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The Best Habits for New Novelists

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There has always been one thing standing in the way of every person that wants to be a novelist: writing the damn novel. Any aspiring writer will tell you that they have endless false starts and half written novels clogging up their laptop. Scribbled notes in copybooks, ideas in their head they haven’t mustered the spirit to put on paper – often times the hardest part about being a writer is the writing. Writers can develop a complex after so many failed attempts. They start to think that they just don’t have what it takes. In reality, they just haven’t given themselves the best chance to succeed. Here are the best habits for all those chasing the two most elusive words in the English language: ‘The End.’

1. Write

Writing every day is a discipline that many people don’t have. It can be difficult to find the inspiration to get behind a keyboard. When you do bring yourself to write, you can struggle with finding a rhythm. Your sentence structure is clunky. You find yourself rewriting the same sentence over and over again. The best way to rid yourself of this is by writing every day. Even if you can only manage to write 100 words one day, make the time to do it.

2. Establish a Ritual

To help strengthen your writing habits, it’s a good idea to create a ritual out of it. Choose to write just after breakfast. Get a coffee mug that you only use when you’re working on the novel. Put on a certain music playlist (something without lyrics, preferably). Where do you write? Pick a place, free of distraction to designate your place to get work done. It can be difficult to write in the room where you typically watch TV or eat. Consider a local coffee shop, a place where you will be free of the million other little things you should be doing around the house.

3. Outline Your Novel

Outlining is tricky. Some writers love outlines. Some writers hate them. All writers need them. You don’t need an outline when you first start writing, but once you know where you you’re your story to go, put it down on paper. There are many different ways to outline your story. It is just a matter of finding the best way for you. A great practice is to break up your novel into acts. This way you can outline your story in sections. Mark the beginning of your story on the outline, then mark the end. If your story was a TV show with three seasons, what would happen in the first season finale? Make that the end point of your first act. Create as detailed an outline of your first act as you feel comfortable. Then, revisit the second and third act of your outline once you’ve written all of the first. Keep in mind that just because you put something in the outline, doesn’t mean it’s written in stone. Nearly all novels have diverted from the original outline in one way or another.

4. Get to Know Your Characters

If you’re writing something, then you presumably want someone to read it. You want your readers to be invested and care – you want them to love or hate your characters. Take the time to develop your characters before you write them into your story. You know that your protagonist is the charming, sarcastic anti-hero type. Why is he that way? Where did he grow up? What was his dad like? Has he ever loved before? Picture him going to the grocery store. What would he buy? How would he treat the cashier? If he found a wallet on the ground, would he keep it or turn it in? Maybe he pockets the cash and then turns it in.

4 ½. Smell Your Setting

One of the easiest ways to get taken out of your story is when suddenly a new element to the setting was introduced that they were not expecting.

It’s snowing? I pictured a warm summer day.

Whenever you introduce a new setting in your story, think of what it might smell like and work from there. Smell is the sense tied closest to memory, but also the last sense in mind when reading a book on the couch. A well described smell can teleport a reader from their bedroom to a dank, marshy swamp or an old rusty spaceship in an instant.

5. Don’t Edit

Writing and editing are two completely different things. They require a different mindset. Do not edit when you should be writing. It can be tempting to go back and tidy up some dialogue that you wrote the day before, but you should avoid it as best you can. The quickest way to disrupt your flow and your vision is to go back and chop up what you worked on mid project. Keep your head down and forge ahead. There will be moments where you don’t feel that your writing is at its best, but it is more important to get the words down than it is to get them down perfectly. There will be time for that later.

6. Cut to the Chase

If you’re not interested in writing about something, how can you expect your audience to be interested in reading about it? There will be times when you find that you’re writing a scene that in all reality is inconsequential to the story and whatever point you’re trying to make. Feel free to leave it all out of there. Is your protagonist having some profound thought on their drive home from work? Did they witness something on the road or learn something significant from a radio broadcast? If not, you should consider leaving it out. There are times when you get into a rhythm and you’re practically typing faster than you can think of the words. Take a beat, step back, and think about the importance of what you’re writing.

7. You’re Done! Now You Can Edit Your Novel

You did it! You sat down every day and banged on the keys until you finally wrote ‘happily ever after,’ or ‘they were never heard from again.’ Of course, that’s not it. While the hard part may be over, you still have a long road ahead. It’s time to rip your story apart. How do you write a good story? You write a bad story and make it better.

