Confessions of a Paper Hoarder (The Inspiration Wall)

My family would probably be the first to tell you that I am a notorious paper-hoarder. Physical objects usually end up in the “donate to Goodwill” pile at some point, but I still have movie ticket stubs from 2012 for some reason. Eight years ago. And I assure you that’s not the oldest paper product in my possession.

At one point, I wanted to cover an entire wall of my bedroom with corkboard, or some equivalent. I insisted that it could be done. My parents told me I needed to calm down and got me to settle for three large bulletin boards, which did just as well.

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My bulletin board wall, which hasn’t changed much since my high school years.

And then I went to college. Obviously, I could not take all of my ticket stubs and theatre programs and postcards with me. It was a real shame too, because the walls in our dorm rooms came equipped with corkboards.

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Why Bother Trying? (or, Another Bout of Writer’s Block | Writer’s Life

If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve experienced a creative block from time to time. This phenomenon is not uncommon. I talked a little bit about this before, when I was feeling creatively drained and I just couldn’t get myself to write. Back then, I decided I needed a break to refresh myself.

And it worked! I took a month off from blogging and just focused on doing things that refilled my creative well, so to speak. After a few weeks, I felt ready to take on the writing world again.

But there’s more than one kind of writer’s block, and sadly, just taking a break doesn’t always solve the problem. Sometimes, writer’s block gets a little more personal.

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January 2020 – Month in Review

Another year, another January, another month in review. I’ve always thought January is kind of a strange month. On one hand, it feels like thirty-one Mondays in a row, but on the other hand, everything feels so fresh and exciting! That’s the approach I try to have, but when it’s dark by 5:30 p.m. and the temperatures are freezing most of the time, it’s hard.

On the bright side, there was a lot of new and exciting stuff to keep my spirits up this month! I’ll talk about all of that in just a second, but first, here’s what I blogged about this month:

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20 Things to Do While Watching the Big Game (Or Any Other Sporting Event You’re Socially Obligated to Watch)

Listen, I love football. I enjoy watching it, even when I don’t necessarily care for the teams that are playing. Well, that might be a little lie. If one of my teams isn’t playing, it’s pretty easy for me to get distracted. But it’s not like I can just go without watching the Super Bowl. If I want to be socially literate, I gotta watch it.

I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with being in situations where we’re under social obligation to watch some kind of sporting event. The Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl… if you’re not into sports, it might not hold your attention. Lucky for you, I have a list to help you prepare for your next socially obligated sporting event!

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A Defense of Non-Traditional Reading

It’s a common stereotype that readers are notorious for hating on e-books, audiobooks, and pretty much any form of reading that isn’t a hardcover from 1974 with a faded velvet bookmark. You’ve seen the poorly-formatted memes and comics – kids these days with their “Kindles” and “Nooks,” not reading scrolls by candlelight like we did in ye olde America. What happens when your e-reader’s battery is drained, or you can’t find your headphones?

Don’t get me wrong, “non-traditional” forms of reading aren’t perfect. The blue light from our smartphones and e-readers is considered harmful, though there continue to be ways to work around that effect. You could argue that people tend to retain written information better when it is on a page rather than a screen. And of course, the aesthetic – there is nothing quite like having a beautiful collection of books to surround yourself with.

At the beginning of the month, my campus library posted this poll on their bulletin board:

12 library poll

And recently in my papermaking/bookmaking class, we’ve been talking about how books and the methods we prefer to use when we read them. Despite what the memes suggest, people of my generation still love printed text.

Unfortunately, this love of traditional reading often comes with a disdain for other ways of consuming books. But let me confess something: I love having e-books and audiobooks. As time passes, they’ve become a more present part of my reading experience, and I’m incredibly thankful for it. These days, when I hear someone mocking non-traditional reading, it takes a lot out of me not to start an argument. So instead of starting an argument in person, I’ve decided to write a little bit about why e-books and audiobooks are in some ways better than printed pages.

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Dreaming Big & Saving Cats | Writer’s Life

Alright, I know last week I skimmed over my goals for 2020, and that included a handful of writing goals, but I promise this is different! I want to take a closer look at my “Quest” fantasy project and where I want to take it this year. I’ve spent a lot of time planning and plotting over the past month, and I feel like I’m ready to approach this project once again.

I briefly mentioned it a few posts ago, but I recently read the book Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, at the recommendation of my friend and fellow blogger Charmaine Lim. The book takes the original “Save the Cat” theory by screenwriter Blake Snyder and adapts it to prose writing, particularly novels.

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Goals for 2020

I like setting goals for myself if for no other reason than the fact that I like the illusion of accomplishment. We can debate whether or not reading a certain number of books is actually making a difference in the grand scheme of things, but hey, at least I actually did something. If nothing else, I think goal-setting helps us prioritize, and they teach us patience and perseverance.

There’s nothing really special about the first day of the year – it’s just another day, so what? But for whatever reason, when humans made calendars, they designated this specific day as the beginning of a “new year.” And we like new things. They’re scary sometimes, sure, but they also feel full of opportunity. So yes, setting goals for a year is somewhat arbitrary, but I think it’s good to capitalize on that optimism  and use it to make changes that will go beyond the next twelve months.

All that being said, today I’m going to review my goals from 2019 and rate myself on how well I did, and then look ahead to what I want to do in 2020.

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2019: Year In Review

It’s the end of another year, and also the end of another decade. If you’re worried that I’m going to make you endure a ten-year retrospective like every other content creator on the internet seems to be doing, let me put your fears to rest: I’m not. I can barely remember what I did ten days ago, let alone ten years ago. And while you might be entertained by a cringeworthy look back at my pre-teen years, that’s a trip down memory lane I’m gonna pass on.

As is tradition though, I am going to wrap up 2019 with a look back at my favorites from the year. I promise you I’ll keep it concise, so without further ado, on to the lists!

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Dear Blog: 4th Blogiversary Celebration + A Party Favor for YOU!

Read on to the end for details on a special thank-you project I’m doing in celebration of 4 years of Maggie’s Musings!

Every year, it’s time for a blogiversary post and every year, I panic because I feel like I need to one-up myself from last year and do something EPIC in celebration. And why shouldn’t I? Four years of blogging is nothing to sneeze at, if I do say so myself. The problem is that despite my writing skills, I am not the best when it comes to party planning.

But never fear! I’ve decided to write a letter to my blog, reflecting on the past four years we’ve had together. Thank goodness my blog is not a real person though, because it would probably be throwing a toddler-sized tantrum about celebrating its birthday a week late.

And be sure to stick around to the end! I’ve got a special surprise to thank all of my lovely followers for four awesome years, so keep reading!

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Fictional Festivities | 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

‘Tis the season to curl up in front of a fireplace with a good book and a big mug of hot cocoa. Snowflakes are falling outside of your window, and the only sound you hear is the crackle of the fire and the crinkle of pages being turned. It’s just you and the book, no one else around.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it’s a big challenging to get into the “Christmas spirit” when you’re a student. My school wrapped things up particularly late this year, so I didn’t get to go home until December 19. Between research papers on medieval and Renaissance literature and politics exams, it was easy to forget that Christmas was right around the corner.

And so I thought, what better way to get ready to celebrate Christmas than crank up my favorite Christmas music and participate in a Christmas-y book tag? This is the 12 Days of Christmas book tag, created by Falling Down The Book Hole, though I learned about it through Paper Fury’s post a few weeks ago. I did my very best to limit my answers to books I read this year, though you’ll see I bent the rules a tad bit…

Without further ado, let’s celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas!

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