My Audio Book Experience

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well. I thought I would come on here and discuss something I have recently come to realise. I have always been a firm activist for the preservation of physical books. They, in my humble opinion, are superior in many ways. I love feeling the weight of a book, as it reminds me that these words came from someone’s imagination. A book makes them feel real. I have many more reasons as to why I prefer reading books, but that’s a completely different blog post.

Recently, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to pick up a book. The motivation to do so has been laying dormant somewhere inside me. But the desire and urge to read remained. I’ve been focussing most of my time on academic reading for my degree, of which has left me devoid of motivation for recreational reading.

I’m an Amazon Prime customer and am constantly bombarded with Audible advertisements, offering me 2 free credits for any audio books of my choosing. As I mentioned earlier I haven’t read a book in some time, so I decided to try Audible. I chose a book that interested me and decided I would try to fall asleep while listening to it. My only experience with audio books would be when I used an app that read soft sleep stories, in soothing hushed tones that lull you to sleep. I quickly realised this experience was vastly different. The voices were very expressive and demanded to be heard. I ended up listening to 5 hours of the book without realising it.

I finished the audio book and swiftly selected my second free title. I was equally as drawn in to the story as I was with the first one. I am very shocked to have enjoyed it so much.

It has definitely helped me reinvigorate the motivation to read again. Almost. To be fair to myself, I have been writing more recently which is a positive thing.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this little post, it’s a lot less serious than a lot of my other posts recently.

Let me know what you prefer in the comments.


Jen X

My First Book Update: My Writing Journey Thus Far

A Bit Of History

I realised that is has been over a week since the birth of my blog, and I am yet to update you on the book I have been writing for the past 8 months.

I started this blog to hold myself accountable and to document my journey with finally writing a book from start to finish. So that’s what I’m going to start today. Right now.

I remember being around 9 when my teacher began encouraging my creativity through short stories. Ms. Sentkovsky has always been my main motivator.

The moment I decided I wanted to be an author replays in my mindseye whenever I feel a niggle of doubt attempting to poison my positive mindset. Ms. Sentkovsky came to me during break time with tears streaming from her eyes. I thought something awful had happened and I still remember my stomach dropping and the awful feeling of dread that took over. She took me aside and in her hands was a story I had written about a WWII solider named Thomas Clarke. This character was based off of my great great grandad, who was a solider in WWII. I had gathered information on him, who he was, how he spoke and what he looked like. I used him as the basis of my short story I had written for my teacher. My teacher finally told me, her tears were happy tears, proud tears and inspired tears. That was the day she told me, so definitively “Jenny, when you publish your first book, you better dedicate it to me!”

I have known since that encounter, that this is what I want to do. It is the only thing I can envisage myself doing for the rest of my life. Even if I fail a thousand times before I succeed. I will dedicate this book to you Ms. Sentkovsky.


My Book

So, I am around a third of the way through my first ever novel. It is a psychological thriller and I have just over 22,000 words. I aim to get around 80,000 total.

I do believe this story has trilogy potential, however if by the time I’ve completed it I feel the story has been told and has finished, I am okay with that.

Writing a psychological thriller is difficult as it requires a lot of problem solving in terms of the plot making sense; while still maintaining that element of confusion until all the pieces come together.

I’m not sure how much to talk about, so if anybody is interested it knowing more about my story, please let me know in the comments!

Signed,

Jen Writes x

Why Do I Do It?: A Poem

Why do I do it?

I don’t know

There’s something comforting about

the pain reminding me that I can feel

It breaks the unbearable numbness

The all-consuming nothing that feels like

Everything

When your mind tells you, you are

Nothing

Who do you believe?

Yourself?

Or those who don’t really know you?

They never knew me

If they did, they would understand

They would see why I must go

That’s why I do it until the pain is too much

Because I deserve it



To Read Or Not To Read: How To Squeeze More Reading Into Your Day

“We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind.”

– Anna Quindlen

Like any reader knows, we have good reading weeks and we have bad ones. We can all empathise when we see others in the dreaded “reading slump”. When your TBR books bore into your soul every time you go to pick one up, but make a cup of tea and get into bed instead. Maybe that’s just me, but it can be difficult finding the time to read; especially if you fall out of the habit.

Sometimes it’s a case of taking a break only to come back with a replenished sense of eagerness to read. Other times there are things you can change in your daily routine that can help you read a little bit more.

These tips are just what I do when I feel like I need to read more! Maybe try some and see if it helps.

Put Your Phone Down

It sounds simple enough but I’ve found that you can either pour through social media scrolling endlessly seeing snippets of other peoples’ lives; or you can dedicate those lost hours to reading that book that’s collecting dust. When I’m on my phone it feels like I blink and its three hours later. Comparing that to the feeling I get after getting lost in a book for three hours is what makes me think twice when I wake up in morning. I consciously ignore my phone and reach for a book instead. Take thirty minutes to read silently, welcome the day with a good start and an exercised brain.

