Random News: New Year Means Self-Improvment

Hello Lovely Readers,

So while I know most people focus on New Year’s Resolutions right after the New Year, I however like to wait a little bit. I believe to have a resolution that is helpful, and that I can actually measure and accomplish is something that takes thought. I usually am in such a strange state around Christmas and New Years, as this is the one constant time I go home to America each year, that I don’t really have time to sit and think. Then right when I return to working and school, I almost always get busy and a bit sick, and then I have time to think about what I want to work on this year. I like trying to make myself a better person by the end of the year,and there is always something to work on. Today I thought I would share a couple of resources I have come across that other people are using to improve, and then one that I am using.

As someone who runs a literature based blog, reading well is a prerequisite skill. One thing I have worked at over the years is to read faster. There is a neat Speed Reading course here that I found on the internet. I was lucky enough to have attended a speed reading course on my campus, which unfortunately I was already the fastest before the course and the runaway fastest by the end of the course. I have learned the basics, and I do use speed reading in my life, but mostly with my thesis work, or when I am not really interested in a section of a book. For fiction and things that I really want to take in all the detail (which is one of my favorite things in novels) I can’t really speed read. Luckily over the years I have gained a rather decent reading speed, I just happen to have friends that are exceptionally quick readers, so compared to them I feel slow (however if you want to know what color shirt the character was wearing, I am the one who knows that!). What about you guys? Are you fast readers, detail readers, or a bit of both?

The second is a resource that I will probably dabble in this year. It is a nice collection of videos covering ways to improve your writing. It is hosted by Macalester College, and you can access it here. While a lot of the information looks like lessons I was taught in school, it will be a nice refresher, as I have not had any formal instruction on my writing (creative writing that is) in many years. Below is a sample of one of their videos.

While the other two sources are just things that I have found, this last resource it one that I am using. My goal this year is to work on my handwriting. Ever since I first learned to write, I have been told to improve my handwriting. It was so bad a teacher told me I needed to improve it or become a doctor, I told her I would be a doctor as it would be easier to do. So here I am, in the last year of my PhD, trying to become a doctor, and realizing I have trouble reading my own notes. Unfortunately, with the rise of computers I have switched to typing whenever possible, and can do so at a very fast speed. However, there are times where this is not possible, and for teaching I have realized illegible handwriting causes more work for me. So it is time where I finally try to fix this problem. I am not hoping for a miracle, but just some improvement, and a handwriting that I can use and not be embarrassed by when I write notes on cards to friends! The resource I used to start is here. On top of that I have also received some old copy books from an older style of writing that I will also be using. Hopefully, at the end of the year I will check back in with you guys and show you the change. To give you some idea of where I am starting from, below is a picture of some of my notes I have taken while in a meeting with my supervisor, it is pretty terrible!

What about you all? Are there things you are working on? One thing that you have always put off changing because it seemed impossible to do?

Until next time,


About Lynne

I am currently a PhD student of Forensic Psychology, which may explain the off mix of extremely morbid books sitting next to children’s books. Hailing from the Midwest in the United States of America, I have now lived in England for over 2 years (which will explain any strange grammar usage). From a very young age, my parents cultivated a love of reading, and never restricted what I read. When I reached middle school I began reading Shakespeare (a lifelong love affair), but had also discovered the wonders of young adult fiction. While the world may now expect me to read books more reflective of my age, I have fought this and am a strong supporter of the YA novel! Despite having very little free time, I still sets aside time for a reading every evening, and listens to books on my way to University. I dream of one day being a published novelist and published scientist!

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