An Update on My Critique Services

I never saw myself writing this post.

When I started offering my critique services, I expected to be critiquing stories for a long time to come. However, this past year, I’ve learned a lot. One of those things is that I can do a lot of things, but I cannot do all the things.

I’ve been trying to do everything, but really, I can’t do everything. I can’t juggle working and schoolwork and writing my own stories and prepping for college and critiquing other stories at the same time. Working on critiquing other people’s stories has taken the place of working on my own stories.

So, I’m afraid that I’m officially closing down my critique services.

I’m okay with this. When I first had the idea, I wasn’t okay with it. I thought that this would be like giving up or admitting defeat. But really, this is me saying that I can’t do all of this. But I can focus on doing the things that

Of course, I don’t plan on quitting on the few stories that I am currently helping out with. But right now, I’m going to let myself not do everything.

It has been an honor and a pleasure reading and critiquing your stories.

I’ve been so honored by the people who have come to me for help with their stories, and I have loved having a small part to play in helping them make their stories shine even more.

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll critique more stories.

But for now… Farewell, critiquing. What a wonderful journey it’s been!

The Hardworking Creative Website Launch

Today I am super excited to tell y’all about a great new website that my bloggy friend Hailey Hudson has just launched. It’s called The Hardworking Creative, and I can already tell that it’s going to be AMAZING. Click here to visit The Hardworking Creative and see it for yourself!

Now, you may be asking, what is The Hardworking Creative? Well, there’s no better way to learn about it than to read the mission statement! Here it is, straight from The Hardworking Creative!

The Hardworking Creative Mission Statement 

My name is Hailey Hudson, and I’m a hardworking creative who inspires other creatives to put in the legwork that’s necessary to make their dreams become their reality.

This is a place where creatives are celebrated. Whether you’re a writer, painter, filmmaker, graphic designer, violinist, dancer, actor, you name it—if you pride yourself on both your creativity and your work ethic, then you are welcome here. If you’re looking for your people, you’ve found them.

At the age of eighteen, I became an author and a freelance writer. As I looked around, I realized I had many friends who were incredibly talented in various creative pursuits and who hoped to make it big—but they weren’t actually doing any work towards their dreams. Creativity is a fantastic thing to have, but if you want to be successful, hard work as equally as important, and that’s the premise that this website was founded on.

Here at The Hardworking Creative, you’ll find monthly success stories from young creatives just like you, plus more exciting content explaining what the lifestyle of a hardworking creative really looks like—tips on marketing, branding, and social media, and more.

This website is the launching pad for your success. So stick around. I can’t wait to watch you succeed.


The posting schedule kicks off this weekend, so be sure to sign up for the mailing list at The Hardworking Creative! I hope to run into y’all there! =)

PURSUE Magazine Cover Reveal!

Yes, I know, I usually am lazy and post only once a week. But I have some super exciting news to share with you. PURSUE magazine is releasing their second issue on April 6, 2018! =D Do you want to see the gorgeous cover? Then scroll down….
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…the suspense is killing you, I know xD…
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…this is just fun, sorry xD

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Okay, I’m done being mean. xD Here it is!

Ta-da! Isn’t it gorgeous? And the awesome thing is, you can get it for FREE by subscribing to PURSUE’s mailing list before it releases! Click here to visit PURSUE’s website to find encouraging articles and sign up for the mailing list. 
What do you think of the cover? Aren’t you excited for the next issue? Which article on the cover are you most excited for? 

Blogoversary Wrap-Up

All good celebrations have to have an ending, just like good books and chocolate cupcakes. But all good books and celebrations have happy endings too, right? Luckily, we have a happy ending for our blogoversary, because we have some WINNERS!!!! First things first, the winner of the writing contest. It was really hard to pick between the entries, but there can only be one winner, right?

Without further ado, the winner of the writing contest is…. Hailey Hudson! Congratulations, Hailey! =) You should receive an email today about your bookmark prize. Here’s her winning entry, titled “When You Left”:

It was snowing when you left. You were making a joke about Frosty the snowman, flipping up the hood of your red parka that I’d borrowed so many times without you knowing, double-checking to make sure that your luggage was in place. You were walking towards the door like you weren’t going to turn back—like you weren’t going to even tell me goodbye.

