Saturday, January 18, 2020

2019 Wrap-Up and RW Staff's Favorite Books

Greetings, Rebels!

Here it is, and new year and decade all in one in the year 2020. All of us are excited for the new adventures and challenges that we will come across. 2019 had quite a lot happening for all of us which is why we had a lack of posts. We are determined to strive past this, to rebel, and get more content for all of you readers.

Starting off we want to look back on all that we did in 2019.

We wrote 31 posts in 2019, here are the top 5 most viewed:

It's So Classic Blog Party: KICKOFF

To celebrate two years of Rebellious Writing we hosted the It's So Classic Blog Party which was a huge success! Click here to see all of the entries. We loved reading every one's posts about what classics mean to them.

Historical Fiction: 4 Things Writers Get Wrong

Our very own Catherine points out several assumptions that writers make when it comes to Historical Fiction, and how they are not accurate. Having studied this, she tells us how things really were.

How To Write A Stress-Free Serial For Your Blog

Keturah gives us her secrets for how to plan blog posts in a serial style. It can be so easy and helpful for later when you don't have a lot of time on your hands. You can still blog while do everything else you love!

Thoughts about Magic in YA: Featuring the Rebellious Writing Team

This was a post where all of the RW team contributed. We gave our individual thoughts on how well we deal with magic in books. It's so neat that we all have similarities and differences!

It's Totally Okay

Julian lets us know that we don't have to read books that are popular or be ashamed if we don't read them. We don't have to do a bunch of things that we sometimes feel pressured into doing. Reading is supposed to be fun!

Social Media Stats 

107 followers, 56,915 all-time views. 
63 likes, 72 followers.
303 followers, 416 tweets, 570 likes.
48 posts, 137 followers.
22 boards, 146 followers
74 members, 23 topics
48 subscribers, 2 videos

We thought it would be fun to share the RW staff's favorite books that we read in 2019 and would totally recommend:

Mossflower by Brian Jacques
This was my first foray into the popular Redwall series. I really liked the imagery, even if it was a standard fantasy plot. The talking animals were my favorite of all. The language and prose were also really beautiful.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
This was my first of Elizabeth Gaskell and I hope to read many more of hers! Her writing style is said to be a mix between Jane Austen and Charles Dickens (two of my favorites) and that is accurate! The story pulled me in and I couldn’t put it down!

Muscle and a Shovel by Michael J. Shank
An inspiring true story that honestly made me cry because I related so much. The authenticity and truth in this swept me off my feet, not to mention I got really invested in the main character’s (the author’s) story of searching for the truth. Very inspiring!

Saving Beauty by Elizabeth D. Marie
I got the ebook and then let it sit...and then I finally picked it up and basically read it in one sitting because it was THAT GOOD. This Beauty and the Beast retelling might be a little dark and gritty, but still clean and absolutely adorable.

I mostly listened to a lot of audio books this year, and so very many good ones. I focuses on a few series and authors: How to Train Your Dragon, The Alloy of Law, Ender's Games books, and Jane Austen. Also, many non-fiction.
Favorites? I'm going to say the Alloy books (I loved how real the pain felt in those books), Sense and Sensibility (this book just satisfied my soul), the Ender sequels (each one dug deeper into the intricacies of human nature), and two non-fictions called The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and The Law by Frédéric Bastiat. All of these reads impacted my year and I felt I'd grown because of them

Thanks to all of you for sticking with us through this! We hope that your 2020 is filled with reading and writing wonderful books!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Why You Need to Set a Goodreads Goal (and how to reach it)

It's getting close to New Years...which means we're all thinking about what we want to do in 2020. It's goal setting time.

And I'm here to convince you to set a goal for how many books to read in 2020.

We need to read. Reading is a good thing. So please forgive my shameless reference to a post on my personal blog about why We Need to Read. I'm trying to keep this post short, haha.

Setting goals is a good way to get more reading done. And doing it through Goodreads keeps it concrete, real. You actually create the account and decide just how many books you want to try for. Or even if you just do it privately, keeping a list of the books you read can help keep you on track.

There is no wrong goal (unless you're being unrealistic). Are you a busy person or a slow reader? Then a low goal is perfectly fine. Don't feel bad that you only read 5 books while others read 55. Maybe they simply don't have anything else to do with their life. Maybe they're speed-reading and not getting anything out of what they read. Maybe they're reading novellas or kids books. Or listening to audio books at high speed. Think about the year ahead, and set a realistic goal. Maybe two books a month, plus an extra or two in summer. You know your reading habits better then anyone else.

But don't make it easy. What's the point of setting a goal when you don't have to sweat to reach it? Why set a goal for three books and then read a couple board books you found lying around and count those as reaching your goal? Pick a goal you know you can reach and add one more book. Hold yourself accountable and don't "cheat" by reading books way below your reading level.

**But how to reach your goal, especially in this busy world?**

Always have a book handy, should you find spare time. I don't carry a purse. I carry a bookbag (or so I call it). It totes around my bullet journal, my Bible, and at least one book. If I find a few minutes lunch break to read, I've got a book. If someone else drives (my sibs and I sometimes carpool to work), I can read. If I'm getting the oil changed, my book is with me.

Keep an ebook on your phone at all times. Those times when you're stuck on the toilet...stop scrolling FaceBook and read a few pages. Sitting in the car waiting for a slowpoke to get ready to leave? Read a page while you wait. Think opportune moments, guys.

Try something new. You don't have to read a new book to make it count towards your book goal. You're allowed to do re-reads. But I beg of you, try something new. Just once, at least. Check out our book reviews or ask a friend for a recommendation or read reviews on Goodreads. You might be surprised.

Don't sweat. If you don't reach your goal because you set it way too high, or unforeseen life things happened, hey, don't worry about it. (If you spent too much time on Pinterest, yeah, you might want to be a little embarrassed.) But generally speaking, there's no shame. You did what you could. And as long as you enjoyed what you read, or learned from it, that's what counts.

-Julian Daventry