Best Things About Writing – A Counselor’s Perspective

You will always experience some days where you feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities you have to accomplish. At some point, it makes you feel unmotivated because you happen not to know where to start. That uneasiness and vague feeling takes your focus away and often leaves you with life’s endless distractions and demands. Fortunately, there is one best way to get over that frazzled mind, and that is writing. Below are the things you can thank writing for.

Source: pixabay.com

It Helps Clear Your Mind And Prepare It For Decision-Making

Having spiraling thoughts that leave you in a fog has no exemption, and once or twice in a day, you will encounter it unexpectedly. It will make you picture emerging issues at hand that you wish were not real. That is because these things can be so negative and complicated that even if you think you can handle them, you will never get over them that easily. But when you write about these bugging thoughts, you will notice that these issues can be resolved. You will gain insights that will help empty your mind of the clutter you were holding on to for too long. With that, you begin to obtain focus, preparing your mind for more significant critical thinking.

It Promotes Better Understanding On Underlying Emotional Issues

When you are not emotionally stable, you often believe there is something wrong but cannot explain more about it thoroughly. That is a common scenario when you are preoccupied with a lot of things. Your mind also plays with your emotions. Usually, these underlying emotions are caused by too much stress and anxiety. Gladly, you can better manage these emotions and thoughts through writing about them. Writing provides an effective way to process your feelings, especially when you cannot contain them anymore. Writing leads you closer to your core feelings and helps you realize what’s holding you back and preventing you from knowing what you genuinely want in life.

Source: pixabay.com

It Keeps A Record Of Your Overall Development

One excellent thing about writing is the constant monitoring of overall development. Writing allows you to keep a record of personal development over time, including your mood, daily task, goals, and achievements. Of course, there are instances that you will not accomplish everything on your list. But somehow, writing them all down will remind you about it and provide you with enough motivation to go on. Aside from that, writing brings you security over previous insights that have assisted you in such challenging life situations. It provides you emotional and mental wisdom that can serve you better, especially when needed in uncertain times.

It Makes You More Productive

There are times that you find yourself loaded with too many tasks. Sadly, you lose control of your responsibilities because you feel overwhelmed on which tasks deserve more attention and which of them need to go first. Fortunately, writing can help you with that problem. Writing down your responsibilities will solidify the need for accomplishments. It makes you productive as these tasks demand action and sincere commitment since you have put them in the open. Writing a daily goal becomes the first step in making these duties part of your reality as it removes the feeling of being uninspired or unmotivated.

Source: pixabay.com

It Activates Your Brain And Gets It Ready For Awareness

Writing is beneficial because it has the power to open your mind to a new perspective. Be mindful that it does not hold the answers to your life problems. But it can show you the best things you can do to manage them better mentally, physically, and emotionally. Writing down what is on your mind each day activates your brain and prepares it for whatever tough moments life may bring. It can make you look through past experiences, note down the present ones, and begin to look forward to the future. And even if you write about horrible life incidents, writing makes you focus on bigger and better things due to the list of efforts you will see on your notes.

It Allows You To Forget About Stress

A few minutes of writing about the things that happened in your life daily can bring you so much knowledge about how you handle yourself. Writing about your thoughts and emotions gives you the chance to know what triggers your mental and emotional health. That is an excellent thing because you become aware of your anxieties, stressors, and other negative emotions. Writing will help you develop ideas that can create an amplified effect on your overall well-being. It makes you appreciate a higher level of mindfulness that boosts better thinking. It supports the immediate accumulation of solutions to problems that might have affected your function for some time. Writing provides your mind with peace as it makes you happy.

 

I Told My Counselor That I Don’t Want To Write Anymore

A few years ago, when I struggled with depression, I managed to cope with my daily symptoms because I engage in one of the best activities – writing. It has become so beneficial in my mental health recovery because it helps build my creative thoughts. I get to come up with ideas that allow me to develop my problem-solving skills, improve my memory, develop my vocabulary, enhanced my reading comprehension, and build my self-confidence as I engage with different people. Writing was the best stress reliever and anti-depression activity that changed my life.

Source: pixabay.com

I like writing because it helps me express my thoughts and emotions. I write a lot about anything, and I get to see a glimpse of what I want to understand about myself. Sometimes, when I find myself having too many thoughts, I write about it, and it makes me feel good. Writing helps put my life events in a wider perspective and allows me to develop a useful list of goals that keep me going. Writing contributes a lot to my daily accomplishments, to be honest.

