Light The World


Make the world a better place, in any little way you can ๐Ÿ’•

Light the world this Christmas season and keep that flame burning for 2019! Any little thing we do for others can make a great impact. ❤️ What's something small you did this holiday season to make someone smile?

Turning Twenty is Hard


Soo I guess it's officially 20 years since I decided to be born, and I honestly think this is going to be my best birthday yet. If you've been following me for a long time, you know that good birthdays never happen for me, so this is a first... But I feel really happy right now.

Obviously it's not perfect. I've got things that won't stop plaguing my mind. But I'm here, in this moment, paint on my fingers, music in my ears, a smile on my lips and no stupid tears.

I didn't mean for that to rhyme... Sometimes that just happens I guess. I spent all of my pre-birthday doing things I love, spending every second well and embracing the fact that I'm super old now.

There's still that 5-year-old little girl inside me who won't shut up about my horrendous age, but I'm trying to think more positively. All of my birthdays since I turned 10 have been full of tears, agonizing over still not having accomplished anything great in my life and wishing I could travel back in time and be a better person.

I mean, it's good to reflect and try to better ourselves, but I had my first age crisis at 10. Come on.

I've got to admit that last week was tough. I did think a lot about the fact that now I'm not a teenager anymore, and have to accept that I'll never be a teen author (not a big deal to me now, but my 15-year-old self would be bawling her eyes out. Sorry, gal, your book sucked. This is for the best).

Things like these take time, and something I have learned during these 20 years of creating stuff and telling stories has been that I can't rush things. I can work hard, push myself forward and give my everything. But sometimes I can't control everything, and I've realized that's just a good thing.

So, I'm growing up, and it's painful at times. But I'm learning a lot, and I'm glad that I can always be learning, no matter how old I get.

My 20s have begun, and I hope I'll spend the majority of this new decade with paint on my fingers.

 #happybirthdayme <-- literally this time.


The Christmas Gift You Should Give


Christmas stress? NO! I choose to be exploring frozen forests, building baby snowmen and rolling in the snow! The greatest Christmas gift you can give yourself and the important people in your life is to simply be yourself. Make your dreams happen. Make yourself happy. Ho ho ho! ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป Thank you for watching! ๐Ÿ‘€

Recording Yourself And Revolutionizing Journaling


Some days I can't pronounce words or speak much at all, but this is what was on my mind. I also felt a bit nostalgic and really felt like animating something. Hope you enjoy this little artsy piece of my mind.

We all carry this little piece of technology with us everywhere, and we can record our stories anywhere. To me, it's incredible how each recording takes me back to that exact moment, because in my voice is exactly everything I'm feeling.

How do you deal with the fear of starting the life of your dreams


We're all afraid of failing, but we shouldn't be. Shift your mindset into being sure of winning instead.

Stop saying, "what if I fail?"

Start saying, "what if I succeed?"

Have a happy weekend, everyone! Hope you enjoy the video :) I have two more daily videos to post and then I'll start doing a weekly video every Thursday. ❤️

Love,
Em.

Sankta Lucia Day


The Lucia tradition is very strong in Sweden, although it originates from Sicily, Italy. Every year on the 13th of December, kids in schools dress in white and carry candles in what's called a Luciatรฅg ("Lucia train" ๐Ÿ˜).

As I'm now living in Finland, I've lost touch of most Swedish traditions, but I hope I can change that, small steps at a time.

I wish you all a happy Lucia day!

My first Youtube video

I posted my first youtube video on my channel today! Let me know what you think! It's extremely difficult to put yourself out there, but if you want to grow as a storyteller, it must be done!


Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your screen. I accidentally used my glitchy memory card ๐Ÿ™„This week I'll be posting one video every day, so make sure to subscribe!

This video is what sometimes happens when I have a day off school and all this creativity comes rushing in from everywhere around me.

Wishing you a wonderful day, as always!

๐ŸŒ Thank you for watching! ๐Ÿ‘€

Here's to a better 2019 ☕️


This year has been a tough one.

