Self-doubt is our enemy.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~ Sylvia Plath

As artists, we spend so much time alone in our own heads, sometimes it’s easy to get lost, to lose track of what’s important and what’s not. We are so critical of our art and our every decision, that it’s easy to turn that critical eye on ourselves, and turn savage.

We are so far more brutal with ourselves, than we are with anyone else. We hurt us with words far more cruel than anyone else can concoct. We are well-versed in the art of tearing ourselves down.

Self-doubt is the worst illness for an artist, for our creativity. And it is an illness that we always carry, waiting to strike, to rise up whenever we are at our most vulnerable.

“I’m not good enough.” 

“This has been done before.”

“Nobody will care, what’s the point.”

“This is childish.”

There is a difference though in being critical, and in letting self-doubt consume us. There is a difference, because the first means we are self-aware, that we realise our mistakes, and we try to fix them, that we make an effort to improve and strengthen ourselves.

Self-doubt just means we are riddled with insecurities, we carry the views of others, of society, and our own on our back like a cross. Self-doubt never reflects reality. We sit in front of a mirror, and we see a distorted image. We are right then and there our very worst enemy.

Self-doubt is nothing more than a rotten feeling that settles in our gut and takes over. It grips our heart and our mind and it won’t let go unless we make it. And it’s hard. It’s so hard to start seeing ourselves and our art as something with value, something that is worth it and should be here. And yet, nobody is going to build us up, unless we do it first.

We need to be our biggest fan, our strongest supporter, our own little generator of happiness.

We need to be the cake, so when others come, they can be the icing.

But we need to be our own cake, our own confidence, our own happiness.

Book Review: Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

The second book in the “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series follows the story of Mary and Rhage.
We still get a glimpse of Beth and Wrath as the story goes on and we are also introduced to some new characters, or see more from characters we’ve already met.
The author doesn’t need to set up so much of the world anymore, which gives her plenty of time to focus on the relationship between Rhage and Mary, a relationship that seems doomed from the start for too many issues. Both protagonists are saddled with their own personal problems and issues, that are enough to tear any normal couple to pieces.
But not them. They have their ups and downs, but they power through it.

Rhage is a character that is described as drop-dead-gorgeious, and he carries a beast inside that bursts out whenever he hits a low point, whether that is due to anger, or pain.
He is also though, a funny character. With no filter between his mouth and his brain, Rhage gives the reader some of the best lines in the book. He is also romantic and lovable, and he wants nothing more than to ditch all the casual sex he has to do to keep the beast at bay, for a meaningful relationship.

Mary on the other hand is a character who has had nothing but hardships in her life, and those hardships have left her on the floor, a mess.
She has no self-esteem, she sees nothing good in her, and she can’t even comprehend how a man like Rhage can have any short of interest in her.
She is though, a deeply compassionate character, a strong, independent character that reaches out to help the other people around her, whether that is John Mathew, Zsadist, or Rhage himself.
She has an incredible inner strength and she is a very relatable character. Even when she does the sometimes typical heroine thing, where she pushes the hero away, she has a valid reason for it, and a reason I can relate with and understand.
Nobody wants to be a burden or pitied after all.

It’s a very good story, albeit a sad story. Some points get heavy and depressing, but I can’t see how the story could be any different, with how many issues the protagonists have.
It’s a worthy continuation of the BDB series, a book that makes you want to read more, and get to know the characters and the world better.

If you want to find the book, and support me, you can find it in Book Depository.

Dark Lover | Lover Eternal | Lover Awakened |

Show me the moonlight.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

Writing, for me, in its essence is about evoking emotion in the reader. A good story will get us to feel, it will tag on our heartstrings. Whether it makes us angry, happy, upset, or if we hurl the book half-way across the room in frustration.

The emotion doesn’t matter, as long as we feel. And we can’t feel unless we are immersed in the story. We need a world as alive and colourful as our own, characters as close to us as family and friends, strife as close and important as the ones we face on our own.

We can’t do that unless we watch the sun cast highlights in the love – interest’s hair, if we don’t catch that twitch of anger in the protagonist when he’s faced with his enemy. We can’t, unless we hear our favourite character hum, when he’s cooking  his way too spicy mac-n-cheese.

We need to see the world, to breathe the world. We need to feel along with the protagonist. We read stories because we want to be immersed, because we want to be transported.

Stories are made of emotions.

And the only way we feel emotions in a story, is if we see them.

We want the butterflies in the stomach, the blurry eyes from tears, the shudders of pleasure, the restlessness of excitement.

We need the emotions to fall in love with the story.

We need to see.

Or else, why read at all?

 

You’ll find a way.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

It is easy to be scared, to make up excuses, and hide from something you want. If you don’t try, then when you fail to achieve your goals, it’s because you didn’t try. It’s a scary thought, to know you’ve given it your all, and you still didn’t make it.

But it’s worth it.

If you want something with all your heart, then you have to find a way to do it, you have to find a way to get up again, no matter how many times you fall down. Dust the dirt off your clothes and get back on your feet because that is the only thing you can do again and again without fail. You can keep trying, you can keep giving it your all.

What other choice do you have anyway?

It’s easy to be scared, to make excuses, and hide from something you want. It’s far more rewarding to try, and even if you fail, you’ll know you gave it your best. It’s far more rewarding to know you’ve given it your all, whether you made it or not.

