Why I speak in English on social media while being French

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Dear readers,

I never thought I’ll have to explain myself about it, but I think it is important for me to do it today.

If you don’t know, I am French. Yet, I speak in English on every social media I have and read English books in English. At first, it was the French community who was judging me: Are you doing this to attract more people on your accounts? Are you doing this for fame? Are you ashamed of being French? Do you think it makes you look cool? Why don’t you translate your English captions in French as well? Etc.

Those questions came back all the time. I once did a livestream and some French people came to ask me why I was still talking in English. As I am trying to spread positivity and kindness, and as I knew they weren’t trying to be mean or anything, I answered calmly and in a nice way.

However, I am starting to get comments from the English speaking community. Not much, but still. It started with a comment on my last YouTube video, saying that I must be brave to speak in a language I don’t know and that no French books could ever be a best-seller in the rest of the world. Then I received a comment on a blog post, telling me that my grammar was awful for someone who claims to be fluent. It didn’t hurt me but receiving more and more comments like this are really starting to get to me, no matter how hard I am trying to stay nice and calm on social media.

I never thought I’ll have to explain myself because I believe that we are allowed to do whatever we want on social media, as long as we are staying respectful. Me speaking in English shouldn’t bother people: If whenever I say something in English it hurts someone physically, sure I’ll stop. But it doesn’t, so I don’t see how anyone should have to say something about it. It doesn’t change anyone’s life, it doesn’t hurt anyone – the only thing it does is that it makes me happy and makes me feel more comfortable, confident. Anyway, I will still explain today why I am speaking in English and not in French, and also why I read English books in English, since many people asked me that as well.

WHY I SPEAK IN ENGLISH

You have to know something about me: Ever since I was 3, ever since I had my very first English lesson, I loved the language. It felt natural, easy. I actually understood it and it attracted me. I loved the sound of it, the words, the way people spoke. And as I grew up, as I started to learn more and more about it, I knew this language was made for me.

French school is amazing but the English lessons I had weren’t the best, so I decided to learn more by myself. I started by listening to the BBC radio every morning before leaving for school and by watching English tv shows with French subtitles and English youtubers. Then, of course, I started to read in English and to watch the same tv shows but with English subtitles. At some point, all I was doing in my life was listening to the English language. But, still, it wasn’t enough.

I knew that to really learn a language, I had to speak it. But how could I ever practice it in France? That’s why I started to speak in English on my Twitter account, because I knew English speaking people were there and could help me. At first, it was only a few tweets, but after I joined the bookstagram community, I decided to only speak in English. The Internet became a way for me to learn, to talk to people from all around the world.

Here is another thing you have to know about me: I started watching booktube videos when I was 15 and I only watched English speaking booktubers. So when I created my bookstagram account, I only knew the English words that are used by the bookish community, such as “TBR”, “wrap-up”, etc. I never was interested in watching French booktubers and never talked to French bookworms, so I knew nothing about the words used in France for it. It made sense for me to speak in the language I knew about, also because I was mostly reading English literature.

I do know now the French words for “TBR”, etc. but they don’t make sense to me. I find them weird and it somehow annoys me. It’s not because I’m feeling superior – it’s just because I grew up listening to the English words and those were the “right” ones in my mind (not that the French ones are wrong, they just don’t make sense to me as I grew up as a reader with other words and didn’t know about the French ones until very late). I am 22 today and I have been watching English booktube videos every morning and every night for 7 years. It grows on you, and I can’t change that. It’s part of my routine (it’s really all I do) and of who I am.

But it isn’t the only reasons. As I said, the English language makes me feel confident and most of all, comfortable. Ever since I was 3, I knew it was the language I was meant to speak. I remember growing up and speaking in English in class and telling some words I never thought I knew. I just knew them because the language felt natural, easy. Even though I love the French language with all my heart, the English one alwas talked to me. It’s in the English language that I feel comfortable enough to share my feelings, to talk about important subjects. It may makes zero sense to you, but it is what is happening to me. For instance, I barely ever say the words “I love you” in French but can say “I love you” in English all the time. How many times have I had to talk to my best friend in English to tell her what was wrong only because I couldn’t get the French words out of my mouth? And if you ever see me talking in French on a video, or in a blog post, you’ll see how weird I’ll look, how shy I am and how uncomfortable I can be.

It’s as if the English language was close to me, but still distant, which allows me to share more things about it because I can be someone else.

