Thank You for 100+ readers!

I hit the 100 subscriber mark sometime last month and I’m yet to mention my thank yous for following my blog that’s all over the place. It’s been incredibly insane these last few months as I had some visitors but I’m here now. Back on the grind, slipping into my normal routine.

I actually should be blogging more than I really do, and put more effort into the the content I post on here. I’d love to use the excuses of kids, life and work which involves a lot of writing as it is but blogging is something I love to do and I should just do it.

I’d like to do a giveaway on here or maybe my instagram but I have no idea how to go about doing these things or what to even give away. Should I do a book or bookmarks?

Let me know in the comments what kind of giveaways you do on your blog.

xo Kat

Blog Name Changes

This is something I’ve been struggling with all of my blogging life. I’ve always jumped around and changed the name of my blog depending on the content or stage in life. I wouldn’t dare use one of those insane screen names I used as an adolescent. I even changed platforms in the last year. Previously I used Blogger but there’s only so much you can do with that after a while.

I’ve been brainstorming some new and old names for a domain name and I can’t seem to find something that sticks, something that I’m in love with. I highly doubt I’ll be using coffeedollchronicles as a permanent domain name. So, this is my cry for help fellow bloggers and readers. I’ll explain my situation and leave some suggestions for you to help me with.

When I first started blogging, my initial idea was to share my more painful experiences to help other people. Gradually, I started writing about parenting and books. Books has grown to be a wider topic on my blog in the past year and although I do identify as a book blogger, I don’t want to take away the inspiration and personal growth aspect from my blog. So there’s my dilemma. Do I add a bookish title to my blog? How to incorporate everything? I’d prefer using my name in the domain I’m about to purchase. Here are my suggestions so far. Let me know how it sounds to you as a reader and if you have any name suggestions. Thank you 🙂

*My full name is Katrina in case you don’t know because I always  sign off with Kat.

http://www.thekatchronicles.com

http://www.bookishkat.com

http://www.bookjunkiekat.com

Those are the only three I have so far. I appreciate all the help I can get with this.

Thanks for stopping by. XO Kat

How to Be A Happier You

I initially started blogging to help people who really had no one to talk to or understand them. I really wanted my troubling feelings to be able to reach out to someone and help them through whatever difficult situation they were in. I am not saying that there are people out there who don’t have worse problems than mine but I honestly wasn’t in the right mental frame for a large portion of my life. The way I saw myself, the way I hated myself and had no confidence, and a mountain of insecurities, it affected my life deeply. It impacted the way I carried about myself, the way I dealt with people and situations and it took me a very long time to really come to terms with who I am and why I should not be insecure or ashamed of being a little different. When I say different here, I mean that I don’t fit the same skin as my peers or family so I often felt like I was strongly misunderstood.

About three years back I lost a really good friend of mine. Not to death or anything of the sort, it was a misunderstanding that I still don’t understand and don’t have the energy to get into. Nevertheless it was an eye opener for me. I realized that I’m the only one who can help me be strong, who can validate my own existence. I don’t like the idea of leaning on friendships to be happy because that’s like putting the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. And that’s not right. You have to be your own referee. Having friends is awesome and it’s helpful but it’s also very liberating and strengthening to be able to pull yourself out of deep waters.

Here’s a few things that I reassessed about my own life which helps me continuously today in making better decisions and in waking up contented with my life even though there is a lot that I could be sad or mad about.

Respect Yourself

A lot of people hate hearing the words “love yourself”, especially when they’re at a really dark place in their life. I know I hated hearing it. How can you love yourself when everything seems to be falling apart? You have to learn to respect yourself. That is a much better term for what I’m about to explain. It means that you have to accept your own existence, your own purpose the way you accept other people. You are no less than another human being. This is one of the worst kinds of mind sets you can put yourself in.

