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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November 2019 – Month in Review

My rule these days is keeping things short and sweet. It was November. It’s now December. I’m cold. I can’t believe the year is almost over and if one more person talks about it being the end of the decade I’m going to collapse on the floor and have an existential crisis.

So anyway, let’s focus on November for right now, because that seems slightly less threatening than focusing on December.

This month, I blogged about:

Also, you can watch my 1SE compilation for November 2019 via Google Drive this month. I don’t understand all of the COPPA stuff happening with YouTube, and while I don’t think it’s as big a deal as people are making it out to be, I want to wait until I understand everything before uploading anything else there. But here’s the video!

As for the rest of the month…

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Writer’s Life: A Year of Writing (2019)

With the amount of writing that I’ve been doing over the past year, I probably would’ve murdered a whole forest with the amount of paper I would have used, and that would be a shame. Fortunately, we live in a digital age, and so my projects live on in Scrivener files and Evernote notes, and I can continue looking out my bedroom window at trees.

I don’t say that to sound all proud or anything. Yeah, I did write a lot this year, but if we’re being honest, a lot of that writing was experimental, nothing that actually went anywhere. A lot of it was also writing for this blog, so I’ll leave you to judge the quality of that (don’t tell me, I’d like to live in my ignorance on this one). Oh, and there was a lot of academic writing too, which… well, again, I guess it’s more for my professor to decide whether it was good or not.

All this to say, looking back over the past year, I think my writing and I have had a pretty great 2019! I can see the ways that I’ve grown as a writer, honing my voice and experimenting with new genres. I’ve expanded my influences too by discovering new favorite books, shows, and other stories in a lot of different mediums. In light of it being the end of the year, I wanted to look back through what I’ve done as a writer this year, and look ahead to what 2020 might have in store for me!

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October 2019 – Month In Review

Every month I think, “surely this month will be less busy than the previous month” and every month I am proven wrong, but at least I’m consistent.

All that to say, there’s a lot I want to talk about, so I won’t waste any time getting to the important stuff! First off, this month, I blogged about:

And here’s my 1 Second Everyday compilation from October!

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The Hardest Photo I Ever Took

My birthday is in May, conveniently placed around final exams. Because of that, I don’t often get the chance to do many exciting things to celebrate – maybe catch a movie, grab a meal in the dining hall with some friends, but that’s about it. It’s not as bad as it sounds, actually. I enjoy those small moments and the little things that make birthdays special.

My 20th birthday was on a Saturday, and so I met some of my friends for lunch on campus. It was a beautiful day – the sun was out, the weather was warmer, everything I could’ve asked for. As we were leaving the dining hall to go back to our dorms, we went down a sidewalk that was lined with blossoming trees. One of my friends stopped and asked, “Maggie, can I take your picture in front of these?”

3 photo a
Taken on my 20th birthday: May 5, 2018.

I take my photo once in a blue moon. I’m not really camera shy, I just prefer to be the one behind the lens rather than in front of it. But it was my birthday after all, and the trees really did look fantastic, so I walked over to them and smiled.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as I look back at this photo and the good memories it holds for me, I realized that if I took a photo like this five years earlier, I would’ve hated it.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I, like nearly every other teenage girl at some point in her life, felt insecure about my appearance. A lot of us go through that in our middle school and high school years, and despite the fact that I was cyberschooled, I didn’t get a pass.

I’m going to be blunt in this post. Please don’t take that as self-deprecation or looking for pity. I just find it easiest to write this if I’m being completely honest.

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September 2019 – Month In Review

Happy October! It’s supposed to be autumn here but we had two days that were 90 degrees Fahrenheit (about 32 Celsius) which is definitely not normal for central Pennsylvania. Please give me colder weather and apple cider (which is the SUPERIOR fall beverage). I want to wear my sweatshirt.

