5 Mental Health Tips for the Holidays

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. It’s officially December, and we all know what that means; the Christmas season is finally here! And while the spirit of Christmas is in the air as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, many people find themselves more susceptible to stress and even depression during this time of year.

Let’s face it; everyone wants to feel great inside and out throughout the year, but even more so during the Christmas season. And we can all do that; all it needs is a little bit of work and preparation, and we’re all good to go! Today, I will be sharing my top 5 tips for maintaining mental wellness during the holidays. Let’s get started!

Maintain an ‘optimist-realist’ mindset.

The Christmas season is such a beautiful time of year; especially when it is Jesus’s birth that we are celebrating. And I believe that in our hearts, we all want every holiday season to be better than the last. And is it a good thing to maintain that holiday spirt? Absolutely! But we must also be sure to be realistic about our limits and those of the ones that we love as we work to throw huge family gatherings at the end of the year. This year my not be exactly like the last. People and families change. And financial situations and traditions might, as well. But as long as we keep both the optimism and the realism during this time of year, our holiday season will likely be the best one yet.

Exercise daily and maintain a healthy diet.

I know, I know. You’ve probably read this only a thousand times, and would like to do nothing more than to skip to the next heading. But a huge part of the reason why many people feel stressed or depressed around this time of year is because they aren’t putting the work in to keep their body and minds healthy. As little as 30 minutes of exercise a day (even something as simple as yoga, walking, or hiking) as well as incorporating the necessary vitamins and minerals into your diet with fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein can cause a boost in your energy and sanity.

Besides, most of us will enjoy a nice break from our diets on Christmas Day, anyway. Just remember, when we do have a craving for something sweet or savory, what matters most is that we eat everything in moderation. ;))

Plan ahead.

What gets most people into a stressed crunch before Christmas and New Year’s Day arrive is they wait until the last minute to buy gifts, prepare Christmas dinners, and put up festive decorations around their home. But in reality, that can only hype up the stress when Christmas is only one or two weeks away. Do yourself and your family a favor by planning a grocery list, putting up most of your decorations for the year, and buying gifts while sales are still here. If you do, it is sure to help your peace of mind, and your wallet.

Volunteer.

One of the best parts of Christmas is that it gives us all another opportunity to look out for one another–meaning ourselves, our families, and those in our communities. God loves a cheerful giver, and if you have the means to give, a great thing to do would be to donate your time and/or money towards an organization that you support. Most of us are blessed by God to be able to afford a fairytale Christmas (or as close to it as we can get.) But everyone doesn’t have that luxury. And it’s important in both God’s will and the spirit of Christmas that we give back to the people and communities that have given to us.

Create a personal budget.

Budgets. Are they most people’s favorite word? Probably not. But are they a weight off of our shoulders during the Christmas season? You bet! This tip kind of goes hand in hand with #1, just because creating a budget requires us to tap into that ‘optimist-realist’ mindset that we discussed.

Sometimes, as much as we want something (for ourselves and/or those we love) it’s important to be realistic with ourselves in how much we can give. So, whether your budget is 50 or 500 dollars, this holiday season, remember that the true meaning of Christmas has no monetary value. Or in other words, a million gifts cannot replace the love that we share during this time of year.


While we cannot control everything that life brings, we can maintain faith in God’s plan for us and do all the preparations that we can for Christmas Day. And I hope that with these tips, your Christmas season will be the utmost merry and bright! Please comment down below some of your productive tips for maintaining mental wellness during this time of year. I would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll see you next time! Peace in! ♡

Week 4 NaNoWriMo Update + a surprise

Hey, y’all! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Week 4 of NaNoWriMo is officially over (yay!) and that means that tomorrow is the end of National Novel Writing Month of 2022. I’m still trying to process the fact that I will have written 50,000 words in only 30 days…happy is an understatement of how I feel right now!

