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A collection of essays on media, pop culture, art analysis, relationships and femininity. Basically, subjects of interest to the Thoughtful Woman navigating a sometimes uncomfortable existence in the Modern World. 

BOOK SWAP PARTY RECAP

Lana C. Marilyn

On January 6th, I hosted my very first book swap party!

It was a huge success, a lot of fun, and also a good learning experience. I was actually really surprised by how big of a crowd there was and how warm of a response! For what feels like the thousandth time, I wanna thank everyone for the huge show of support.

The event was hosted at New Women Space, a community venue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. New Women Space opened in the fall of last year, and their mission is all about providing a space for women to work, create, and grow. I was excited to be throwing the Book Swap there and knew it would be a great fit.

From the start of the night right up to the very end, there was a constant stream of chatter and mingling. It was a time for people to unite over a common interest: books! (Which is a neat segue to engaging conversation.) All night long, the room bustled with energy, with great music playing in the background, provided thanks to our awesome DJ of the night: Shawnee of Wild Chics.

"This was the first time I went out somewhere and no one asked me about what I do for a living," one girl told me after the event, relieved.

I got a ton of similar comments from other happy booklovers, which really warmed my heart. People thanked me for putting the book swap together, bonded over the cool novels they had received, and expressed having had a lot of fun!

We tried (and succeeded, I think) in making things cozy. The lights were dimmed, with a string of Christmas lights along the ground behind the DJ section and panel seats. On one table were platters of cookies and chips; on the other was a growing pile of books ready to be swapped and delivered to new owners. Stools and couches were positioned around the room, and at one point there were more people than seats. Upstairs in the lobby were an assortment of drinks, ranging from nonalcoholic sodas and water to beer and wine.

The Book Swap Party had pretty simple rules: each guest brings a book, and at the end of the night, everyone gets a new one! Guests were instructed to put their books into paper bags and seal it with a note. There was a table set aside for people to leave their sealed packages throughout the night and it filled up pretty fast!

On the colored notecards, I suggested that everyone try to cover three main points: explaining their selection, providing a content warning out of courtesy, and leaving their contact information if they desired. Throughout the night, everyone made a trip to the back table, tucked their book inside a bag, and stapled their scribbled note to the outside. 

For swapping purposes, I figured the easiest way would be to give everyone a random package, but what actually happened is that each person used the notes as a way to decipher what to take home. Which is smart actually, and probably the better system!

A few people even brought extra reading selections, which I wasn't necessarily prepared for, but I've decided that next time I'll let people stack a small pile of "bonus books."

The Book Swap was just the third of a series of self-funded literary themed programs I've been putting together since July.

My goal is to organize a consistent (monthly?) program of events in efforts to develop a platform for people to share their literary work in ways that are new and engaging.  Down the line, I'd like to further my efforts by launching open mics, writing workshops, and continuing to expand the outreach of The Lit Exhibit, my writing gallery. There'll be more Book Swaps in the future too, of course. There's plenty more to come!

I also had the honor of moderating
a panel of amazing women of color, 
all of whom are excellent writers
and were kind enough to speak that evening. 

We covered quite a lot! The panel lasted just about an hour and a half, and discussed the creative process, the connections between culture and our art, and the value of women's stories in a world where our voices go unheard, underappreciated or ignored. Our panelists brought their unique perspectives, each informed by their various passions, studies, cultures, and professions. 

I tried my best to ask insightful questions. There was a lot of material I actually didn't get to cover, and questions I wish we could've dedicated more time to. But I undoubtedly learned a lot about and from each of the women who spoke, about the pride they put into their work and the efforts they make towards gaining exposure and being their best selves. I also gained a ton of firsthand knowledge that I can carry forward the next time I want to spotlight a lineup of great women doing noteworthy things. I hope that our audience walked away feeling perhaps empowered, enlightened and inspired. That the conversation may carry on outside of that space.

I also took some time to write a personal refection on some of the things we discussed.

 

The Raffle! Bonus Books for a Lucky Winner.

A couple of the panelists are self published and had extra copies of their print work to share. I donated the second of only two print copies in existence of my book, Wet Sand in an Hourglass. I also tossed in an extra copy of my zine. Other donated works came from Najia Khaled, Divya M. Persaud, Miri Castor, Jackie Brettschneider, Sapodilla and a cute journal from Ebony Anderson-Brown!

