April is over and for me, that means no longer being weirdly confused about what month it is. I have no good explanation for why I struggled to keep my months straight, but I kept writing April as “05” in the month section of journal entries and realizing I was wrong. Really putting that college degree brain to use.
I’m honestly not sure how much I have to say about this month, but let’s dive into it before this somehow becomes another 5,000 word blog post.
Almost immediately after writing and posting my March Look-Back, I caved and bought myself the monitor I was talking about. It arrived quickly and I got it set up as soon as I could. After a little mishap where I discovered that I ordered the wrong monitor arm and subsequently gave it to my dad, I had everything in place. A couple of new HDMI wires and a HDMI splitter later, I have a second monitor to work with.
I have no idea how I’ve gone this long without getting one. I always enjoyed working with two monitors when I was in the editing labs at college. It made things easier and I could dedicate a whole screen to making sure that every detail of each video was exactly how I wanted it to be.
Having it as a larger screen for TV has also been really nice, though I haven’t actually found myself doing that a lot. Most of the time, I end up watching videos/TV on my laptop and working on blog posts on my second monitor. I haven’t tried reversing that setup yet, but as I write this, I’m thinking that it might be a good idea. After all, I should enjoy media on my bigger screen now that I have one.
Speaking of enjoying media, the second screen also means I have a place to play Switch games again! After removing the TV in my room, I hadn’t touched my Switch because it was a bother to bring it outside and plug it into the living room TV. Now, I can have it hooked up to my monitor all the time and play video games whenever I want. Have it done it yet? No…
At the beginning of April, there was a change in local restrictions so I was able to switch to the LifeGroup that is closest to me. It’s the one I was supposed to be in based on location if things were normal when I joined. So I got to meet new people and settle into what is hopefully my last location for the foreseeable future.
New friendships came out of this. It’s nice to meet and get to know the same people for more than two or three weeks. I like the people in my group and it’s actually been the most welcoming space of all the groups I’ve been part of and I like that I’m feeling a better sense of community.
There’s still nothing in terms of finding other readers, at least in terms of people who read fiction and read more regularly. I’d like to eventually meet someone whom I can talk to about what I’m reading and have them know what I’m talking about. Maybe I’ll have to continue talking to the couple of Singaporean Bookstagrammers I follow and eventually see if they want to hang out.
I also made the conscious decision to get back into journaling and doing devotions regularly. Shifting them to my nightstand meant I reached for them after waking up. Journaling gave me a better sense of calm before starting the day. As I’ve said before, it helps me process my life. I noticed the difference in myself when I made it part of my morning routine again.
The feeling of calm and self-reflection I got was really nice. It made mornings a little better, seeing as I’m not a morning person at all. I’m glad I did it, that I told myself to put my phone aside in the mornings and reach for my devotional instead. These two things have reminded me how much of a difference it makes to have them in my life. It also gave me something to share about in my LifeGroup in a positive way, which was a nice moment for me.
April is also the month of my dad’s birthday. He was thrilled to have his senior citizen card, which gets him discounts for a lot of things. We went out to celebrate with a nicer dinner and he got to enjoy the perks of paying cheaper bus fares that day.
Number of books: 1.5
Number of hours read: 3hrs 35mins
Number of pages read: 589
This wasn’t a particularly great reading month for me. I blame the ARC I started because it put me in such a frustrated reading mood. What got me out of it was picking up a mystery, which never fails to get me out of a slumpy mood.
#1 of the month - The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell
Mystery ~ E-book
I’d heard some great things about this from another Bookstagrammer and decided to pick it up. My library hold was almost up so I started reading and found myself wanting to read more and more. It did a fantastic job of surprising me and I’m really excited to see where the sequel will go. Currently, I’m trying to get my hands on an ARC if it’s possible at all.
I read through the first 60% of The Dragon’s Promise, which was a buddy read with my friend Lyn. More on that next month though.
My WebToon reading went down too. Things were busy and I only had the chance to get through a few episodes here and there. I did write a whole blog post about the WebToons I’ve loved though, so you can go read that if you’re interested in finding some new stuff.
Blog words written: 9,104
Novel words written: 0
My word count dropped by over half in April, mostly a testament to how much time it took for me to write the posts and how little time I was able to spend on it. Instead of hitting the three posts a week I planned for, I usually only got to two. In the first week, I didn’t even post anything because I wasn’t able to find the time to format any posts.
Out of the 13 posts I wanted to get out, I wrote and posted 5. Not bad, but less than I’d hoped. Things are already a bit behind where I’d like them to be, but I think I can get more than 5 blog posts out in May.
Novel wise, things haven’t progressed. I’ve been working through of the plot points of the story idea I mentioned last month. There are a few things in mind for Project Ceiling Cat too. Sometimes, working through things in the back of my mind helps me want to get back to the story.
I’m hoping that May might be a better month in terms of writing, but we’ll see.
YouTube: Same old, same old. I watched mostly the backlog of GTLive episodes. It’s fun to see how Mirror Matt has grown from only doing the audio and visual stuff to being part of the (not) livestreams. The mystery of what he looks like has become less mysterious as he’s quickly appeared here and there to fix things in front of the camera.
A quick look at my Watch History tells me that there were a few algorithm videos sprinkled in, some home makeover videos, and a couple of Taylor Swift and Criminal Minds related things. I’m getting closer to catching up on the backlog, but it’s safe to say that Theorist content will be a consistent thing in my YouTube watch list because I really enjoy it.
