Studying Journalism With an Anxiety Disorder

This past school year I’ve been really struggling about whether or not I had made the right choice. I really loved my first year, and I had good grades. For the most part I continued to get good grades, and I had gotten positive feedback on my writing, but I still really, really worried if journalism was for me after all.

Studying itself gives me a lot of stress and anxiety, but on top of that having to call people, arrange interviews, doing the interviews themselves etc. I’ve gotten used to it, sort of, but the anxiety I feel before calling people and before the interviews themselves, has never gone away. And I feared that it never will.

My main character from my current WIP also has anxiety and is considering studying journalism, but is afraid his anxiety will get in the way. While I wondered this as well before making my decision, I wasn’t struggling with it as much as Yong-sun is in his senior year. I’m struggling with it now, at the brink of my third year. While this also gave me anxiety, it also really, really helped me. Because I decided to google ‘anxiety and journalism’. Which I could’ve done without writing about Yong-sun, but I didn’t think of it. I didn’t think of looking up journalists who also have an anxiety-disorder. Reading articles from journalists who face the same problems I do, really, really helped me. Am I still scared? You bet ya

But if other journalists can do it, then maybe I can do it too

Are you worried that your anxiety will get in the way of your goals? Has your writing/characters ever helped you in a moment like this? Let me know in the comments!

How To Make Aesthetics 101 by Moi

Last week I did The Blogger Aesthetics Tag, and May suggested that I’d do a post on how to create aesthetics. Since I love aesthetics (and being helpful promise I’m a good person) how could I not? So here’s my attempt at being helpful! (because I might like helping and teaching people I always feel like I suck at it lmao)

Step 1: Have an idea/theme

Okay so I don’t always already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make, sometimes I just want to make one? In that case there’s secret Step 0 in which I browse my Pinterest and/or WeHeartIt to look at my boards/collections for inspiration. Usually I already know what kind of aesthetic I want to make though. In this case a Hermione Granger character aesthetic, so let’s take a look at my board and collection

Okay so I already have a lot of pictures to work with, but let’s pretend I don’t!

Step 2: Look for pictures to use 

Personally I use Pinterest and WeHeartIt, because I can save pictures on boards/collections and make the aesthetics later on, but you can look wherever you want. In this tutorial I’ll be talking about Pinterest and WeHeartIt though.

When I first started making aesthetics I had NO IDEA how to find pictures, and I’m sure some of you have this same problem. It’s a lot easier when you’re making an aesthetic for an already existing character, especially a popular one like Hermione:

Look at all the pins and boards! It makes it super easy to find plenty of pictures. Of course it’s not that easy when you want to make an aesthetic for your own character or book. I have boards/collections for my own WIPs and characters as well, so whenever I come across something I can save it to the board/collection and at some point I can make an aesthetic, but still, how do you find pictures?

Since my character Mick is a bookworm, I just look for ‘book aesthetics’ and ta-dah! Of course he’s more than a bookworm, but I wanted to use this as an example

Basically: put aesthetic in your search term.

I also follow aesthetic boards/collections on Pinterest and WeHeartIt: from general ‘aesthetic’ boards to ‘yellow aesthetic’ to people’s own characters’ aesthetics or aesthetics for already existing characters/books/tv shows/movies/etc. that I know are similar to my WIPs and characters, so I’ll be able to save pins/hearts from those to the boards/collections for my WIPs/characters and be able to use them later on when I’m making aesthetics.

Step 3: Save all the pictures to whatever device you’re making the aesthetic on

So by now you hopefully have all the pictures you need, so now you need to save them. Yes all of them. Okay, I’m not looking at you through my computer screen yelling ‘HEY YOU FORGOT ONE’ and if you don’t want to save all of them, obviously you don’t need to, I’m just telling you what I do. Though if there’s an image that I know won’t work I’ll skip it, but I like having all images on my laptop to use.

Step 4: Open your collage making program/website

I always use Fotor, but I found that on the App Store so I don’t know if it’s available on other computers? If it is, I definitely recommend it! It’s not just a program for collages, it’s also a regular editor.

Step 5: Choose a layout

You can choose different layouts, and I never really know which one I want, so basically I experiment a lot. There’s no ‘one layout’ for aesthetics, though four, six, eight and nine squares are used a lot. Those are the ones I use myself as well.

