Top Three: Books, Writing & Blogging + Giveaway

Posted March 14, 2016 by lockhartbecca in Blogging Tips, Books, Giveaways, Writing Tips / 14 Comments

Top Three Books, Blogging & Writing Tips

Happy Monday everybody!! And welcome to Unbound Pages, my new place to spout off my feelings about books! For those of you coming with me from my previous blog, The Library Canary, thank you for following me to my new corner of the internet. And for any newbies here, welcome! You came at the right time because I’m throwing a new blog launch party and letting you in on my top three secret weapons! What does that mean? Well mostly it’s just me dancing alone in my house because I did it! But you could put some music on and dance too so I don’t feel so lonely? K, thanks.

Let’s have a dance party!

Okay, now that we’re all dancing, let’s talk about three of the things I’m most passionate about. These three things will be the main focus of this blog because I want to share my passion with you guys. I want to help you create something awesome. I want to help you discover your next great read. Learn how to make blogging fit into your life. And learn how to finally start that novel…and finish it. In case you didn’t catch what my three things are…

Reading, Writing, Blogging

To launch my blog I wanted to give you my top three books, top three writing tips and top three blogging tips. These are my ultimates, the things I swear by. Think of them as my secret weapons. And now they can be yours too! And of course, if you stick with me through this whole epic launch party, there may or may not be a few giveaways at the end…

 

Top Three Books

The people who have been around a while are all laughing right now. I know you’re wondering how the hell I plan on limiting this to three. But I have a plan! Had? Maybe? We’ll see how I do.

Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown

Top Three Book Recs

Number one of my top three books, this is hands down the best science fiction series I have ever read. Don’t believe me? Just check out this post about why it’s so great (there’s also a pretty sweet background you can download for free!). This series has it all. Strong characters, intricate plot, great pacing, incredible world-building, all the feels. And if that’s not enough, just check out a picture of Pierce Brown. His face alone will sell you. *swoon*

 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Top Three Book Recs

For number two of my top three books I have a science fiction/fairytale retelling mash-up. The great thing about this series are the characters and the ships. OMG THE SHIPS!! My personal favorite is Wolf & Scarlet, but I love every single one in this series. I love that Marissa can give us nine different main characters and still make us feel connected to every single one. I’m so sad that the series is over, but I am super stoked about the graphic novels!

 

The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz

And finally, for number three of my top three books I have a series from a genre that normally isn’t my thing. But one day I was in the mood for a sexy book so I consulted Kelly, the Queen of Sexy Books and she recommended this series. Well let me just bow down to her some more because it is AMAZING. The emotions. The characters. The intensity. I love everything about these books. I love the underlying theme that tells readers not to apologize for who they are. Be you. And be proud of it.

 

Told you I could stick to three. *twitches* *resists urge to put more*

 

Top Three Writing Tips

Top Three Writing Tips

Make Writing a Habit

I know, you’ve seen this one all over the internet. But there’s a reason that people say it. I was making on and off progress on my WIP for months. I would do really well for a few weeks and get a lot done and then I would fall off the bandwagon and not touch it for months. MONTHS. That’s not okay. How can I ever expect to finish something that I constantly throw on the backburner for such long periods of time? I couldn’t expect to finish it. So I put myself on a schedule. I decided that I was going to get up an hour earlier every day and devote that hour to writing. Since doing that I have made much better progress on my WIP. I still fall off the bandwagon sometimes. Like the last few weeks since I’ve been so focused on getting this blog ready for launch. But it has changed the way I write. Honestly, I’m more productive during that hour than I was during several hours of writing. Because I’ve formed it into a habit, my brain knows that from 6am-7am every day we are going to write. My creative juices are flowing and ready to go. Make writing a habit and it will change everything.