Here is my Week 4 NaNoWriMo update (plus a really special surprise that I wanted to share with you guys.) Let’s go!

Joys and Trials

This week has been really fun, and I feel even more anxious to get finished with draft 1 of my book. I know you all are probably curious about what today’s SURPRISE is! Drumroll please! 🥁🥁🥁

I have officially started my own writing and bookish YouTube Channel, Write it Right. Considering that NaNoWriMo has got me in the habit of writing daily (and reading and writing books is something I have a true passion for) I thought creating a channel specifically for writing and reading would be a great idea. Here is my latest YouTube video, and I would really appreciate it if you guys would check it out!

Okay, so now that I’ve made that special announcement, let’s talk about Week 4 of my NaNoWriMo. After starting my new channel and resuming school after Fall Break, the ending of this week has been pretty busy. But I’m super happy with my progress; I’m less than 3.5k words away from 50,000 words! That is so insane and exhilarating to think about!

Now that I am even closer to hitting 50k, I am pretty positive that my novel won’t be finished after I reach 50k words, tomorrow. I will likely have 2-3 more chapters plus an epiloge to finish afterwards. But now that I have been writing everyday for nearly a month, I think I’ll just continue that until I finish draft one on my novel. And after a short break, I’ll probably film a video about reading my first draft, so stayed tune for that within the next two to three weeks!

Week 4 Word Count

November 23rd: 1,812 words

November 24th: 1,376 words

November 25th: 1,682 words

November 26th: 1,047 words

November 27th: 2,158 words

November 28th: 1,748 words

Week 4 Word Count: 9,823 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 46,662 words

Week 4 Goals Update

– Write at least 1,667 words every day

On the 24th and 26th, I did not reach this goal. I think that was mostly due to the fact that I’ve been writing late at night, and so I make up the words early in the next morning. However, I’m okay with that because I also had some really good writing days (including two 2k word days!)

– Start chapter 27 of my novel

I’m actually in the middle of chapter 26, right now. But I’m glad about where I am in my story, just because I don’t what to drag out nor rush my plot. Even though this is the first draft, I want to make it as good as possible (for a first draft.)

– Reach 47,000 words

This goal was a little ambitious considering it’s a few hundred over where I needed to be, yesterday. So, while I haven’t done this, as of now, I will be when I write later on tonight! One thing is for sure that my Word Count is definitely moving up the ladder!

Week 4 1/2 Goals (11/29-11/30)

Write at least 1,667 words a day

Finish Chapter 27 of my novel

– Reach 50,000 words

These are three goals that I am ULTRA confident that I can reach by tomorrow! I’m so excited!


So, that was all for my Week 4 NaNoWriMo Update. Hopefully you guys had just as much fun reading this as I had writing it! Please let me know down below in the comments what has been your favorite part of NaNoWriMo, whether it’s from this year or past years? I would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I will catch you later! Peace in!

Thanksgiving Recap | 2022

Hey, everyone! My name is Princess Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, which depending on where you live, may or may not have been yesterday! It recently dawned on me that I hadn’t even posted any Thanksgiving-themed posts on my blog, this year. And since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (after Christmas and my birthday) that’s going to change today.

I decided to write a Thanksgiving recap by listing what I did to spend Thanksgiving of 2022. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Said a Thanksgiving prayer. Like we do every night and everyday before we leave the house, me and Goodmommy said a prayer thanking God for some of the things that we are thankful for during Thanksgiving afternoon. And I just have to say that the weather was absolutely perfect.

2. Celebrated Goodmommy’s birthday. Yes. Yes Goodmommy’s birthday is on Thanksgiving, which is like one of the best birthday’s ever (after Christmas, that is.) The only place we went to yesterday was my family’s house, but the day before I bought her two pairs of tennis shoes along with some Happy Birthday balloons. Goodmommy really appreciated all of her gifts, and I was so grateful to be able to make her b-day the best one yet!