As a person, I'm a never-ending rollercoaster. But unfortunately, 2018 has had a lot more downs than ups, and it's something that really needs to change.
I have my first session with a mental health professional in January, and I've made up my mind that 2019 will be the year when I finally get myself healthy both inside and out, and quit giving up on myself so much.
This past fall I've sacrificed writing, painting, crafting and filming for school work. At the end of November I got hit with a major burnout and frankly, just wanted to let go of everything and run away.
The life I'm currently living is not a life that I want. And I know I can do better than this.
For years I've been telling people that everybody deserves to follow their dreams, but I'm the worst at following my own advice.
It's time for me to prioritize the things I love, which include writing stories, making animations, giving art & writing advice, encouraging positive change and making the world a better place, one small act at a time.
I want to be smiling again. I want to be smiling every day.
That is why I'm here, trying new possibilities to have an impact and show that I'm more than the self-hating thoughts in my brain.

Tonight I'm sitting down, writing a chapter and raising a steaming cup of tea for the best year of my life. Here's to 2019. ☕️

I'm trying this new thing called Ko-Fi, where you can offer me a little 'cup of coffee' (or tea, in my case) as a sign of your support of my creative journey.

I love giving back to artists and authors who create things that I love, and as it might be tough to know what exactly you could do to help out a poor student in the artistic industry, here's this little button to help me.

Ko-Fi doesn't charge a single percent of your donation, and I can promise you no cent will go to waste on my end either :)

If you decide to make a page on their website, please let me know! Let's support each other!

When I started writing one page every day

If I would just write one page every day…

Dreams come true when one makes a little bit of effort for them. That’s how magic sparks into existence. It’s when something that might feel burdensome, tedious or difficult becomes light and freeing. Magic doesn’t feel like a stone in your backpack.

Magic is that feather that you run so hard to catch, but it’s only flying further away, swept by the wind. Every time you get closer, it swirls out of your reach.


There’s a secret you only learn if you spend all of your life chasing that feather of magic, without giving up. The secret is that in order to get to the feather, you must stop fighting the wind. And the minute you learn to love the wind, it lets you fly.


The wind carries you like a long lost child. It’s gentle, it’s all-knowing—it knows exactly what you want. If you embrace it fully, you’ll travel with it to the most extraordinary places, see truly astonishing things, and witness magical wonders. You’ll forget that you were even trying to catch the feather, because suddenly, your life becomes covered by them.


That’s because one cannot fly without wings.

And dreams are not difficult when you let them live, and let yourself live inside them. Stop trying too hard to be someone important. Stop working so hard on becoming someone who’s worth it.

You need to let go of the doubt, the expectations, the guilt and the fear. You need to let the wind grab you. Let yourself be weightless. Let the wind carry you, protect you, hold you and bring you to where you need to be.

When you quit being human, and start being magical, that’s when all things magical are drawn to you like never before. You can finally be that little girl who dreamt of fairies and looked for mermaids on the glossy, still surface of the lake on those summer nights.


In order to find magic, maybe you could just stop searching for it in the wrong places. Magic doesn’t live in words such as work, anxiety, depression, stress or panic.

Magic lives where there is calm, serenity, music, beauty, song, poetry, art, color, tranquility, balance, silence, light, joy, laughter, dancing, lush forests, wool socks and banana pancakes.

It’s in the way the wind blows in your face when you stand upon a cliff. It’s in the way you smile when you smell a blown out match, or how you dance from joy when the right song comes on the radio.

Listen to the joy of the world. See the happiness in the places where it really belongs. You know where it belongs, so stop pretending that you don’t. You’re wiser. You’re better. You’re worth it.

Please, stop pretending that you’re not. Stop believing that you’re not. Trust me, you are. You are worth all the pine needles in the trees, all the particles of sand beneath your feet, all the raindrops on your cheeks and all the flowers in your hair.

If you let the sun shine on you, it will shine on you, no matter if it’s raining. Let your heart be the sun, and whenever it’s raining, you’ll be the rainbow.

The wind will hold your hand, it will spread your own little sunbeams all over the world. Make sparks, like stars, and spread them out into the universe. There is magic for you in this place, but the most important thing to remember is that magic always grows when it is shared. And some day you might just be someone else’s wind to carry them.

