think they all should have attacked at once rather than split up. It was sad to see their whole women’s group dissolve overnight.

For so many years she has had people bowing down at her feet and telling her that she is good and when that doesn’t happen in Westeros she then begins serving her justice by burning those in rebellion. I think that she should have given people more time.
Especially regarding the North. Both she and Sansa were being stubborn, but for a moment, they both bonded over their shared experiences of being raped, betrayed, and humiliated. The North had been through so much, and honestly, I think seven Kingdoms is a lot for one person to rule over alone. I don’t think it was too much to ask for the North to be independent but also allies.

Many people say that her descending to madness was out of left field, but I don’t think it is. She has shown signs from the beginning and has been known to have a terrible temper. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t kind and a good person, but she let her anger and obsession with the throne get the better of her. She lost Jorah, Missandei, the faith of Varys, and two of her dragons. But most importantly, she lost Jon because they found out they were related.

She was threatened by his claim and his people’s love for him, but she didn’t kill him. She could have, but she loved him and trusted him even after he told his sisters the truth. But most importantly it was predicated in season two that this would happen. Dany sees a vision of herself approaching the throne, and ashes are spilling down around her, and the Red Keep is destroyed. Cersei humiliated her, and aside from the allies she brought with her she had no one in Westeros.

I don’t think she set out to destroy Kings Landing. I think hearing those bells, thinking about all that has happened to her since coming to Westeros got the better of her. Once she burned down Kings Landing and all its people there was no going back. Even her love for Jon could not bring her back into the light. She didn’t see destruction. She saw a new world where people would love her and those who didn’t would be exterminated. She wanted control and not just of the Seven Kingdoms, but the world.

All in all, I feel bittersweet about Dany’s end. I understand why she had to die, but I wish that she hadn’t. I wanted to see her do good in Westeros and develop relationships organically much as Jon did. I don’t see her as a villain, but as a woman who wanted something for so long that she lost of who she was and what her main goal was.

Tyrion Lannister
I’ve always had a soft spot for Tyrion. He had no love in his family, but he didn’t dwell on it. Instead, he lived life to the fullest. Tyrion is  intelligent and always has a witty remark. Being betrayed by Shae broke him. He truly loved her and wanted her to be safe. When she testified against him and then slept with his father, it broke him.

He was always kind to Sansa and saved her many of times from Joffrey. Even when they were forced to marry, he did not force her to consummate the marriage and treated her kindly. He was also loyal to his family even though they tried to kill him on several occasions and tried to pin the murder of Joffrey on him.

I admire that he has the guts to call a trial by combat and does not just submit to his fate. Of course, his champion was too cocky and ended up dying, leaving Tyrion to face death himself. He put up with a lot from his family, and I don’t blame him for killing his father. His father wasn’t going to let them kill Tyrion, but he wanted to make his son sweat and suffer all because he was born a dwarf and because his wife died giving birth to him.
I feel bittersweet about Shae’s death. It was clear that she was hurt, but Tyrion tried to send her away kindly. But she refused. She said she wasn’t afraid. As admirable as that is, Shae has no fighting experience and if she would have opened her eyes and stopped being jealous she would have seen Tyrion was sending her away for her own good. Instead, he had to resort to calling her whore and saying he didn’t love her to get her to leave.

I genuinely believe Shae’s betrayal broke him and that it’s part of the reason why he didn’t succeed in counseling Daenerys. Tyrion is a smart man, but I don’t think he truly understood the political system in Slaver’s Bay and was trying to negotiate with them like he would in Westeros. He had no stock in Slaver’s Bay, and his titles from Westeros meant nothing to the Masters.

It’s hinted toward the end that Tyrion fell in love with Dany, which is why I believe he gave her the benefit of the doubt. He also never stopped caring for his family. Even though Cersei plotted to have him killed, she was his sister and Jaime had always been good to him.

Tyrion was loyal to the old world while Dany was moving toward the new world with herself at the helm. Their partnership was doomed from the start. And then he started making bad decisions. He told Dany to wait and hold back, and by doing so, she lost her only allies in Westeros.

I think by the time he realized that maybe Dany would not make a great Queen, it was already too late. He was afraid of her. When he found out about Jon’s parentage, even he couldn’t deny that Jon would make a better monarch.

It frustrated me to see such a smart man go downhill. He put stock into a woman he barely knew and fed into the belief that she was good. Again I’m not saying she wasn’t good but in the end, all that cheering and making her feel like a god only made her surer that she was the only one who could fix the world.

Eventually, he did come to his senses, but it was already too late. The whole talk with him and Jon frustrated me because these are things Varys and others were trying to tell him and he told them they were wrong. It took her burning down Kings Landing to realize that she was not the Queen that they needed.

All in all, I didn’t like Tyrion’s ending much. Anyone can make mistakes, but I thought that he was going to save the day somehow. I thought he was going to listen to Varys and Sansa and attempt to do something. It’s kind of Bran to give Tyrion a second chance, but I hope for more with his character.

