Carpe the Heck out of Your Diems

I’ve been struggling with some anxiety recently. Trying not to worry has been a battle. I’ve found a bunch of things that help me and I thought I’d share them with you in case you are also struggling.

My friend Seana wrote a blog post called 7 Little Ways to be Happy. And I thought it was such a lovely post that I would do a similar one. Here are some things that help me not be anxious and be happy.

  1. Going to bed on time. For me, this is definitely one of the hardest ones. I like staying up late, watching gamers on YouTube prank each other in Minecraft (by the way, I started playing Minecraft). But I’ve found that when I consistently am asleep by about 11, I don’t worry as much. And as soon as I start staying up later, I start falling apart.
  2. Read my Bible every day. I try to do this while I’m eating breakfast. For days I wake up anxious, this really helps turn my focus from my worries and back to God. Hand in hand with this point is prayer. Prayer for strength and peace, prayer that these worries would go away, prayers of thanksgiving for His blessings, and prayer for my friends and family. It’s amazing how praying for someone else helps me be happy.
  3. The Peas and Carrots theory. Credit for this one goes to my mother. It’s basically this: when you are thinking about peas and you are not supposed to be thinking about peas, you can’t say “I’m not thinking about peas” because you are still thinking about peas. You have to completely change the mental subject to carrots. Like so: “Peas– Nope. Carrots. Carrots are lovely. They’re orange. So are oranges.” and on and on until you are no longer thinking about peas. Taking this a step further, planning something to think about for when you start thinking about peas is helpful.
  4. Music. I like having a song running through my head. It doesn’t really matter what song it is because if I’m singing inside, I’m happy. I also I like listening to music. One of the biggest blessings to me is listening to worship music outside of church. Like reading my Bible, it helps me focus on God instead of my anxiety.
  5. Moving on to things that help me more in the short term, this blog: Princess Sassy Pants & Co. It’s an adorable blog full of fun art and encouraging quotes.
  6. Writing. Creating makes me happy, whether it be writing, doodling, or baking. Bringing things from inside my mind to life, chasing plot bunnies, editing something well– all these things make me happy. I guess I could’ve put this in the long term things that make me happy.
  7. Learning. I like to learn, assuming I’m interested in the subject. I’ve been learning German for about a year and this morning, I had a conversation with a friend in German. I am fascinated by origins, like my ancestry and where things come from. I like occasionally getting out one of my high school science books learning from that. And I love trivia.
  8. Reading. I don’t read nearly as much or as fast as I used to. My consistent reading time these days is when I’m in bed about to sleep. But reading makes me happy. I like stories.
  9. Being with other people. Talking, laughing, playing games. I like being around my family and friends.
  10. There are lots of other things that make me happy, too many blessings to list. But one thing that helps me beat anxiety is being determined to seize the day. I am determined to carpe the heck out of my diems. I am determined to live my days to the fullest. I don’t want to get to age 80 and look back at my life and wonder what I did that was worth anything. This is something that really scares me, to be honest, that I will get to age 80 and I won’t have done anything with my life. I realized not long ago that I wasn’t living life. I was getting things done. Getting things done is good, but when that’s all you focus on, it’s discouraging and really does make you wonder if you’re living or just surviving. So, I am determined to live for God, as that is what makes me happy, and for myself, chasing my dreams. Can you live for God and chase dreams? Absolutely, as long as they don’t contradict each other (I’m dreaming of being a best selling author not a professional bank robber).

What things make you happy, reader-peeps? What things help you not worry?

I think I’m going to change my sign-off. From now on, I’m going to finish posts like this:

Go carpe the heck out of your diems!


Oh, hi, it's so good to see you ! / Jane (LBD)

Hi, reader-peeps!

So, I have an announcement.

I am going on hiatus for about three weeks.

With the exception of maybe a Valentine’s Day post if I get it finished, there will not be anymore posts on Spiral-Bound for the rest of February.

As for why, I have something I’m working on. I need to be as undistracted as possible with it. That is all I’m going to say about it.

Have a song. It’s about writing (kind of), so it’s an instant favorite for me. And then Hamilton is just so determined that this song is kinda empowering.

And you guys should really try Hamilton if you haven’t. It isn’t family-friendly in it’s entirety, but if you can get past that, it is great.

So. Don’t forget to be awesome and I will be back in March.

“My name is Lizzie Bennet. And thank you for watching my videos.” (gif) Bye bye, Lizzie


The Editing Diaries–Fun While Editing

Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!