Fill your life with the little things that bring magic into the big moments. Life is really simple, when you think about it.


Thing is, you’ve got wings now.

But you need to use them in order to fly toward the magic.

Therefore, you must make a little bit of effort to keep them light and strong, fierce and powerful, full of light and magic. That is why you must write one page every day. Magic can be seen in the rarest of occasions, but it is even better if it’s there every day.


…then the world would have more magic.

Lonely ducks and dead flowers


Oh what a 
What a wonderful day
We found out
We could never escape
Out of the fire
Into the rain
Oh what a
What a wonderful day


I've got wounds, but the world is beautiful. So I try to see past the darkness, and open my eyes to the rainbows in each raindrop and the golden glow of the fog in the morning.

I've been in pain, but I've got so much to smile for.


Dead flowers, lonely ducks, cold water, foggy meadows, rainy windows.


The world is beautiful.


Therefore, I am smiling.

Three things I'd tell myself before writing a novel

Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self about your writing journey?

I have plenty... But I tried to condense the most important things into a little list. Here's what I'd tell little Em with a brain box full of ideas and a pen that wouldn't move fast enough to write it all:



1. It's going to be a long journey and a lots of bumps along the road,

so make sure to pack a lot of confidence, a bag of inspiration and fill up the trunk with determination. Passion you've already got covered.

2. No matter what your parents, relatives or teachers say about real jobs, they have no idea how far you can get on your own.

Don't let their "realistic encouragements" bring you down. Use that as fuel, you're going to need all the fuel you can get! (as I said, it's a long journey, and the destination is still out of view)

3. It's great to have your head in the clouds,

but please try to keep your feet on the ground, too. It's tempting to make incredibly challenging goals and shoot for the stars, but then you also have to accept the fact that it's going to take time.

Books aren't born overnight, just like viking warriors don't become strong overnight. I had to incorporate these viking shields somehow into this blog post. This picture had to make sense somehow. You had it coming.


I hope you're all loving the process and staying inspired as the chill falls and autumn leaves fly with the breeze. Fall is the best time to be writing, so make every moment full of words!

Being a storyteller isn't about writing the most words or even writing the best story in the world. It's about writing what makes your heart leap out of joy and your fingers twitch with desire to get your message out there.

No matter how scary or how time consuming, you are capable. And when you're telling the story you're meant to tell, that's when it all falls into place and nothing can stop you.

Skeleton leaves


Thought I'd update you on my novel-writing thing because my progress is so confusing and non-linear and weird that even I have difficulties grasping what the heck I'm doing.

During the summer I wrote pretty much nothing. Every now and then I'd pick up my novel's first act and work on perfecting the first page and clarify my intention in every scene. Now that I've rewritten the first half of act two I realize I need to add in much more conflict into act one, so this month I'll be rewriting that again... yay.

During the fall I've been rewriting, re-plotting and reworking the entire second act because it was a confusing mush. Now it's even more confusing, but at least it leads pretty smoothly into act three.

I'm trying to come to terms with my inability to write perfection and instead focus on loving the fact that the mess is full of emotion and life.

Creativity shouldn't be constrained. We give our stories all these rules and it's so wrong. It isn't helpful. It breaks us. Slowly but surely.

Truth is creativity isn't pretty. It's not neat or organized or clean. It's a messy, painful, glorious process full of surprises and hurdles along the way.

I feel like social media often paints a false picture of what creating a story is supposed to look like.

People have organized writing spaces and perfect outlines. They never fail writing goals and manage to always get their chapters out before deadlines.

But in reality each story is very different.

You don't have to have everything figured out in order to do this thing. Just be ok being lost sometimes. It's an adventure. Nobody can put your creativity in a box. That goes against everything creativity is all about.

I love pretty photos of laptop screens and floors covered in neatly placed post-it notes. I love office supplies and beautifully worded first drafts and perfect notebook layouts.

But often we feel like we're trying to make lush, colorful autumn forests. And all we get is the skeleton of a leaf.