School started this month (more on that in a minute) and it was a bit of a struggle to get into the swing of things this year. Because of that, I wrote a grand total of one blog post this month. But it’s a good one! It’s about books: Making the Most of Required Reading

On a related note: I’ve decided to revisit how and when I post things on my blog, and you can find all the details here: Blogkeeping: New Schedule!

And finally, you can check out my 1 Second Everyday Compilation for September!

Read on for the rest of the month!

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Blogkeeping: New Schedule!

When was the last time I rearranged my blogging schedule? I think it was a few years ago. Not counting when I switched from doing Week in Review to Month in Review, it was October 2016. Fall of my freshman year of college. Now I’m a senior. Funnily enough, I seem to have found myself in a similar situation to the one I was in four years ago: My academic schedule is kicking my butt, and I need to reassess.

You may have noticed (or maybe you didn’t) that for most of September, I didn’t post anything. That wasn’t really an intentional decision, but in retrospect, I’m glad I did that. Last fall, I took a “sabbatical” from blogging for a month, and it was very refreshing. This past month has felt the same. Plus, it gave me a chance to step back and think about the best way I can continue to publish posts regularly while not getting overwhelmed.

A weird thing about blogging is that whether I write or don’t write, it can be frustrating. Sometimes words are hard, but you just have to push through and write them, and it’s like pulling teeth. Other times, you’ve just had enough with writing and you just want to lay on the couch and contemplate your existence.

All this to say, I’m shaking things up on the blog because I’m a loose cannon. Just kidding, if I don’t have a plan, I shrivel up and die like a neglected succulent. Actually, I’m giving myself even more of a schedule so I don’t have to spend all week freaking out over what I’m going to write.

First Friday of the Month: Month in Review for the previous month! The monthly wrap-ups you know and love. Nothing changing here.

First Monday of the Month: A list post! People call these “listicles” but I strongly dislike that word and I will never use it again. These would be posts like “Making the Most of Required Reading” and my “Junior Year Soundtrack.” Thoughts that are more organized in a list format. Like BuzzFeed, but better. We hope.

Second Monday of the Month: #WritersLife – in other words, updates on my writing. I’ve got plenty of projects going on right now, including one for my senior seminar class that I haven’t talked about here yet, so I’ll have a lot of material to talk about. This could look like a lot of different things – maybe a snippet from something I’ve been working on, fun facts about a character, or a Q&A session! Think something along the lines of my “Favorite Lines from Camp NaNoWriMo April 2019

Third Monday of the Month: General musings in a non-list format. The content might vary, but it would be more essay-like in form. Not that they’re actually essays. Or maybe they are? I don’t know where to draw the line. Whatever you call it, they’ll look similar to “Why Group Projects (Usually) Don’t Work.”

Fourth Monday of the Month: Tags and linkups. I’ve done these before every so often, but they’re a lot of fun and I think they would add some more variety to the blog. I’m hoping to participate in The Language of Worlds linkup often, but other months, I might do something like the Character Duel Tag.

Fifth Monday of the Month: It’s a SURPRISE! These only happen every couple months, so I’m gonna plan them as I see fit. You’ll just have to wait and see!

And that’s it! Blog posts will still be coming out when you expect them to, the content will just be a little more consistent from month to month.

As always, thank you all so much for continuing to stick with my blog. I appreciate every like and comment – they always bring a smile to my day. I couldn’t ask for better readers!

Until next time!

August 2019 Month In Review

I know I’m only a week off of my normal schedule, but let me just tell you something – it feels like it’s been an eternity since August happened. I’m glad I made some notes for myself, because I’ve forgotten just about everything I did last month.

Before I launch into that though, here are my blog posts from August! I was a little bit off of my normal rhythm due to traveling, but I’m still proud of what I was able to write this month:

You can also check out my 1 Second Everyday compilation from August below!

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July 2019 Month In Review

Happy August! I’m gonna keep this intro short and sweet, because July was a jam-packed month and I have lots to talk about! Concerts, books, adventures, Stranger Things, and more! But first…

In case you missed it, this month I blogged about:

You can also watch my 1 Second Everyday compilation from July below!

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