However, lately, I am losing interest in writing. So I went to my counselor and told her everything about the diminishing joy I am currently experiencing. I told her that I do not see writing as helpful as before. I even expressed my dismay that writing is no longer helping me get rid of my depressive symptoms. To my surprise, my counselor was not that shocked about the news. Honestly, I was expecting her to ask a few more details about when and how writing lost its charm in keeping my mental health stable. But then I figured she already know what had happened.

The Constant Redundancy That Made Everything Part Of The Usual

One thing I like about writing is the experience of expressing my thoughts and feelings without getting any bad reactions. Of course, I experience a lot of worries and fears all the time due to my mental illness. But things were controllable because there is no judgment or criticism in writing. I can write anything about my life without worrying that people will find out and laugh about it. I can write whatever I want about other people, such as how I hate, love, or thought about them because nobody knows what I write.

But then eventually I find it a little bit boring. I write about the same people I used to hang out with. I write about how they mean to me, about how they make me feel every day, and things like that. At some point, I got tired of all the redundancy. There is nothing much to write about them. There is no new experience and encounter that spice my relationship with these people. It feels like I only write the things I am thankful for these people because I have to. It is not enjoyable anymore as there is nothing much left to write.

Source: pixabay.com

The Habit Has Become A Necessity Instead Of Something Special

When I engaged in writing, I became so into it that I spent most of my time writing about things every day. Every time I felt something or anything that had to happen in a particular minute, I quickly jot it down. I try to write it in a journal, sometimes I create poems, and I even try making up stories relatable to my daily life occurrences. The experience is calming as it gave me enough time to manage the anxiety and depression symptoms I am struggling with. However, after a few months of doing the same thing over and over, it felt like my whole writing experience is all about “just writing.” It does not feel special anymore as I found myself doing it out of schedule. It does not bring me happiness anymore. I write something new because it makes me feel like doing what I am programmed to do.

Writing has been an essential part of my mental health recovery, and knowing that it does not work anymore sadden me big time. I love writing because I can get to be with myself. But now that I find it boring and impractical, things are becoming hard to handle. My depressive symptoms got worse, and now I have to develop another coping strategy that could stop all these unwanted thoughts and emotions from ruining every aspect of my life.

Source: pixabay.com

Takeaway

Talking about this issue with my counselor, I was not expecting her to provide me with answers or whatsoever. I know it is about me and my mental health struggle that I have to deal with accordingly. But I am so blessed that I get a chance to discuss my worries with her. Because right now, someone that can wholeheartedly listen to me is all that I ever wanted.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Anxiety

I always love writing. It builds my creative ideas, and it enhances my vocabulary. I always thought that those are just the things I get from my hobby. Fortunately, after a couple of research and understanding of how writing often changes my mood, I realized that its benefits are endless. It honestly helps me get rid of many emotional and mental issues I deal with every day. I can’t thank writing enough for all the good things it brought into my life.

However, it is not all the time handy-dandy, especially when I am having trouble regulating my mood. There are times that I get too overwhelmed about everything, and it affects my interest to write. I get that what they call “writing anxiety” hinders me from doing the thing I love the most. Fortunately, I managed to understand what I was going through and found a way to better make this writing anxiety better from these answered frequently asked questions.

Source: pixabay.com

How do you overcome writer’s anxiety? 

The strategies for overcoming or managing writing anxiety differ from one person to another. There are cases that some methods work best but not applicable to others. But in general, the most helpful ways include simply writing anything. Placing thoughts and ideas in a paper always help. It will also benefit if you learn to create smaller tasks and focus on short-term goals. That way, it becomes easy to collaborate with creativity and imagination.

 Can writing help with anxiety? 

Yes. Writing is one of the best coping methods that prove to ease anxiety and other mental health problems. The idea of simply writing down thoughts and feelings allows you to understand them completely and more clearly. Therefore, if you struggle with stress, loneliness, anxiety, or depression, keeping a journal becomes a comfort zone. It helps you gain control of your thoughts and emotions while improving your mental health.

 Why does writing stress me out? 

Writing is one of the beneficial coping methods that an individual can consider. However, not because it helps others; it does not mean it can guarantee you the same beneficial result. The causes of writing anxiety may include inexperience with the writing task, inability to express clearly, and vocabulary issues. But despite those things, writing is attainable through learning and experience. Thus, the more you dive into it, the more it lets you out of stress.

 What are ways to overcome anxiety? 

You will often feel anxious or stressed because of a lot of things around you. But do not let that sink in. Have a quiet time with yourself and focus on self-care. Always put your overall health as a priority. You can start by getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and taking deep breathes. Also, consider practicing mindfulness and meditation, giving gratitude, and spending time with people close to you.