It's not a perfect process. But if you're so busy creating perfection, you'll miss the point of the whole journey.

The magic. The beauty.

Because aren't colorless skeleton leaves beautiful, too? ๐Ÿ‚

Thoughts about Halloween

๐Ÿ‚
The roses have wilted, the violets are dead.
Ghosts running circles inside your head. 
๐Ÿ‚


Finnish people don't really celebrate halloween, but shops and the internet are always trying to make us.

Despite disliking the over-americanizing of our culture, I always love dressing up as a vampire on halloween (that's really the only costume I've ever had since I was eight years old and experienced my first halloween in Sweden) and going trick or treating.

But in Finland trick or treating isn't even a thing. Sometimes the neighbor's kid would come asking for candy, but that was really it.

Here you also can't dress up as a non-scary video game character or a sexy nurse or that would be really weird. Witches, ghosts and monsters are kinda ok though. "Fine, you can pretend to be american and celebrate halloween, but if you aren't scary-looking, then go to a cosplay event, dude" is what they'd say.

It's like in Mean girls when Lindsay Lohan goes as a scary bride and everybody looks at her weird. But it's the complete opposite here.

In Finland we have All Saints Day (even though most people aren't even Catholic. It's just a tradition now) instead of Halloween. The cemeteries get filled with thousands of candles and everyone spend time with their loved ones, thinking about their loved ones on the other side.

Many of the elderly don't like halloween at all because it's considered offensive to the dead to celebrate their day. I respect that, but I also would love to be celebrated when I'm dead, so...  I honestly prefer All Saints Day that to an american halloween though, because it's such an old, special tradition for me.

We celebrate Christmas in a very similar way in Finland and I love it. We really love going to cemeteries, don't we?

I've never carved a pumpkin before so I thought I might do that this year in addition to my annual shadow play at church, which has now become a little halloween tradition of mine, yay!

And I'll of course put my fangs in my mouth and scare little children while I'm wandering around the graveyard.

Where are you from? Do you do anything special on Halloween?


Drops of Dawn

She's standing barefoot in a frosty meadow, spirits of the forest singing gloomy tunes and birds chirping with the rising sun. The fog lifts while silver drops of dew sparkle in the ascending daylight. The frozen strands of grass bend and crunch beneath her toes. She walks toward the dawn. Night pools at her feet, sinking into the ground. Dripping gold across the waves of copper framing a rosy face, warm light falls on her cheeks. She raises her arm in greeting to the birds, and one flies to sit upon her fingers. Its tiny talons pinch at her skin, and she smiles. For the first time in a thousand years, she curls her lips and sings something new. No more mellow songs. No more empty gazes or longing looks toward the east. A new thousand years begin with a melody to the sun, which is only heard by those who know to listen intently before the first golden drop of dawn.


Am I giving too much?

I'm currently going through one of those juggling-everything-but-failing-miserably-at-everything kind of phases and it's stressing me out and I don't like it. Stress used to be something I felt on a daily basis until I just decided one day that it had to stop.

Since then life's been pretty good to me. I haven't reacted in a bad way to any hurdle thrown at me, because I haven't allowed myself to worry too much. I still worry a little, but it isn't living my life for me like it used to.


But now I'm trying to do so many projects both at school and on my free time while also giving so much of myself to other people that I feel a bit like (quoting 15-year-old anxious, burnt out Em) "a gummy bear stretched too thin". I'm not a huge fan of gummy bears, but feeling like one myself is even worse.

I have a hard time saying no, but I've gotten better at it. But I still feel so guilty for everything I don't do, especially things that aren't humanly possible for one person to do alone.

I've been thinking a lot about givers and takers, and it's pretty clear what I am. All my life I've prided myself on my niceness and strongly disagreed whenever someone's said that I need to learn to stand up for myself. I don't love being a door mat, but I'd defend my doormat:ness to my death.

My motto has always been "The happiest people make others happy", which is a great way to think, but it says nowhere in there that it means hating myself for being selfish when I take a day off or spend time working vigorously on following my own dream.

I don't want to feel like a gummy bear. I don't want to feel guilty about being happy or feel selfish when I succeed. It's self sabotage and it's not ok. It's time to stop acting like I hate myself, because I really don't.