Finally, as I adore the English language, I have always wanted to live in an English speaking country. You have to see me in the UK, how comfortable I feel and how different I look. I am happy there, I am myself, and that’s what I want to feel for the rest of my life. But for that I have to know the language, and that’s why I am practicing by talking in English all the time. So yes, I do make mistakes. I see them myself, and sometimes I don’t. How many times have I wanted to scream at myself while editing a video because I heard myself make a big mistake but couldn’t do anything about it? It happens, it’s life. It’s what you do when you are learning: You make mistakes and you grow from them. I have spent months saying “serie” instead of “series” – I didn’t know, but now I do. And yes, my blog posts have mistakes too, but to be fair I would make mistakes in French too because I barely correct myself after writing. We always make mistakes and that’s okay – it shouldn’t prevent people from speaking another language. They aren’t hurting anyone, I am not hurting anyone. I am just doing it so I can feel myself and so I can grow, learn. And anyway, I shouldn’t have a reason: We all can do whatever we want and if I wanted to speak Spanish tomorrow, I should be able to do it without someone coming at me for it.

So here is why I am speaking in English on social media, even right now:

  • Because the English language feels natural to me and allows me to open myself;
  • Because I grew up listening to English speaking booktubers and it grew on me;
  • Because I mostly read English literature;
  • Because I want to learn and to practice to be able to become, one day, fluent.

I will, however, start working with an English speaking person for my blog who will correct what I write and explain to me what I did wrong. This way I’ll be able to learn even more and to present you something that is written correctly.

WHY I READ ENGLISH BOOKS IN ENGLISH

Honestly, it is very simple: I don’t see why I should read a translation, which costs me almost twice the price of a paperback copy, when I understand the English language and could read the real words chosen by the author.

But yes, I do mostly read English literature. I have to say that I do not like French YA books, maybe I haven’t found the right one but I can’t seem to like it. However, I do love some French adult books, such as thriller or historical fiction, and adore French classics. That is why I am trying this year to get back to French classics because no, I am not ashamed of my culture and yes, I do love the French language.

(And yes, I do love and respect French publishing houses. Honestly, I don’t even understand why I wouldn’t as I work in one.)

ABOUT KINDNESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I have been thinking about the right way to finish this blog post and the only idea that came to my mind was to talk about criticism we receive online.

I am more than okay with people correcting my mistakes. Honestly, please, do it. I am here to learn and I won’t take it badly if you do it with respect. However, I do not understand the point of reading my longest article only to leave me a comment about my grammar, telling me that it’s awful and that I still claim to be fluent.

Here is the thing: If your comment doesn’t add anything positive to the world, please keep it to yourself. You can not love me nor my work, it’s totally fine – but please, realise that words have a power and that they can hurt. You do not have to come at me for telling me this – you are wasting both your time and mine. I believe it is useless to read something you don’t like, or by someone you don’t like, just to be mean in the end (uselessly mean).

I don’t know why but I have been having quite a few “haters” those past few months. Whether it was to insult me, to tell me to lose weight or to steal my identity and pictures, I had to deal with all of this. So of course this comment didn’t really bother me. I have been told worse and I learnt that what people say about me say more about themselves that it does about myself. I am sorry to see that some people are using their own insecurities on others, maybe to feel better or else. Whatever it is, I truly hope that all those people will soon find the peace they are looking for and will learn to love themselves as well to respect others.

However, I won’t stay silent. I will talk about this hate I can receive, but always in a respectful way. I always protected those people by never sharing either their names or usernames. I never insulted them or have been saying mean things about them. I never judged them as a human being. But I am allowed to be mad, to respond to those comments, no matter how insignificant they are and even though I shouldn’t lose my own time on this.

So here is what I am trying to say: If you do not like what people are sharing on the Internet, or if you just don’t like the person, unfollow them and forget about it. As long as they aren’t doing or saying anything hurtful, there is no need to be mean to them. You are hurting yourself by following them, really. It’ll only make you mad and that is how you will come to post hurtful things on the Internet. You are free to follow whoever you want, to control what you want to see on social media – so do it the right way. And before leaving a criticism, please ask yourself if this is helpful in any way.

To end this blog post, I would like to share a quote from Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, a book I may haven’t loved, but those words have been staying with me ever since I read it:

“Every time you post something online, you have a choice.
You can either make it something that adds to the happiness levels in the world—or you can make it something that takes away.

I tried to add something by starting Girl Online.

And for a while, it really seemed to be working.

So, next time you go to post a comment or an update or share a link, ask yourself: is this going to add to the happiness in the world?

And if the answer is no, then please delete.

There is enough sadness in the world already. You don’t need to add to it.” 


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. People have been asking me to talk about how to read in another language and where to start, how to learn another language even, and that is something I am planning to do.