In short: put away your cellular devices and pick up that book.

Read What You Like

Again, it sounds really obvious but I ran into an issue with reading a few years ago. I wanted to read the books everyone else was reading, so I only read books that were trending at the time or on a bestselling list. I’m not saying they were bad books because I enjoyed them. The issue is, none of them were so gripping I couldn’t put them down. Not until I discovered the genres that suit me best and the kind of stories I am interested in. I still read multiple genres but key ones such as psychological thrillers, crime thrillers and horror are definitely my top favourites.

When you read a book you enjoy but wasn’t necessarily sucked into, it can demotivate you to carry on reading. Just keep reading, a lot, until you find the types of books that really excite you and motivate you to read more.

To cut a long story short: read whatever interests you, don’t focus on the popularity of the book because who knows, it might be your new favourite.

Read E-Books

Although I am usually a paperback kind of person, e-readers can be so useful when the desire to read strikes you whilst travelling on public transport. However long it takes you, if you have a Kindle or the Kindle app on your smartphone, you can utilise that time to squeeze in a quick chapter or two. They are so portable and you can choose and download a book instantly while you wait for the next bus.

If like me you prefer a hard copy book, make sure you always pack at least two in your bag the night before. I find that when travelling somewhere I like to have a couple of options as sometimes the story is too complex to fully absorb while you are out in public. Sometimes I can but other times I find it difficult to fully commit, which is why I pack a more light-hearted book just in case.

If you feel comfortable eating lunch by yourself, I recommend trying to find a quiet place close to your workplace to eat and read. I used to work in a very fast-paced and busy environment so I liked to be alone during my break in order to recharge my batteries. Having a quiet and beautiful spot to read and be alone is a lovely way to get more reading in, as well as relaxing you half way through the work day. If you use an e-book, the wind can’t blow your pages around while you eat with one hand and hold the book with the other.

TLDR: Read on transport and during your lunch break.

Read In The Bathroom

Yes that is correct. Read in the bathroom. Or the toilet. Whenever I am really into a book, it becomes more like a third arm than a book; it comes with me everywhere I go. That includes but is not limited to the bath. There is nothing more relaxing than taking a steaming hot bath with candles (a substantial amount as I am blind as it is) and a book. Of course, it can delay the cleaning process but you just need a bit of self discipline. Tell yourself to read up to a certain page or chapter and then put it down.

Create A Goodreads Account

Managing a Goodreads account is an amazing way to track your reading. You can see all the books you’ve read, all the books you want to read as well as thousands of ratings and reviews to help you decide what to read next.

I got back into reading around three years ago and I loved to watch my collection grow. However, it was difficult to appreciate just how many books I was reading, until I created a Goodreads account. I was both shocked and excited at how many books I managed to read.

It is an amazing platform for both avid and casual readers to discover their next favourite book. Goodreads also has a list function in which its users can compile lists such as: ‘Best Thrillers’ to more niche lists such as: ‘Books About Videogames and Virtual Reality’. Whatever you’re interested in, I’m confident you will find something on one of the many lists available.

Listen To An Audio Book

Another relatively obvious tip, but if you enjoy being read to this might help kick start your reading again.

I personally always always fall asleep when listening to an audio book so it takes some time to finish one. Their voices are so soothing and calm it lulls me off into a deep and peaceful sleep.

To Conclude

I hope if you’re reading this you’ve found one of these tips useful! If you have any of your own feel free to leave a comment.

Just remember, you only have to read as much as you want to. There is no correct number of books you should be reading. If you find yourself in a slump, give one these a go. Reading is like exercise for the mind, sometimes its hard to find the motivation.


Daily Reading Recommendation

“A priest I knew once told me “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”

– John Marrs

I came across the book whilst scouring Amazon for new books to devour. I read the synopsis and went to buy it when I realise: it’s not coming out for a couple of months. I was upset I wasn’t going to be reading this amazingly original book the next day, but on the otherhand I had something to look forward to.

Marrs eloquently delivers a hardhitting, thought provoking and relevant story in such a unique manner. I would urge anyone to read this book.

I am currently working on a full book review of “The Passengers” so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.

Signed,

Jen Writes x

While: A Poem

Thank you to Luna for posting my poem to her blog! This is a personal one but I hope someone out there can identify with it x

Luna

Left alone again
While colours and patterns consume you
Sweet dreams and hope settle around your slumbering body
While I am tormented by my mind
Black butterflies invade my churning stomach
While I look upon my sleeping love
Not a single dream appears to be of me
While I doubt and doubt and doubt
Not you, but me
While the sting of hot tears briefly warms my raw skin
Where are you? Where are you?
While I handle this sharp blade
Contemplating, longing for a different sting
While I try to push the evil aside
The anger, oh this anger is raging inside
While I pull my hair hoping for relief
Left alone again
Alone
Again.

I have just started my blog to document my writing journey! I would never go as far to say I am a poet, but I do dabble in poetry now and again.  I only…

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