 

Make Pinterest Your New Best Friend

I love Pinterest for all things writing. Not only do I use it for inspiration boards, I also use it to find writing tips. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and Pinterest helps me organize it all in one place. You can go follow my writing board to see all the tips and information I pin. But I also use Pinterest for inspiration boards. I’m face blank. Meaning, I can’t see faces in my head. I can see shadowy outlines of characters. Hair color and texture, eye color, skin tone, but that’s it. I can’t see the shape of their nose, the set of their jaw. So I use Pinterest to find faces. That sounds kind of creepy, but I swear by it. Just go check out my inspiration board for my current WIP, Crimson Sands. Lots of faces. You’re looking at most of my characters.

 

Write What You Love

I see a lot of advice out there that says “write what you know”. And to be honest, I don’t really like that advice. I agree that you have to know what you’re writing about. If you know nothing about WWII and want to write a historical fiction during that time period, but don’t do any research, then obviously that will be a problem. But I think you can do the research and you can be successful. I think instead of “write what you know” you need to write what you love. If you’re not passionate about what you’re writing then what’s the point? The passion will come through in your writing and your readers will be able to feel it.

 

Top Three Blogging Tips

Top Three Blogging Tips

Make Friends

Blogging (and writing) can be a solitary hobby/career. You sit in front of your computer all day writing up posts, tweaking your design, taking the perfect photos for your post, but you don’t interact with anyone. Where’s the fun in that? Make friends! Be social! I have met so many amazing people since I started this blog. Some of those people I now call my best friends. I couldn’t imagine my life without these people now and it makes blogging so much more fun. When you have someone you can run post ideas by. When you have someone you can buddy read with. People you can hang out with at conferences. Blogging is great and I truly do love it, but I love it even more because of the friends I have made. How do you make friends? Twitter! Instagram! Commenting on other people’s blogs. Going to different events, whether that’s conferences or author signings. See if there are any Facebook or Goodreads groups in your area. Join them! I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, but most of us don’t bite. I swear. I love meeting new bloggers!

 

Be True to Yourself

I think I just threw up a little. I know that sounds so cheesy, but I think it’s really important. Just because everybody else is doing something doesn’t mean that you have to do that thing. If someone is spending 3 hours every weekend taking book pictures, but you don’t have time for that or just don’t find that interesting, then don’t do it! If someone is telling you that you HAVE to format your post a certain way, but you don’t want to, then don’t! You don’t HAVE to do anything. Remember that this is your corner of the internet. If you force yourself to do things you don’t want to, it will come through in your posts and your social media accounts. Your followers will notice and you won’t be genuine anymore. Don’t do it. Do what you want to do. Be happy. This is supposed to be fun remember?

 

Write Down Every Idea

You may think of an idea and then immediately go “no, that’s not good”. Write it down anyway. It may not be a good idea, but it could give you inspiration for a different, better idea. I write everything down even if it sounds stupid in my head at the time. I can tweak it, grow it, change it to be something awesome. And it gives me a constant supply of inspiration for posts. Because let’s be honest, sometimes we are just uninspired. We’ve seen everything done. We have an idea for a post, but someone else has done something similar. If you write everything down, when those uninspired moments strike you can just pull that list out and come up with something. It makes it so much easier.

 

Giveaway Time!

Congrats! You made it all the way to the end of my epic launch post! I hope you got something out of it and are as excited as I am to see what Unbound Pages brings in the future. As a reward for reading this long-winded post, I have an awesome giveaway for you guys! There will be THREE winners with three different prizes up for grabs. Use the rafflecopter to enter and make sure to let me know in the comments which prize you’d like to win. The only prize available for international peeps is the book. I can’t afford to pay international shipping for the other two prizes. Sorry guys!

Kill All Your Darlings - iceydesigns.comWord Hard Dream Big - iceydesigns.com

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the new blog? Which new posts are you most excited about: books, writing or blogging? Which one of the giveaway prizes do you want to win? And last but not least, what song did you dance to during our dance party?

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14 responses to “Top Three: Books, Writing & Blogging + Giveaway

  1. Suzanne W

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I’d love to win the “work hard dream big” journal/planner. If I have to only pick one book then I’d say my number one is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

    • lockhartbecca

      Of course! I have that planner and it is so amazing! I love how small it is because I can just throw it in my purse and take it with me for reference or to jot ideas down.