3. Caught up with family. Like every major holiday of the year, I spent Thanksgiving at my great-grandmother’s house. And while I see Bigma all the time, it had been about a year since I’d seen my little cousins. I probably could have taken so many more photos, but being around family makes your devices a lot less important. But honestly, I think that’s just how the day was supposed to go.

4. Eat some soul food (and dessert). While Goodmommy had made some chicken and veggie soup the night before Thanksgiving–which smelled and tasted SO GOOD–I didn’t end up actually eating some until Thanksgiving night. At Bigma’s house, I had a plate of mac and cheese, yellow rice, and a couple of Bigma’s meatballs (which are that one thing that I make sure to have every holiday; they’re the best.) I topped off my meal with a piece of vanilla cake, and I ended up having a second slice about an hour later. There was also some apple pie, but I loved the cake so much that I forgot to have a slice. Although I don’t usually eat that type of food (only on special occasions) I had a great time eating my favorite soul foods.

5. Watched a party game. Some of my family members enjoyed the evening with a game called The Upside Down Challenge. It’s where you have to wear these funny glasses that turn your view upside down (so peoples’ heads are facing downwards) and you have to try to do simple tasks with them on. Some examples were drawing a star or crushing a cup with your foot. As the ambivert I am, I preffered to just sit down and watch. But I enjoyed seeing my family members have a fun time.

6. Recounted my blessings. At the end of the day, Thanksgiving stays true to its name. Yesterday was a time for me to thank God for his sacrifice on the cross, and everything that He has blessed me with. And if you ask me, that was one of the highlights of the entire day.

I hope you all enjoyed seeing how I spent this year’s Thanksgiving, and I pray that you all had one that was just as wonderful! And please don’t forget to begin putting up your Christmas decorations–now that Thanksgiving Day of 2022 is over, the Christmas season has arrived. Please let me know in the comments, what was your favorite part of this Thanksgiving? I would love to hear from you!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I’ll see you next time! Peace in! And don’t forget that truly, everyday is Thanksgiving! ♡

Week 3 NaNoWriMo Update! ♡

Hi, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Week 3 of NaNoWriMo has already flown by, and I am so stoked about all my progress. This update was a pretty long wrap-up of how this week of National Novel Writing Month has went for me, so we’re just going to jump into it!

Joys and Trials

Week 3 was probably the second toughest yet, after Week 1. To be honest, I am having so much fun with seeing where my story is going. I ended up changing a few details than what I had in my original outline of my novel, but I really like how most of them are coming out.

Word Sprints have definitely been my friend for the first portion of this month when it comes to getting my word count where I needed it to be. I’ve found that I can write about 1,200 words an hour with some time in between to stop and think about what I could incorporate next, which is pretty good in my book. That gives me the ability to write 85-120 minutes a day to reach my goal, depending on how much I want to write.

The deeper I dive in to my novel–which is called The KICK Society, by the way–and the more I get to know my beloved characters and the world that I have created, the more I realize that my story may not be complete at 50,000 words. At the very least I think I’ll want to add a short epilogue if the first draft of rest of my story is done, when I reach my goal for November. But considering that I’m writing a middle grade fantasy, there are a lot of components that go into building a world and plot when compared to realistic fiction or nonfiction.

Obviously there are still some aspects of my novel that I have to work out, but I’m honestly just excited to be succeeding at my challenge. After all, the climax of my novel will be Week 4’s thing! Right now, I’m just along for the ride.

Week 3 Word Count

November 15th: 2,009 words

November 16th: 1,577 words

November 17th: 1,998 words

November 18th: 1,720 words

November 19th: 1,715 words

November 20th: 1,533 words

November 21st: 1,348 words

Week 3 Word Count: 11,900 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 34,644 words

Being over 3/5 complete with my word count goal is both relieving and nerve-wracking. The amount of progress that I make each week is just so insane, and every day I feel more motivated to sit down and write! Although I didn’t hit the 35,000 word goal that I could’ve reached by writing 1,667 words a day (because Goodmommy made me spend more time with her for Fall Break) I am making that up today. What I love about National Novel Writing Month is that even if you don’t write the same amount of words everyday, getting to the goal you set for yourself by the end of November and having fun reaching your goal is what matters the most! I’m loving every single second of it!