My opinions matter. My words matter. My time matters.

A lot.

Miserable people either take too much or give too much. Successful people know when to give and when to take. If all you do is give, eventually you'll find yourself having nothing more to give of.

You can't share what you don't have. So let the sun shine on you, and you'll spread light wherever you go.

How to write when you don't feel like it

This blog post is not where I tell you to have an outline, learn the writing craft, to make a writing playlist or even to read books by authors who inspire you. Nope, these are tips on how to write when you don't feel like it, but actually already have done all those things I mentioned.

These are writers block tips that always work no matter what because they make you actually write instead of putting your attention elsewhere and essentially making you procrastinate with great, creative excuses.


I guarantee you, these tips aren't anywhere else on the internet because this is what my brain comes up with when I'm struggling myself. Stuff that works. For me, at least.

Creativity is key. Think outside the box, or you'll have to live inside it forever. Doesn't sound that great, does it?

Now, here's a disclaimer.

No, there's no disclaimer.

This works and always will work for me, and you need to fully believe that they will work for you too. Because you want to write, right? So you will write, no matter what. 

Alrighty.

1. Steal from another author

Flip open a book, pick a random line and write that in your novel. Now you've got a couple words, it's your turn to write and keep going.


2. Go back to those good ol' days when storytelling was a reward in itself

Play with toys. If you don't have any toys laying around, use something else. Like maybe coins. Or plants.

"This is Emery. This is Fylkir. Now they're going to have a neat conversation, and it goes like this..."

It's silly, but it's no wonder kids are so creative. Most likely you started writing stories as a child. Go back to your roots! It always works.

3. Write on a strangely shaped paper

Here's what you do:

You take a piece of paper and cut it into a random shape. Then you start to write stuff on it, and most likely you're going to find that paper too small to fit all the things you want to write, so you get a new paper, or you move over to your laptop.

Suddenly you realise you've actually written stuff without even noticing. The secret is to be as random as possible and have no expectations of yourself.

And those two rules apply for writing the first draft of anything. We just always forget that.


4. Let the inner Ellen loose!

Take out your phone and start recording a make belief podcast where you're answering questions about your novel and why you're so passionate about it. This will feel weird (unless you're like me and always talk to yourself anyway), but you're going to get inspired.

If you have nothing to say about your novel, then you have a clear sign that you need to move on and find a new project. If you aren't passionate about what you're working on, it's never going to happen. You'll just keep getting stuck.

5. Engage your senses

Take a break, do something physical. Go for a walk, do some dishes, clean your room. (Sometimes when I do chores I narrate the action inside my head. It's bizarre and the outcome would be hilarious, but the thing is I never write that inner prose down. It's just fun inspiration.)

When you're done, you get back to writing. Because if you truly want to tell this story, then you're going to drop all excuses and you're going to sit down and write.

"But it's hard."

Yeah.

Sometimes it's dreadful and you hate yourself for putting yourself through it. But like I said, if this story really is your thing, you're going to write it no matter what.

Trust your words and trust me when I say, just keep writing. Let yourself write absolute trash, because in a couple weeks you'll realize that it isn't absolute trash. It's a story. And you created it.

So now, get off the internet and get writing. Even if it's just one line, it's one more line than you would've written otherwise.

You've come this far already, so now you just have to squeeze out a little bit of work, and then you can give yourself a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream. Or reward yourself with some more writing.

And that is how I write every day.

You should too.


When you feel like you'll never accomplish anything


It was Sunday evening and I was eating dinner and spending time with my family when somebody mentioned my 20th birthday coming up soon, and I basically started crying and opening up about feeling like a fraud and a failure because I still haven't accomplished anything meaningful.

Sure, graduating high school was neat. Okay, getting into film school as one of forty chosen out of six hundred who applied was pretty cool. Yeah, writing a novel before the age of sixteen was something I used to be really proud of. Yup, I have traveled quite a lot these past two years and it's been amazing how much it's made me grow as a person. And having a thousand followers on instagram isn't something all people have, either. Alright, parents, I see your point.