Learn Yourself

You have to reach deep into yourself and learn who you are as a person. Learn what you stand for and which direction you want your life to be headed. Once you’ve come to terms with that, you need to start weeding out all negative aspects and anything that may be a hurdle in your way. I know this sounds like a difficult thing to do but it’s doable. You have to really want that change, you have to really want to be happy to garner that drive to make these changes.

Focus on Yourself

There comes a point in your life when you really need to stop listening to what other people are saying. It’s okay to listen and incorporate good advice into your life. I’m not advocating being a rude person but if what someone is saying is troubling or harmful to you in any way, you need to filter that out. I needed to stop being concerned about other people more than I was being concerned about myself. I needed to focus on me and my goals, my kids and what’s best for them. Reading into others’ negativity really wasn’t helping anything in my life. It was creating problems in places where there were none. The best thing you can do is focus so hard on your life and goals, until you can’t hear the negativity beating at your door.

I hope you found something helpful in what I shared today. These steps have really worked for me in the last several years. It’s helped me reach a level of maturity and security that seemed so far fetched before. If you take these three points into consideration, sooner or later you’ll realize your worth and once you do, then no one can snatch your happiness away from you. My life isn’t perfect at all. Most of our lives isn’t. There’s many things I could cry about on the daily but really working on myself as a person has helped me reach a significant level of contentment.

xo Kat

(c)Kat Degnich. All rights reserved.

 

Mistakes I Made As a Writer

Since I have started working on book length stories, my knowledge and experience of the writing process has broadened significantly. When I started out with writing books, my basic process was to just start writing with one small idea I had at the time with barely any concept. I just had an idea, basic knowledge of my characters and I started to write. I found myself being stuck a lot along the way, that thing they called writer’s block. It would frustrate me to no end as to why I can’t just write my story and finish it despite having an idea of what I wanted to convey.

I took a break for a couple of months from working on a book, and I utilized that time to really study my craft and work on myself as a writer. Here are some of the mistakes that I made when I first decided to pursue writing books.

No Outlining

To be honest, I didn’t even know about outlining as a strategic way of writing a book. I had a notebook and I wrote down ideas and pieces of my story and I basically tried not to over do it, thinking that it was very incompetent of me to outline an entire book. I was both surprised and excited when I heard of well established authors doing this. Bear with me here, I was a total noob to this entire writing books thing. Previously, I had only done poetry and short stories for self fulfillment that I never let anyone else read.

Not outlining my story was a bad approach for me, and since then I have found it to help me write on days that I am not even inspired. When you have your lay out, you at least know what you want to say even if it’s first draft material.

Lack of Patience

When I first heard of self publishing, I was elated. I still believe that I am a novice writer, and I don’t think I have the confidence to pitch my book to any agent or publishing house so I felt like maybe this self-publishing route was a good one for me. As it was, I read a lot of great self-published books on Kindle, some of which are my favorite reads til date.

So I mustered the courage to actually begin writing the story in my head. Writing takes time, it’s a long process to have a completed manuscript, one that you’re satisfied with. Again, I saw prolific writers on Kindle just releasing book after book and often self-doubted myself as a writer. We all do at some point but I had days when I just felt like maybe I’m pursuing the wrong thing and that really affected me because the only thing I can say with confidence that I know how to do is write. Writing for me is living.

Underdeveloped characters

In my head my characters are well thought out. I am constantly always thinking of my stories and characters and it builds itself as time goes by. I do write down a lot of what I’ve come up with but when I read over my written work, I realize I need to personalize and give my characters more depth. If I didn’t learn how to do this, they would all sound the same. So it’s a matter of being one writer with many different stories to tell, and you have to fit yourself into many different hats/shoes. You need to spend more time with your characters, understanding their lives, their stories, their likes or dislikes, their jobs etc.

Rushed Content

This might come into play with my other points. Like I was saying previously, lack of patience invites rushed writing. In the desperation to have a finished book, my story and characters weren’t fleshed out enough. I felt like it was more a description of things, people and places, than a connection as a reader of my own work.