Theon Greyjoy
I have mixed feelings about Theon as a character. When he went to the Iron Island’s, he had good intentions, but after being scolded by his father who gave him to the Starks and his sister, he was left torn. On the one hand, he was grateful to the Starks for raising him, but at the same time, he resented them. He was essentially a pampered hostage. But there was also resentment toward his father for letting the Starks take him.

He succeeded in taking Winterfell with what little men he had, but even they betrayed him, and the Bolton’s ended up taking over. At first, I didn’t feel bad when Ramsay started torturing Theon, but after he broke Theon, I sympathized with him. Yeah, he betrayed the Starks but didn’t deserve what Ramsay did to him. Then I became angry at him again when he betrayed Sansa when she went to him for help. I get that he was scared, but he didn’t have to rat her out.

I’m glad that in the end, he did save her though. I think seeing Sansa and watching her get raped awoke something in him. And it helped him realize that the Starks were his family. Yes, he was their prisoner, but he was treated well.

It was nice to see a humbled side to Theon, and it was hard seeing him struggle between being afraid and being strong. Being tortured by Ramsay did a number on him and when he jumped off the ship rather than rescuing his sister Yara it wasn’t because he didn’t want to. He was afraid of being tortured again.

I was glad when he rescued Yara, and she told him that he was a Greyjoy and a Stark. It was sad to see him die in the end, but he did so protecting the other person he betrayed, which was Bran. It was nice of Sansa to give him a Stark pin before burning his body. It showed that she too saw him as a Stark and a Greyjoy.

All in all, I think his character served its purpose. He betrayed his host family and then redeemed himself by rescuing Sansa and protecting Bran. Having him live would not have made sense for the storyline.

Cersei Lannister
Cersei always said that Jaime was the dumbest Lannisters, but I think she’s in the same boat with him. She is calculating and cunning, but she does not inspire loyalty. She chides Ned Stark for not playing the game of thrones in season one when she misplayed it. On one hand it’s hard to fault her for being the way that she is because she grew up with a cold father and had an incestuous relationship with her twin brother. And she was married to a man who was in love with a ghost.

It’s a miracle that all her children didn’t end up crazy like Joffrey. Robert was drunk and never gave his children any attention. Cersei coddled her children and made them believe they were right even when they were wrong. Joffrey started as a mama’s boy, but once he became King, he was in charge, and he no longer needed his mother. Much as she tried to control him and rule through him, she found that she could not.

Then Tommen became King, and while she thought she would have an easier time controlling him, instead Margaery grabbed his attention and took control. To take back her son she enlisted in The High Sparrow to help knock Margaery down and gain control of her son. That decision backfired on her, and her son ended up succumbing to the power of The High Sparrow and ended up imprisoned herself.

Even though I hated Cersei, I felt terrible when she had to do the walk of shame. I mean, she deserved punishment for sure, but that was just grueling. I would have much rather have seen her exiled or even imprisoned for a long time. What did they think she would do after her walk of shame? Of course, she’s going to retaliate.

Her blowing up the Sept which was at the heart of the city showed that she didn’t care about her people. That explosion took out houses near the Sept where innocent people were. Sure they cheered her walk of shame, but she never inspired any love from them to begin with.

Instead of being with her son when the Sept blew up, killing his wife she left him alone. She failed her own son, and he took his life as a result. I don’t know if she was trying to punish him for betraying her, but that was messed up leaving him alone.

I don’t blame Cersei for being mad about Myrcella. Myrcella didn’t do anything wrong. She was a good girl born with an evil mother. I would have much rather Ellaria put her energy into killing Cersei than her daughter who did nothing wrong.

Something that bothered me was the fact that many months had passed, yet Cersei didn’t seem to be showing any signs of being pregnant even though she claimed she was. I heard that there was a deleted scene in which she loses the child back in season 7 which would have made a lot of sense. She wasn’t acting like a mother who wanted to live in season 8. She didn’t seem to even consider the child within her until she was about to die. My thoughts were that she was in denial about being pregnant, or maybe she became pregnant again after being with Euron. I guess we’ll never know.

Cersei was a terrible Queen. She didn’t inspire loyalty and didn’t care for her people. I thought she was going to have an epic death. I was disappointed that she and Jaime died together. I had hoped Arya would kill her, or that Dany would blow her away with her dragon. I think it would have been much more interesting for Jaime to come and find her only to discover she is already dead.

Jaime Lannister
Jaime is another character I had mixed feelings about. He started off being extremely arrogant and uncaring of others. He pushed Bran out the window for catching him and his sister engaging in an affair. His love for Cersei was ultimately his downfall. It was an unhealthy love not solely because they were related, but because of who he became when he was with Cersei.

During his time away from her is when we start to see a shift in Jaime. His Lannister name and fighting skills have gotten him far in life. When that is taken away from him, he realizes that he is nothing without his name and sword hand. His time with Brienne and reflecting on who he is now that he only has one hand humbles him.

While before he only cared about his sister, he goes back to rescue Brienne. He even gives her his sword and lets her leave to carry out her mission to bring Sansa safely home. He is the only one to believe that Tyrion is innocent and frees him. After the standoff between the Lannisters, and the Blackfish he lets Brienne and Podrick leave. When Tyrion returns even though he is angered at him for killing their father, he still hears Tyrion out.