Love always,

Clara

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An open letter to 2017

Dear 2017,

I am writing to you because, on this day, I am crying for the very first time of 2018. I have been feeling happy for two weeks and now, all I can feel is emptiness and tiredness. Maybe it’s because I am not feeling well that I can write this letter, or maybe it’s simply because tonight I am inspired – anyway, I needed to go back to my year and see what truly happened.

You started great. I was in Dublin with my best friend and two other friends. I came back home on the 1st of January after a very tiring flight but I was happy. For the first time, someone also told me they liked me. And a boy hit on me in the streets, in Dublin. I felt… desirable. And it had never happened to me. I never had a boyfriend, never even really had boy friends, and now people seemed to look at me.

And so, I had a crush. I don’t know when exactly but he liked Star Wars and Community and Marvel and pretty much everything like me. He asked me if I would like to re-watch the last Star Wars movie with him, Rogue One, and I fell for him. Not right in love, but something close. I remember calling my best friend and telling her about my day and very random details such as “He asked me if I wanted to go to Starbucks first and I liked him even more because of it” or “I loved the comments he made about Star Wars while watching the movie”. Starting from this day, this crush was all I thought about.

But life wasn’t only about boys and relationships. I had to go back to university, to my new studies and to my job. I had to work on my Instagram account which I just created. I had to start writing this novel I kept talking about since I was a child. But life somehow became oppressing and made me feel weird. I didn’t realise it right away but I still remember starting to feel a bit more down everyday. It started as nothing until it finally became something.

As I was starting to feel bad once again, my life changed once and for all. Never in a year so many things happened to me. I met new people, such as Lucie and Morgane who are now two of my best friends. My Instagram account grew… big, and with it came opportunities. Publishing houses were talking to me, even my favourite one. And if you don’t know, I even started working for Oftomes by handling their Twitter account. Things were looking great from the outside and I had every reasons to be happy. Except I wasn’t.

I remember trying to be, though. I remember going out, a lot. 2017, you have been the year I drank the most. I drank to feel happy, loved and welcomed. I drank almost every weekend and started to feel what is was to be drunk. And then one day, I threw up. And another one, I got a real hangover. But it didn’t stop me because I somehow needed to feel this happy, even if it wouldn’t last.

And so I did try to be happy. Next to drinking, I actually went to the movies a lot, went back to concerts. The funny thing, or not, is that going to concerts used to make me the happiest but ever since the terrorist attack that happened in Paris, it started to make me very anxious. I knew people who were there and everytime that I go to a concert now, I have to stay close to the exit and I keep thinking about it. But anyway, I did go to some concerts and I discovered new songs and I read a lot and I felt pretty someday and I saw my friends and I travelled and I went to museums and I met my favourite author and I bought my ticket for Hamilton and I went to Disneyland and all. But apparently, it wasn’t enough.

I remember perfectly the day I understood that my cyclothymia was messing with me for real once again. It was this summer, as the boy I liked, and who said he liked me as well, told me he actually had a crush on one of my best friend that I, as an idiot, introduced him to. For some reasons, my best friend was with me at this moment and I got to cry in her arms and stayed there until I fell asleep. I blocked him, told him to leave me alone and spent the night watching this special video of Tom Holland which make me always feel better. Although this time it didn’t work.

I was leaving for London the day after that and didn’t have time to feel sad. Lucie and my best friend were with me, I was going to meet my favourite author, I was going to finally visit the city that I always dreamed about. But my anxiety came in to play and made me feel terrible for most of the time. Many things happened during this trip and I was left sad, empty and tired.

Ever since this day, I knew I felt depressed once again. I knew I was back at it, no matter how hard I tried to survive ever since my last suicie attempt. And if you want to know the truth, 2017, you have been the year I started cutting myself once again. You have been the year I have been thinking about death and quiet, and it freaked me out.

Because of that, I decided to say the truth to someone. And that someone was my diabetologist. I sobbed in her office the minute she asked me, naively, “How are you today?”. We talked and we wrote a letter for me to see a psychiatrist once again who is specialised with my mental illness and food disorder. I was glad I called for help, but I was still feeling poorly.

And so I survived. I waited for 2018 to come, for me to leave this year which tried to break me, to kill me even. And it’s funny because most people don’t know about it. I became an expert in making people believe that I am actually happy because sometimes, I am. Sometimes I laugh and smile and actually feel lucky to be alive. And so I show this because I want to be known as the girl who smiles, the girl who makes people laugh and feel better about themselves when in reality, I wasn’t her and I was mean to myself and sometimes to others.