Too Much Telling, Not Enough Showing

This is a little tricky. Why do I say that? Because I’ve seen established authors do it. I’ve learned to correct my own essays in elementary school so when I read, I come across things that I feel should’ve been edited in a different fashion. It really interrupts the story for me but it is a learning curve. The best way to write, is to first be a reader.

It’s important to convey your characters thoughts and feelings not so directly to your readers. Readers are smart people, let’s not underestimate them. They can get bored and fall out of love with your writing before you can even blink. As an example, let’s talk about anger. Throughout the book, you wouldn’t want to repeat yourself like a broken record saying, “This person is angry” or “This person is furious.” A more comfortable way in writing the same feeling over and over is to describe what’s going on with your character. For instance, “She grips the edge of her seat until her knuckles go white.” Pardon my generic sentences, I couldn’t come up with anything else at this point.

A Thousand Rewrites

Frankly, I still do this and this is why I stress on outlining at least your basic idea before writing. Read over your outline and makes changes before you begin to write. Make sure you’re satisfied with what you have for a first draft. Anything else can be modified, fixed, added, chopped in your second revision.

Self-doubt

Even the best writers have self-doubt. I still doubt myself, and feel like I will be the laughing stock of the nation if someone actually reads what I’ve written. Previously I mentioned that I never showed my work to another human. Writing is me, I am writing. It’s how I truly feel. I want to be an author so badly, that I can taste it. If I give up writing, it would be like giving up a huge fraction of what makes me, me. Even though you self-doubt, there are avenues to make you feel better and comfortable as a writer. If you want it bad enough, don’t let anything stop you.

These are the main things that affected me as a novice writer. I’ve seen people ask questions relating to all of these so I thought I’d put together a post to share my experiences with writing. 

xo Kat

 

 

 

Liebster Award Nomination

liebster

I have been nominated by Diary of A Bookfiend for the Liebster Award. I am always thankful and happy to interact with other bloggers like myself. Check out her page by clicking on her name (It’s linked above.)

What is the Liebster Awards?

Here is an excerpt from Diary of A Bookfiend’s blog:

“Liebster” is a German word meaning beloved, dearest, sweetheart, or darling.

For bloggers, the Liebster Award is an online recognition given by other bloggers to new bloggers for enjoying or appreciating their work. It highlights up and coming blogs.

Once nominated, a blogger is asked to answer 11 questions provided by the nominating blogger. They are then expected to nominate 11 other favorite new bloggers and come up with a list of 11 new questions for those nominees.

Here are the rules:
  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs.
  4. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

Loneliness and wanting to help someone. I don’t have any friends and a few years ago I was really depressed and wanted to share my views on different things in the hopes that it would entertain or help someone.

2. Other than blogging, what are your passions in life? (name the top 1).

Writing. It truly makes me happy.

3. Suppose you won a huge windfall that would surely last the rest of your life, what would you do with the money?

Pay my bills! Then I’d take a vacation to see family overseas, and invest the majority of it.

4. What is your favorite place to read?

In peace. LOL! In bed, at night.

5. Give me your tips to stay awake and keep reading at night when you’re awfully sleepy.

If the book is really good, I feel an adrenaline rush.

6. Which of the following do you see yourself fit as a reader – having multiple books going at the same time or single-mindedly focusing on one book?

I prefer to read one at a time but sometimes I read on kindle and I’d still pick up a book so it ends up as reading multiple books.

7. How would you describe yourself in a few words?

Tired, driven, hopeless, realist, dreamer

8. Are you athletic or good at sports? (because I’m NOT; I’m curious!)

That’s a no hehehe but I do love badminton and tennis.

9. What is your go-to method to vent your stress?

Blogging or working on my book. I also clean like I’m a totally tidy person.

10. Tell us the name of the city (or place) you have never visited but desperately want to.

Anywhere in Italy or Greece.

11. Give me one thing that is on your bucket list (or thing you really want to do in your lifetime).

Walk in to a store and see my book on a shelf.