After finding out the White Walkers are real and that his sister plans to do nothing about it even though they gave their word, he leaves her to join the fight. Even her threats of killing him don’t stop him because he knows she would never kill him.

There was a lot of chemistry between him and Brienne, but I never saw it as a romantic one. At least not on his end. I was confused when he started to look at her with puppy dog eyes. I mean she stood up for him, but that’s only because he proved himself loyal to her and Catelyn’s promise.

I always had a feeling that he would return to Cersei. When he and Brienne hooked up, it felt unnatural. Especially when a few days later, he leaves her to go back to his sister. I think Brienne was a way for him to be someone different and that in an alternate universe they could have worked out. Jaime has indeed changed, but his love for Cersei destroys him. When he sees her, he sees nothing else.

For a moment he forgets about her and thinks of living with Brienne, but when he realizes that she is going to die, he realizes he still loves her. As I said with Cersei’s death, I think it would have been much more fulfilling if he got there only to find her dead body. I figured he would probably die in the end so I wasn’t surprised there.

Game of Thrones had a good run. I’m glad that it didn’t end on a cliff hanger. I was worried that it would. I mean I suppose we don’t know where Jon was headed, and we’ll never know what West of Westeros is, but at least we know that they are okay. At least for now. I started with the Starks and ended with the Starks.

What are you thoughts on the series?

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Should The College System Be Updated?

Apologies for being MIA the past few months. Things have been so hectic, and I’ve been putting all my time into outlining a novel and editing another. Plus, I’ve also had some health problems that are cleared up now. I had some writers block on what to write about next. Blogging isn’t my forte, but I’m hoping that if I do it enough that I will get better at it.

I want to start by saying that I am not telling anyone whether or not they should go to college. I believe that everyone should have a choice in what they want to do after high school. I’ve been thinking a lot about my time in college and what I got out of it. I have also revised this post about a million times in the past few weeks.

During my last year of college and the months following my graduation, all I could think about was how much I hated school. I wondered if it was all worth it. Sure I had my degree and a big certificate to go with it, but I didn’t really feel it. My grandmother bought a big frame for the degree so I could hang it up, but I never did. I suppose I always felt like it was tacky. I mean it’s not like I’m a doctor or psychologist. I’m not creating a cure for Alzheimer’s or Cancer.

After walking the stage at graduation, I didn’t even want to stick around and sign the rock that people signed every year. I didn’t even want to get a picture by the fountain I walked passed a million times for the past three years. All I wanted to do was get out of my heels and high tail it out of there.

I figured maybe once the dust settled that I would feel different, but I didn’t. Instead, I became very depressed, and it felt weird being at home in January watching Game of Thrones in my pajama’s rather than being at school. I was grateful when I got a job as my funds were dwindling, and in a few months, I would have to start paying off my student loans. It wasn’t the job that I envisioned for myself, but with my student loans and car payments, there isn’t another option.

When I first started college, I was excited. I was going to school to get a degree in the thing that I loved most, which was writing. My ultimate goal was to be a novelist, but I knew that I would need to find something else as a back-up. During my first two years of college, I studied at HACC, and I started to wonder if I should look into becoming a teacher. I wasn’t good at editing, and most of the publishing companies were in big cities that I could not afford to live in.

After I got accepted into York College and picked my major, I was excited to see the many different job routes listed under professional writing. By that time, I began to realize that I didn’t have a passion for teaching. I’ve always been a big believer that if you aren’t passionate about education, then you shouldn’t do it. I’ve had teachers who did not want to teach, and I know it’s a stressful job, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t do it unless I wanted to.

Before I started classes at York College, I wholly believed that the courses I was taking would be to prepare us for any writing position. I quickly learned that that was not the case. I also learned that three and a half months is not enough time for us to thoroughly learn the subject matter in which we are studying. Which is why I believe there should have been more time dedicated to courses about our field of study versus two years of general education courses which were covered in high school.

I never understood why we had to take so many general education courses. Generally, it is supposed to take someone two years to finish them up, but it took me almost three years because of math and science, which are my weak subjects. Now I’m not saying that math, science, and history aren’t necessary, but it just seemed like a waste of time. It brought nothing to my major, and I didn’t get anything out of the courses except for big headaches. The homework load for those classes was insane.

Not to mention, I had to take six math classes before I could take the Math class that would count as a credit. Six courses for one freaking credit! I didn’t even get credit for taking those six classes! The science classes were a nightmare. My advisor told me I was taking an easy science course, and it turned out not to be easy. Here I am putting all my energy into these courses when I should be focusing on my major specific classes.

I get that they think general education courses are essential, but I feel that it takes away from our courses about our field of study. I would much rather spend four years learning the different facets of writing than what I did get the three and a half years I was there.
I’m not trying to bad mouth my college or discourage people from going there because I’m fairly sure this happens at most colleges. I think that it’s time for a change in the education system. I wanted to feel like it was all worth it that I am not paying off a 73,000-dollar loan for the next fifteen years for nothing.