A famous quote have helped me to wait for 2018, which is: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you’ll never make it through the night.” Those words pushed me to do better, to be better. And one day, I realised that despite everything, I loved myself. No matter how hard I was, I loved myself.

2018 came after that, starting with the worst hangover of my life but mostly with happiness and love. We are only the 13th but I have already done so much. I came back on Youtube, started writing again, went to London to see Hamilton and to go back to the HP studios, saw my friends, saw a few movies. It is going to be a good year, but I also know that I am waiting for this psychiatrist to answer me and that I am still feeling bad.

Despite everything, 2017, you taught me something. You taught me that I was strong, loved and beautiful. You taught me that my mental illness wasn’t who I truly am, even though it is a part of me. That I am my own person and that I can make it. You taught me that yes, I am sad, but I am actually going to make it.

Tonight, I am crying and feeling terrible. But I also know, for the first time, that it is okay. That I am allowed to cry and to be sad. I should let myself heal but mostly feel. And I guess this is why I am writing this down.

The truth behind 2017 is that I have been feeling depressed and have thought about leaving for good. But the truth behind 2018 is that we are only two weeks in and I never wanted to live more. I want to be able to feel sad without worring too much. I want to be happy and laugh but also cry and be angry and jealous and mean and nice and caring and dangerous and adventurous and more. I want to live and I want to let my emotions speak, I want to hear them and let them out for real.

So indeed, hope is like the sun. And I’ll never stop holding to it once it’s dark outside, for 2018 will be the year the day’ll come back.

Read with me for 24 hours!

Dear readers,

As I was watching booktube videos last night, I realised how much I wanted to start my own 24 hours readathon. It is something that I have already done once and absolutely loved it, and I want to give it a try once again. Since I am staying at home this weekend, I thought it would the perfect occasion to do one.

So let me introduce you to the Readathon of Notre-Dame!

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What is a 24 hours readathon?

A readathon is a time during which you have to read the most you can. When it is set for 24 hours, it means that you have to read the entire day. Of course, you can still sleep, eat and do anything else you want to. I will personally sleep during it. The only goal is to read the most.

When will it take place?

This readathon will take place on Saturday the 25th of November. It will start at 12 AM and will finish at 12 AM on the next day. You can start whenever it’s midnight where you live!

What do I have to read?

During this marathon, you can read anything: comics, graphic novels, non-fiction etc. You can read several short books or a big one. You can read 100 pages like you can read 2000 pages. As long as you pick up a book this day, you succeed!

Where can I talk about it?

Anywhere! I will probably do a blog post once I’ll be done with it about my experience but am also considering vlogging the whole thing to put it on YouTube. Of course, you’ll know everything about my reading on my Instagram stories and even Twitter. So feel free to talk about the readathon wherever you like and to even film yourself!

If you want me to create a hashtag for it, tell me! That way we will find everyone posts under it.

Is it all?

If many people are following me on this, I would like to introduce some games in it. For example, based on BookTube-A-Thon, I can announce a sprint during which we’ll have to read the most we can in a short period of time.


Now that you know everything about it, you can join us and have fun during those 24 hours of reading! Be sure to tell me if you are participating and on which social media you will share your experience!

Are you in?

Love always,

Clara

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Those three men who changed my life

Dear readers,

Over the years, I came to love and admire many people, either they were fictional or not. Some stayed with me, like Emma Watson who has been my role model since I was 5, and others simply disappeared. They have all been useful at a certain point of my life, like Kellan Kyle or Harry Styles, but the love I had for them wasn’t strong enough for me to keep admiring them as I used to do.

However, three men clearly stole my heart those past few years and made me a better person. I decided to talk about them today as I needed to express my love somewhere. I’ll talk about women later on the blog, as I wanted to focus on those three people who really changed me over the months.


Lin-Manuel Miranda

There was no way I could start this post without talking about Lin-Manuel Miranda and anyone who knows me just a little knew that I had to include him.

For those who don’t know who he is: Lin-Manuel Mirana is an American composer, lyricist, playwright, and actor best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. He co-wrote the songs for Disney’s Moana soundtrack (2016) and is set to star in their upcoming film Mary Poppins Returns. Miranda’s awards include a Pulitzer Prize, two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and three Tony Awards. (Wikipedia)

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I came accross him at the very beggining of 2016 when I heard about Hamilton, an American Musical for the first time. It took me a second before I fell in love with him when I heard his voice in Alexander Hamilton. I didn’t know what he looked like, who he was, but my heart stopped nevertheless.

Of course, soon after that I did some research and everything I started to learn about him made me love him and admire him more and more. Lin is a genius who seems to be able to do anything. Time passed and I never stopped looking out for him.

