Five real life truths I’ve learned from writing fiction:

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The characters are more important than the plot. This one someone might debate with me, but I stand firm on it. If you have a good plot with really terrible characters you have a bad book. You need characters you can relate too or at least somewhat understand. If you have amazing characters with good character development and the stories plot line isn’t that great, you’re book is at least somewhat decent.

Life is a lot like this. Our life stories might not be the most interesting. We can’t all have the one in a million success stories that we hear about on TV. We all have interesting points in our lives, we all do amazing things, but our whole lives aren’t going to be filled with that kind of excitement, and that’s okay, our stories are still great, because we’re the lead characters and who we are is enough. We’re all interesting, we’re all unique, we all have amazing character development. Our lives are all worth reading.

Everything has a lesson. What’s the moral of the story? It’s a question you should have an answer to at the end of every book, if you don’t have one then I don’t know what kind of book you just wrote, but it’s probably not the most valuable piece of literature. Everything that happens in a story should lead to something else, every event should have lessons that we bring to the next plot point, just like everything that happens in our life should be learned from. The world is full of knowledge. Every mistake and every success promises more and more of it, if we ignore the lessons we aren’t ever going to develop our own stories.

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It’s June and I’m 23. Here’s to bad years closing and lessons learned.

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Happy June! My birthday was yesterday, and I am now officially twenty-three. Let’s just say that twenty-two just wasn’t what Taylor Swift made it out to be. I made a post about my year lost to lyme and mono and I meant it in the most literal way possible. I don’t feel like I was ever really twenty-two. The entire year was lost to pain and I didn’t really move from the couch. I feel like I’m behind now, because I know that if I hadn’t of gotten sick I would be so much farther ahead. I know that I’m not, there are a lot of twenty-three year old’s still trying to figure it out, I just thought by now I’d be farther along.

So when I say I want twenty-three to be a better year for me I’m not setting the bar crazy high, in fact the bar is rather low. I know life moves in phases and no matter what we think those phases aren’t marked in years or semesters. They’re random. God and the forces on this earth aren’t really working with our calendar. So, I don’t expect it to get better right away, but I hope that this age is more giving. I hope that it has a little more mercy.

That’s not to say that twenty-two didn’t come with some valuable lessons. Here is what I learned while I was too sick to get off the couch.  Continue reading

7 Things I Learned in my 21st Year:

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I don’t know about you- but as of yesterday I’m feeling twenty-two. In some ways it feels like this birthday is a year late. I’ve felt this age for a while, or at least the last semester. Still, looking at the number is pretty amazing. I’m now really into my twenties.

Have a learned anything? Surely. This past year has been so busy it would have been impossible not to gain something.

Here is what I learned:

  • College really isn’t the best years of your life. Adults say this all the time, in fact, I had a few tell me high school was going to be the best part of my life. It’s just not true. There is so much life ahead of you. It’s getting better.
  • Waking up earlier is actually really great. Take it from your local night owl, I started getting up just an hour or two earlier and my day feels a million times longer. It’s simply not the same as adding that hour or two after the sun has gone down.
  • That feeling in my gut sometimes lies. I’ve always been big on going with what feels right- and I still am. The problem I’ve come across this year is making up my own gut feelings. When I want something bad enough I can convince myself it’s going to happen, and when it doesn’t it’s pretty soul crushing.

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15 Lessons from Year 20

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  1. It’s amazing how one facebook message can launch you into a friendship that’s been dormant for seven years. We play the “I’m just going to stop texting people and see who reaches out to me” and pretend like it tells us who is really in our lives for good. It doesn’t. It tells you who’s busy, or it tells you who is waiting on you to text first to see if you care. Stop being a child. Reach out.
  2. If you aren’t educated in a topic it’s okay to say that. Don’t try to keep up the fight just because you have an opinion.
  3. My body shape doesn’t actually matter that much- how far I can run when the dog takes off and how I sleep at night do. Health and image aren’t the same.
  4. We’re young, things don’t work out. That doesn’t mean that we’re doing anything wrong. Sometimes you have to go on a few dates before you realize what you’re looking for. Sometimes you can just go out to dinner with a guy just to see. It’s okay, the next boy you date doesn’t have to be your future husband.
  5. Taking much needed down time and being lazy are two very different things. When you get older you start to realize you’ve been lying about your days “off”. Don’t you have something you’ve wanted to do but “hadn’t have the time to do”?
  6. Dream big, reach for the stars, but keep in mind that you should also have plans for the time in between dreams, the steps to get there. Transitions should be enjoyed also. A lot of life is spent in transition anyways. 
  7. I look fine when I smile with my teeth, no matter what I’ve spent my life telling myself. And if someone gets a bad picture of me smiling with my teeth? That’s okay too, people on facebook have seen me in person, the people on here and tumblr who haven’t? They don’t actually care if I put out one bad picture for every 20 glossy ones. It’s how I look. Not flawless like Beyonce but damn good looking anyways.
  8. Study the masters. Of anything that you want. Learn everything you can from everything. You never should aim to “finish” your studies.
  9. Buy it in Print. Cook books, magazines, novels. Drip on the cookbook pages, rip out magazine articles, write in margins of novels. You’ll retain more. You’ll love it and won’t “click away”.
  10.  Indulge. They’re only guilty pleasures if you feel bad about them- which you shouldn’t.
  11. I spent years not speaking of my accomplishments because I didn’t want to brag. I thought the line was too thin to walk, but it isn’t. Show your skills or knowledge when on the correct topic for it and only mention it a few times through out the year. People can know you’re great at something without you being annoying about it.
  12. Don’t wait- Don’t put your life on hold. Things can be moved to the back burner, but you should never just be sitting around waiting for a call from him or that call from that dream job you applied to two months ago and never heard from.
  13. Dance alone, in public. Embarrass yourself every now and then. It’s how you have fun and learn that you shouldn’t be embarrassed by that anyways.
  14. Spend time with toddlers and puppies, you’ll understand why when you want to rip you hair out, then again when you see the beauty in it all. It’s something everyone should learn.
  15. Thank them. Do it again. And again. Never forget to say I love you. Never let someone think they aren’t important to you.

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