Do I regret getting my degree? No, I am glad that I got my degree. I wish that it would have happened differently. I hoped that I would have gotten more out of my classes than I did. I also wanted more of an opportunity for a writing internship. I did have a great internship while I was there, but I found it on my own as my internship advisor was no help at all. It was with the school Magazine, and it was fun to write for it. It would have been nice to have a second or third internship at different places to get a variety. I wanted classes geared toward novel writing and writing for a journal. I also would not have minded a course in writing advertisements.

I had some excellent professors at York College and met some interesting people there. I will always cherish the professors and the people I met. I won’t say that I didn’t learn anything in my classes because I did learn some things, but a lot of it was through my research and trial and error. It’s good to be able to learn how to do something yourself, but when you are paying a lot of money, you want what you’re putting into it.

I wholly believe that if I didn’t have to take all those general education courses that I would have had more time to dedicate to writing and learning how to write a business/professional document. I also believe that I would have left college a lot happier and more confident that I was prepared to join the world of writing.

All in all, I would say that having a degree does open doors for you, but it’s not a guarantee. You have to have experience as well, and finding an intro-level job can be heard. Even intro-level jobs want you to have experience. Yes, you can get certain positions without a degree, especially if you have experience or published works under your belt. But even that takes time, and you may be working unpaid or earning minimum wage for some time. I hope that the education system changes in the future and that it becomes more affordable as well. Sure learning how to add and multiply are essential, but so is gaining the skills you need for your first job.

What are your thoughts on the current education system? Do you like it? Do you not like it? What would you change about it? What do you wish there was more of?

Writing About Love

Writing about relationships is hard. When I first started writing, I had trouble incorporating storylines that involved love. Then I unconsciously wrote them into my story without even meaning too. The problem is if I try to dig into it too deeply I seem to get lost. At first, I reflected on the relationships of my friends, family, and even people I didn’t know. It did help me a little. But without really understanding the relationship inside and out I struggled when it came to showing different dimensions of my character’s relationships.

When a friend complains about their boyfriend/girlfriend, you only hear their side of the story. Unless of course, you are also friends with both parties. But even then you are just getting their version of it. Without having been there, you can’t determine what kind of relationship they have under the surface. Which means the only thing you have to work with is what is above the surface.

In order to incorporate it more in my writing, I decided to read books that focused on romance. In my research, I learned about different kinds of love and relationships.

In terms of love the different types are:

Admiration: You admire a person so much that you wish you were like them. Mistaking admiration for love is easy. You put this person on a pedestal and think you want to be with them. You only see the good things about this person. When you see a side, you don’t like you become disappointed, but not discouraged. Eventually, the person figures out that they don’t love this person, but it is usually through heartbreak.

One-sided love: This is when you are in love with someone after knowing them for an amount of time. Despite that, they don’t feel the same way back. In this scenario, some people are okay with loving someone who doesn’t like them back. They are hoping that the person will one day feel the same. In most cases, the feeling will fade, or you will meet someone who loves you back. There is also a rare occasion that the person will return your feelings at some point. But even at that, it is unlikely especially if you’ve known each other for years.

Obsessive love: This kind of love is dangerous and unhealthy. A person becomes obsessed with someone so much that they make it they’re life to make you fall in love with them. They smother the person they love and break down when that person is honest with them. The most heartbreaking thing about obsessive love is that it never ends well. You end up hurting yourself and others.

Star-crossed love: Two people share the same feelings, but there is some reason they can’t date. Usually, this is caused by family, religion, personal values, and friends. In this situation, the two people resolve to be friends but inadvertently act more like a couple. Some people can maintain a relationship like this and not be fazed, but others end up crumbling in one way or another. Hopefully not that way it ended with Romeo and Juliet though!

Love-Love: Which is when you are in a relationship with a person that you both want. Of course, this is everyone’s aim to have the person they love, love them back. This kind of love is most successful after getting to know a person before you begin a relationship. You both know each other’s quirks and flaws and accept them.

Of course, relationships aren’t as simple as definitions. Love can be messy and complicated. It’s built on trust and respect for one another. It’s about forgetting the previous relationships you’ve had and being in the present relationship you are currently in. When you are with someone, you want to be your best self and not have to hide who you are. You are secure that the person standing next to you loves you and would never hurt you. Even if you argue, you can come back from it, and you can learn to agree to disagree with one another.  It sounds so simple when you think about in those terms. The reality is that we are all human. We are going to make mistakes. We will overreact and say things that we don’t mean. No relationship is perfect.

I think the real test of a stable relationship can come back after you a huge fight. Now when I mean a huge fight I am not talking about your significant other cheating on you or hitting you. Because that is not okay and you may think you can get past something like that, but you’re only fooling yourself. I’m talking about an argument over where you want to live in the future. Or if you’re going to continue a tradition that was passed down through your family over the years.  There is still a lot that I have to learn about love. But from what I have learned I am starting to get a better idea of how to incorporate a storyline within my story.