 What helps anxiety naturally? 

To reduce anxiety naturally, you need to practice a healthy lifestyle. These include staying active. Physical activities such as walking, running, or simply doing some chores should be your priority. Also, consider ditching alcohol and caffeine consumption, especially if it’s too much. Eat a portion of healthy and well-balanced food, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and quit smoking. Practice deep breathing and allow yourself to have time for mindfulness meditation.

 Can anxiety be cured permanently? 

There is no cure for anxiety because it is part of every individual’s genetic makeup. It is something no treatment can change because, at some levels, it provides specific benefits. It somehow prepares the mind and body and alerts them for upcoming danger, giving a person enough time to handle stressors. But in extreme cases, it can be disabling, preventing an individual from living the life he wants.

Source: pixabay.com

 Can anxiety kill me? 

Unfortunately, yes. People with high anxiety have difficulty shaking their worries and are often stuck with unwanted thoughts and disposition. But that is not all. People also experience actual physical symptoms that even low levels of anxiety or stress can potentially increase the risk of stroke or fatal heart attacks. Anxiety becomes way too harmful when it comes to developing into irrational thinking, making you unable to focus on reality.

 What does the Bible say About anxiety? 

The Bible verses often tell that people should not be anxious about anything, for the Lord will always be there for them. As long as they keep the presence of God in their minds and hearts, they can do anything without worry. That explains why, in most cases, prayers and spiritual meditation help reduce the symptoms of the mental health condition. It is like taking control of things with the help and guidance of God.

 How long can anxiety last? 

Anxiety symptoms always differ from one person to another. Some may experience it mildly, while others often have a hard time controlling it. Usually, the anxiety attacks peak after 10 minutes and hardly ever last for more than 30 minutes. However, some people often find themselves a bit weird during this time as they experience severe terror. Some often had unrealistic thoughts and many what-ifs, which often leads to uncontrolled thoughts and emotions.

 What is everyday anxiety? 

Everyday anxiety is quite challenging because of the frequent excessive, intense, and persistent fear and worry that often comes from nothing serious. Usually, these people have a different mindset in their everyday situations, making people experience repeated episodes of sudden feelings of panic attacks peak within minutes.

 Is anxiety all in your head? 

People experience different anxiety levels from different factors such as financial strain, work, school deadlines, family and marital relationships, and social issues. But despite how everyone sees it and thinks that the mental health condition is often causing a dysfunctional effect, anxiety helps the brain in some ways. It is the brain’s way of preparing individuals to face or escape danger. It can become some people’s asset when dealing with stressful situations.

 Does anxiety go away when you choose to ignore it? 

As much as you want to pay no attention to your anxiety, ignoring it does not help. It will only stick with you and can potentially become dangerous when not properly addressed. That is because the relentless thoughts continue, and the more you try not to look at it or resolve it, the more it grows and causes an emotional and mental dilemma.

 Does anxiety worsen with age? 

No. Anxiety disorders don’t automatically get worse with age. There is no proven research and study that could testify that. However, anxiety becomes more common with older age due to their life stressors. Teens are prone to anxiety due to relationship and social issues, while adults often experience it due to the financial, relationship, and work pressure.

 Does anxiety go away with medication? 

Anxiety does not go away with medication, even if it is generally safe and effective. Often, it takes a couple of prescriptions from a therapist to get the right medication that fits an individual with a mental health condition. Also, along with medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, should be implemented. That way, patients with anxiety can develop a highly effective, well-established, and lasting treatment.

Source: pixabay.com

 Insight

Writing for me is a lifesaver. It does not only help me develop my skills but also allows me to open myself to the realm of mental illnesses. Yes, writing may be a genuinely easy task. But its benefits are greatly impeccable.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Children’s Anxiety

At times people thought that children are safe from stress because they somehow do not understand some things in their surroundings. Well, that is entirely wrong. Children are the ones vulnerable when it comes to an overall imbalance. They can easily get mentally and emotionally tired, especially in situations that are new to them. When there is an extreme or traumatizing event, they often lose control.

Source: pixabay.com

It is undeniably untrue that kids do not feel pressured or anything because the truth is, they easily get anxious. Even small life situations like moving into a new place or school and being surrounded by people they do not know can trigger their emotional and mental instability. And when there is anxiety, children’s behavior often changes negatively. Often, they become prone to isolation due to their unnecessary fear. Their thoughts and feelings get a little complicated because they focus more on things that were never there and were never genuinely happening. Thus, these behavioral changes become a hindrance to their school performance, and it makes the kids more susceptible to life-long physical, emotional, and mental damage.