Step 6: Upload your pictures and experiment! 

Whatever program you’re using, there’s a big chance that if like me you end up with a lot of pictures you might not be able to open all of them at once, which I personally find a real struggle. I want all the pictures on the side so I can see which ones go together, but alas Fotor doesn’t allow more than 30 pictures and I ended up with around 70 pictures to choose from.

So this is what I ended up with after experimenting for a bit and well… I wasn’t satisfied AT ALL.

Step 7: Experiment some more until you’re satisfied 

AND TADAH. Sorry I don’t have screenshots of the experimenting, but what looks good and doesn’t look good is very subjective anyway. Personally I look at the following things:

💛 Do the pictures look good together? Is it pleasing to the eye? (composition, colours)
💛 Aren’t there too many pictures showing one side of the character/book? For example: a lot of pictures of books in a Hermione aesthetic and no pictures that have to do with her being a witch, a hardworking student, an activist. I like showing as many sides to the character as possible as long as the pictures look nice together

You’ll most likely end up with a lot of pictures saved on your laptop that you wish you could’ve used, but hey you could always make another aesthetic ;)

Step 8: Throw your pretty aesthetics in everyone’s faces

Why yes that IS a Malvie aesthetic I made

You could share them on your blog, or make a Tumblr dedicated to aesthetics like me (cheeky self promo here). If you already have a Tumblr and don’t want another one, you can also upload them on there of course. Twitter and Instagram also loves aesthetics! Anyway loads of people love aesthetics so no one minds if you throw some in their face (I definitely don’t! THROW ALL THE AESTHETICS IN MY FACE)

Well, I hope that was a little bit useful! If you need help/have questions, I always love to help and talk about aesthetics did I mention I love aesthetics I may have a problem. Do you like making aesthetics? Do you have any tips? Do you have an aesthetics Tumblr? Let me know in the comments!

The Book Aesthetics Tag

After doing the Blogger Aesthetics Tag, I wondered if there was a tag in which you had to make book related aesthetics. I couldn’t find one (if there is let me know!) so naturally I made on myself

Rules

💛 Thank whoever nominated you (maybe you’re bitter that you have ANOTHER tag to do on top of the billions you already need to do (#relatable), still though. Someone thought of you. Be thankful. At least pretend to be
💛 Credit the creator of this tag (I feel so… weird, asking for credits?
💛 There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers. Even me, an aesthetics hoe, might get tired after 50 aesthetics (I doubt anyone would make/share that many for this tag I just like to exaggerate \_(ツ)_/¯
💛 Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

Favourite book of the year

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

I’ve read more books that I loved, but so far none have been able to surpass these two. They both have important messages, are well-written and have great characters. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing The Hate U Give Yet (I keep putting it off because I feel like everything has been said already?) but you can read my review for Queens of Geek here.

Character you relate to a lot

Taylor from Queens of Geek

There are more characters I relate to, but boy did I relate a lot to Taylor (Charlie as well, but less so). Her anxiety was so well written I could cry. If you want to know more about why I related so much to Taylor (wow this sounds like clickbait but in reality I’m just lazy and don’t want to repeat myself promise) read my review.

A character you look up to

Charlie from Queens of Geek

Hermione Granger

A lot of us look up to Hermione (I also relate to her a lot, but I wanted to give my girl Taylor some love), so I don’t think I need to explain why I look up to her. I also wanted to include Charlie though, cause though I looked up to Taylor as well I didn’t want to repeat myself (the things she did despite her anxiety were incredibly inspiring). I absolutely loved Charlie and how she’s able to express herself, be herself and speak her mind like that is really something to look up to. Not to mention what an incredible friend she is. She may not have anxiety herself, but she gets Taylor so well and she’s always there for her. We should all aspire to be a friend like Charlie.

As much as I love Queens of Geek I promise I’m done talking about it now (in this post anyway) lmao.

An underrated gem 

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

I absolutely loved Heroine Complex. It was such a fun read and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Basically: Asian female superheroes, fun superhero comic book vibes, girls supporting girls, sisters and a healthy romance. What more could you want? Review hopefully coming this week!