How to Be There For a Person With Mental Illness

Having a support system is vital for people with mental illness.  It took me a long time to center myself and find my support system. Few people have the patience or will to deal with someone who has a mental illness. I commend my family and friends for sticking it out with me while I endure my eternal battle with anxiety and depression.

Due to recent events which I won’t get into I ended up in a very dark place. I put my trust into someone and spoke with them about my struggles only to have them tell me that I was a drama queen.

Below are the top 14 things you never say to a person with a mental illness:

1) Never tell them they are overdramatic.

2) Don’t say, “Get over it.” or “Move on.”

3) Did you take your meds today?

4) Maybe you should be talking to someone else about this.

5) Cheer up.

6) It can’t be that bad.

7) It’s all in your head.

8) Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

9) It’s your own fault.

10) It could be worse.

11) You never think of anybody but yourself.

12) You don’t look depressed.

13) You just need to try harder.

14) You think you’ve got it bad.

From the list below I have had all those things said to me and more. When people say these things to you when you are already feeling down, you believe them. You think that they are right and that you should feel ashamed for how you are feeling. I am here to tell you that THEY ARE WRONG! If someone says something to you from the list above, then they are the ones who should feel ashamed.

In the past, once I had cleared my head, I would try to explain to that person what was going through my head. Unfortunately, I was talking to a brick wall. This person was never going to understand what I was going through and didn’t care.

The funny thing is those same people vented to me about a lot of things. And I sat there and listened to every one of them. I didn’t call them stupid or tell them they were feeling sorry for themselves. If you take the time to listen to someone, but they can’t make the time to be there for you when you need them, then you DO NOT need them in your life.

People with a mental illness do not choose to be depressed, anxious, and moody. If I had a choice, I would prefer to be happier, secure, and comfortable with myself. Now that isn’t to say that one cannot try and improve how they are feeling. With hard work, patient people, and something to focus on it is easy to forget all your worries and sadness. But sometimes those things don’t always work. Sadness, doubt, fear, and anger will leak through at times, and it’s not always something one can control.

I understand that not everyone is equipped in dealing with a person struggling with mental illness. In middle school and high school, we would have a yearly assembly on mental illness. But, in college, it’s an optional event that people can go to to learn more. One assembly and an optional event are not enough to help people learn what it truly means to live with a mental illness.

In middle school and high school, we had home economics, technology education, and woodshop. However, we would have benefited from a class in mental illness. I realize that most parents think their children are too young to learn about things like that, but I think it would cause less bullying. Instead of berating a person for being sad and hopeless they can assist someone or let an adult know.

In college, I took a lot of general education courses that were repetitive or what I already took in high school. A course in mental illness education would have been great as a class requirement. Maybe then people would think twice about calling a person weird or negative for struggling with depression and anxiety.   Now that I have gone through what not to say to a person with mental illness here are something things that you should say:

1) How are you?

12) Do you want to go out…?

3) You deserve to be happy.

4) I’m so glad you’re in my life.

5) Remember when….

6) You’re not a weirdo.

7) You can be honest with me.

8) Do you want to go for a walk?

9) Would you like a hug?

10) What can I do to help?

11) This must be very hard for you.

12) You are amazing, beautiful and strong and you can get through this.

13) You never have to apologize for your illness or for feeling this way.

41) I’m not scared of you.

Overall surrounding yourself with positive and patient people is key. When a person is feeling down or sinking into a dark place remind them of the good times and how much they have accomplished. Make them forget about all the things plaguing them.

Mental illness is not an easy thing for a person suffering from it to talk about. It is also not easy for someone who is not struggling with it to understand. But, as long as you try to understand and show that you are not afraid of being near someone with a mental illness, then you are heading in the right direction.

NEVER apologize for your mental illness. I am still learning that I don’t need to apologize to jerks who make me feel bad about having depression and anxiety. If someone does not want to understand what you are going through and be a positive factor in your life, then delete them from your life. Adding more negative energy to the doubts, fear, sadness, and anger in your life will do you no good.

Some ways to help you push through your negative thoughts are:

1) Exercising.

2) Reading.

3) Writing.

4) Watching a funny movie or TV show.

5) Clean your room/house.

6) Go out and have fun.

7) Take a nap.

8) Hug your pillow, pet, or teddy bear.

9) Breathe.

10) Listen to Music.

11) Reach out or reconnect with someone.

12) Look through old photographs.

13) Laugh.

14) Cry.

I’ve done all the things in the list above, and it does help get your mind off things. It may take you some time to push yourself into escaping from your mind, but I guarantee you it will be worth it. When I am feeling sad, or down I try not to let myself sit on my bed and fold into myself. Instead, I take out my list of things that I could be doing instead. I through it until my negative thoughts are lost in the rearview mirror.

Believe in yourself. Remind yourself of who you are. If you need to take a mental health day or a step back from everything, then do it. If you need to get out of the house and go on a drive, then do it. Remember that you are loved and that there are people who care. Choose to look at the sunlight, even when the shadows are nipping at your heels.

If you are in a dark place and cannot crawl out of it and are thinking of harming yourself reach out to someone. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your friends or family about it reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

My Thought’s On Love

For the longest time, I avoided relationships like the plague. It wasn’t that I couldn’t commit to anyone it just seemed like a lot of stress and pain. Plus Junior High and High school were also stressful in itself being the quiet girl, who wears baggy clothing because I was self-conscious about my way to fast developing body.