Week 3 Goals Update

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

Funny enough, I was able to do this every day but the last day of Week 3. And I was only short by 152 words (again, due to Goodmommy.) But, it’s all good. For most of the days I was able to pass 1,500 words, and I consider that a great accomplishment.

– Increase my ‘Best daily word count’ statistic; write over 2,719 words at least one day of the week’

I didn’t do this either, believe it or not. But then again, I did do over 2,000 words on November 15th, so that by itself is a win, for me.

– Reach 37,000 words

This goal was even more than where I really needed to be at this point. Even though I wasn’t able to reach 37,000 words in Week 3, I’m confident that I will get there in the next 1-2 days. And for me, that’s super exciting to think about!

Week 4 Goals (11/22-11/28)

– Write at least 1,667 words every day

– Start chapter 27 of my novel

– Reach 47,000 words

(I just realized that all of my goals have a 7 in them, lol. That’s one of God’s (and my) favorite numbers, so I’m pretty happy with that. Thank you, Lord!)


Week 3 of NaNoWriMo has been such a fun part of this month, and I’m excited to start off Week 4 even stronger. The end of this month is quickly approaching, and I hope that everyone is enjoying the experience! Please tell me, what has been your favorite part of your National Novel Writing Month experience? I would love to hear from you down below, in the comments!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all, and I will catch you later! Peace in! ♡

My Photography Bucket List

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. Most people have a bucket list in one way or another. Okay, so maybe you haven’t spent time writing down a list of insane things that you want to do, but a majority of us have things that we’d like to do and see before we leave this world. And for me, one of those things is take photos; lots of photos!

Today, I will be sharing my photography bucket list, which is exactly what it sounds like; a list of things I’d like to take a photo of before the day I leave this Earth. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Autumn leaves falling from a tree

2. The Eifel Tower

3. Lightning

4. A dolphin jumping out of the water

5. Snow

6. Northern lights

7. A bouquet of flowers

8. A starry night sky

9. A newborn baby

10. An umbrella

11. The Statue of Liberty (Ironically, I have seen this in person, before, but I don’t have any of the photos, so I decided to include it.)

12. Butterfly on a flower

13. A Dog

14. The Golden Gate Bridge

15. Mountains, preferably at a National Park

16. City lights

17. Rippled water

18. A person’s silhouette

19. A cloud shaped like a heart and flower

20. A football game

21. Fireworks

22. A gooey s’more

23. A swing

24. Waves at the beach

25. Double rainbow (God’s promise)

It was such a creative experience to think of some of the awesome photos that I’d like to take in my lifetime. In fact, I might just do an update on this list in 10 years or so to see how much of it I’ve accomplished, by then. Tell me, have YOU already taken any of the photos in my photography bucket list? And if not, are any of the items I’ve listed on your photography bucket list, as well? I would love to read your responses in the comments?

Have an awesome and amazing day, everyone! God bless you all and I will see you next time! Peace in! ~ Q’Zion ♡

Week 2 NaNoWriMo Update!

Hello, everyone! My name is Q’Zion and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! Week 2 of NaNoWriMo has already passed. And I’m sitting at my computer like, “Where did all the time go?” It seriously feels like time is flying by as I inch closer to my goal day by day. And since half of NaNoWriMo of 2022 is already gone, it’s time to review my progress over the second week of my month-long challenge! Let’s dive into it!