I feel like I've done nothing, but when you make it into a list like that, it does kinda prove me wrong.

Still, many tears were shed that day. I'd had hidden frustration building up inside me for quite a while, and apparently my time of the month decided for me that it was the perfect time to tackle all that secret worry, insecurity and doubt in these artistic endeavours I call my life.

I spent an hour crying to my parents about long lost friends I miss and want to reconnect with, unexplored ideas I've been putting off because I'm afraid that the time I've been given isn't sufficient, doubts I have about my abilities as a creator and worries of not being helpful enough in this world that's clearly shouting out for more magic, love and inspiration.

I know what the world needs from me, but I'm not sure if I'm good enough. What if I give my all and work until I can't do more, and it still doesn't change anything. What if I'm stupid for trying to do something that hasn't been done before.


Wouldn't I be better off settling for a little bit less? Wouldn't it be easier to do what's already been done and not waste my time fighting my brains out for something that may never work out?

Thoughts like these are scarse in my life these days, but that doesn't make them any less scary, or the doubts any less real. We can be going in the right direction and still wonder if it's wrong.

I had my first age crisis when I was twelve years old. I've always known what I want from my life and who I want to be. It's changed a lot as I've grown older, but I've always had a clear vision.

It's an advantage, because life decisions are pretty easy. But it's also a curse, because I'm always judging and comparing myself to that vision. Why am I not there yet? Why have I spent four years rewriting this book when my plans were to have it published before the age of eighteen?

I had it all planned out. On paper. Seriously, when I was fifteen years old and about to start high school, I made a detailed plan of the next fifteen years of my life. Books I would publish, films I would make, trips I would go on, people I'd date, when I'd get married, where I would live... Everything was written on paper, because I've always believed in the power of the written word.

If you write something into the world, it comes back to you.

So why am I still rewriting, stressing about my existence and struggling with speaking to people?

It's because no matter how good our intentions are, our purpose is always to first and foremost learn, and then maybe find success on the way. That means that with every difficult day we get closer to that fairy tale ending, but the hard days will still keep coming.

Fight for the fairy tale, but trust in the right timing.


If I'd felt like my novel was good enough, then I would've published it at eighteen. But that would have been a mistake, because it didn't feel right. I wasn't ready to step into the publishing world because I didn't know enough about the business, and I definitely didn't have enough life experience to survive that process.

Mistakes are good for you, but when something doesn't feel right, you save yourself a lot of pain down the road if you follow your intuition instead of some goal you wrote when you were fifteen.

I don't know if anyone can actually relate to this, because I was a pretty crazy, very intense fifteen-year-old, but we all feel at some point like life is just passing by and we're just here, trying to survive and not being what we wish we'd be. The clocks are ticking everywhere around us, and no matter how hard we try to be everything we dreamed of, we can't see ourselves getting anywhere.

It's a bumpy road, and we won't be dancing every step of the way. But we still keep moving forward. Tears drying on our cheeks or mud staining our knees. Sometimes it helps to glance back and realise just how far we've walked, despite not seeing the destination ahead. But then we keep doing what we need to be doing in order to some day get there.

And a little bit of progress every day will get you there. That's just a fact.

Lord of the Rings took Tolkien twelve years to write, and he's called a genius. Nobody cares that it took that long. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was written in ten years, and again, nobody cares. Michael Crichton researched and wrote Jurassic Park in eight years.

Compared to those, my four years isn't bad at all. I still have eight more years if I want to reach the level of excellence JRR Tolkien had. With every word, I'm learning, I'm growing, my story is evolving.

I've scrapped that 15-year plan now, because it serves me no purpose other than making me feel bad. And if I want to be published by 25, I really don't have time for feeling bad.

Just kidding.

Don't put time limits on your journey. Just love every step of the way and know that when you're ready, when you've worked hard and learned a lot and trusted the right timing, you'll realise all that struggling and pushing forward has already taken you there without you even noticing.

That's how I overcame my horrible social anxiety. I just kept going forward and learned to love the process of being scared and overcoming that fear. And now I'm here, knowing that if I repeat the same steps for my creative work, I'll get there.