I have never been the kind of person who dates just for the sake of dating, which is what most of my friends around me did. On the rare occasion, I was asked out which didn’t happen until I was in 8th grade I would ask why they wanted to date me. Mainly because it was usually guys, I didn’t know well. I mean if you’re going to ask a girl to be your girlfriend right off the bat you have to expect that question. Especially when you only have one class together where you’ve barely spoken. Or sometimes I didn’t even have a class with them.

The two most famous answers were because you have pretty hair, or because it may be fun. Okay so maybe they aren’t terrible answers. But, that’s what dating is for. You go on a couple of dates and then decide if you want to be boyfriend and girlfriend. But everyone around that time was so quick to put a label on things. It was maddening.

As I got older and switched to cyber school, my mind caught up with my body, and I started to wonder what it would be like to date someone. Problem is when you’re in Cyber School it’s hard to meet people. I won’t go into all the details, but when I left school, I left a lot of toxic people and teachers behind. So I was starting with a blank slate. Sure I communicated with a few of the kids from the Cyber School via Facebook, but most of them lived far away.

It wasn’t until I started taking martial arts that I met someone who I considered dating. I was terrible at flirting, and when I talked to him, I felt like half of what I said was nonsense. Then after I mustered up the courage to tell him how I felt I found out that he had a girlfriend.

After that, I had a few small crushes, but after getting to know the person, I realized that a relationship would never work out. Meanwhile, once I got into college, the whole game had changed. Either people were already paired up since high school and getting engaged, or they decided they preferred friends with benefits rather than a two-person relationship.

Without getting into to much detail, I had two terrible dating experiences in my first two years of college. So much that they really did a number on me. For at least two years cursed myself for being with people who didn’t care about me. At that time I decided to focus on school and worry about boys later.

Of course, sometimes life has another plan for you. In the form of a cute guy who just won’t leave you alone! I mean he wasn’t a stalker or anything, but it’s hard to ignore a guy and focus on just schoolwork when he keeps smiling at you and looking at you. Then, of course, he eventually talks to you, and at that point, all other logic goes through the window. What hurt most about this experience was the ping-ponging around. One minute he liked me and then the next minute he didn’t. And then it went back and forth like that several times.

Long story short I ended up feeling like I had been chewed up and spit out. That’s not a fun feeling. Shortly after that I closed off my heart and put up walls around myself. I began ending things before the other person ended it because I was scared and didn’t want to get hurt.

Problem with doing that is that it doesn’t solve anything. It just turns you into this lonely person. So I lowered my walls not all the way, but enough for people to get through and I wised up to people who were there for the long haul and people who were just in it for a minute.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it hasn’t been lonely and that I wish I had someone to share life with. But I also know that at some point someone will come into my life and stay there. For now, I’m thankful to have a job, time to write, and very cuddly cats!

Keeping The Reader Hooked

Duologies, Trilogies, Quadrilogies are really popular in the book world. Writing one book is hard enough, but having to come up with two or three other books is even harder. As a novelist who is hoping to publish in the future once I get my story together, I have learned a lot from reading book series.

The main thing that I have learned is that to have a successful series you need to keep your writer so hooked that they won’t want to put down your book. The three keys to keeping their attention are:

Unattainable love/love triangles

Most of us know what it is like to be in love with someone who doesn’t love you back. Or maybe you are in love with someone, and they are in love with you, but it’s not the right time. Then there is the love where there is a big obstacle such as they are currently with someone, or maybe you’re both afraid of what other people would think about you and said person as a couple.

Love triangles can suck when it happens to you, but when it happens in a story, you are all about shipping one couple over another. It also puts pressure on the main character and makes them do crazy things especially if they are in love with two people at once.

Action

Having an awesome fight scene in your novel really gets the heart and blood pumping. You don’t know who’s going to win. You don’t know if your main character will make it out alive, or without being captured. It also shows a different side to your character. It is an excellent way to introduce the main villain of the story as well.

It’s good to pepper action throughout your whole novel. It doesn’t necessarily have always have to be a fight scene. It could be your main character running toward something, or them getting into a heated argument. I loathe when an author leaves all the action to the end of the novel, especially when the rest of the story has been dull and hard to get through.

Suffering

This sounds terrible, but we are all guilty of watching our character’s suffer and feeling some sense of happiness about it. Okay, I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. We have all suffered in life one way or another, and when we read about a character that has suffered as well, it helps us connect with them more. That’s not to say that the character cannot start out perfect, but we don’t want to hear about how happy and perfect their life is for the next three-hundred pages.

Suffering also helps the character grow and think. That doesn’t mean they won’t make the same mistake again, but the next time it could go differently. It also makes the character more believable. And some of the time suffering is needed in order to get to something good unless it’s like Game of Thrones where there is an unlimited amount of suffering.