Week 2 Word Count

November 8th: 1,837 words

November 9th: 1,469 words

November 10th: 2,719 words

November 11th: 1,779 words

November 12th: 1,463 words

November 13th: 1,330 words

November 14th: 1601 words

Week 2 Word Count: 12,198 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 22,764 words

Wow! Seeing how I’m nearly halfway complete with my 50,000 word-count goal is such a blessing! I just thank God for giving me the willpower to keep writing. Some days are a little tougher than others (particularly those days that I don’t feel like writing) but I’m thankful that I was able to push through and write even more words than I did in week 1! NaNoWriMo Win, here I come!

Week 2 Goals Update

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

In three days of the seven days of Week 2, I was not able to reach this goal. Though I noticed that my word count was super close to 1,500 during every day that I didn’t reach this goal, so I’m happy with what I did!

– Write 3,500 words at least one day

Again, I did not reach this goal in Week 2. However, I was able to do over 2,700 words one day, which still remains my record for my highest daily word count. So, that itself is a huge accomplishment!

Reach 22,000 words

And look at that; I was in fact able to surpass 22,000 words! To be honest, It’s rewarding to see that even if I didn’t reach my other goals for Week 2 like I’d wanted, I was able to surpass my desired word count, in the end.

Week 3 Goals

Write at least 1,500 words every day

Increase my ‘Best daily word count’ statistic; write over 2,719 words at least one day of the week

Reach 37,000 words


I hope you all liked seeing how I did in Week 2 of NaNoWriMo. Although the time has went by quickly, so far, it’s comforting and a blessing to see my hard work paying off; I can’t wait to see my novel flourish even more in the second half of this month! Please comment down below, are YOU participating in NaNoWriMo, this year? If so, what’s your current word count? And if not, have you participated in National Novel Writing Month before?

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I will catch you later! Peace in! ♡

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

Around October 21st, 2022, I made the decision to take on the challenge of NaNoWriMo (writing 50,000 words in 30 days) for the first time ever! It might seem a little reckless, but I was able to do a good amount of planning before November started. And as soon as November 1st arrived, I was off to writing. While I’ve only been participating in NaNoWriMo for 9 days now, I’ve already learned so much about myself as a writer and a person, and it’s insane to see my novel expand day by day!

Today I’ll be sharing three short tips for beginner and veteran NaNoWriMo participants, as well as an update for how I’ve been doing during the first week of the month-long challenge. Let’s get started!

Tip #1: Don’t Stress It!

If there is any advice that I could give to anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo this year, it’s don’t stress too much about trying to hit a certain amount of words everyday. Sometimes you may write 3,000 and that’s great! But on other days, you may only feel like writing about 500 words, and that’s okay, too. In my opinion, the most important part of NaNoWriMo is taking a little time to write every day. And make sure that your minimum word count goal is realistic to the time you can put into your project, this month. For most of us, that’s likely so much more than we write in our average, day to day lives. And if you ask me, that’s a huge win!

Tip #2: Use Word Sprints

One of the writing tools that are provided in the official NaNoWriMo website while your writing is a Word Sprint, which is where you set a time and a word goal that you want to hit within that time. For me, I shoot for about 100 words every 5 minutes; it’s a speed where I’m not trying to write 3,000 words in an hour, but fast enough to get words on the paper without overthinking and/or going back to edit what I’ve already written. Word Sprints are super personalized to a speed that you’re comfortable with, and I think that’s why they’ve become one of my favorite tools to use during NaNoWriMo.

Tip #3: Listen to Relaxing Music

Soft, classical music playing in my headphones has been one of my friends during my NaNoWriMo experience. It makes it a lot easier to tune out the background noise that can be distracting during the writing process, and helps you think about “what’s next’ in your project. So on those days this month when you’re stuck in a bowl of pudding (thanks to lovely writer’s block) you can refer to this playlist that I made on YouTube of instrumental music you can use while writing or reading.