How do you help a child with anxiety?

In helping a child with anxiety, the goal is not to eliminate the negative feeling but rather manage it. It is vital to express positive and realistic expectations to your child so that the process will not pressure him. It is essential to respect his feelings but be mindful not to empower him.

 

 What causes child anxiety?

There is entirely no specific reason why a child tends to be anxious. However, factors affecting his mental health can come from the stress he experiences daily, such as frequently moving house or school. A child can pick anxious behavior just being around anxious people. So it is important to keep them emotionally and mentally stable at all times.

 

 What are the first symptoms of anxiety?

The common anxiety signs and symptoms include restlessness and nervousness. There is also the constant worry of impending danger, sweating, hyperventilation, trembling, increased heart rate, fatigue, and trouble in concentration.

Source: pixabay.com

 When should I feel concerned about my child’s anxiety?

You should seek immediate treatment when your child’s anxiety causes a significantly uncomfortable feeling that lasts for days, weeks, or months. Consult a professional expert when the mental illness is preventing your kids from doing productive and creative things. Please note your child’s problems with family and friends or the interference of the negative emotions with their school or home duties.

 

 Is anxiety in kids normal?

Yes. It is usual for kids to feel stressed and anxious. Usually, they experience it when dealing with changes in school or nursery or moving to a place. But be mindful of taking a closer look at some of the damaging effects of anxiety since it affects some kids’ daily behavior and thoughts as it can damage their school, home, and social life.

 

 What does an anxiety attack look like in a child?

A child having an anxiety attack may experience different types of symptoms. It can include chest pain, chill or heat sensations, nausea, choking sensation, dizziness, shortness of breath, and fear of dying.

 

 How do I know if my kid has stress and anxiety?

It is entirely hard to recognize when kids are stressed out. But you should be aware of the warning signs. These include short-term behavioral changes, acting out, mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, and bedwetting. Also, consider their physical effects, including headaches and stomachaches.

 

 How can kids get rid of stress?

Kids can try getting rid of stress through the following: exercising, writing or drawing, and letting their feelings out, doing something fun, relaxing, and laughing.

 

 How can parents’ stress hurt a child?

It is important to realize that a parent’s stress level can affect it beyond every child’s disposition. Sometimes, kids’ stress levels can trigger common mood disorders, video game addictions, and even disorders like autism and ADHD. Parents can also cause children to suffer from increased degrees of depression, social alienation, abuse, and pressured career achievement.

 

 What are the five warning signs of stress?

The five warning signs of stress can manifest physically. It can include body aches and pain, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and dizziness, rapid heart rate, frequent colds, or flu. In the emotional aspect, there’s anxiety and depression, restlessness, irritability, and anger. There’s trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, feeling overwhelmed all the time. It can also create problems with concentration and memory.

 

 What are the three causes of stress?

The main three causes of stress are the death of a loved one, increased financial obligations, and emotional problems.

 

 What are the five signs of emotional suffering?

Five signs of emotional suffering start with personality change. When a person tends to change his ways drastically, it either means he no longer sees or appreciates his life and worth. Then there’s agitation. It relates to an uncharacteristically angry, anxious, or moody personality. Next is isolation, where a person withdraws himself from the things around him. Then there’s a lack of self-care, and lastly, hopelessness.

 

 How do I know if I’m mentally unstable?

The common signs in determining mental instability include confused thinking, constant feelings of sadness and loneliness, prolonged depression, social withdrawal, strong feelings of anger, excessive worries and fears, drastic changes in sleeping or eating habits, and delusions.

 

 What does emotional distress feel like?

Experts describe emotional distress as something that impacts the mental and physical aspects of a person. There is a sense of anxiousness, overstressed, and extremely overwhelmed. It feels like a person is often trying to save himself from the last straw.

Source: pixabay.com

Insight

We must understand the warning signs of anxiety in children. As concerned adults and parents, we have to commit to helping the kids recover fully. As their guardians, it is our duty to keep them safe from the harsh world they are living in. We need to cut the crap of thinking that children will never feel mentally and emotionally exhausted just because we thought their understanding of the world is limited. They do feel scared and anxious all the time. It is just that they can’t express those unwanted emotions perfectly as we do. Nonetheless, we need to be careful and more considerate about children’s mental and emotional capacity.

Relatable Young Adult Novels For Your Teen With Mental Health Problems

According to the World Health Organization, 40% of teenagers around the globe battle with at least one mental illness. These neuropsychological disorders can severely affect an individual’s quality of life and can be more debilitating to a teenager who is still growing and developing.