A character that deserves more love

Piper McLean from Heroes of Olympus

Agatha Wellbelove from Carry On

The hatred for Piper may have already passed, but a while back (I think around the time Blood of Olympus was published?) I came across so much hatred for Piper. And for ridiculous reasons! Because she thinks Jason is better than Percy?? Yeah the girl’s in love of course she’s going to think that, and she’s entitled to that opinion? I don’t remember the other reasons, but none of them were sounded. I honestly don’t get it. I love Piper with my entire heart. Fell in love with her the moment she appeared. She’s a daughter of Aphrodite, who kicks ass, uses words to get out of sticky situations (Charm speak), is an amazing and supportive friend, and so much more?? Fight me haters.

Agatha is disliked and hated on a lot. Especially when Carry On was first published a lot of reviews mentioned that they didn’t like her. Meanwhile I love my daughter. I love that she chose herself, realised that she never really loved Simon, didn’t want to be the prize for the hero at the end of the quest, just kidnapped a dog (or should I say… dognapped *finger guns*) and went to L.A. to live there happily ever after. Basically I adore Agatha and would fight for her too

An underrated OTP

Danny and Colton from Timekeeper

Timekeeper by Tara Sim did get a bit of buzz back when it was released last year, but I feel that it’s really underrated. Which is a shame because it’s amazing? It was my favourite book of 2016 (read my review here) and Danny and Colton played a huge part in that, since their romance is a huge part of the plot. They’re adorable. The relationship is pure and emotional and just so damn healthy. Apparently I declared it my favourite romance of 2016 and I still stand by that. 

I TAG

Marie | Lia | Kat | Fadwa | CW | YOU

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

If you want to do this tag (whether I’ve tagged you directly or not), but don’t really know how to make aesthetics: stay tuned! I’ve got a tutorial coming this Tuesday (you may be thinking: Michelle, why didn’t you get that up BEFORE this tag? Well… I was really excited about this tag and wanted to post it… So… Sorry?)

Are any of these books/characters/ships among your favourites as well? Which ones would you have picked? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly Hufflepuff #54 | More Period Talk Still Not Sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

GUESS WHO CAUGHT A COLD IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER

I wish I could say ‘not me!’ but alas it’s me. I have really bad luck lmao

I finished Heroine Complex and hope to write my review later today, though I’m not sure if that means I’ll have it up sometime this week. It all depends on when I’ll be able to take a picture of the book. I also started and finished Ps. I Still Love You by Jenny Han and It’s Not Like It’s A Secret by Misa Sugiura so I need to step up my reviewing game haha. I finished the latter last night, just in time to get started on my tbr for The Reading Quest.

On Monday I went out with a friend so I could take a new profile picture for her (I’ve become everyone’s private photographer lol) and to catch up of course. She also needed return something she had ordered online – whenever we meet up she has to return something so it has become an inside joke haha. The weirdest thing happened though – as we were walking down the street I suddenly noticed a girl who looked like one of our other friends, and then I realised it was her. And then I noticed the other girl who was our other friend haha. Back in secondary school it was always the four of us, but while I’ve kept in touch with all of them and still saw them from time to time, it’s been a little over a year since we were all together. And then later in the day we ran into one of them again!

On Tuesday I went out to work and write some articles for work’s Tumblr, feeling really energised until the next day I woke up with a sore throat. I was really, really hoping it was just hay fever, but when I still had it the next day I knew it probably wasn’t. And sure enough on Friday I woke up barely being able to breathe. At this point I had also gotten my period so I’m really starting to think my body hates me. The weather here is constantly changing here though (like always) so it’s really easy to catch a cold, especially when your resistance is bad like mine is around the time of my period. I’ve been taking medicine and nose sprays regularly though, and I’m feeling a lot better today, at least in the cold departement haha.

I also worked a bit on Friday, but that was really short so when I got home I immediately laid down and watched The Bold Type. Which is so good!! Definitely recommend it. Other than The Bold Type I’ve only seen the newest Teen Wolf – I still need to catch up on Shadowhunters and The Fosters. Am I the only one who’s not really enjoying Teen Wolf 6B so far?? The first two episodes were so boring (though there were things that I liked!) and I hate how it barely focused Scott, Lydia and Malia.

💛 I talked about the four main characters of my WIP and all of you made me cry. You guys loving them?? Fangirling over them?