Week 1 Word Count

November 1st: 1,298 words

November 2nd: 507 words

November 3rd: 1,538 words

November 4th: 2,589 words

November 5th: 2,086 words

November 6th: 1,017 words

November 7th: 1,531 words

TOTAL WORD COUNT: 10,566 words

To be honest, I consider this such a huge accomplishment for the first week of this challenge! Although I have been dabbling between about 200-1,000 words behind, there’s still plenty of time in the weekend for me to get some extra words in. And considering that a 3-day weekend is coming up this Friday (due to Labor Day) I think I’ll be getting ahead of the game very soon!

Week 2 Goals

– Write at least 1,500 words every day

– Write 3,500 words at least one day

– Reach 22,000 words


I hope you all enjoyed my Week 1 NaNoWriMo Update. Hopefully the tips and my progress were able to help and/or inspire you for your project! Please comment down below, will YOU be participating in NaNoWriMo, this year?

Have a blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in!

Late Night Ice Cream Fun ♡

Hey, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen! This Sunday, me and Goodmommy had to go out to do some weekly errands. And we were planning on stopping by Goodwill (a thrift-store nonprofit) to look for some new books as a special treat to kick off the new week. It turns out, by the time that we finished everything, it was already five-thirty; thirty minutes before Goodwill closed.

But we made the decision not to go home empty handed. So instead, we decided to stop by our favorite homemade ice cream parlor to get a sweet treat! And while I must say I was a little disappointed not to get any new books today, ice cream more than made up for it (thanks, Goodmommy! ♡)

Lately, me and Goodmommy had been craving one of our favorite desserts–banana pudding. But for months, we’ve refrained from giving in due to our mission on our fitness journeys. But it turns out that today, we needed a sweet, late night snack to celebrate another awesome Sunday.

We both ended up getting two scoops of the banana pudding ice cream (which Goodmommy was highly offended by 😂) but it ended up being absolutely delicious; I especially loved the crushed up Nilla Wafter cookies that were folded in! And it completely knocked the craving for our favorite dessert out of the park. Of course, we ended up having to take a selfie photoshoot with our ice cream. While it may seem like a weekly or everyday thing for most people, for us, getting ice cream is almost like a special occasion.

There’s something about ice cream that makes you want to eat it by the spoonful. In fact, I ended up taking a spoonful (and maybe a little more) of Goodmommy’s ice cream before she could finish. We ended up talking about it all the way home. But, I’ve got to say, I don’t think I regret it lol. That last spoonful did wonders!

I hope you all enjoyed today’s post! Me and Goodmommy had such a great time today, and I hope this post was able to make you laugh and smile just as much as we did!

Please tell me, what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Also, do you eat your ice cream in a cup, or a cone? I would love to read all of your responses down below in the comments!

Have a beautiful and blessed day, y’all! God bless you, and I will catch you later! Peace in! ♡

Monthly Wrap Up | October 2022

Hey, hey, hey, everyone! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen. And no, we are not dreaming; it’s really already November! To be honest, October was like a fun roller coaster ride, for me. It was super fun, but it also went by crazy fast.

Either way, I really enjoyed myself, last month, and I’d like to share some of my experiences with you guys! So without further ado, let’s get into the October ’22 monthly wrap-up!

My Life

  • It’s been a while since I’ve given you all an update on my fitness journey. While I’ve been a little slow lately when it comes to walking outside three days a week, me and Goodmommy have been finding other creative ways to get some exercise. We’ve even been following along to workouts that we find on YouTube. At first, it took some adjusting but now I look forward to adding more variety to my fitness routine!
  • I officially started National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, and so far, I’ve added nearly 2,000 words. I plan to write about 50,000 words by November 30th. Is it a crazy goal? Maybe a little bit. But I’m so stoked about my new story, and I can’t wait to read the finished product.
  • Experimenting with photography is another thing that I’ve been working on. Lately, I’ve been working with capturing different angles and objects (such as trees, or the sunset) as well as looking at different perspectives to capture a shot. I think that October might be my best month this year as far as my photography goes, because I took quite a few gorgeous pictures!
This photo is definitely one of my faves :> All Rights Reserved.