He came into my life when I needed someone to tell me to rise up, to not throw away my shot, and for that I will always be grateful. Ever since I started to listen to his work my life completly changed: I was listening to Hamilton before going to my interview for my new school and for my job in a publishing house. I got them both and I like to believe that it was his words that inspired me to do it, even though I was terrified and close to give up.

Julian Blackthorn

I believe that everyone who follows me on social media saw that one coming. How could I write about men without even mentioning the one who made me feel better through 2017?

For those who don’t know who he is: Julian “Jules” Blackthorn is a Shadowhunter who has lived his entire life at the Los Angeles Institute. He lives there alongside his siblings and Emma Carstairs, his best friend and parabatai. (Shadowhunters Wiki) He belongs to the world created by Cassandra Clare.

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I met Julian Blackthorn in 2016 while reading the Mortal Instruments series but really got to know him when I finally read Lady Midnight (the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy) in January 2017. Little did I knew that he would crush every other book boyfriends I ever had and even my expectations in men (I wish I could say I’m exaggerating, but I really am not).

Julian is calm, loyal to his family and friends, and knows when to be funny or serious. We share a lot of things, like being Slytherin, but the thing that really got me to love him that much was how Cassandra Clare described his point of view on relationships and attraction. Based on that, a lot of people understood that he was demisexual, which I also am. Being demisexual basically means that we “do not experience sexual attraction unless we form a strong emotional connection with someone” (see full description).

Seeing myself in someone else in literature made me feel good, as my sexuality troubles me a lot. It is not easy to see yourself not being attracted to anyone as you grow up, but Julian gave me hope and made me see clearer. He helped me accepting and loving myself, and I will always owe him this.

Tom Holland

Honestly, this blog post is going to seem very predictable for anyone who knows me a little.

For those who don’t know who he is: Tom Holland  is an English actor and dancer. He is best known for starring as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in the superhero films Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). (Wikipedia)

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I first heard about Tom Holland when he got casted as Spider-Man. As I didn’t see the movie Captain America: Civil War yet, I didn’t know much about him. (It’s my biggest shame as a Marvel lover. I really don’t know why I still haven’t seen it.) That is why it all really started when I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming for the first time. (To this day, I have watched the movie 7th times and will probably never stop.)

I wish I could explain what pushed me to love him, to admire him. Maybe it was his voice or his smile or his hair or the way he laughed. Maybe it was because he can dance and knows ballet and also used to sing in a musical at West End. Or maybe it was because he’s so close to his brothers or because he has a dog named Tessa. Honestly, I have no idea, but the fact is that he somehow became a huge part of my life.

As I suffer from anxiety, I discovered that watching a compilation of him dancing made me relax when I felt a panic attack coming. I then found myself watching videos of him more every day, until it became a daily ritual. Something about him made me feel better about myself, made me simply feel good. He inspires me to get better whenever I feel down and that isn’t something that a lot of people can do.


I can’t express how grateful I am to have those three men in my life. They each give me something special every day and they always make me feel better.

I must say that I have a weird relationship with celebrities, as I don’t feel as if I could love them since I don’t know them, but Lin and Tom made me feel different. As for Julian, it has somehow always been him.

Who changed your life in the best way?

Love always,

Clara

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Bookstagram, part I: Creating your account

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Dear readers,

You may not know but I have been on Instagram for a year now and my account has been growing really fast without me realising what was happening or how I got so lucky. Over the months, many people asked for my advice and even though I gave some, I felt silly because I had so much to say and never really had the occasion to develop my thoughts.

This is why I am bringing you today the Bookstagram Guide which will be devided in three parts: the first part will explain you how to start, the second one will focus on the editing part and the third one on how to progress through the months. I know those kind of posts have been done a lot so I’ll try to say new things and talk about my story as well. In no way I am assuming that I know everything about bookstagram – this is only to help, as those blog posts have been helpful to me when I began to be sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.


HOW TO START
  • Find a name

Now that you decided that you wanted to join the bookstagram community, you need a username. This step may seems easy but is actually really important. It should reflect your account, your personality and actually be striking. It can be the first thing people will see about your account, so choose carefully. Many people told me they started following me because of my username, and I do give a lot of thoughts before following soemone: Seeing an account being called “b00ks4lif3” won’t make me want to click on it.

Many guides tell you not to choose a too long username and it’s true that short ones are somehow better but mine is long and it never bugged me. The only advice that is worth taking is that your username should be related to literature: it can be a reference to a quote, to a character, to a book or just be related to the act of reading, the pages, the book itself etc: That way people will know your account is a bookstagram without having to click on your profile to check.