 

To Learn More About The Panelists:

On the Facebook Event Page, I included brief bios / photos / links for each writer who spoke on the panel. It's public so it should still be viewable even without an account.

Just in case though, below you can find their names and pictures - which I've made clickable to link to their respective sites!

Divya M. Persaud

Divya M. Persaud

Miri Castor

Miri Castor

Jourdan Ash

Jourdan Ash

Najia Khaled

Najia Khaled

Isabelle Edwards

Isabelle Edwards

Jackie Brettschneider

Jackie Brettschneider

Ebony Anderson-Brown

Ebony Anderson-Brown

All in all, the Book Swap Party & Writer's Panel was a huge success! 
I hope to see you all at the next one!

Bonus Q&A - A Post Panel Self Reflection

Lana C. Marilyn

It was a really humbling experience to moderate last week's panel of writers at The Book Swap Party. We had an awesome lineup of panelists, who all gave thoughtful and intelligent answers. I wish I could've gotten to some of the other questions I'd hoped to cover before the evening came to a close! On my way home, I found myself reflecting on given answers, pondering unasked questions, and coming up with extra responses to some of the subjects we did discuss that night. I wanted to share those thoughts here, in a mini post reflection, for the benefit of extending what is really an ongoing dialogue between ourselves, our art, and our respective audiences.

Challenging Myself in My Writing 

I think it's important to take risks in your work and to challenge yourself to be better or to exceed your own standards. For some of the writers on the panel, their challenge was in content (being vulnerable) or in output (actually finishing things). I, on the other hand, challenge myself with form. I push myself to find new and strange ways to tell my stories, a philosophy which has effectively become the backbone of so many of my events and writing projects. Hosting galleries, making zines, experimenting with poetry - these are all the ways I challenge myself to be a better storyteller. Through pushing the boundaries of what a story can be or look like. By playing with the shape of the words, so to speak. 

And, as I do so, I challenge myself to be honest. To be vulnerable and bold. To tell the stories that I need, or might have needed at some point but didn't have. On paper I am always so much more coherent and eloquent than in person, which can be a flaw at times. But it means that I owe it to myself to make sure that on the page my truest self is represented. I write for myself, but I also write for Women. When I think of who my audience is - a question I meant to pose to the panel - I think of myself and girls like and unlike me. When I was younger, I used to write letters to my future self and wait a year or two to open it. Now, when I write a memoir or an essay, it feels a lot like me as that "future self" finally writing back. 

Recurring Themes & Motifs

Many of the panelists admitted that their primary focus is themselves, or that they give special attention in their work to the subject of relationships. I write about these things as well, but I feel like there's an underlying theme of detachment always present too.

I talk a lot about displacement. I write a lot about an ominous sense of limbo. I think I discuss these things at large because I always feel this existential angst, I guess? A sense of restlessness or uncertainty. It's reflected back to me in tiny, discreet ways: the way I go by two different names in my personal life and the split identity effect it creates, the anxiety of being bisexual but "asexual" too, the specific displacement of being a first-generation American. I write a lot about disassociating, about the phenomenon of feeling "more" or "less" like yourself, trying to get at the root of this feeling that you can be separate at times from even the physical or physiological nature of your own body. 

It is my suspicion that on some level these are common or potentially even universal fears (yikes) of women - a sense of displacement, a grand disconnect. Between who we are and how we are regarded and perceived. 

I have to reflect a lot on the subject of "who I am" so that I can translate it to my writing. A few months back, I was interviewed for the West Indian Critic blog and asked to describe the influence of my culture on my work. The question really stumped me at the time, and it's something I've tried to be more mindful of since. I think, what's been more of an influence to my work isn't my culture itself but rather, my relationship with my culture. And that relationship is a fragile and watery one. When I wrote fiction as a teenager, I was always centering my stories on Lost Girls. Girls who didn't fit in, girls made from scratch, girls who were stolen away from comfort and familiarity. In Wet Sand in An Hourglass, I focused on a series of pivotal moments that encompassed a similar theme of not belonging at home or in your own body or anywhere.

Creative & Cultural Intersections

During the panel, I also raised the question of how one's outside hobbies overlap with our stylistic approaches to storytelling. My background in DIY & Crafts, for example, lends to a very linear thinking and creative process. Then there's my interest in linguistics, which makes me comfortable experimenting with things like word order, sentence fragments and punctuation. I like thinking in straight lines, and my interests reflect that and seep into my style...so lately I've been playing with anachronism and fragmented storytelling: trying to dismantle my approach and get at the root of something different and new by "subverting form".