I had a lot of fun doing this tag. So thank you again Diary of A Bookfiend for tagging me in this one. Here are my eleven questions:

  1. What is your blog about?
  2. How often do you blog?
  3. What are you currently reading and what is it about?
  4. What are you plans for the summer?
  5. Do you have kids or pets?
  6. Give one thing you love about yourself, and one thing you think needs improvement.
  7. What are you passionate about?
  8. E-reader or actual books? Or Both?
  9. What is your favorite season?(Mine is Fall)
  10. What is your favorite holiday/occasion? (Mine is Halloween?)
  11. What is book you enjoyed as a movie or TV Show?

Here’s who I nominate if you haven’t already done and want to 🙂

My Heart On A Platter

D.E. Haggerty

Bookworms Confessions

Lyndsey’s Awesome Horror Blog

Start by Writing Simple Stories

Recently I have been so engrossed with writing techniques and listening to other people on Youtube share their writing journey or publishing journey. My eyes have opened quite a bit since I have started pursing writing full on. I have all of these stories in my head and the need to get them out is sometimes, painful. I go through these period where I feel like a failure because all of these ideas mean something but it’s hard to choose which one is the most epic. In the middle of writing something, I feel it mundane compared to what I know I can do. Deep down we know our potential, and we can only get there through hard work and diligence.

Last year when I started writing my first book-like piece, I was under the impression that to write something good one had to be over-the-moon smart but after hearing some of my most admired authors’ stories, I’ve started seeing writing from a different perspective.

I’d like to share something I’ve noticed, and also experienced to people who are pursuing writing, as a hobby or as a career. This is for beginners like myself and comments/tips are always appreciated on this blog!

There’s a Youtuber that I look at from time to time who shares writing tips. Said Youtuber has a self-published book out and I thought to myself, “Wow, her book must be something great if her tips are that great.” So I went over to amazon and downloaded a sample of her book and do you know what I found? Within the first few paragraphs I saw that she broke the very rules she was telling people not to break. Over usage of metaphoric descriptions, too much telling.

I’m not here to bash on another writer’s book, it simply wasn’t for me. But that’s not the issue. From what I gathered, this author had to build an entire world and characters in them, and it was quite a lengthy task. I myself, as a novice writer have many epic story ideas but I won’t pursue them quite yet.

Building worlds, and writing about other worldly elements is quite a difficult feat. So if you’re just starting off like I am, go simpler. Learn your craft before you tackle anything too hard. I think it was JK Rowling that said you have to get out all of that bad writing out before you find your voice. It’s like that saying, practice makes perfect. And no piece of writing is bad writing. Never delete your work. It came from a genuine place and it would project in your story. Anything you don’t like, can be fixed but never delete it.

Happy Writing! Leave me a comment to let me know how your writing process has been thus far 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

Benefits of Reading

I have an addiction and it’s one I can’t stop and won’t stop. It’s a thing called reading. I love all things books and stories and have been crazy about it since childhood. I think the lack of computer availability and no such thing called social media(I wasn’t even using the internet in the early 90s) gave me a lot of time to engage in reading as well as develop a love and habit out of it. It was our way of entertainment back then.

I wrote a previous post about what I read as a child so if you’d life to check it out and see what content I put into my head early on use the search bar and type in “What did you read as a child?”

Enough about my little reading history(as if I don’t talk about it enough on this blog).

Of course there’s evidence that reading is beneficial to humans all over the internet. This is just my personalized views on how reading has played an important role not only in my life but those around me.

Knowledge. Well obviously! Anything you read provides some sort of information and you don’t only have to read novels. There are tons of non-fiction books, the newspapers, magazines.

Broadens your vocabulary. Learning how to articulate your words can help you in many aspects of your life, whether it’s having a conversation, writing a letter or doing homework. Sometimes we just can’t find the words to express what we mean. I have experienced first hand on how reading can help with that. And you don’t have to own a brain like a thesaurus…if you read my blog you’ll see that I use the same words and expressions over and over and over.