~ Harris

 

 

 

 

 

Booktube Newbie Tag || Gee & Harris ||

Here we are, we thought to get back on this thing. So did a thing. Was it wise to do it before Camp Nanowrimo starts? Nope. But we did a thing. Here is the thing. Enjoy it. This is the “Booktube Newbie Tag”, and if you are reading this message, you are it. Go do the tag.

Find Gee in her own lil corner of the internet, in WordPress and Instagram.

We get stronger.

Life is cruel, unkind, mean. Sometimes life likes to knock us down, and then kick us a few good times, just to make sure we’ve fallen low enough. Life looks at our plans, and no matter how well we’ve made them, how sure we are, life shreds them to pieces until there is nothing left.

And then again, life is measured not by the times we fall down, but by the times we rise up. By the times we dust the dirt off our clothes, by the times we try again and again.

Because we get stronger every time we fall down. We get more resilient. We can stand a little taller every time we have to stand up. We learn with each unkindness and cruelty. We learn and we move on and somehow we get to our destination. A bit roughed up, but wiser, stronger, more capable.

And getting up again is worth it. No matter how hard it is, how heart-broken we are, getting up is worth it. Because staying down means not trying, and we can change nothing if we never try. But standing up means that we get another chance to try, another chance for things to change.

Another chance for things to get better.

For our dreams to be within our grasp.

And that’s worth it.

WordBound: Wed, Jan 11

Azreth, 

I’m sorry. 

That’s one sad message to leave, isn’t it? But I’m sorry. Don’t give up. I wish I could be there for you, help you, ease you. You have so much ahead, so many things planned, and the fates are cruel and  unkind. 

You have the world to carry on your shoulders.

Have faith. 

Everything will be as it should in the end.

Love, 

Mom

 

Change.

You can’t expect to see change, if you never do anything differently. – Meg Biram

You have to move. You are not a tree. You don’t have roots. You have to move, and change, and grow, until you are all you want and dream to be. You can’t expect change to come, for your life to be different, when you are sitting still.

The first step towards anything is always the scariest, but it’s also worth it. Change, move, be better. You can and you should. You owe yourself that much. If you do not like your life as it is, if there is something you want to change, then do it.

If you won’t, then who? If not now, then when?

There is no time like the present. There is no better time to start shaping your future and making your life what you want it to be.

Do it. Move. Change.

You owe yourself that much. You owe yourself happiness, and joy, and the life you’ve dreamt of.

So, change.

 

Book Review: Countdown to killing Kurtis

“Countdown to killing Kurtis” by Lauren Rowe is – simply put – a phenomenal book. I loved it from the beginning to the very end. This is also a book you don’t want spoiled, so I will try and refrain from as many spoilers as I can.

I do love my husband. To death. I love him so much that I’ve waited a whole year (minus one day) for Killing Kurtis Day to arrive. Tomorrow it will finally be here and I’m giddy with anticipation.

Don’t judge me, you don’t know the whole story. I reckon if you were in my shoes, you’d kill your husband, too.

The blurb of the book alone got me intrigued from the get go, though usually I do no like books that start off with a prologue chapter. A prologue chapter that ends up being a just regular chapter at some point in the book. But for this one, it works. It keeps the questions and the whys bouncing around in the readers head as the mystery unfolds and as the reader is trying to figure out why Buttercup wants to kill her poor husband so much.

The writing style is animated, engaging and buzzes with Buttercups personality, something that works perfectly with the 1st person writing.

One of the most important things for me was that I could understand where Buttercup was coming from, why she acted the way she did, why she was as she was. She felt real to me, as did the rest of the characters. She made sense even when I did not agree with the things she did or how she was thinking.

There is a big plot twist at the end. A plot twist that makes sense. Now, I pride myself in the fact that I see plot twists coming a mile away. As a writer and as a reader, after a while, you just know stories. It’s always nice when a book comes along with a twist that still manages to surprise you. Something you didn’t see coming.
It’s also better if that twist has been foreshadowed from the beginning of the book, and when it happens, all the pieces fall in place, everything makes sense.

I will stop here, because I really don’t want to step into spoiler territory with this one. Read it. It’s a very good book, entertaining throughout. I couldn’t put it down.

If you want to find the book, and support me, you can find it in Book Depository.

~ Harris

Writing is hard. It takes dedication. You only do this if you love it.

The only way you really do this, is if you love it. It takes dedication. ~ Andrew Smith

Writing is hard.

Writing is something we do alone. Most of it happens in our minds, and it takes so long to see concrete results, that it is easy to lose sight of what we want and where we are going.

Writing is hard.

It’s not something you do for the money, it’s not something you do to get popular and famous. Most authors aren’t. It’s something you do because you love it. Because you have a story buzzing inside your skull and you can’t catch a break unless you put that story out in the world. Because you have characters in your head fighting for your attention, demanding they be heard.

Authors love their worlds, their characters, and their stories. They have spent hours agonising over fictional problems and conflicts. You can’t do that unless you love storytelling. Unless this is what you want to do. You don’t spend hours upon hours crafting every detail of a world, unless writing is ingrained in your soul.

It takes dedication.

It takes love for the craft, patience, courage. It takes learning to ignore that nagging sensation that everything you’ve been doing is wrong and there is no fixing it. You should just quit and let the real authors do the writing.

It takes a lot of dedication.

Not only to write, but to be yourself. You need to believe in yourself more than anyone else does, you need to see and recognise your mistakes and learn from them. You need hours in front of a screen or a notebook, writing.

And at the end of the day, you can’t put in the hours, unless you are doing something you love.

~Harris