These struggles and challenges are present for most creatives. There's this constant need to push ourselves in our narratives, to hold ourselves accountable to higher standards of quantity, quality, or style. In my opinion, it's valuable to hold up a lens to what shapes us and the work we produce, and that can be in the form of looking for the markers of culture or the intersections of our various passions. 

For 2017, I want to get more ambitious and produce double or triple what I did in 2016. I want to continue Bedtime Stories, write new zines, and acquire funding to aid me in hosting more events.  I'm excited for what my own drive can achieve and excited for new opportunities and connections the future may bring.

Self Publishing & Validation

Last week's panel included scientists, musicians, photographers, bloggers and poets and novelists. But the common denominator was that everyone was an individual who had taken themselves seriously enough to take matters into their own hands when it was time to publish their stories. Unfortunately, we didn't get to cover all the logistics of producing a book, but we spoke briefly about formatting (tricky for some but not all; personally I paid for a template to save myself the headache) and using CreateSpace for paperback distribution through Amazon.  A while back, I spoke to Published Magazine about my journey with self-publishing:

Being able to have final say on the layout, the release date, the cover art and detailing was important to me. It made what was already a labor of vulnerability even more candid. Self-publishing, despite the 'self' in the name, can (and often is) a group effort as you find beta readers, cover designers, and as you consult with others for feedback along the way.

But what happens
if no one reads it?"

Back in December, this guy I know asked me to speak to a friend of his who was writing a book but had suddenly found herself discouraged. I happily obliged because I love networking and supporting women! The guy put us in a group chat together and I introduced myself and asked her what issues she was having. I expected to talk about plot or writer's block or something about the actual work of producing a book. It's certainly not an easy thing to undertake.

To my surprise, she said to me, "I want my book to reach 800,000 women but I'm worried it won't go anywhere."

Naturally I was taken aback. "You can't base whether or not to write something on how many people might read it." 

"Yes, but I want my book to change lives. Do you think it's worth writing?"

During the panel, we had briefly raised the same question: if no one reads it, was it worth writing?

And you know, it's a lot like the question about the tree that falls in the forest. And the answer is yes. Of course it makes a sound; of course it's worth writing. You can't control who will or won't buy your book or read it from start to finish. That's certainly not something to preoccupy yourself with in the writing stage, before there's even a book to read. You develop an idea, you see it through, and you release it. And then you do your best to see to it that it reaches who it's meant for aka marketing

Marketing is a huge part of self-publishing and can be a struggle. It helps a lot to have a fan base before your book is even out, just to generate buzz and excitement. Having a website or blog, being active on social media, being a Real Live Person people can follow, connect with, and interact with--it makes a difference. It gets people engaged in the You part, it makes them invested in listening to what you have to say, and it means they'll care that you wrote a book. Marketing is an uphill battle and not necessarily an easy thing. I don't exactly anticipate ever being #Famous on Twitter / IG / Tumblr, but I recognize they're important platforms to be active on, and I appreciate the community and network they can offer. 

But my validation doesn't come in the form of sales and profits, though it's nice to get emails about a new purchase. I get gratification from the feedback people give me, from the words of gratitude they share. "Thank you for writing this," people say to me. "Thank you for putting this into words for me." I can't think of a compliment more humbling than that. It makes me feel like I'm saying something that matters, and that's probably the reassurance we're all seeking at the end of the day. 

As I move forward in my writing journey, 

I want to take with me the inspiration of being surrounded by so many like-minded, creative and vibrant spirits. To me, the great thing about coming forward to speak and present and moderate is that it helps to realign you with your message, and I felt like I needed that. It's a new year, a "new beginning" in some sense at least, and I want to continue down this path. So I am SUPER thankful to everyone who came out and excited to see what I surprise myself with next to top what is now my latest milestone. 

2017 & Now What?

Lana C. Marilyn

A week into the new year, I texted this boy I'm fond of to say that I hoped 2017 had been treating him well so far. "It's going as well as it can be but time doesn't mean anything to me," came his reply. I was at work when he responded and I laughed out loud. It was exactly the kind of thing I should've expected him to say, and I think I love him for it, those kind of responses. Because then I stop and I think about it, and I'm like, of course time is meaningless to you. But you know. I guess it isn't meaningless to me. 