Books I Read

While I’ve bought a lot of books, this month flew by so quickly that I wasn’t able to finish any of them. But, there are a few that I started, so I’ll be sharing a brief review of my first impressions of each one. However, you may look at my more in-depth opinion in my last book haul. Let’s go!

  • The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin — Basically, this novel that I found at The Dollar Tree (yes, you heard correctly) is intriguing and confusing at the same time. It’s about a small school that consists of grades 1-8. It takes place in a class of 11 students–also known as the entire 7th grade–who idolized their classmate Paulie Fink. It’s kind of at a stand-still right now. Like, I know what’s happening but I don’t know what’s happening. Either way, it seems like a pretty fun book, so I’ll likely get back into it when I’m not so busy.
  • Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Book I by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger — honestly, Goodmommy was the one who ended up picking out this book for me. I really love the originality that it includes with a variety of true stories, poems, and other types of creative writing by teenagers and adults about their teenage years. There’s so many lessons in this book that I think that any teenager could learn/benefit from!
  • Savvy by Ingrid Law — to be honest, I couldn’t have read much more than 20 pages of this one (if that many) but it’s probably because beginning took a long time to get off the ground. Everything was so slow paced that it kind of lost my interest quickly, which was suprising because its one of my new books that I was the most excited about. But considering that it’s just the beginning of the book, I’ll get back into it eventually to see if things get more exciting.
  • Better with Butter by Victoria Piontek — Out of all the books that I’ve read this month, this one has got to be the cutest! In a nutshell, it’s about a shy girl with anxiety who gains confidence when she saves a baby goat named Butter. So far, the beginning of this novel has been pretty promising, and I’m super excited to see where this story goes next!
All Rights Reserved.

Series I Watched

  • One of my favorite series ever is The Mysterious Benedict Society, which is an exclusive series on Disney+. It’s about a group of smart, yet neglected kids who make a band of do-gooders to save their city from a conundrum called the Emergency. To me, this series is the perfect mix between adventure, mystery, fantasy, and the wholesome friendships that dominate a film. And what’s even cooler is that they just released season 2!
  • It’s been a long time since I’ve binged-watched this series, but I recently took a dive back into That’s So Raven. I think most teenagers and young adults can agree that it’s probably one of the most nostalgic sitcoms of the 20th century. While Raven’s Home is a decent sequel, I don’t think it compares to the original.
  • I have a lot of Disney Channel shows that I really love, but one of my ultimate favorites is Good Luck Charlie, just because it’s such a wholesome and quirky show. No matter how much I see the episodes, they never fail to make me laugh 100 times over.
  • Occasionally, I also tend to watch the show Walk the Prank. In about the 3rd or 4th grade, I used to watch this show almost every day after school. And while I don’t watch it all that much now, it’s really nice to look back at it when I need a little laugh. There’s something about childhood shows that’s just so comforting.
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My Favorite Posts of the Month

I wrote and published a total of 13 posts, this month! Hooray! I’m honestly not mad at the number, because I think every single post I made was super good, and that’s what matters most as a writer! While I loved all the posts that I published in October of 22′, there were a few that stood out to me:


And that was the monthly wrap-up of October of 2022! Hopefully, you all enjoyed seeing the highlights of last month for me. Please comment down below, which post of mine last month did you enjoy the most? Also, what was YOUR favorite part of last month?

Have a beautiful and blessed day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you later! Peace in! ♡

How I’m Preparing for NaNoWriMo [Preptober]

What’s up, everybody! My name is Q’Zion, and welcome to The Joys and Trials of a Christian Teen!

If you haven’t already heard, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo fo short) starts on November 1st … and that means that it’s time to write a novel! In case you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, here is the official website’s description of their Young Writers’ Program;

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, empowering approach to creative writing. The challenge: draft an entire novel in just one month. For 30 wild, exciting, surprising days, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create!