I have a huge amount of respect for people who tackle duologies, trilogies, and quadrilogies. It’s a hard task to take on. I have seen authors belt out a successful series and I have also seen authors fall short on the last book. I recently read the third book in a quadrilogy. The fourth one is not out yet, but I have mixed feelings about it. The first two books hands down were great. But the third book was a struggle to get through. The author glossed over key parts in her story and took one of the main characters down a path that did not even make sense for the character. It wasn’t until the last fifty pages where all the action happened that I got into it.

I am not sure if I will read the fourth book or not. She’s a great author, and I don’t want to hold one bad book against her. I know that it’s a lot of pressure to get a book out in a year and that sometimes there isn’t time to get it the way you want it too. In the article, she mentioned that she intended for the series to be one book, but then it spanned into more. My thinking is that maybe there wasn’t a concrete enough blueprint for the novel which is what made the third book struggle.

I worry at times that I will run into the same issues since the novel I am currently working on is part of either a duology or a trilogy. I haven’t decided yet. I have idea’s for two books, but the third book, if there will be one, seems hazier.

Plus there is also the pressure of having to have a book done within the span of the year. A year sounds like such a long time, but it really isn’t, which is why before I submit my novel to an agent which probably won’t be for some time I want to have a general idea of where I want the other book or two to go and have a rough draft. That way I have some idea of what I want to happen.

Getting Real

You ever write a story with the intention of it being a full-fledged fiction story only for it to start to seem familiar? One of my New Year’s goals is to submit to more publications and short story competitions. It has been quite some time since I have written a short story due to spending all my energy on my novel Anarchy.

Lately, I seem to be on a psychological thriller buzz. The latest one I saw was the TV series You, which is on Netflix. It is also a book series which is something that I just found out. After binge-watching the series in two days, it inspired me to write my own psychological thriller.

Four-thousand words into the story and I was feeling pretty good. My keys were flying across the keyboard like lighting. And then I began to realize that my characters seemed familiar. My hands were all cramped up, so I gave it a rest and paid some attention to my cats. Over and over the story turned around in my mind until I realized that I was writing about something that had actually happened. <p>Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s not uncommon to write about what we know or incorporate it into our stories. But, was disturbed me the most was how vulnerable, confused, and messed up I was during the time that this particular event happened to me. I was not in a good place at the time. I was reeling from a bad break-up and wanted someone to take away my sadness.

Plus I was still trying to figure out how to manage my depression and anxiety. Therapists were great, but once you were out of their office then everything you said that you were going to do and try suddenly falls to the wayside. Plus you’re on these pills that help for a while until they don’t.  Then it’s a different medicine and more literature on how to cope and what to do to keep your mind off of it.

It was hard during that time for me to trust friends during that time. Plus I needed constant validation that I was not annoying and that they still wanted to be my friend. I clung onto a guy that I didn’t even like because I thought he was the key to unlocking the shattered pieces of my heart.

By the time my hand was finished cramping and roaring to go, I had lost all my steam. My fingers hovered over the keyboard, but I couldn’t will them to touch the keys and type.

Because thinking about that time and who I was during that time and what I did and said will always haunt me. I know that things are different now and that person is in the past, but it’s hard sometimes to believe that it was really me.

For about an hour I laid back against my bed and tried to forget I even wrote the stupid story and told myself that it was all in the past. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted so badly to erase it from my life or go back and do it all over.

After some words from my best friend, I was able to pick myself back up. I finished the story giving it a corny ended and packed it away. We all have done things that we are not proud of. We’ve all said things that we didn’t mean. After all, we can’t always be our best selves. Sometimes we fall, but then we rise again.

I cannot change the past. All I can do is live in the present.

Bring On The New Year!

This year has been a weird one. It feels as if it has been long and drawn out, but at the same time, it is as if it has gone by in a blur. I’ve had my highs and lows this year.

While it has been a year now since I graduated college, it still seems like it has a hold on me. Paying off loans is a taxing process especially when your monthly payment cuts into most of your salary. I hope that in the future education will become less expensive or be free.

But, enough wallowing. Let’s go over my goals for this year that I set last year.
1. Get my sleep schedule back on track
2. Find a Job
3. Read more
4. Start submitting to writing journals and online publications
5.Finish the second draft of my novel

My sleep schedule this year has had its ups and downs. Sometimes I sleep so great that when I wake up, I feel good. Other times I feel like a train has run me over. For the most part, though I think I have kept to a good sleep schedule aside from a few times where I went off schedule.

I was able to find a job as a Clerk II with the Department of Corrections. It’s a mindless job since there isn’t much work to be done, but it’s a job. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will be on my way to a Clerk II or Administrative Assistant I. That way I can make some more money so I can move out.

Reading has been on and off for me this year. But, I have incorporated it more and started carrying a book around everywhere again. I read 33 books this year which isn’t too shabby.

At the beginning of the year, I submitted writing pieces to several contests. I also submitted to two publications. As of late though I have been focusing a lot on my novel, but I have plans to submit to more publications and projects.

As you all know I have had a tough time with my novel Anarchy. I started and restarted my draft several times and got to a point where I was going to set it aside. But eventually, I was able to realize that I needed to take a step back and do some more planning on what I want to happen in my novel before I begin writing. So right now I am in the planning stages and taking my time.