Me as I read all the comments:

💛 I signed up for The Reading Quest and shared my TBR
💛 I did the Blogger Aesthetics tag and as the aesthetics hoe I am I shared more than 1
💛 I confessed some reading related sins as I did the Reader Confessions tag. And I just realised I posted two tags in a row woops. I originally wanted to post something else, but since I wasn’t feeling so well yesterday so since I already had this in my draft I decided to post it

💛 A.J. talks about books vs their tv/movie adaptations
💛 Fadwa reached a 1000 followers so go increase that number
💛 Amber talks about hate towards YA
💛 Em shares her blogger aesthetics
💛 Juliana talks about reasons why blogging is useful
💛 May shares a peak behind the scenes and talks about her post-planning and writing process
💛 Marie wonders what makes a book blogger a book blogger
💛 Analee shares 9 reasons why she has trust issues with WordPress. Honestly same
💛 Kat talks about her characters for this month’s Beautiful People
💛 Holly debunks the mythical ‘beach read’
💛 CW made motivational corgi wallpapers which you need in your life
💛 Lia did the You’re Not Good Enough Book Tag which looks like a lot of fun
💛 Mikaela wonders who book reviews are for
💛 Emily shares 4 stories to watch/read while you wait for the next episode of The Bold Type
💛 Adalyn shares book recommendations based on your Hogwarts House
💛 Emily shares some of her writing projects
💛 Aila talks about her love for non-European fantasies
💛 Kizzy talks about her trip to the Harry Potter Studios
💛 Cait talked about what her writing process looks like and did a vlog with her sister

Ohh before I forget: WordPress deleted a bunch of unread comments from my notifications. I tried to reply to all the comments I found on recent posts that I hadn’t replied to yet, but if I didn’t reply to your comment (which could also very well be on your own post(s)) I’m really sorry! I’m going to try and reply to comments asap from now on before WordPress deletes them again

Aaaanyway that’s a wrap! How was your week? What have you been reading? Are you participating in The Reading Quest? How do you feel about Teen Wolf 6B? Any great blog posts I MUST check out? Let me know in the comments!

Forgive Me Books for I Have Sinned | The Reader Confession Tag

Thank you Holly for tagging me! It’s time for me to confess some sins, but it would be a real sin if you didn’t check out Holly’s blog, so what are you waiting for?

Let’s confess some sins

Guys I was so thrilled when I found this?? This meme + a pug?? 🙏🏻

Have you ever damaged a book?

Haven’t we all? I know a lot of us like to pretend we’re saints and would NEVER hurt a book, but… guys we’re only human (well as far as I’m aware, maybe some of you guys aren’t). It can happen. Sometimes your book gets damaged in your bag, sometimes you drop a book, sometimes you spill a drink or crumbs while reading – and it’s okay. I get wanting to keep your books pretty (believe me damaging a book can ruin my day) but your book will forgive you (unless maybe if we’re talking about The Monster Book of Monsters, then maybe not)

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

No, but I did lose a library book as a kid. I kid you not someone stole it from my grandmother’s bag. I remember being really upset, even though it wasn’t my fault at all.

How long does it take you to read a book?

This depends on so many factors. Like the amount of time I have to read and the book itself (the length, whether I’m enjoying it or not etc). So… It can take me a day or it can take me months haha

Books that you haven’t finished?

Oh boy I try to finish books, I really do. But if I’m not enjoying it… I really don’t want to force myself *insert cliche life is short* It has happened that I decided that maybe I’m just not in the mood for it and I’ll try again later, but it’s been two years since I tried to read American Gods and I still haven’t picked it up again. I really enjoyed Gaiman’s other books that I read though, so I might give it another chance someday (with the emphasis on someday)

Hyped/ Popular books you didn’t like?

Welllllll I no longer like Throne of Glass or the Shadowhunters books, but I never liked Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children, so I’m going to go with that one. I did like the first one, but after that the series went downhill for me.

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Nah, I’m not ashamed of  any of the books I read.

How many books do you own?

Uh I dunno? I’m sorry but I’m waaaay too lazy to count them haha

Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

See the ‘how long does it take you to read a book’ question

Do you like to buddy read?

I haven’t really done it, but I like the concept of it!

Do you read better in your head or out loud?

