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The Goodreads Extravaganza

Published 08/01/2013 by julierkendrick

Last year I was lucky enough to stumble upon a website that you probably know called Goodreads. I have no idea how I missed this great site for so long but once I found it I was completely hooked. For those of you who have yet to experience the delights of Goodreads I’ll explain a little about it here.

When you sign up you will be asked questions about the kind of books you like to read and your lifestyle etc. Once you have done this you will see on the homepage recommendations based on the answers you gave. This is great because you will find books on the genres you love that you had forgotten about or have read and want to read again or brand new books that you just have to read.  You get to rate the books and compile your own lists of those you have read, those you want to read and the book you are currently reading. Sounds good so far but not amazing? Ah there’s more.

Goodreads-logo

You can join forums to chat about anything literature related, you can vote for books in Goodreads polls. You can answer quiz questions about books, authors or film adaptations and you can even make your own quizzes, challenge your friends and other like minded readers.

There are two things about Goodreads that I really love. The first is my author page. Once you become a published writer you can set yourself up as an author member with your own page, links to your books and a blog if you wish. You can also link this to your Twitter and Facebook accounts thus improving your writing profile. Once you do this you will find more and more requests to be your friend. Unlike FB you don’t update statuses or talk about your personal life this is purely about reading so your ‘friends’ will be following your literary life, seeing what you are reading, commenting on your books reviews etc etc. Goodreads is used by well known authors too so you never know you may find that you have Stephen King or Phillipa Gregory taking an interest in you.

The second thing I love about this site is the challenges you can set yourself. I personally do the yearly book challenge where you have to nominate the number of books you will read in a year. Last year I said I would read 73 and I managed 75. This year I have challenged myself to read 80.  This is great for me because I have such a massive bucket list of books I want to read, I find myself making time to read so I don’t fall behind on my challenge. It keeps up with you and tells you what percentage you have left to go or if you are falling behind too.

So to sum up. Goodreads is great. A definite favourite you should add to your task-bar.

Here is a link and don’t forget to look me up and ask to be my friend.

Goodreads

Look forward to seeing you there.

Julie 🙂

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Happy New Year

Published 01/01/2013 by julierkendrick

Not an original title I grant you but the sincerity is real.

I have read a number of posts on Twitter and Facebook wondering what resolutions people are making. Resolutions have always baffled me somewhat. I find it strange that just because the number on the end of the year has changed that people have to decide to change something about their lives too. Why not do it on Christmas Day or your birthday. I think it is an arbitrary day where hungover people can make excuses for past behaviours.

“What a cynic” I hear you cry. You may be right but I very rarely, if ever hear of a positive resolution. i.e. I am going to keep doing…… rather than I am going to stop doing…….

So here is mine. This year I am going to resolve to keep making no resolutions whatsoever. It’s one I’ve stuck to every year so far.

What are yours?

Julie 🙂

 

Procrastination

Published 11/09/2012 by julierkendrick

So, I promised you a blog about procrastination and as you can see, this is it. What you won’t know however is how long it took to write due to all the stops and starts I made. Cups of coffee, dog walks, kids wants, tv catch-up, girly lunches all demand pieces of me and my time, and, I have to say they are all important. What they do however is take me away from my writing.

Facebook, Twitter, emails are all things that I absolutely have to look at before I start my writing for the day. But why? Are my friends going to say anything so important that it cannot wait for a few hours? I highly doubt it. But still I feel compelled to check every half an hour or so.

Social networking is a valuable tool for those who are trying to promote themselves and their work but they can be just as destructive in those writers (like me) whose minds are prone to wander.

So what is the solution? Is there a solution? Some would say that as long as you are writing you are honing your craft, whether that be drafting pages of your latest masterpiece or penning a quick reply to a comment on Twitter, and to some degree I would concur. But is this all just an excuse to stop you from the real task of finishing your work? I think so. Maybe for me it is a little bit of insecurity and because of that I tend to put my writing last. I must get the housework and shopping etc done first because they are more important than my scribbling. This is a mindset I have yet to break, but believe me I am determined to do it.  It would be pretty hypocritical of me to post this blog without confessing my own guilt around the subject. One of the things I would do well to remember, says my ever supportive husband, is that I have had many stories published in anthologies so my writing can hardly be called scribbling. Fair point Mr Kendrick.

Wikipedia cites the definition of procrastinaton as;

In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. In accordance with Freud, the Pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination; humans do not prefer negative emotions, and handing off a stressful task until a further date is enjoyable. The concept that humans work best under pressure provides additional enjoyment and motivation to postponing a task. Some psychologists cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. Other psychologists indicate that anxiety is just as likely to get people to start working early as late and the focus should be impulsiveness. That is, anxiety will cause people to delay only if they are impulsive.

Interesting huh? Note that the very first line says replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority.  So there is the nub. How important is your work to you? More important than Facebook, Twitter and emails?

The definition above also mentions the stress of the higher priority task, which we have now decided is our writing. Many people, to whom I have mentioned that I am a writer have exclaimed that I have it easy, and in some respects I do. But that does not mean that writing isn’t stressful. Deadlines, plot lines, characters, and themes all make for an anxious time for a writer. But hey, don’t get me wrong I love what I do but to say it is not stressful is erroneous.

So reading back my post I think I will find it hard to justify my procrastination now. I have the solution. Check Facebook, Twitter etc before you start work and then shut down your internet (unless you need it for your work of course) and do not check it until you have reached your writing goal for that day.

Simple huh?

Now why didn’t I think of that. 😉

Julie 😀

How do you use Twitter?

Published 05/09/2012 by julierkendrick