Mental health professionals recommend finding legitimate sources to learn more about mental disorders. Not many openly talk about mental problems; hence, many people turn to novels.

Source: pickpik.com

Diving Into The Young Adult Literature

Books fall under several genres. These include young adult fiction, which is primarily for teens aged 12 to 18. While this genre is considered fiction, its realistic, coming-of-age setting has undoubtedly appealed to the masses; even adults grew to love it.

Young adult literature provides a slice of life, dashed with a little fantasy, making it very relatable. As years go by, more authors start to tackle stigmatized topics such as mental health, racism, and gender orientation.

In particular, books exploring psychological issues are increasing, to which struggling teenagers can relate. These books also help them acknowledge that having a mental disorder is not necessarily a bad thing. Through this, they realize there are people in the same boat as they are, who are willing to support them on their road to recovery.

With the wide variety of young adult novels available for reading, here are a few recommended books to read about different mental health disorders:

Recommendations For Mood Disorders

Anxiety and depression are the most common psychological illnesses present in teens. Both disorders have symptoms of frequent low moods, loss of interest in many things, anxiousness, and fear.

Source: flickr.com
  • Turtles All The Way Down

Written by one of New York’s best-selling YA author, John Green, Turtles All The Way Down follows the life of a 16-year-old girl. Aza, the protagonist, is your typical teenager whose thoughts are always in shambles, so much that she starts developing severe anxiety.

Partnered with a slight case of mystery, join Aza in her battle to discover how she can live her life normally despite her conditions.

  • Fangirl

Cath is the central character of this book written by Rainbow Rowell. Since birth, she has always depended on her twin sister. Unfortunately, they had to go their separate ways in college, leaving Cath unsure of her path and questioning herself if she could make it without her twin.

Fangirl is an exciting read, shining a light on awkward, introverted individuals who are trying their best to socialize and learn how to move past their safety bubble.

  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Telling the story of Leonard Peacock, who is at the very edge of his mental breakdown, this book by Matthew Quick points out the realities of mental illnesses when ignored and left untreated. It is an intriguing read to see how Leonard succumbs to his violent thoughts and what their repercussions could look like in real life.

Recommendations For Autism Spectrum Disorders

Mental disorders do not necessarily involve emotions only. Neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, are also classified under the category. These disorders often develop in childhood and may even impair how an individual functions in society.

  • The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion’s novel unfolds the life of a brilliant and high-functioning professor struggling with Asperger’s syndrome. Don Tillman, the said professor and also lead character, embarks on finding love despite his condition. It is a book that is positively conveying that even people with mental illnesses find love.

  • Remember Dippy

This book shows the forging of friendships between a unique individual and a “normal” teen. When Shirley Reva Vernick wrote this, she made sure to explore how similar “odd” and “normal” teens are. It is a great read to understand that everyone around us functions the same; some need a little help, that’s all.

  • Anything But Typical

The life of Jason Blake, who has autism, has many twists and turns, as written by Nora Raleigh Baskin. This book is for anyone who wishes to see a perspective on how mentally-challenged people live day-to-day.

Addressing Mental Health Problems Through YA

Source: unsplash.com

There have been countless studies discussing the effectiveness of young adult literature in confronting mental illnesses. While it is true that the genre falls under fiction, the representation of life’s realities, including mental health problems, challenge everyone to discuss the stigmas surrounding the topics openly.

Fortunately, the availability of young adult literature has increased over the years, as the numbers of teens who have psychological disorders are also alarmingly growing. With YA books, their stories are shed to light. For once in their lives, they become represented and are given the support that they need. 

Books have the power, and, for many teens, they save lives. I guess it is true that the pen is mightier than the sword.

 

6 Best Novels About Family To Read Now

Our own families affect the choices we make, the lives we live, and the relationships we foster as we grow up. Our family members also contribute to our complexity as human beings. Because of this, there is more than one kind of familial relationship and structure. And the best way to explore these variations and their intricacies is through stories written about and for families. 

To start with, here are the six best novels about family to start reading now.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Source: pexels.com

We all wonder what our life’s purpose is, and we mostly live our lives in pursuit of our worth. For Anna Fitzgerald, it is not the same; she has known her whole life what her purpose isto be her sister’s donor. How she and her family react to this is explored in Jodi Picoult’s novel.