I would say that I did pretty good in accomplishing my goals. I had some rough patches, but ultimately I was able to persevere.

Here will be my goals for 2019:
1. Continue to read more
2.Begin writing my next draft of Anarchy
3.Socialize more
4. Eat Healthier
5. Continue submitting to online journals, publications, and contests.

Most of my goals are the same with two additions. The first addition is to socialize more. I spend a lot of time at home burrowed in a booked or ensconced in my writing. I want to hang out with others more and do some fun activities.

I always tell myself that I am going to eat healthier the next day, and then the next day comes, and I eat junky again. So this time I am going to eat better and less of junk. Why? Well, I would like to lose some weight. I’m not a cow or anything, but some of my clothes are getting a bit snug. Also, because diabetes runs in my family and the last time I went to my doctor my cholesterol was on the high end.

All in all, they are pretty simple and straightforward goals. What are your goals for the New Year?

Starting Over

It’s hard to believe that almost a year ago now I graduated from college. It seems like an eternity since then. Sometimes I feel as if the days drag on at an excruciating pace and other days it feels as if it is moving way too fast. I suppose the speed of time equates to how you choose to use it.

After much pain and wallowing, I took a brief break from writing. I started re-reading some of the books on writing that I have and also purchased some new ones. Reading about the struggles that all aspiring authors and published authors go through I realized again that I was not alone.

During that time I also took the time to reach out to fellow aspiring writers as well as published authors I met through workshops and conferences. I received a lot of helpful tips from them and found myself ready to dive back into my novel and start over.

Currently, I am using that knowledge to better my novel and have a concrete plan for it. I am also reminding myself it is okay to write badly. As long as I am writing that is all that matters.

Going through the outlining process and each scene step-by-step is by no means an easy task. I tend to be very impatient and want to dive right into my story, but I have to restrain myself from doing that. If I don’t then about a hundred pages into my novel, I come to a standstill.

While initially, it was a weird process and hard to get into I am starting to see my story unfold before me and am finding plot holes easier.

Now the biggest hurdle will be getting through the middle which is the most crucial part of any novel. If your center falls flat, then you will lose your reader. Of course, the beginning and end are also equally important.

The beginning hooks the reader in and lets them know whether or not they will invest their time in reading your novel. The end either gives your reader great satisfaction or if it is a series the urge to purchase the sequel and find out what happens next.

For a while, I lost myself as a writer and started to wonder if I was cut out to be one. I was in pain and tortured myself by staring at a blank page and ridiculing myself for starting over my fifth draft so many times.

After several days of that, I decided enough was enough. I then proceeded to draft a letter to myself to read when I begin to feel like I am not a good writer. Writing the letter and then reading it lifted a big weight off my shoulders and I now know that I can do this and will do this.

It won’t always be easy, and I may fall down many times, but that’s okay. Because I will stand back up and I will persevere!

Leap and the Net Will Appear

Leap and the net will appear – John Burroughs.

So I have decided to do one blog post bi-weekly. Since starting my permanent full-time position with the Department of Corrections as a Clerk II, I have been surrounding myself with inspirational quotes. These quotes remind me to stay strong and keep on writing. It also reminds of who I am and that my day job may be a Clerk II, but I am still a writer. I bought two letterboards from Five Below so that I can change my quotes each day.

If you look at my Instagram Widget on my page, you will see the other quotes that I have put up as well as my progress with my novel. My two quotes for today are “Leap, and the net will appear” by John Burroughs, and “If it Matters to you, you’ll find a way” by Charlie Gilkey.

What do these quotes mean?

The first one means that if you take the chance then whatever else comes after that will follow. If you are starting a new novel or even embarking on a new adventure, there will always be a net there to catch you. Metaphorically of course. Don’t go jumping off buildings and expecting there to be a net! Not unless you are a wizard or a witch.

The second one means that if something is important enough to you, then you will find a way to do it. Which is true. If you want to do something you will make time for it. Sometimes life gets in the way of our goals in life. But if it is something that you want to do then surround yourself with people who you know will support you in trying to reach your goal. Some days when I come home, I just want to flop on my bed and be a vegetable. So I meet myself halfway. I loaf around for about an hour, and then I get into my writing.

For those of you who are avid readers of my blog, you know that I have been struggling with the fifth draft of my novel Anarchy. Well, not just the fifth draft. All the drafts. Each time I put my novel through the wringer I feel like it ends up turning into something different. When it came to the fifth draft, I kept stopping about halfway through my writing.

This time though I believe I have the right combination and I am going to push through the draft until the story is done. I am about one hundred pages into this draft, and I’m starting to get to that point again where I think it is all wrong and going downhill, but I am pushing through anyway.

It’s hard because I am going off the original plan with my storyline at the moment. So I am following that path and hoping to link it back up with my storyline. Then once I finish this draft, I can clean it up. Once I save up some more money, I can have a professional Editor look at it.

So I am taking the leap, and my net is appearing beneath me to carry me keep me safe wherever my novel takes me.