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that book before! I’ll have to go check it out. Thanks for celebrating my new blog launch with me! <3

  2. Love this post and congrats on the blog launch! I love the “work hard dream big” journal and still need to read Red Rising! My blogging tip would be similar to yours, make friends and interact. I’ve gotten so much better at commenting on blogs (though I could still do more) and I love making friends on twitter. It’s fun to gush about books and then find other things in common 🙂 I’m excited for your writing posts, I need all the help I can get. I love my WIP, I think it is very decent, but I’ve never finished a manuscript and it seems so daunting. I have 30K done and I want at least 80-90K. And I’ve been writing it for more years than I’d like to admit just because I set it aside so often. I get caught up in editing as I go and thinking it’s not good enough :/ But I’m going to try your tip about a dedicated writing time! Oh gosh, one book. That’s impossible! One of my most recent favorites was The Song Of Achilles, it’s gorgeously written.

    • lockhartbecca

      Omg Morgan you need to read Red Rising!!! It’s soooo amazing!! I’m terrible at commenting. I used to be super good about it when I was unemployed and now I just don’t have time. But I do still read a lot of blog posts via Twitter and all the ones I’m subscribed to via email. I just don’t always comment. Definitely try the dedicated writing time! It really helps. I also find that I can’t edit as I write. I have to just write and then go back and edit. If I edit while I write I’ll never finish. I’ll have to check out The Song of the Achilles. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. Hope you enjoy the writing posts coming up!

  3. I am always trying to learn new things about blogging, and am always with pen and paper, so I would love the Work Hard Dream Big Journal, it’s very nice. I think just being yourself and doing what makes you happy is the best tip.

    • lockhartbecca

      That’s great! I love my work hard dream big planner! Being happy is definitely the most important. Do what makes you happy and everything else will work out. That’s my motto. 🙂

  4. Absolutely love the blog! I appreciate your writing tips, they are unique in their own way and very helpful! I also love the Lunar Chronicles, and have just added the other two series to my TBR list! Thank you for being you, hope you have a wonderful day! Happy writing!

    • lockhartbecca

      Thank you so much for your kind words! <3 I'm so happy the writing tips are helpful and I'm hoping what I have coming up is going to be even more so. Yay! I hope you get to the Red Rising series soon! It's amazing!! Happy writing!

  5. HI! I am so excited for your new blogging journey!! Love the new design and name and am so excited for the new things you’ll be incorporating!! Red Rising — still obsessed. My march madness bracket name is “Omnis Vir Lupus” because I couldn’t think of a name and everyone is like what is that? and I’m like you know that series I told you to read? Maybe if you read it.. you’d know.. hahaha.

    We’re reading the original sinners series together sometime this year so I can’t wait! 🙂

    Love your writing and blogging tips. I especially think the stay true to yourself is so spot on because I think it shows in what you post and put out there. And FRIENDS! What is life without you to read with?! Haha.

    As for the giveaway, I’d choose the planner because that is SUPER cute!

    • lockhartbecca

      Hahaha that’s awesome about your March Madness bracket. I keep pushing the book on anyone who will listen. My coworker who just started reading it has already convince her boyfriend to read it after her and I’m just rubbing my hands together in glee. #howlers Awooooo!

      Yes!!! I am so excited to read the Original Sinners with you! I can’t wait to revisit the characters and finish it.

      Thanks!! It definitely shows in your posts. Like we were talking about the other day, if someone writes about what they’re passionate about it comes through.

      I LOVE my planner!! I want to buy everything from Hafsah’s shop.

  6. I’d love to read RED RISING by Pierce Brown! I’ve heard super things about it and I can’t wait to read it! My advice is to always have a planner and learn to manage your time. I’ve always had trouble with time management but I’m definitely improving, I think.

    • lockhartbecca

      Oh my gosh Red Rising is sooooo good!!!! I’m crazy obsessed with it right now. Yes! Time management is so important when it comes to blogging. It’s so hard to balance your “real life” with your “blogging life”, but once you figure it out things start to flow smoothly.

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