Movies: I’m not sure that I did actually watch any movies in April. At least, not in the way I qualify watching movie. For me to count it, it has to be a movie I watch from beginning to end and can tell you what the plot is without asking my parents about it.
By that definition, I’m 98% sure that I didn’t see any movies.
Shows: I introduced my dad to My Hero Academia pretty late in April. It’s a goal of mine to show him what I consider to be the good animes. Since he raised me on a healthy diet of superhero movies, I thought I’d return the favor with a great show about kids learning to be heros. Plus, I need someone here to listen as I talk about my love of Todoroki.
After all my talk about getting close to the end of Bakuman last month, I completely stopped watching it in April. I think it was a combination of life getting busy and me not wanting to finish the show just yet.
Podcasts: Let’s not pretend I’ve listened to anything other than my MFM backlog and new episodes of potential cults.
The mash-up episodes of My Favorite Murder with guest hosts were quick to get through because it cut out a lot of Karen and Georgia’s opening rambles. I love the rambles, but they do take a long time and often times I fall asleep before the crime talk starts.
As of right now, I’m in their September 2021 episodes, so I’m closing that gap.
Music: This was a month of a lot of LoFi music. For some reason, I really got into this playlist I found on Spotify that I put on a lot, so that’s probably going into my Spotify wrap-up for the year.
Outside of that, I don’t think I was listening to anything super consistently. There were a couple of throwback playlists that I put on randomly throughout the month and I did add some stuff to my spring playlist for this year, but I never spent more than a day listening to them.
Maybe I need new music. If you have any recommendations that you think I might like, leave it in the comments below.
I’ve already mentioned that April wasn’t the best in terms of posting content. Blog wise, mostly. As of writing this, I haven’t actually made my content schedule for the month yet, but it does need to happen or else I’ll end up wondering what I’m even doing.
There were a couple of weekends where I took a day off to allow myself to actually rest instead of forcing myself to get blog posts written. Sometimes, it’s so hard to get these done because I’m mentally tired. The amount of time it takes to think through a post and write it out is more than I think most people realize unless they blog too. Plus, thinking about SEO as I write has become a weird part of my brain.
I’m trying to remind myself that there’s a healthy balance of getting content done. It’s not good for me to force things out of my brain because that means it’s often not up to the quality I want. At the same time, I don’t want to give myself too many excuses not to put up blog posts or Instagram content.
Blog: In terms of the monthly output, April is the second lowest so far this year, right behind January. I am proud of what I’ve written this month though. The posts are few and far between, but each one felt good as I typed the last line and formatted everything into the blog.
Here’s a list of everything I wrote in April.
- Monthly Look-Back ~ March 2022
- Review: The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- 2022 Reading Challenges ~ 12 From 12 & Buzzword Reading Challenge
- Review: ExtraOrdinary by V.E. Schwab
- 8 WebToons I’ve Loved Lately
My favorite post of the month is definitely the one about WebToons. Any time I get to talk about the things I love is good for me. I mean, I come up with all these posts and the idea is for them to all be fun to write, but some are harder than others. It’s the reality of anything creative. What is fun in theory might not be in execution and vice versa.
I’m still behind on reviews, predictably. It’s a balance not to overwhelm people with them. At the current pace of one review every other post, I sometimes feel like it’s already too much. But that’s down to my own procrastination and my decision to return to the format of an individual review for each book I read.
The format of individual reviews is more for me than anyone else. I like having a place where my thoughts are more fleshed out about a certain book. Sometimes, I go back to read what I’ve said about a book because my brain doesn’t remember that. Writing it though, it’s not always easy to do without spoiling the book.
But that’s a conversation for another time.
IG: I have created and posted more Reels in April than any other month of my life. They don’t always do well, some are in the hundreds of views while others range in the 2-3K mark. I’m trying not to get too bothered by it, as I say every other month, but it sometimes feels sucky to see a Reel I liked does terribly.
Anyways, that’s not related to April, that’s kind of a general thing about being a content creator on the Internet.
I mentioned last month that my bullet journal photos do the best and that remains true. One of my favorite photos that I took in April ended up being my second best organically performing post. Which is algorithm speak for “It did well without me pushing it too much or sending it to engagement groups.”
I’ve been finding ways to make Reels that doesn’t feel like too much pressure for me. Things that make me happy and don’t stress me out. Those are the best kinds, honestly. I’m really not great at making them despite the number of video-related classes I took in college. That still confuses me. How did I get As in 12 credits of classes but struggle to put my hand in the right place for a transition?
Still, it felt good to find a rhythm of filming things I liked and helped me reach out to new people. I don’t feel as stressed thinking about what the next Reel to be. I’ve also tried to take more photos that feel like me, that look how I want. April has been nice like that.
No new feed yet though. Instagram, I’m looking at you. Get on it and give me the new feed cause both my other accounts have it.
There goes April. A shorter recap because I barely consumed any media to talk about, at least in the sense of having new things to talk about.
Was it a good month? I think so. I like having a steadier group to be part of at church and meeting more people to call friends. Journaling again felt natural and reminded me why I’ve kept up with it for so long. The media I consumed was fun and relaxing.
Despite not everything going the way I wanted, april was good. Sure, I forgot that it was the 4th month of the year pretty much every other day, but that’s also what made it easier to not stress about too many things.
Oh, and there were a lot of fun thunderstorms. One woke me up at 3am because the thunder clapped right outside my window and had me bolt out of bed in confused fear. I proceeded to go straight back to bed, but that happened.
(Don’t forget to recommend me some music that you think I might like).