Remember, slow progress always wins no progress.

Just always be dancing in your heart, trust the right timing and find your own brilliance. Fill your days with what you love doing most, and that timing and all the brilliance will find you too.


Love, Em.


A lack of good books? (Review of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young)


I don't really do book reviews because I don't enjoy writing them, but here's an almost book review by yours truly :)

“I was the ice on the river. The snow clinging onto the mountainside.” 
- Sky in the Deep, Adrienne Young


I picked this up in a book shop in Stockholm because of the gorgeous cover, but then I read the first page and I had to buy it despite never buying hard backs because they're so expensive.


I also tend to stay away from YA books these days. I'm just not a teen anymore, and while I can relate to teenager problems, it's kind of tedious to keep reading about struggles I'm already done with. Do you get what I mean?


There's just an overflow of sucky YA and I've only gotten through five books this year because I'm in that weird phase where I hate young adult, but most adult books bore me to death. Which is horrible for someone who tries to be an author, you know... I just dislike most books these days and it's so sad.


While this book certainly had its flaws, it wasn't a disappointment. I almost read it all in one sitting because it kept me so immersed and engaged in the story. I wasn't facepalming at the stupid characters all the time or throwing the book on the floor or rolling my eyes at clunky/silly/immature prose because I just couldn't handle the childishness.

On the contrary, this book actually helped me regain some of my faith in books again, and inspired me to be writing more on my own book. These characters were neat. The dialogue felt real. It was a good book.


It would've been cool if the love interest actually had a reason to love the protagonist, but this is young adult, and you really can't expect that much of teens... xD


They say that if you can't find a book you like, it's a sign that you need to write your own. And for the past year it's felt like the signs are slapping me in the face, yelling: "Write it! WRITE IT!"


So I try, harder than ever, and hope that my book will finally satisfy my desire for a great story.

Sometimes the best things are born from a sense of lack. So maybe it's a good thing that I can't find books I love, because it's forcing me to be the creator of something better.


It's also making me seriously doubt my writing capabilities... But one step at a time, right?  


What's the best book you've read recently?

Social media with purpose

If you're not lds, also known as mormons, you won't know this, but there's been a lot of talk in our community lately about social media and its effects on us. Our wonderful prophet Russell M. Nelson challenged all of us to participate in a seven-day social media detox. The purpose was to find out how social media affects us personally and plays a part in our day to day lives and also essentially our spiritual lives.

I believe that taking a break from all this is a great thing. We live in the middle of an information overload and it's clear that having the whole world at our fingertips has changed how our brains work. Humankind is amazing at adapting to things, but sometimes I wonder if we're too good at it.

See, when we have so much, we start taking things for granted, and then we only seek more and more. The end result is shorter attention spans, likelihood to fall into depression, decrease in productivity, literal death of social skills and messed up value systems, among many other not so very nice things.


This isn't new. We're bombarded with these negatives all the time. About the world. About ourselves. About social media.

Because the negativity is all over social media.

So I get it. It's great to take a step back and rest from it all.

But there's a reason I haven't quit social media yet. The reason is: social media gives my life meaning and my days purpose.


Sounds totally wrong, I know. But there's no denying that it's true. Trust me, I've tried to deny the fact that it makes my life better. I'm someone who hates attention, who loves to spend time alone and who would happily be completely invisible a couple days a week. I don't like the fact that I could do one weird or funny thing online and in a few days the whole world could be seeing it. It terrifies me.

If it was about me, I'd let all of my social media accounts be private and only visible to my three closest friends and some family members.

It's not about me, though, so that's not going to happen.

We live in a time when we truly have the entire world at our fingertips, a whole network of people, videos, articles, music, photos, information... that fits in the palm of our hand.

Think about that. You really should think about that more often. You should marvel at the fact that you can say "Hi!" to someone on the other side of the world and they'll be receiving your message in under a second. That used to take weeks, months or even years!

I love social media because it helps me help people. I receive messages, questions and suggestions for blog post/video topics almost every day and it's incredible to be in touch with so many wonderfully talented, creative people.