  • Decide if you want to stick to a theme or not

Now that you have your username, you have to decide what you want your account to look like. All my social medias look alike: they’re all white and apparently minimalist. My bookstagram also follows those rules and I work hard to maintain a feed.

What is a theme or a feed: it's the aesthetic of your account. Having a feed means that all your pictures look great together - they do not have to look alike but they respond to each others because of the colours you use.

It’s okay if you don’t want to start a theme because I know they are hard to stick to but I won’t lie: it’s better if you do. Most people I follow have one. I started to follow them because when I went on their accounts the whole thing looked professional and thought.

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my instagram feed – @thebookwormofnotredame

I will talk more about editing and maintaining a feed on the second part of this guide.

  • Post on a schedule

A lot of people believe that posting once a week should be enough, but it’s not. You have to be constant in your posts and to give people something new at least every two days. When I started my account, I used to post twice a day and it worked. More people were joining every day. When I started to have a lot of followers, I decided to lower it to one post per day. Now, I post every day except on the weekend.

Many accounts still post twice or more, but you must be careful: do not over post (it can be frustrating for others and many won’t see them) and make sure you have enough pictures to do so. I highly recommend posted once to twice a day – it is enough and will make people want to see more of your work.

  • Talk to people and make friends

Now here is the most important tip I can give you. I started following many people because we started being friends, and not for their pictures. Plus, talking to people will make others commenting on your posts and talking about your account. So do not be shy: comment under others pictures, answer to stories, tell people you love their work.

I know how hard this can be but I can assure you that 95% of people on bookstagram are nice and welcoming. I suffer from anxiety but never felt unwanted there. Also, be sure to use the stories and to share about what you are reading, your life or anything on there. This is super useful to create a link between you and your followers.

SOME MORE TIPS
  • Do not be obsessed with followers, likes etc

I can see you rolling your eyes and saying, “Easy to say that when you have 13k followers”. But you know what? I also had 0 followers one day and I saw it growing. I was always thankful but never really cared about it – as I said, it came by surprise. All I know is that focusing on this will make you unhappy but I also know that it’s not that easy, that we all look to those numbers at the top of our accounts.

The thing is that we can decide how it affects us. It may take time for you to start seeing it in another way but you will eventually. I can assure you that your followers number does not define you nor your work – many of my favourite accounts don’t have much.

I also know that sometimes it doesn’t work. You may take beautiful pictures but you feel as if your work isn’t acknowledged enough and it’s okay. Your feelings are valid and you shouldn’t feel bad for being that way. So talk about it to your friends, you can even talk to me about it and we’ll find a solution.

The third part of this guide is dedicated on how to make people see your work.

  • Look for inspiration 

Pinterest will become your bestfriend in no time. If you are looking for inspiration, just log in and search for bookish pictures or else. I can assure you that it will come back. You can also scroll your Instagram feed until you have ideas again.

Sans titre 4

But be careful: do not copy others pictures. You can be inspired by them but not do the exact same thing. If you feel as if your picture looks too much like another one, send it to the person and ask if it’s okay. Do not forget to credit them even if they say that it is.

  • Schedule your photoshoots

How many times have I seen people saying they didn’t have enough pictures? The only advice I have is to schedule your photoshoots and to stick to it. Do as many pictures as you need/can. Sometimes it won’t work, that’s for sure, but you still have to try. Try new things, new places, new angles, new props, but always plan most of your photoshoots and make the best out of it.

  • Write captions

I beg you: write captions and ask questions. This may seems really stupid and maybe even logical but it’s not for everyone. Many people just put quotes and got surprised when they have no comments. You have to make people wanting to comment under your pictures.

Many people talk about their days (which I used to do as well) and others do like me and use those captions as mini blog posts. I love to open a debate, so that people can answer and talk in the comments. I always talk about a bookish subject, then ask a question at the end. I feel close to my followers thanks to it, and it has been working amazing since I started. (I also write all of my captions in advance every Monday morning for the entire week. It can take me an hour or so but it’s worth it. If you want me to talk more about I organised myself, tell me and I’ll write a blog post about it.)

  • Put hashtags

Future bookstagrammers, use all the bookish hashtags. I usually put them at the end of my caption after three dots so it’s seperated from my text, or in a comment.

Here’s those I use daily:

#bookster #bookstagram #booknerd #book #bookphotography #booklover #pages #instabook #reading #lovereading#vsco #vscocam #bibliophile #bookish#bookstagrammer #igreads #bookaholic#reader #booknookstagram

You can also put hashtags for the author’s names, the title of the book etc. Do not be afraid to use them: It’s a great way to make your work visible.

