2017 Reflections: Books – Non-Fiction

Following on from yesterday’s best fiction post, here are the best non-fiction books I read this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)

The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it.

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A realisation and some significant changes

Today I came to a realisation that can be summed up in a sentence that sounds fairly simple, but has taken me an embarrassingly long time to grasp:

Just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.

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Personal, Weekly Round-Ups

This Week I Have Mostly Been Asleep

A few weeks ago I pushed myself too hard and had to spend a lot of time in bed. I’d neeaaarrllyyyy recovered from that by last weekend, when I had to do something that involved a huge amount of energy. Unfortunately it was genuinely necessary and there was no way I could get out of it. I knew it would put me at a deficit, but there was nothing I could do about it, so I did it anyway, and then I crashed again.

On Tuesday afternoon, with a little encouragement (read: direct order) from a medical professional, I got into bed. I thought “I’ll just lie here for a bit…” and then I fell asleep.

Which pretty much sums up the rest of the week as well. I slept a lot, I barely worked, I read quite a few books, and I watched some stuff on Netflix.

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Books, Writing

How Long Should My Novel Be?

I have written so many books over the years, and yet until now I’ve had basically no idea what I’ve been doing, which is probably why until this year none of them have been published. I read as much as I could find about how to write a book and tried to apply the advice, but so much of it was simply too vague.

“Work on it!” they said.
“Plan it!” they said.
“Stick to a writing schedule!” they said.

Yeah, OK. But how do I plan it? How many words long does a book have to be? How many chapters should my novel have? How many words per page? How many pages per chapter? How many chapters per book? How do I know which bit goes where? How will I know when it’s finished? FUUUCCCKKK HELP MEEEEE

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The First Poem I Ever Wrote, For National Poetry Day

Yesterday was Teachers’ Day. Today is National Poetry Day. These two things have been interwoven in my life for many years, and both are important to me, so I thought I’d write a quick post about them.

I wrote my first poem when I was twelve, and I wrote it because of a teacher. We were in English class, and I was in a new school in a new country and wasn’t settling in very well. I was looking for a way to distract myself from life, and while I had the school library to keep me going, I wanted something more actively creative as well – a new string to my bow.

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