When you start to make edits to your story, the first thing you want to do is put it down. Close the laptop and leave it alone for a little while.  A few weeks? Months? That’s up to you, but the important thing is to put some space between you and your baby. You want to be able to look over your work with fresh and relatively new eyes. Once you’re ready to bust out the red pen, consider printing out your story – one sided and double spaced. You’ll feel accomplished holding the draft in your hands, but it’s also good to read it like someone would read a book. Try reading your story aloud. It’s easier to skip over misspellings or miss awkward sounding sentences when you read in your head. Don’t be afraid to run out of ink in that red pen. If you don’t have enough notes, you’re not a good editor. Once you’ve made your notes, go back and fix them. Print out the draft, and edit again.

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Lifestyle

Best Home Gym Equipment

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With the coronavirus disease pandemic restricting movement in 2020, many health buffs have learned the joy of working out at home. The situation made people realize that with consistency, exercising at home can be just as effective as hitting the gym. And of course, having proper equipment won’t hurt.

Here are seven of the best home gym equipment to check out if you’re not planning to renew your gym membership anytime soon.

1. BWSS 44lb or 70lb Adjustable Dumbbell Set

If you’re looking for dumbbells to complete the best home gym setup, check out this product. This Twistbell can replace your dumbbell rack, offering five dumbbells in one compact design. As a result, you’ll have the benefits of a complete rack without bulk. This item is available in 44lb and 70lb versions.

Price: $299

2. Adjustable Dumbbells & Stand

Next on our list of the best home gym equipment is these adjustable dumbbells and stand from Core Home Fitness. This product allows you to change weights in 5-pound increments. Best of all, you can change the weight with a simple handle twist. The set comes with a lightweight aluminum cradle.

Price: $499.98 with free shipping 

3. Powerblock Pro Series

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned bodybuilder, the Powerblock Pro Series might just be the best equipment to build muscle at home. This product is expandable, making it a great tool for people who aspire to increase weight stacks over time.

Price: $479

4. TRX HOME2 SYSTEM

If you’re looking for the best home gym equipment for beginners, be sure to check out this product. It features adjustable foot cradles, and coupled with your own body weight, this tool can offer a personalized system to give you a total-body workout.

Price: $184.95

5. The Reversible (Big) Mat 5mm

If you’re looking for the best home gym equipment 2021 for yogis, check out this reversible mat from Lululemon. This mat is extra-long and wide, making it a great buy for those who want to really stretch out. Alongside the PU top layer and the natural rubber base, the mat has an antimicrobial additive, making it resistant to mildew and molds.

Price: $98

6. NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer

Here’s one of the best home gym equipment for legs – NordicTrack X22i Incline Trainer that allows hands-free incline workouts. Because it has an Automatic Trainer Control, you can digitally adjust your speed, incline and decline. In addition to that, the product comes with a live workout leaderboard, pushing you to exercise well and become part of the iFit community.

Price: $2,999

7. Theragun PRO

Last but not least on our best home gym equipment list is Theragun PRO. Though this product is not necessarily a piece of exercise equipment, it provides deep muscle treatment akin to a post-workout massage you’ll get in a gym. As a result, this item can enhance the recovery of muscles, soothe discomfort, and release tension and stress. It also comes with six easy-to-clean attachments to make the massage customized for the muscle you’re targeting.

Price: $599

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Lifestyle

Best Standing Desks of 2021

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Some health experts brand sitting to be the “new smoking.” The good news is, you don’t have to stay seated even if work requires you to be at your desk all day. With standing desks, you can avoid sitting for too long and prevent the consequences that come with it, including backaches, weakened gluteal muscles, and increased risk of heart disease. And, if you’re searching for the best standing desks of 2021 for your home office, look no further. We scoured the net for you and came up with a shortlist of the best options in the market.

1. Uplift Desk

First on our list of the best standing desks of 2021 is anything from Uplift Desk. The brand offers a good variety of standing desks, and V2 & V2-Commercial is a great product if you’re looking for a practical option. In fact, the brand has also been named Best Standing Desk by Wirecutter three years in a row. 

Price: V2 & V2-Commercial costs $599

2. Jarvis Adjustable Desks

The Jarvis Standing Desk is another reputable brand. This provider has spent years designing and developing their products, and they’re constantly improving each aspect of their desks to keep clients happy. Their most popular options include Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk and Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk. 