It's a week into the New Year, and I can't even be sure I started it off on the right foot. 2017 started and I was busy issuing apologies. On New Year's Eve, I had ruined my dinner plans, deeply disappointed someone very close to me, and apparently one of my other friends was convinced I hated her. And, just the day before all this chaos, I had heard back from one of my dearest, longlost friends who hadn't answered a single one of my texts, calls or voicemails in the last six months. For 2017, my hair was frizzy, my anxiety was through the roof, and my phone was on "do not disturb". It was...a wreck. 

But it's better now! Because I said sorry, and I cleared things up, and I threw an amazing event two days ago, and I'm trying to move forward. I'm doing my best, at least. 

It is January 8th, 2017 and...I'm doing my best. 

I'm still figuring out and writing down my New Years Resolutions. 

Resolutions are a big deal to me. I like them a lot because it helps me to put my life, and myself, into focus. It's a lot like my writing process. Before I write, I make this big list of what's supposed to happen and then I try to use it as a skeleton to flesh out my ideas around. I don't end up with a perfect body, but I usually get the makings of some kind of recognizable form, something functional. Something I can start with. 

Resolutions are a lot like that. They're not promises or ultimatums. They're goals, they're assessments of my character, my dreams, and...my limitations. At the end of the year, I look back on what did and did not get done. I get a receipt of my failures and my priorities and my potential. For me, it's constructive.

So yes, I do resolutions.

I've been big on resolutions for the past five or six years in a row. They've shifted from lofty dreams to practical things so that I can be better at holding myself accountable. I also started doing this thing a few years back called a "Word Goal". It's supposed to be a single word that sums up what I want to manifest in my life for the coming year. 

2013: Progress
2014: Create
2015: Becoming
2016: Productivity

And this year? Communication. 

From 2015:

Word Goal of The Year: Becoming. I feel that there have been a lot of “firsts” in the last year? Like, I’ve begun ‘traveling, I’ve begun experimenting with intimacy, I changed schools, I strengthened my relationships, I landed a job that I actually like a lot. I feel like I’m learning to challenge myself as a writer, I feel like I’m solidifying certain relationships and reaching an understanding of what I am seeking not only from other people from life itself. I would like to expand that in 2015. I want to focus on experiences that will enrich and benefit me. I want to focus on becoming myself. 

I think I succeeded in the becoming stage. At the beginning of 2015, I was transitioning to new things. The year was about me trying to figure myself out in the midst of those transitions. As I wavered between who I was and who I might be, under the right circumstances.

 In Spring 2015,  for example, I took my first linguistics course and unearthed a new set of natural skills waiting to reveal themselves. Over the summer, I got my heart broken, kind of. I was starting over and fumbling through things, but I like to think I was happy. I threw myself a really great birthday in July and shortly after, I met someone who now has a solidified place of importance and value in my life.

Obviously it's hard to summarize a year of experiences in a paragraph, but my point is that I wanted to kick off my 20's with a sense of growth, and I did. I learned that, most importantly, that I can't change fundamental things about myself to appease others. I learned to own my feelings. And I became a better person for it.

Last January, I wrote: "Aim to make things. Try to focus on being creative prolifically, constantly churning out content that you feel proud of. Experimentation. Aim to be happy. To feel good. Try to just take chances with your art, make new things, challenge yourself as an individual." 

The Happy Jar:

Starting in 2016 (?), I started this idea of a happy jar. You take an empty mason jar, and every time a good thing happens, you write it down on a post-it with the date, an add it to the jar. Mine was pathetically scarce cause I'm bad at these things, but the notes that made it were my milestone moments, the moments that brought me joy, the moments that made me feel good about my path. For 2017, I'd like to try again.

In the beginning of 2016, I was ripening bit by bit, and feeling propelled by this new momentum. This was shortly after having developed The Lit Exhibit a few months prior and drafted plans to publish my first book and launch a gallery all in one. I felt inspired, I felt capable, and I was meeting new people.

Looking back, I find something charming now in the realization that I began and ended the year with repairing broken relationships: Three days into January, a boy texted me an apology for ghosting on me, and two days before the end of 2016, a different one resurfaced from off the grid. In both instances, I was grateful. I begin and end with the themes of reconciliation and renewal wrapped around me.