Better conversation. This goes together with knowledge and vocabulary. If you’re knowledgeable about a topic you can teach someone about something new or have a decent amount of input during a conversation without stars spinning in your head.

Imagination. This is my favorite. If I didn’t have a wide imagination with me throughout my life because I still use it extensively, I’d have gone mad and cracked under the pressure of being a human. Books really were my escape from negative things and when I read, I live within the pages.

Manages Stress. I have an entire post about managing stress and I don’t think I’ve listed reading as one of them. Oops! Reading is how I wind down after a tiring and chaotic day which is basically everyday in my house. It’s the few minutes of the day I can call my own and it does lift the heaviness of the day off of me. Try it!

Diminishes Ignorance. Very simple. If you want to learn about something, read about it.

Goodbye Boredom. A reader is never bored. I used to hate waiting in offices to be tended to, now I don’t. I just always have a an e-book on my phone or my kindle with me.

Helps your school performance. Reading at a young age can really help you focus on material in books. Your understanding of sentences and what they convey come easier if you read extra. It can help you research or writer a paper properly.

xo Coffee Doll

How has reading benefited your life?

The Monday Syndrome

monday-1145495_640

Good Monday y’all! Let’s talk about The Monday Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, pardon me if it is but it’s the only term that comes to my mind.

No, I’m not referring to our grogginess on Monday mornings when life resumes and we have to leave those few minutes of a weekend behind. I’m talking about the Monday “Go Getter” Attitude. Sometimes we leave things for next month, or next year but most likely everyone has a “leave it for the beginning of next week” attitude. I’ll start gym next week Monday because it’s already Wednesday and the week is practically over or I’ll start my diet next Monday or I’ll start to write at the beginning of next week(that’s me by the way). Our lives are consumed by a “let’s leave it for Monday” attitude. Right? I can’t be the only one.

There are procrastinators and then there are people who just can’t seem to get a handle on their lives. I’m both by the way. I know I procrastinate but I have a sound reason. My children just won’t zip it enough for me to hear my own thoughts and I’m always busy running behind them that the few moments of procrastination just to hear myself think are gold. But seriously though, it is hard to juggle everything already going on in your life so when a new task arises, we leave it for next Monday.

Whatever it is we leave for next Monday shouldn’t always be left for next Monday. I know, I know. It’s hard to find motivation to get yourself moving but it’s important to understand why our brains think we can’t start things right now, right this minute. I think my way of thinking is so uniformed that if I start something in the middle of the week, I feel all sorts of panic, like I’m running out of time, like life on Earth is coming to an end.

Wanting to be a perfectionist can hinder your progress believe me. Sometimes you won’t be starting next Monday, you’ll be starting five Mondays from that Monday. Not seeing the bigger picture and focusing on current struggles(which describes my case of The Monday Syndrome perfectly) makes you want to jump out of your skin and not start anything. Maybe it’s the fear of failing and not so much the fear of starting. Another thing I get hit with hard from time to time(more often that not) is bad estimation of time. My brain fails to process that things take time to reach a level of satisfaction, hence I’ll kinda put it off until next Monday, and then the next until I’m a hot panicking mess.

Do you suffer from The Monday Syndrome? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear!

See you next Monday!(jk jk)

xo Coffee Doll

Image: Pixabay.com

 

Why I Started Blogging?

I’ve transferred my blog to WordPress in January of this year and started uploading content on it a bit more frequently than I did in the last three years. Yesterday I saw that I had reached fifty subscribers and I was completely bowled over. Fifty subscribers may not seem like much to a successful blogger but it means a great deal to me. When I had my first view, first subscriber and first comment, I felt the same…and that’s a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Why, you may ask. It’s simple. Writing is my passion…writing anything, and I am grateful even if I have one reader. I initially started blogging as a way to express myself freely, something I cannot do on social media. My opinions, thoughts and personality is always misconstrued on social media. Everyone gets offended by something even though it has nothing to do with them. Nobody respects anyone’s right to believe or think what they want anymore.