I’ll talk more about it in the third part.

  • No need to have an expensive camera or editing software

Know this: I always used my phone and free applications to take and edit my pictures. I’ll soon have a camera for Christmas but I still got where I am without it. So no pressure: You don’t need anything fancy to start nor to keep running your account.

I’ll talk more about this in the second part.


Now that you know how to start, I can’t wait to see your accounts. Send me your usernames in the comments!

Love always,

Clara

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October wrap-up, favourites and other

Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Dear readers,

October came and went by quickly and slowly at the same time. As it is my favourite month of the year, I was waiting for many things during it. It was my birthday, my best friend’s birthday, Halloween and I had a concert. I felt as if I was constantly waiting for something but at the same time everything happened too fast. However, for once, I made out the best of every day. My birthday was the best one I had so far, even though it had been disappointing for a part, and I had a lot of fun for Halloween.

October was still a hard month for me. My mental health has been at its worse and I kept feeling bad. I didn’t know what to do and let the sadness consumed me without realising it. I also went to the doctor and the whole thing made me feel both good and bad. I am not gonna lie – it was hard. But I made it and I can say that today I am working on getting better.


READING WRAP-UP

Because I felt so bad this month, I feel as if I read nothing. It’s a really strange feeling but I can’t see myself reading during October. I know I did since I remember all the books that I read but I can’t remember exactly when nor where, which is very unusual for me who has a way too big memory. In the end, I read 10 books but do not feel proud of this reading month.

Here’s what I read during October:

  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, 4/5 stars
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, 5/5 stars
  • Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy, 5/5 stars
  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 4/5 stars
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 5/5 stars (reread)
  • Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi, 3.5/ stars
  • Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 4/5 stars
  • Sleepy Hollows and other short stories by Washington Irving, 3/5 stars
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taken by me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

My favourite book of the month, if we forget about all the ones I re-read, is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. He is one of my favourite authors and he do not seems to let me down – every time I read something new by him, I fall in love a little more.

FAVOURITES
  • Stranger Things 2
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me in front of the STRANGER THINGS 2 posters, Saint-Lazare, Paris (2017)

We waited more than a year for this second season, and boy oh boy did they not disappointed us.

I watched the first season when it first came out and fell in love with it – all those retro vibes got me and I watched the whole thing in two days, which does not happen a lot for me. It has been my favourite tv show every since (along with That ’70s Show) but since it had only been one season I was afraid that we will be left out afterwards. Well, I was wrong.

The second season was just as good, maybe even better, and blew my mind. It got me hooked from the very first seconds and though I couldn’t binge watching it this time I still watched every episodes quite quickly. Noah Schnapp completly stole the screen in this season and his performance was incredible and breathtaking. Well, every actor casted was, as usual, incredible. They got me crying at every episode, which is something.

This tv show really is the best and it truly deserves all the hype.

  • Legion

tw// suicide, violence

Another tv show that I watched really quickly and that I started thanks to my very good friend Lucie who has been raving about it for months now! This Marvel tv show is mindblowing and extremely intelligent. I am so sad to see that not so many people are talking about it but it will still get a second season which is exciting!

  • My friends

That may sounds cheesy but I have the best friends in the entire world and they made this month, once again, magical. I do no have much to say but thought it was important for me to include them in my favourites since they are bringing me so much every day, and especially during October when I felt so bad.

I am happy to say that today I am only surrounded by safe, nice, tolerant and understanding people who make me feel love every single day.

  • Autumn

This may seems stupid, but Autumn made me feel extremely good once again. It is my favourite season and it may not be over yet but it is really cold in Paris right now and it feels more like Winter.

So, thank you Autumn for all those leaves on the ground, for those beautiful grey afternoons and all the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. You have been the best – as always.

MY GOALS FOR NOVEMBER
  • Write every day
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taken by me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

That was my goal last month and it still is for this one. With #NaNoWriMo, I have already started writing every day and am very proud of myself. I finished the first part of my novel and writing finally became exciting again. I cannot wait to see how much I will be able to write and if I will succeed in writing 50k words.

  • Start walking every Saturday

I used to do it when I was a little younger but I really need to get back at it. With the cold air, walking around will be a pleasure and will make me feel, hopefully, better about myself.

  • Get healthier

During October, we discovered that I was suffering from an eating disorder which makes me eat a lot without realising it. For this month, I am trying to eat less, at least not between lunches, and to eat better. I am also trying to take stairs instead of elevators. Since I don’t have the time to properly workout, I thought that doing small changes in my life may be easier for me and do the trick.