Head. Honestly reading out loud sounds exhausting? I’m so lazy omg

If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

Don’t make me choose between my babies

AND THAT’S IT! Now who wants to confess next? If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged

Has someone ever stolen a (library) book from you? Do you have any horror stories surrounding damaged books? Let me know in the comments!

My Blogger Aesthetics

Marie asked me if I had done this tag yet, and if not that I should do it. Since I absolutely love making aesthetics, how could I say no? 😛 Also don’t forget to click on the link to see her wonderful aesthetic and the rest of her wonderful blog duh

Since I love aesthetics, I won’t just be sharing one haha

The Rules:

  1. Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  2. Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  3. Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  4. Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  5. Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

  • Find inspiration by spending (minimum) three hours scrolling through aesthetic Tumblr posts relevant to you.
  • Two great places to hunt for pictures are Pinterest and WeHeartIt. Pinterest requires an account; WeHeartIt does not.
  • PicMonkey’s collage editor is free to use and doesn’t require an account, heck yes.

A while back I was tagged on Tumblr to make a personal aesthetic/moodboard, so I thought I’d share it here as well

I had the idea of making an aesthetic for a Hufflepuff writer, and then when I posted it on Tumblr I realised,, that’s LITERALLY me. My blog’s called The WRITING HUFFLEPUFF. I didn’t even do it on purpose haha

Buttt of course I wanted to make a new one for this tag as well, so I made this one:

I’m really happy with how it turned out! If you’re new here and thinking ‘oh! Michelle must have a pug that she loves and shares lots of pictures of!’ uh no. Michelle whines that she wants a pug and writes a blog post about why she should have one and then about two years later people still find her blog by searching for pugs. I’m honoured really. Also some of my friends have joked that I’m actually a pug in disguise. Which is obviously not true how dare they expose me

I actually made a new Tumblr for aesthetics only recently so if you too love aesthetics, click here

I TAG

Eve | Elly | Em | May

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

Have you done this tag? If so please put the link to the post in the comments so I can check it out because did I mention I love aesthetics? Do you love them too? Let me know in the comments!

Michelle the Mage Has Arrived – #TheReadingQuest Sign Up

The Queen of read-a-thons, Aentee, has created another amazing read-a-thon: The Reading Quest. If you haven’t heard of it yet, go click on that link to check it out because it looks like a lot of fun!

I kept putting this post off, even though I’m really excited about the read-a-thon, because I dreaded putting my tbr together haha. I’m on a bit of a book buying ban (which I already broke to buy Ps. I Still Love You but it was only 8 euros! still though rip) so I only want to read books I already own. That was a bit of a challenge and I’m still not entirely sure.

I chose to be a mage, because ~MAGIC~

LOOK AT THAT CUTE ARTWORK. CW, who made all the art for this read-a-thon, is so talented. Go check out her blog for more amazing art.

MY TBR

The first character path I’m going to take is the one of the Mage. My TBR for that one is:

💛 FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES – Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
💛 A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT WORLD – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
💛 A BOOK BASED ON MYTHOLOGY – Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
💛 A BOOK THAT CONTAINS MAGIC – Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
💛 A BOOK WITH A ONE WORD TITLE – Marked by Kim Richardson

If I have the time I might try the Rogue path as well:

💛 BANNED BOOK – The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
💛 A BOOK COVER WITH A PARTIALLY OBSCURED FACE – I’m stuck on this one, as I could use Iron Cast but I could also use that for a side quest
💛 A BOOK WITH <500 RATINGS ON GOODREADS – The Soul Thief by Kim Richardson
💛 A BOOK PUBLISHED BY A SMALL PRESS – New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson
💛 A BOOK WITH A ONE WORD TITLE – Marked by Kim Richardson

Side quests:

💛 MINI-GAME: Emmavolume 1 by Kaoru Mori
💛 RESPAWN: Merlin The Lost Years by T.A. Barron (has been on my shelves for years maybe I’ll actually pick it up again this time)
💛 TIME WARP: IRON CAST by Destiny Sora or I might use this one for the Rogue path, I don’t know yet
💛 EXPANSION: SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN ANGELS by Rhys Ethan

I wonder how many of these I’ll actually read? I am excited though, it feels like we’re all going on one massive quest together haha

Are you participating? What class did you choose? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!