Retrospect reveals this was a recurrence all along: 

  • In October, I reconnected with a fellow writer from my graduating class who I had never spoken to in high school. But now we're friends, and she's been to my last two events.
  • An old friend who I hadn't seen since 2014 visited twice this past Fall, in September and December.
  • Over the summer, I met up for lunch in Chinatown with a girl I went to middle school with, whom I hadn't seen in four years, and it was great. We had bubble tea and laughed a lot and it wasn't awkward.
  • I grew a lot closer to eldest cousins as a result of inadvertently integrating myself into his circle of friends. I don't think we'd been very close before that.

I was reconnecting, and I was meeting new people in between strengthening my ties with old ones. Over the course of 2016 I published a book, hosted a gallery and a workshop, and all three of those things were "firsts". I dived fearlessly into new territory and came out of it accomplished and wiser, and now I feel driven by all that. By my ability to socialize and to put things into motion. 

So yeah, I feel motivated and capable. But my personal life needs tending as well, which is why I'm stepping back to assess that if I'm gonna be building this new support system and network, I need to do better to nurture and maintain it. With community comes communication. 

2017 Word Goal: COMMUNICATE. Learn to not get flustered when expressing yourself. Practice being blunt but not vulgar. Say what you mean - own your voice. Be confident in what you say.  Exhibit honesty at all times. 

I have a *lot* to learn and practice when it comes to communicating. When it comes to the upkeep of stable and healthy interpersonal relationships. I want to hold myself accountable, I want to not only do more amazing things, but connect better. To do that, I have to learn to break down discomfort when it rises. I need to feel like my words matter so I can stop brushing them, and myself, under the table. 

I'm still figuring out my resolutions. Most are writing goals: more events, more published work, more projects to release. But there aren't many about ME and my needs as a person. I think it's funny, that I pushed two years ago to "become" myself and now I'm at risk of drowning myself in my passions. So 2017 will, for me, be as much about DOING as it is about RECONNECTING. With myself. With others. With my writing and my creative endeavors and my ideas. With my wants and needs. So I'm looking forward to that. To this next, uncertain leg of the journey. 

I'm looking forward to everything this new year has to offer.

Zine Workshop Recap!

Lana C. Marilyn

I am proud to say the zine workshop was a success!! It was a really nice turnout and ended up being a therapeutic, intimate event. i'd like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out! 

Being that it was my first workshop ever, I wanted it to feel cozy and personal, so I got a little experimental with the setup. For example, instead of tables, I ended up laying blankets out on the floor and setting up "stations:" one for paper, one for scissors and tape, another for markers and art supplies.

I started things off with a brief introduction of what zines are, and a quick passing around of my own booklet and some sample zines made and given to me by one of my best friends.

The workshop was conducted mostly as a creative "free for all" with a primary focus on giving people tools to express themselves rather than encouraging a particular topic or direction. I had provided a handful of premade books, and throughout the night suggested a few artistic techniques like how to do cool effects with bleeding colored tissue paper, or the fun of cutting out magazine titles and rearranging the words into cryptic messages. The mantra of the night was, "There are no mistakes!" and I was very adamant about enforcing it.

By the end of the night, the stations ended up naturally moving to the middle, erupting into a chaotic blend of materials and snacks that had rotated around the room. The more people asked each other to pass scissors or tape or a pen, the more I was reminded a lot of how a family dinner plays out on tv, where the husband goes, "Pass the butter, Margaret," to his wife and no one ever seems to be near the thing they need. There was a lot of that, and the result was a good balance of interaction and passing around supplies and laughing, with music softly playing in the background amongst the chatter. I thought it was cute. 

I do hope to introduce a bit more structure for next time!! It's a learning curve, as always.

"Good Timing": Reality, Drawn to Scale

Lana C. Marilyn

I tend to feel scattered very easily. Mostly because time in my head is never a linear thing. Rather, I jump back and forth mentally between now and some far-off projected date, multiple alternate what-if scenarios of desired and undesired outcomes, and a loop of slow motion replays of the best and the worst of my recent past.

In an attempt to remain grounded, I use journals and planners to track dates and goals. It prevents me from daydreaming too much and keeps me making active strides towards getting things done. Because even if time is an abstract illusion and a social construct, it's pleasing to have a visual layout to return to. 

So, for now I'm just taking things a day at a time, mapping out my ideas, goals and expectations in weekly increments.

At the beginning of November, I ordered a new planner from Plum Paper, which is probably my favorite & most recommended company. I discovered them back in September 2015 following a positive review from a Tumblr blogger I subscribe to. 