In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!


Hi, reader-peeps! Quick post today.

In my last post, I mused about why we all think editing stinks and we stress out about it and I determined to find ways to make editing enjoyable.

I put this question to the panelists of the Ch1ConYuleBall: Do you have any tips for enjoying revision?

They did indeed have tips and it was inspiring. (They answer my question in the first 10-15 minutes.)

They had lots of fun tips and anecdotes about writing. You should watch the whole video.

Also! And this is really rather random and has pretty much nothing to do with editing, but Peter Hollens (who is pretty much my favorite cover artist ever) has covered Loch Lomand (which is my favorite song ever)!



Dancing Through Life

Where to start…

So, I’m neck deep in edits, as you know.


I’m alpha-reading, too.

I’m also beta-reading for someone.

I blog at least once a week for my reader-peeps.

Vacation Bible School starts next Monday.

My room is a mess.

I really need to go through my clothes…

Go away. Treasure Planet

I’d like to get back to learning German.

I knit as a source of income.

I crochet to reduce stress.

A couple of lovely people have gotten me hooked on Taylor Swift. (You know who you are.)

taylor swift dancing | 27 Taylor Swift Dancing GIFs From
Shake It Off is actually not one of the songs I like but whatever.

My baby blog turns a year old next week… (I’m not sure what I will do to celebrate…)

Where does this leave us?

What is the point of this post?

I don’t know. I could just say that I’m really bad with time management, which is true, but then one of you will catch me on social media and I’ll be in trouble.

I originally started this post to tell you that I was going to go on a partial hiatus (one post a week), so I could really focus on editing. But I started typing and changed my mind.

Instead, I’m going to tell you not to freak out if you don’t get an Editing Diaries post every week. Because, let’s face it, editing can be staring at your computer and bemoaning the world or staring at your computer and typing like fury. It can also be staring at a notebook. Or thinking that starting over from scratch would be easier. Or playing around on Tumblr because you are stuck, stuck, stuck (or not).

Basically, when I’m still working on the aspect I was working on in the last ED post, I have trouble coming up with things to say. (166×150)

And I don’t want to bombard you with my complaints and woes all the time because that’s discouraging and I feel bad complaining all the time.

So where does this leave us?

No different than before. I’m just going to try to manage time a bit better. Which doesn’t necessarily affect any of you.

Dancing Through Life - Wicked

No, I don’t know why I wrote this post.

comfort vlog: the lizzie bennett diaries and the taming of digital ...


The March Family Letters - New great webseries based on Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women'!

I think that’s it.

Keep an eye on the blog, reader-peeps. I have something awesome coming soon. (It’s completely unrelated to my blogversary.)


Monday Morning

*sips Coke*

Good morning, readers.

It’s Monday. I’m halfway through a Coke and I’m trying to sign up for Instagram. Probably not the best combination.

Pride & Prejudice: "Shelves in the closet? Happy thought indeed." (gif)

Today, I’ll be listing the things I need to fix in Chapter 3 and hopefully finding some time to implement them.

I’ll be babysitting as my two oldest sisters go to music lessons.

Entirely kidding, I promise. Though with the way I’m musically talented, I could be either or both of the sisters in this picture.

I’ll be making sure that the hobbits work on their school and I’ll be playing Sight Word Bingo with the two littlest.

I have to do laundry and dishes.

I’ll listen to the song by Hunter Hayes that has been causing rabid plot bunnies (possibly for my next book).

Go away. Treasure Planet
Ah, plot bunnies…

And now, having almost finished my Coke and having completely signed up on Instagram and followed people (my profile, though there is nothing yet there), I must go. Time to get the day started.

Here’s that song, by the way.



It’s joyful and triumphant.

You know what is hard to dislike? Christmas music. I mean, you may have certain songs that you prefer over others, but the chance that you aren’t listening to some cheerful tunes this holiday season is unlikely.

You know what song my mom absolutely cannot stand, though? The Little Drummer Boy.

The story behind her hatred of this tune is that, when she was a girl, her little sister (my dear Aunt Jennifer) would play it over and over. Eventually, my mother just couldn’t stand the song anymore. This is fairly understandable, as too much of anything is not good for people.

But I love that particular song. Now, I don’t like the movie Rankin-Bass did a million years ago. It’s sad and violent and just…

(Quick Note: Music liked or disliked is not hereditary. Or if it is, I’ve got the recessive genes.)

What I like most about the song is the message.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

One day, I want to write a new story based on this song.