  • Prepare myself for Christmas

Last year, I totally forgot about Christmas and let it happened way too fast without enjoying it. This year, I intend on making everyday special and Christmass-y. It has always been an important holiday for me and I won’t let it go so quickly again. It is time to listen to Christmas songs all day long again!

  • Get better
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picture of me me for thebookwormofnotredame (Instagram)

The most important one. It is something that I already started and that is already working. I am trying to be more positive, confident, nice – and I do feel better today. Hopefully this will continue until I’m fully happy again.


I will now try to enjoy as much as I can those last two months of the year. This year went too fast but I did so much, grew up a lot and became someone better. I am proud of all I achieved in such a short amount time and will do my best to do even better this November.

I wish you all to have a beautiful month and to keep being your amazing selves.

Love always,

Clara

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The intimidating TBR tag

Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

Dear readers,

I started 2016 with more than 70 books in my TBR pile. That, was intimidating. Realising that having such a huge amount of un-read books was stressing me out and messing up with my anxiety, I decided to start the operation Kill The Beast. And, surprisingly, it worked.

To this day, I only have 20 books on my TBR pile and it hasn’t been really growing much. I now love my small TBR; I have enough books to let me stare at them for hours before deciding which one to read but not enough to drive me nuts.

This is why I wanted today to do a tag about our TBRs and to present you in a not-so-funny way all the books that I have left to read.

(This tag was created by Jean Bookishthoughts but the original creator’s video is now private.)


1. What book have you been unable to finish?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

I started this book with two of my friends before I realised that I wasn’t in the mood at all to read it. Since then, it has been staying on my TBR shelf and is looking at me with big sad eyes… but I still don’t pick it up. His time will come.

2. What book have you yet to read because you just haven’t had the time?

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson.

It’s here, I know it is, I want to read it… but it’s staying on my TBR shelf no matter what.

The Bane Chronicles is the last book I have left to read in the Shadowhunter Chronicles saga and it doesn’t have amazing reviews. So, for now, it is staying un-read, even though I really read pick it up and just be done with it.

3. What book have you yet to read because it’s a sequel?

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab.

I read the first two books of the series way too quickly and fell in love with them way too hard. So here I am today, waiting to pick up the finale book, but unable to do so because I do not want to leave the characters nor the universe. Of course, I know that this series isn’t done- Victoria announced a few months ago that she was working on another series based in this world. Still, I can’t seem to find the courage to read this one.

4. What book have you yet to read because it’s brand new?

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

This book is one of my newest purchase and I just can’t wait to pick it up. The only reason I am not starting it yet is because one of my friends got me the first two books of the Lux series and I don’t know which one to read first: am I in the mood for paranormal fiction or for a cute YA contemporary novel?

5. What book have you yet to read because you read a book by the same author and didn’t enjoy it?

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Winter Romances by Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link , Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White.

I should love this. I mean, I love short stories, Christmas and romance. So why have I never read it? The real question here is: WHY HAVE I BOUGHT IT.

Even though several authors work on this project, it’s Stephanie Perkins who edited it and I do not really like what she writes. Well, let’s say that I really can’t stand what she writes, even though she presented us a sweet picture of Paris and parisians in Anna and the French Kiss.

Will I finally pick it up this Christmas? Only time will tell. After all, it has been on my shelf for two Christimas already…

6. What book have you yet to read because you’re just not in the mood for it?

Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan.

I bought this book during a book fair because the author was there. Rebecca was adorable, funny and we shared a good laugh. However… well, it’s been a year since the book fair and even though I know that it is a well loved book, Reason to Breathe is staying un-read. Oops?

7. What book have you yet to read because it’s humongous?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoï.

This book is almost 1000 pages long but mostly intimates me because two of my best friends absolutely loved it. What will happen if I don’t?

Anyway, it won’t stay un-read for a long time- I am dying to read it.

8. What book have you yet to read because because it was a cover buy that turned out to have poor reviews?

M.O.N.S.T.R.E. by Hervé Jubert.

This book has been auto-published, is written by a French author, actually is a complete collection of the whole series… but I bought it because the cover looked nice. Now, I am stuck with it- it doesn’t have a lot of reviews, it doesn’t seem to be a book I could enjoy, and it will stay on my TBR shelf for awhile, alas.

9. What is the most intimidating book in your TBR pile?

The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I already started this book and finished the first story in it but it still is huge and I won’t be able to read the whole thing at once- this is why this complete collection is intimidating me.


How many books do you have on your TBR pile?

Do you prefer big or small TBRs?

Love always,

Clara

Ps: BAM! you are tagged.

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