I'm vulnerable and brutally honest at my own expense because I've seen how it affects people, and because of that I can't just quit because it scares me.

I try my best to be the sunshine in somebody's day--seriously, it's one of the first things I pray about every morning--and the internet is the best tool I could ask for.

We can share quotes, inspirational messages, motivating stories or even just funny cat gifs to make each other smile. The purpose of social media is just that: to smile.

My rule with my social media usage is simple. If it doesn't make me happy, I get rid of it. If it causes me to stress, become anxious, compare myself to others or feel in any way inferior, I know it's not good.

Our purpose with social media should be just like our purpose with anything else. To feel loved, share love and be loving.

There's really nothing else to it.

Taking a break can help us see what part social media plays in our lives, and better see how our days would be without it. The average person spends about two hours on social media every day. That's two hours that could be spent bettering yourself or learning something new. Maybe all you need is to become more aware of your social media habits so that you can use social media better as a tool to do those things.

To better make yourself and others smile.

I am going to try a short social media detox soon, and I can't wait to get so much extra time to work on my passions and follow my dreams. I recommend you try it too.

Virtual hugs :*

3 easy habits to make your life easier


We all know life isn't easy, but there are things you can do to make it a little easier for yourself.

Here are three daily habits that are easy to do, but which I could not live without:

1. Make your bed each morning

As a kid, I was never taught to make my bed. That's just not a thing my family ever did. When I grew older, I noticed my younger sister making her bed and paying much attention to how her room looked, but I just couldn't care less.

Now that I'm at that age where you live in your own place and call yourself an adult (whatever that means??), I can see the appeal.

I mean, it looks much nicer and cleaner when the pillows aren't on the edge of falling to the floor and the blankets aren't in messy heaps all over the place.


But the main reason I make my bed is because it's a nice routine. If I have to get out of bed to make my bed look pretty in the morning, that's going to take both physical and mental effort.

There's a Swedish proverb that goes: "Som man bรคddar fรฅr man ligga", which basically is the equivalent of "What goes around comes around".

But if you translate it word by word, it means "As you make your bed, you will lie in it".

I believe it's like that with most things in our lives. If we put in minimal effort, we get minimal results. If we work hard, good things will come.

If I start my day by making my bed instead of scrolling through messages I've received during the night or getting lost on social media feeds, my entire day will be much more productive.

2. Spend half an hour in the woods every day

It's a scientific fact that spending time out in nature affects our brain in so many positive ways. It improves our memory and ability to focus; helps fight stress, depression and anxiety, but also aids in keeping us physically healthy by boosting our immune system; and makes us feel lighter, happier and more fresh immediately.

To me, forests are magical places where there is only me, the nature and nothing else. Sometimes I bring out some snacks or a book with me so that I can just sit there in my own fantasy world and let go of everything else.

Now this is a difficult one to do if you live nowhere near a forest, but if that's the case, I suggest you to pop in a calm ambient playlist and go for a walk around the block. That fresh air and those soothing sounds will work as your own, personal little forest trip.

3. Write morning pages

You may have heard about this already, but it's in late years become very common for creators or online entrepreneurs to swear by something called 'morning pages'.

What they morning pages are depends on the person, because morning pages can be absolutely anything. The only rule is to write two or three pages every morning as a part of your daily waking up routine.

Our brains rest during the night, but they also never stop working. When you're sleeping, you are actually sorting through all the day's events and making connections between things, and in the morning we can often feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done.

Morning pages have helped me immensely in emptying my mind and clearing my thoughts after a night of dreaming about stressful situations and reacting to the weirdest things my brain could ever create.

So to declutter your head, write it all out in a stream of consciousness manner, and you'll feel so much less stressed or overwhelmed in the mornings. And even if you just end up ranting about food, movies or some other current phenomenon, it's a great way to start your day by just getting it all out there. Begin each day with an empty slate!


Remember to smile and try your best. Don't make these habits sources of stress in your life, but instead see them as necessary breaks from your daily shenanigans.

Love life and life will love you :)



Sources:

12 science-backed reasons to spend more time outdoors