After taking a peek at their site, which back then ran through Etsy, I found Plum Paper offered tons of cool features: multiple interior layouts to choose from, planner extensions, cute cover designs you could add your name to, and the choice to start your planner at whatever month you want! 

I'm pretty familiar with the other big planner companies like Erin Condren, Lily Pulitzer, Ban.do, or The Happy Planner, as well as the alternative of bullet journaling. I even got sucked into the abyss of Youtube planner reviews and "tours". I scoured all the ultra adorable washi tape and sticker options on AliExpress. I browsed the pinterest 'planner addict' tags. I did a lot of heavy "research" before I emerged, committed to the planner that was best for me. In the end, it was Plum Paper won my heart. 

They offer a lot of key features that I prioritize! Such as:

  • blank, lined vertical daily columns not pre-segmented by hour or time of day
  • ample 'notes' pages and checklist sections (I love lists!!)
  • Large, boxed calendar page spreads so I can annotate important dates with stickers and color coded pens.
  • Monthly tabs (the colors are a plus!)

Pictured left  is the planner I chose. The cover is a watercolor brush stroke design featuring my name & at the bottom, the name of my site. I'm embarrassed to say I spent about a half hour trying to find the right color & font. Previously customization options were limited to simply adding a monogram or photo to a limited array of designs. The choice to pick a font type, a background shape and color, and a banner at the bottom were a welcome surprise on the date I placed my order. 

I use this planner specifically to organize writing goals: namely, blog schedules, event planning, reminders to send out emails and maintain word count goals. 

On the calendar spreads, I use stickers (that I bought from the dollar section at Target!) to label benchmark dates: when I want to send out my next email blast, proposed dates for workshops I'm hosting, and my days off from my retail job so I can give myself realistic deadlines for when to write new content for my blog!

I also use the stickers to mark a completed errand. This is what a week looks like. There's a checklist on the side that you can fill with whatever you want, a 'notes' box, and a daily checklist box as well. I list out the day's tasks and use line breaks and alternating colors to differentiate between which items are for what project. 

Sometimes, I use my planner reflexively, as in, sometimes I forget to or don't bother to write down an errand ahead of time especially if it's urgent and already on my mind to do. When that happens, I just jot it down at the end of the day so I can keep track of when it was taken care of. I find this is equally effective. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

At the end of the month, or at the end of each week, ideally, I do self-reflective assessments. I take inventory on  the ratio of completed errands and try to draft a plan for what didn't get done and why not. For example, at the end of October, I concluded that I had assigned myself an impractical writing schedule that conflicted with my working hours (which usually zapped my energy). That's how I introduced the practice of highlighting my "days off" so that I could have a visual map of my free time and revolve my writing time around that! 

It helps me a lot to do things that way, to be honest about why I'm slacking off. Sometimes during my reflections, I realize that one of the items I've been "reminding" myself to do...isn't really a priority or it's not developed enough for me to follow through on, so it gets benched. 

The point of planning isn't to overload yourself with things and try to cram so much into a day that you're overwhelmed. in my opinion, sometimes it's best to just...allow yourself room to see what's feasible and what's not and maximize your time that way.

 
 
At the end of each month, I have these checklist pages added in! I usually label them and use each to specify a subset of things pertaining to one large goal. For example, you can see the series of steps that go into organizing my next writing gallery!

At the end of each month, I have these checklist pages added in! I usually label them and use each to specify a subset of things pertaining to one large goal. For example, you can see the series of steps that go into organizing my next writing gallery!

 
This is my notes page! It's also a great space for me to kind of journal out my feelings, like things that are stressing me out, the upcoming projects that I'm excited to undertake. I love having a space to be honest with my creative self so I don't get burnt out.

This is my notes page! It's also a great space for me to kind of journal out my feelings, like things that are stressing me out, the upcoming projects that I'm excited to undertake. I love having a space to be honest with my creative self so I don't get burnt out.

 
Included in my planner is an additional section at the back dedicated entirely to blog planning. You get a dozen of these pages which are designated for listing ideas and blog-specific errands, as well as a page for logging stats, expenses, and more! It's a big help, in my opinion.

Included in my planner is an additional section at the back dedicated entirely to blog planning. You get a dozen of these pages which are designated for listing ideas and blog-specific errands, as well as a page for logging stats, expenses, and more! It's a big help, in my opinion.