Here’s our in-depth review of the standing desk.

Price: Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk costs $519, while Jarvis Laminate Standing Desk costs $499

3. ApexDesk Elite Series 60” 

ApexDesk Elite Series 60″ also makes our list of the best standing desks on the market. This sit stand desk has gone far since it first debuted in 2015. In fact, the improvements made over the past few years have paved the way to make the line CNN Underscored Best Overall 2021.

Price: $599.99

4. Eureka Ergonomic L-Shaped Corner

If you’re looking for a good L-shaped corner desk, check out this option. This item features dual motors that can lift up the corner desk quietly and smoothly. The Max lifting capacity is 220lbs, so you won’t have to take your things out every time you adjust it.

Price: $429.99

5. Flomotion Sisu Reclaimed Wood Standing Desk

If you’re looking for a sturdy standing desk frame that also looks gorgeous in any room, check out this option. Though it’s not exactly cheap, this reclaimed wood desk surely makes for a beautiful industrial design centerpiece. You can also customize it to your taste and needs. You can choose a white, black, or grey frame, and you can also choose from available desk sizes.

Price: £859.00 

6. Steelcase Store Ology Sit-To-Stand Desk

This desk is a great product to check out if you’re looking for a premium option you can customize to your preference. You can choose from 16 laminate colors – from Virginia Walnut to Bisque Noce. 

Price: $1,066

7. Flexispot GoRiser Standing Desk Converters ML2

Last but not least on our list of best standing desks of 2021 is the Flexispot GoRiser Standing Desk Converter ML2. Though it’s technically not a standing desk in itself, this is arguably the best standing desk converter and is an affordable solution to get a standing desk. If you don’t have big bucks to spend, this is a great product to try.

Price: $89.99

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Lifestyle

7 Best Reusable Face Masks of 2021

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The coronavirus disease pandemic has pushed us to use face masks to steer clear of infection. More than a year into the pandemic, however, there have been growing concerns about disposable masks’ impact on the environment. Fortunately, innovative brands have developed face masks that are not only kinder to the environment but also designed for particular activities. Here are the best reusable face masks on the market you should check out.

1. Purar

First on our list of the best reusable face masks is Purar. These masks offer an ergonomic design made with soft and gentle materials. Furthermore, it also filters over 95 percent of harmful particles down to the size of 0.3 microns, making it one of the best face masks for Covid

Price: $49.00

2. Hygiene Hero

Hygiene Hero claims to be anti-bacterial and anti-breakout. That said, if wearing a face mask gives you pimples, it’s surely worth checking out. Their 3.0 version also has a patented technology called SILVADUR™, the first and only aqueous-base silver-polymer smart delivery system.

Price: $22.00 for Hygiene Hero Super Mask 3.0

3. GATA Mask

If you’re looking for reusable face masks for sale with a reasonable price tag, check out this product. The mask is made of FDA-approved food-grade silicone. As a result, it makes for one of the most comfortable face mask products on the market.

Price: $25 regular price, $13 on sale

4. Allett

If you’re searching where to buy face masks that are soft and breathable, head to Allet’s website. Aside from being made of cotton, this mask has a flexible nose wire sewn into place. As a result, it reduces gaps and prevents foggy glasses.

Price: $14.75 for a pack of two

5. reNEU Earth

Next on our list of best reusable face masks is reNEU’s High Performance Face Mask. This antimicrobial face mask not only guarantees all-day comfort but also solid protection for athletic use. That said, this can be a good option if you’re looking for a face mask to use during physical activity.

Price: $28.00 for High Performance Face Mask

6. Benni Mask

Do you ever feel like your face mask is always getting in the way of talking, smiling or even breathing? If so, Benni Mask might be one of the best masks you can try. It keeps its structure so you’ll never have to inhale the fabric. As a result, you’ll feel comfy wearing the mask while staying protected. Plus, it’s made for athletes, so it’s guaranteed to be breathable.

Price: $34

7. Lululemon

If you’re looking for a reusable face mask with a filter, check out this product – it’s one of the best reusable face masks for non-medical use so you can’t go wrong. Designed for everyday wear, with soft loops that won’t hurt your ears. In addition to that, the pattern and fabric offer sturdy structure. As a result, the mask doesn’t get in the way when you speak or breathe.
Price: $38 for a pack of three

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