Our Young Writers Program supports under-18 writers and K-12 educators as they participate in our flagship event each November, and take part in smaller writing challenges year-round.

ywp.nanowrimo.org

In other words, NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge–both for adults and kids/teens in the Young Writers Program–to reach a personalized word goal by writing every day until November 30th! No editing or revising; just writing.

I’ve “participated” in this challenge for the last couple years, but I’ve never actually gotten my project off of the ground. However, this year I’m planning on writing a 50,000 word novel, starting on Tuesday! Ambitious, right? But don’t be fooled; I didn’t decide to do this challenge unprepared. Today, I’ll be discussing some of the ways that I’ve been preparing for National Novel Writing Month! Let’s get started!

Established my goals for the challenge

For me, NaNoWriMo is an opportunity for me to write everyday, quit worrying about making my writing perfect, have fun, and produce a novel in the process. Although my blog has significantly increased the amount that I write, NaNoWriMo will push that to the next level, and I think that my word goal will really challenge me to increase my writing skills and hold back on my perfectionist ways. The challenge is really all about having a good time doing what I love to do; write. So that’s something I plan to keep in mind throughout the entire process.

Made a schedule (sort of)

Okay, so I haven’t made a schedule where I’ve figured out the exact dates and times that I will be working on my novel; after all, every day is different. But I do know that in order to reach my word count goal by the end of November, I’m going to need to write 1667 words every day. That means that even if I can’t write that many words on a day that I’m busy, I could make up for it on a weekend or on a day when I don’t have much on my schedule. Having an idea of how much you need to write to reach your goal–in baby steps–is super helpful to break down the task in front of you without it being too intimidating.

Gotten to know my characters

In the novel that I am almost done with drafting, I pretty much dove into the writing process with the idea and built on that from there. And while that was fun to try, that project has been at a stand-still for a while, now. Since writer’s block is not really an option when you have 30 days to write a novel, I did a little (no a LOT) more planning this time around. For each of my characters I filled out a questionare on who they are, what they like to do, where they live, their personalities, etc., and I think that really payed off. Now, I can picture how each of the characters look in my head, and I have a better perspective on who they are as individuals. And considering that characters are one of the most important parts of a story, that will be super helpful for me, later on.

Established my setting

Usually, settings aren’t something I do a whole lot of thinking about when I get an idea for a story. Like with my characters, I kind of go where the plot wants me to go. But this time, my novel takes place in a magical kingdom split into 4 (meaning there are four pairs of a king and queen.) Each kingdom has their own customs, geography, and citizens with their own personalities and behaviors. Therefore, establishing my complex setting for this story was a crucial part of making my novel’s first draft as well-executed as possible.

Prepared small rewards with my family

Right after I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I made sure I discussed it with Goodmommy. She was so supportive that she even purposed that every time I write 5,000 words toward my goal, she’ll give me 5 bucks! And every 25,000 words, we’ll go out for ice cream! Awesome, right?!? To be honest, I think getting family support and small rewards to look forward to will make NaNoWriMo so much more fun!

Outlined my plot

Finally, I outlined all of the major events of my plot. At first, I wasn’t planning on doing this AT ALL. But I’ve had a pint full of motivation lately, thank God, so I ended up going for it. Now that my plot outline is complete, it will most likely save me from running into writer’s block halfway through November. And as a writer, that’s almost always something to celebrate.


By now, I’m quite sure you guys can already tell, but I’m super stoked to get involved in the hype of NaNoWriMo. Although I realize 50,000 words is a pretty steep goal for my first time doing this challenge, I’m more than confident that I can reach it! Please tell me down below, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, what are some things you’re doing to prepare? And if not, have you ever heard of National Novel Writing Month?

Have a happy and healthy rest of your day, everyone! God bless you all and I’ll catch you next time! Peace in! ♡