The disease affects a family in different manners. For the Fitzgeralds, it means saving one child while stepping on another’s rights. My Sister’s Keeper is a must-read for everyone who wants a good cry, laugh, and reflection of their own family lives.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

What if you know when you’re going to die or when your family will die? How will you live your life? This question is what Chloe Benjamin’s The Immortalists shares with us. Following the lives of the four Gold siblings who learned about their ends from a visiting fortune teller, we get to know the different ways humans cope with the idea of dying and knowing when it will happen.

Some say that our thoughts, how we act and treat others are influenced by our knowledge of dying and mortality. And this is precisely how the Gold children lived, coping with the knowledge of their deaths and their siblings before it even happens.

Source: pexels.com

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Loosely based on the author’s personal experience, Commonwealth follows the complicated beginnings of blended family life and the five decades that followed. Ann Patchett’s novel begins in the early 1960s when Beverly Keating and Bert Cousins meet, starting an affair that will pull their families apart and change their lives forever.

The story details the next five decades of the six Keating-Cousins children and their parents. Patchett’s beautiful storytelling makes us realize how love, relationships, and our own feelings play a role in how we all live and deal with the people around us.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Sometimes, it is not the good times that bring a family together; sometimes, it is death. And that is the beginning of Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You. To mourn their father’s death, Judd Foxman needed to spend a week with his dysfunctional family, who he was not close to that well.

Exploring the different characteristics of each member of Foxman’s family, this novel tells us about how family relationships are not always smooth-sailing. And through sitting shiva, they started to understand themselves, their mother, and their father as well. Because sometimes, it is not a life that brings people together, but the death of someone in our family.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

What is motherhood? What are we ready to do for our children? These are some of the themes explored in Celeste Ng’s second novel Little Fires Everywhere. The story opens with the question of who set the fire and why before it takes us back to a year ago when newcomers Mia Warren, and her daughter Pearl arrived in late ‘90s Shaker Heights.

The Warren’s’ arrival threatens Elena Richardson’s vision of a suburban utopia as they disregard the status quo, affecting Elena’s carefully ordered community. But the story is more than just the Warrens and the Richardsons; it is also about a fight for custody for a one-year-old girl who is wanted by both her biological mother and the couple who raised her. 

Packed with drama, suspense, and innocence, this novel will surely hook you from beginning to the end.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Source: pexels.com

Gabriel García Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude is not only about the seven generations of the Buendia family but also a century of the Latin American history from the 1820s to the 1920s. Hailed as the best expression of magical realism, García Márquez’ novel, starts with the patriarch José Arcadio Buendía as he builds his utopian city of Macondo in the middle of a swamp.

This story sees the rise and fall of the Buendia family and the complexity of time in their lives. It pans out as Macondo becomes connected to the outside world, bringing new technology and new people to this previously secluded world. Once you started reading this magical novel, you’ll get lost in the magic, sensuality, and love that encompasses the town of Macondo and the families living in it.

Source: pexels.com

The beauty in novels about families is its emulation of the complexities of relationships we form with our own families, and we see in others. It is not of one singular emotion; it is an amalgamation of grief, happiness, fear, and love, hitting us up with every page turn. So, why not take some time to sit down and explore these feelings as you dive into these must-read novels about family and relationships.

Loving Thriller Novels Throughout The Quarantine? Read The Agent Pendergast Series

loving-thriller-novels-throughout-the-quarantine-read-the-agent-pendergast-series
Source: pexels.com

While quarantining, I had the chance to reorganize my bookshelf. I realize I already have more than 200 books collected. Many of them were obtained from book sales, which I frequented as early as 12 years old. I only bought brand-new copies of titles that could not be found there.

One thriller series that I have forgotten is the Agent Pendergast series of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They are American authors who are best acknowledged for their collaborative thriller novels. Their tandem started when they wrote the first sequel of the Agent Pendergast series, Relic, in 1988 until Tor Books published it in 1995. In this book, the main characters are tracking down the legendary beast from the Amazon that has been killing people in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

If you are looking for new thriller novels to read, the Agent Pendergast series can be it for you.

loving-thriller-novels-throughout-the-quarantine-read-the-agent-pendergast-series
Source: pexels.com

Best Preston And Child Books

Cold Vengeance is one of the best books created by Preston and Child to date. It follows the hot pursuit of Agent Pendergast to his wife Helen’s murderers. He has gone deep in the hills of Scotland with the deceased lady’s sibling, Judson Esterhazy. That’s where he discovered a secret society of Nazis and their supporters, which is better known as the Covenant. This is an excellent installment because it centered on Corrie Swanson, the teenager who aided him in solving the serial murder case in Still Life with Crows.