Blogging also gives my writing the longevity and archiving that it needs. I really wanted to write self-helping posts for people who were mainly dealing with depression, loneliness. I’ve dealt a great deal with depression and unhappiness when I was younger and I felt that maybe if I told my stories or shed light on the topic it might help someone else in the same situation.

As time progressed I wanted to write more…about relationships, parenting, lifestyle, books and all of that good stuff and I’m particularly better at writing down my thoughts than saying them to someone so I incorporated all of that into my blog. About two years ago, I started writing again. This time I went for constructed stories written in a novel format instead of poetry here and there, and shorter stories. So now writing is a big portion of what I have planned for my blog as well.

My main goal in taking this blog further is to help people, even if only to bring a smile to their faces. It’s similar to video blogging your life. In this case scenario I write about my journey…

XO

Nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine blogger award

 

I have been nominated by the awesome Pocket Treasure’s Blog for The Sunshine Blogger Award, and I’m a excited about this to be honest. I feel like I’m part of something cool hehe. Blogging is something dear to me and the fact that I get to interact with amazing bloggers makes me happy. I’m am just grateful for the fact that people read my content. It’s my first time really understanding what this award is all about. So here are the rules:

  • First you have to thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and create a link so that it can take you to their blog.
  • Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you. I’m not sure if it’s a set total of 11 questions but that’s how many I got so that’s what I’ll follow.
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and create 11 questions for them to answer.
  • State the rules and use the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

The Pocket Treasure’s Blog questions and my answers

  1. Who inspires you?  –  I don’t think I can take one name as I’m inspired by a lot of amazing people, and their achievements. It drives me to get up everyday and keep pushing forward. If I must narrow it down, I’ll say recently the likes of J.K. Rowling & Stephen King. I’d love to be a published writer one day and their rise to success definitely helps me with my creative struggle.
  2. What would you like to be remembered as? – A writer, a teller of amazing stories.
  3. What would you like to do which is totally outside your comfort zone? – Drive…yes I know, how strange. I get anxiety behind the wheel and I’m not sure I have the correct attention span for it but I’m hoping one day I can be able to do it without breaking a sweat.
  4. What things can you not live without? – I dislike being attached to things but if I must say, I’d choose my Kindle. Books are my escape and I need to take it with me everywhere.
  5. What’s your favorite book? – I often think about it and when I’m asked, I can’t remember. It would be unfair and very difficult to choose. I like the way a certain author writes. Anne Rice, Dan Brown, Nora Roberts…you see there’s tonnes and yet I can’t recall names with just one cup of measly coffee. 
  6. What is your favorite quote that you live by? – Lately it’d have to be C’est la vie, although I’m not sure it’s a proper quote but as I get older I feel like there’s only so much control you have over the negative things in life and you just have to accept that’s life and move on. No sense dwelling on it.
  7. . If you were the president of America, what one thing would you change? – I would make education and health care free or less costly.
  8. What would you say to your younger self? – Don’t place faith in others, learn to stand on your own.
  9. What’s your favorite comfort food? – I don’t have a lot of sweets being diabetic and all…I love chicken noodle soup, and a good falafel sandwich.
  10. What makes your day instantly better? – Hugs and kisses from my kids. 
  11. What thing do you miss doing as a kid? I miss freedom…no responsibilities.

 

I’m not sure who all has been nominated for this award yet so I don’t want to double nominate. I will leave 11 questions down below and if you happen to pass by my blog and are up for it, you can consider yourself tagged and use the questions below.

My questions are:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. How did you come up with your blog name and why?
  3. What’s one embarrassing experience you had?
  4. What’s do you think is the ideal date night?
  5. Where have you traveled to?
  6. Are you an outdoors person or indoors?
  7. What movie did you love that was based on a book/series series?
  8. Which well-known author do you think is overrated?
  9. What’s your favorite TV Series?
  10. Which fantasy world would you like to live in?
  11. What are your goals for 2017?