I wanted so many things in that moment, standing there hugging my arms to my chest and feeling the cool hardwood floor through my socks. I wanted to tell you that I remembered that time we went exploring the city after nightfall, how we laughed over chai lattes in our favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop and snuck into our favorite ice skating rink without paying and then found our way to a friend’s high-rise apartment and stood so close that the frosty clouds of our breath mingled into one as we watched the city light up. I wanted to remind you about that time we were sitting in my kitchen early one Saturday morning; I wanted you to remember how you added peanut butter to the pancake batter without even asking me because you knew that was my favorite, and I wanted you to remember how you made jokes about us being an old married couple one day, and I wanted to tell you that the sunlight slanting through the window had hit your face in just the right way as you turned back to the stove and all I wanted was to kiss you right then and there. 
But instead you were walking out. You were leaving, and you weren’t giving me a second thought. You meant so much to me—but I finally realized I meant nothing to you. 
I wanted so desperately to tell you so many things. But I couldn’t. All I could do was stand there in the front hallway, well after the door had shut behind you, hugging myself and thinking—this was never part of the plan. 
It was snowing when you left.
Wasn’t that gorgeous? =)

But there’s still another winner to pick, isn’t there? Drumroll, please. The winner of the wooden bookmark giveaway is…. Amelia! Congratulations, Amelia! You should receive an email today about your bookmark prize. =)

I just want to give a HUGE thank you to all of my readers! You guys are the BEST and you all have made this past year of blogging (and this blogoversary) absolutely wonderful! *throws confetti* What was your favorite blogoversary post? Didn’t you love Hailey’s entry? 

It’s a Blogoversary!

Happy New Year, everyone! Can y’all BELIEVE that it’s 2018?!? And since it’s January 1, 2018, that means that it’s my one year blogoversary here on Notebooks and Novels! *insert confetti and fireworks here* To celebrate, I’ve got a few festivities planned, including a writing prompt contest (with an awesome prize), a rather bookish quiz, and a very special giveaway! =D But first, let’s take a look back on this past year of all thing Notebooks and Novels, shall we?

Stats From This Past Year…
FOLLOWERS: 
107 followers, GFC and email combined-this is insane! You guys are the BEST!!! 

NUMBER OF COMMENTS: 
745 comments-I’ve loved talking to you guys! =D

PAGE VIEWS: 
13,385 page views-Again, wow!

TOTAL POSTS: 
42 posts-Just a few short of my goal, but not everyone’s perfect. xD 

MOST POPULAR POST: 
I was a bit surprised that what seemed to be my longest post was the most popular one, but I’m glad that everyone liked it. =)
MY FAVORITE POST: 
I picked two, California in Pictures because I LOVE how the photography turned out and 5 Things That Excite Writers because I discovered my new love-gifs. =D


OTHER COOL STUFF:
I got published on the Rebelution and the Girldefined blog. I also was able to write an article for PURUSE magazine’s first digital issue and joined Project Canvas (don’t worry, I’ll be submitting an article to their blog soon). 
WOW, a lot has happened on here in this past year! Thank you all for sticking around and making it an amazing year of blogging. =) I hope that you’ll continue to hang around for all of the awesome stuff that I have planned to celebrate! What was one of the best memories you made last year? What are you looking forward this next year? Let’s talk, everyone! =D

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope that you all are having a wonderful holiday season this year. =) If you’re like me, you’ve been watching sappy holiday movies, listening to lots of Christmas music, and munching on a TON of quite a few cookies for awhile. As I write this, I can hardly believe that Christmas is only a few days away! I think I might be more excited than my four year old brother…

I haven’t been so great about posting on here because I am a lazy blogger and not afraid to say it, but don’t worry. I’ll be back with a (hopefully) more regular posting schedule next week. =) But I do have a couple announcements for you right now.

First of all, I finally got a Goodreads account! =D I’m officially addicted, and this is only helping me grow my already mountainous TBR list. I think I’ll set a reading goal next year—something totally unreasonable probably, but who can be reasonable when it comes to books? xD Click here to see my shiny new profile! =D

Secondly, along with a more regular posting schedule, I also have my one year blogoversary (would someone please tell my spellcheck that blogoversary is totally a word?) coming up in the near future! Or rather, January 1 to be exact. How exciting is that? I’ll be having a big celebration here, with a giveaway, games, and LOTS of confetti. So be sure to check back for that next month. =)

I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas! =)