The latter is another excellent must-read for thriller-loving audiences. It was set in a small town where the locals primarily thought that the deaths were linked to the “Curse of the Forty-Fives.” It was a legend regarding the 45 brutal war veterans ambushed by Cheyenne warriors in the past. They later deduced that the killer was a deranged middle-aged man named Job, who was embodying the children’s tale that his mother always told him about throughout his time in the cave.

The Cabinet of Curiosities cannot be forgotten as well. This is where Agent Pendergast finally became the main character in the series. The story focuses on finding the slaughterer of 36 individuals who all have a missing portion of their spines. In this book, the killer is Anthony Fairhaven, a wealthy man who wants to find the solution to obtaining immortality and has experimented with those people. He got the idea from the agent’s great-granduncle who did the same thing ages ago and only died in the hands of Fairhaven. The latter died when he got infected by the traces of the poisonous plants in a laboratory.

loving-thriller-novels-throughout-the-quarantine-read-the-agent-pendergast-series
Source: pexels.com

Relic

The Relic gained a lot of recognition back then, to the point that it turned into a movie with the same title in 1997. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures and directed by Peter Hyams. The cast was led by Penelope Ann Miller, who portrayed the role of Dr. Margo Green, a biologist who was part of the killing investigation.

The protagonists found out who the Kothoga beast was that had been clawing people’s brains out and brutally murdering them. However, they had a few differences in the book and movie versions.

First, the national museum became situated in Chicago because the crew could not shoot the horrific scenes in the actual one in The Big Apple. In the manuscript, Dr. Green was not the only person who killed the monster compared to what came out in the film. The FBI’s Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast was also never mentioned in the adaptation, though he played a massive part in slaying the Kothoga. 

Furthermore, the screenwriters left the beast as the beast. In the book version, though, the researcher who went to the South American rainforest to look for a supposedly nonexistent tribe had been the Kothoga all along.

loving-thriller-novels-throughout-the-quarantine-read-the-agent-pendergast-series
Source: pexels.com

Other Books You May Like

Some books that Pendergast fanatics may want to read are the Gideon’s Sword series – another Preston and Child creation – and the SIGMA Force series of James Rollins. Both tackle crimes with a hint of science, which is quite similar to the theme of the Agent Pendergast series.

 

How To Write Believable Characters For Your Story

Learning how to protect yourself is one of the highlights of the 2019 Self Defense Conference. Your skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses make you a unique and round character. These are also the characteristics that you need for the people in your story to make them believable.

Here are my tips to help you write believable characters for your short story or novel.

Create A Character Profile

Source: pexels.com

Every person is unique. So the first way to create a believable character is to create their profile. A profile may vary from writer to writer, but it all includes:

  • physical characteristics such as eye color and shape, height, built
  • likes and dislikes
  • flaws
  • identifying quirks

If you cannot decide what to include in your character profile, a quick Google search can give you various graphic organizers that you can use.

Craft A Backstory

Source: pexels.com

We all have a past that affects who we are today and who we will be in the future. Likewise, your characters need a backstory too. Their history will give reason towards their motivations and will affect how they act and develop in your story. Here are some guide questions:

  • How was their childhood?
  • Where were they born?
  • Where did they live?
  • Where are their family members, and how did they affect your characters?

Give Your Character A Voice

Listen to how your friends speak. Each of them has distinct voice qualities and word choice. These characteristics should also be present in your characters. And once you decide on your character’s voice, stick to it throughout your story.

Source: pexels.com

Show Character Development

Change is the sole constant in our life. This adage also applies to your fictional characters. A believable character is affected by the events and your story and changes accordingly. Whether through tragedy, romance, or drama, the people in your fictional world will adapt to these changes.

A bonus tip: the best way to learn how to create a believable character is to observe the people around you! And these people around you are real characters that can inspire the characters in your story. After all, the best stories have characters that we can relate too.

Why You Should Start Blogging Amid A Pandemic

why-you-should-start-blogging-amid-a-pandemic
Source: pixabay.com

I have a friend who we always push to start blogging whenever we meet. It is not because we are a bunch of bullies who like to pick on people. It is more because this friend often talks about what she will do differently with her website if she has a blog.

Hearing that once can make it effortless to venture into a long conversation about blogging. However, if the topic often pops up, and you hear a friend mention it every time, that is a bit worrying. It is best to start a blog because:

You Cannot Sit On A Brilliant Idea Forever

The idea of blogging is undoubtedly not something that you have thought of last night. It is no small feat to launch a website and write the content for it. More likely than not, you have been sitting on a plan for some time now.

why-you-should-start-blogging-amid-a-pandemic
Source: pixabay.com

If I guessed correctly, you should bring this brilliant idea to fruition before someone else comes up with it. It is not uncommon for two or more individuals to have similar blogging plans, after all. What matters is that you execute what you have in mind before others do it.

