This month has been a journey. I've tried to write this wrap up like 5 times now, and I keep stumbling because, for one, I read almost nothing this month. From a more personal standpoint, this month was the biggest disaster of the year but had some of my favorite moments. Life is annoyingly complicated like that. I hardly remember the beginning of October it was so stressful. I finally bought Halloween decoration, which I've wanted to do for the last year or two. I stuck them around the house to get in the spirit for my favorite holiday instead of hanging them up outside like I normally do. Since I rarely leave, they're way more fun to pass on the way into the kitchen, and I'm going to miss my skeleton dragon and ghoul/skeleton man when Halloween is over.
Mostly, in October, I've felt overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by my life at home, overwhelmed by school, overwhelmed about the million responsibilities I make up for myself, and overwhelmed by feelings of failure aimed at the future. And when I feel overwhelmed, I don't really read. I watch YouTube, and I listen to a ton of music because that art that melts into you. My brain doesn't have to be functioning at peak capacity to absorb their messages. Honestly, I've done so much reading for school in the last month between extensive research for a final paper and the regular class readings, words on a page longer than a Twitter post feels like a punishment. I keep saying "Oh, I should read this afternoon", but when I sit down to do it, I realize that's the last thing I want in my slices of time off. I'm sure that feeling won't stick around forever, but it does feel weird. For the first time in my life, I felt like I didn't need books. My head was too full and buzzy to focus on them. I wrote a lot. I tried to process my own feelings, but outside of the first week of the month, I didn't read books. I finished one book I started in September and go halfway through another one before I lost all desire to keep going. I'm almost done with the new anthology Together, Apart, which I'm really enjoying, as part of my campaign to get back into reading. I'm hoping I'll have that review out for you this weekend. Still, I'm sure I will want to read again soon. Beyond doing too much school reading, I also started listening to this amazing podcast, which has been fulfilling all of my nerdy, nonfiction reading desires, You're Wrong About. Hopefully November will be a better reading month for me. I have I Would Leave Me If I Could and Rent a Boyfriend to look forward to at the very least. (Read the full list of books I'm excited about in November here).
No promises, but I'll hopefully be a better book blogger in the next month. I'm falling back out of my usual schedule once again since I don't have a long list of posts I've already finished. I'm going to start sharing posts as I write them again. I hope you don't mind. Also, I want to thank everybody. This might have been my worst reading month yet, but my blog views ended up being even higher than last month. Knowing that all of you read my random words and have for the last four years helps me stay in love with this space.
I have done plenty of writing this month. I'm resting my finished WIP while it's with CPs, so I focused on other genres for the month. At some point in November, I'll have to pick it up for another round of revisions and consider querying, but I'm enjoying not thinking about that right now. Instead, I wrote plenty of songs and poetry, both for class and also just for me. I made the leap of sharing songs I'd written not for class with my professor and, a couple days ago, with one of my new friends from school. I'm used to sharing my work and critique, but sharing songs feels extra vulnerable. And I don't have the support system of previous positivity to fall back on with it. There's just a lot of doubt surrounding me I'm trying to shut out. I'm proud of myself for starting to put my songs out there. I think I reached the point where I wanted the songs to feel less attached to me. Sending them to someone feels like a degree of separation. It's funny how you can write for so long and still feel so much anxiety around specific parts of it. I think it's further proof that, as much as we all pretend it doesn't matter, encouragement truly helps people find the confidence to improve and take steps forward.
Speaking of things that went well this month, I got to go to two super exciting virtual events. This isn't the place I talk about music, so I won't go into a ton of detail, but I got to meet one of my favorite songwriters, Conan Gray, through Zoom, and I got to go to Billie Eilish's virtual concert. If you want to hear more about either one of those experiences, I made a vlog about the last week of my life and put it on YouTube this morning. Watch it here. You can also read about my Billie Eilish experience on my other blog, Music, Musings, and Me here. I've been much more active over there because I don't have to read 3-400 pages to write a post. If you like pop music, I'd love it if you'd go check it out. And, talking about YouTube briefly, I've managed to make new videos twice a week through the whole month, which I honestly didn't think would happen. I'm close to fifty subscribers. I only need two more people! If you'd like to help me get to fifty, I'd love you forever, and you can click here to go explore my channel. One of my favorite videos I made was my ranking Halloween music videos, but I only used pop videos from the last 5 years. I had to get super creative to think of enough videos for a top 10. If you want to get in the spirit, watch it below or click to my channel to watch it.
Also, this month I got on TikTok randomly. I'm still not sure why. I have a fascination with internet culture and social platforms and content creation, so I guess my curiosity got the better of me. I still don't quite get the platform. I like watching TikToks occasionally, but a lot of the time I forget I even have the app on my phone. It's sort of like Tumblr for me. I have one, I use it sometimes, but I don't really get the culture or the appeal. I think I've made two myself, but they're so much editing work for a clip of a video. If you want to go follow me over there and maybe give me some pointers, I have the same handle on all platforms, @mslaurenbrice. I'm always going to be a Twitter girl at heart, so if you want to chat with me or get to know me better, find me over there. I guess my hierarchy would be Twitter>Instagram>TikTok. Also, follow me on my Twitter and Instagram if you want updates on my YouTube videos or music blog posts. As always for book blog updates specifically, you can find me online @readwriteandme on Twitter and @readingwritingandme on Instagram. There's also an email list on both blogs if you'd rather get updates that way.
That's all I have for this month. Down below, I'm going to link all of my blog posts I wrote this month from both blogs and the YouTube videos I made. Before I get into those, I'm going to link and include two videos from this week that I think complement this post well. The first is my October Favorites and the second is my vlog from the last week or so.
Posts on Reading, Writing, and Me
On Music, Musings, and Me