Your Blog May Gain More Following Now Than Ever

Even though the pandemic has brought misfortune to a lot of companies worldwide, it has indirectly blessed virtual platforms. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other video-sharing apps have had a soaring number of subscribers over the last couple of months. More people check out various websites every day, considering they may be staying at home all the time.

What this information signifies is that you may be able to obtain many followers now more than ever. That is especially true if your content relates to things that everyone seems most interested in these days. E.g., baking, online gaming, cooking, home decorating, etc.

why-you-should-start-blogging-amid-a-pandemic
Source: pixabay.com

People Need To Take Their Minds Off The Pandemic

Many folks who have all the bearings required to start a blog but still have not done it worry that no one will care about their articles. They tend to ask, “Who am I to share these tips?” or “Am I as good as the other experts out there?” Their confidence level drops whenever they think about blogging.

However, it will help if you remember that the entire world is dealing with a pandemic. No one is honestly safe from the coronavirus, and such a fact makes people worry. If you can provide fresh content that can help them forget COVID-19, albeit momentarily, then you have already succeeded.

When Will You Be Free Again?

A typical mistake that even brilliant individuals commit is waiting for the perfect time to act on their ideas. They insist that launching something like a blog calls for months of planning and that jumping into action at once will be suicide. But I beg to disagree—you should start making your blogging dream come true today!

why-you-should-start-blogging-amid-a-pandemic
Source: pixabay.com

The reason is that there may be a massive pile of work that waits for you in the office when the quarantine is over. You need to offer your undivided attention to them; otherwise, your bosses may not like the idea and decide to fire you. So, if you put it off again, there may not be another chance.

Final Thoughts

A blog is meant to inform, entertain, and uplift your readers. It is perhaps more in-demand now than you can ever imagine, especially since people may be tired of hard-hitting news.

Do not wait for too long before you start blogging. Let this new blog become one of your best contributions to the world. Cheers!

Best Books To Explore On ADHD

Different initiatives such as the 2017 cybersecurity event organized by the Digital Infrastructure Action Line provide excellent avenues for information-sharing about trends and developments on Cybersecurity. It is a crucial subject to talk about because the internet remains to be a constant security target, and yet everyone is always connected.

Most children today are exposed mainly to the internet as an entertainment tool, and it’s best to take necessary precautions. But for kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it may not be as simple. Although it’s normal for children to have short attention spans or difficulty sitting still, ADHD patients don’t outgrow these behaviors. It can be challenging to manage them, but there are materials available to help you on your journey. 

So, to get you started, here’s some of the best based on customer satisfaction ratings, reviews, and sold copies.

Source: flickr.com

  1. Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Peg Dawson, EdD, and Richard Guare, Ph.D.)

Published in 2009 as a book that provides various activities and techniques on how ADHD diagnosed individuals can develop their ability to focus, multi-task, plan, and remember instructions. It’s a great book if you’re finding ways to improve an ADHD patient’s mental control and self-regulation. 

  1. Driven to Distraction (Edward M. Hallowell, M.D and John J. Ratey, M.D)

This book, initially published in 1994 and revised in 2011, includes detailed case histories that help you understand why ADHD diagnosed individuals behave the way they do. It also covers misconceptions, treatment, coping tools, and ADHD forms such as daydreaming and hyperactivity.

  1. Taking Charge of ADHD – Third Edition: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents (Russell A Barkley, Ph.D.)

Written by a world-renowned ADHD expert, this book focuses on empowering parents of individuals with ADHD through providing updated information based on science and treatment and parenting techniques. The author provided an eight-step management behavior plan that would enable the parents to control ADHD rather than ADHD controlling their children’s lives. 

  1. Healing ADD (Daniel G. Amen, M.D)

Initially published in 2013, this included the most important study on brain imaging and focused on the seven different forms of Attention Deficit Disorder, explaining the importance of a tailor-fitted approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach in ADHD/ADD treatment. 

  1. Boy Without Instructions (Penny Williams)

Written by a mother of an ADHD patient, this book published in 2014 will open your eyes to the challenges and joy of her journey. It’s particularly helpful and reassuring for parents who are going through the same struggles. 

Source: flickr.com

ADHD might be a challenging medical condition, but we shouldn’t give it the power to define a person. If armed with the right and necessary information, we would be able to understand and manage the condition better.