Archive for the ‘onValues’ Category

My Personal Routine: What I Do to Improve My Own Self-Love

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

“the world

gives you

so much pain

and here you are

making gold out of it

-there is nothing purer than that”

-Rupi Kaur

This week I thought it would be good to talk to you about what I do to improve my own self- love. What kinds of activities am I doing regularly or every day to ensure that I am loving myself?

Image Credit: http://tdfitness.net/my-daily-routine/

Image Credit: http://tdfitness.net/my-daily-routine/

Some days are obviously more challenging than others, at least for me. I like to think that everyone probably has this issue; I don’t know how some could not, actually. There are days where I take plenty of time to relax and clear my mind and treat myself right and there are plenty of other days that I am forgetting to make myself a priority. At the end of days of the latter kind I feel down, often sad or disappointed in myself. I may be angry or frustrated, and then I realize that I could’ve done different things throughout the day to help me feel at least a bit better.

Of course, there are always things we can’t help. There are parts of our days and our lives that are just negative but that we have no control over. But, as I sit here thinking while I type this, I can’t help but to agree with the cliché that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to what happens to us and how we allow it to affect us. Always easier said than done, of course.

So what do I try to do regularly to be at my personal best? For a while I would meditate when I woke up in the morning. While I slowly stopped doing that, I have wanted to get back into it. I personally am someone who always has a ton on my mind so meditating is a huge challenge for me. However, I think that further proves the point that I need to try to stick to it and I feel it is still a good way to start my day feeling fresh.

If you haven't yet, you should download this app ASAP! Image Credit:https://www.headspace.com

If you haven’t yet, you should download this app ASAP! Image Credit:https://www.headspace.com

It is also important for me to start my day with a good breakfast. Of course, I have days here and there when I don’t really eat breakfast or I take that frightening trip to get McDonald’s breakfast. However, I feel my best when I wake up in the morning with enough time to make myself a nutritious, protein-rich breakfast and maybe even a cup of coffee. The mornings that I do this typically lead to days where I am not as hungry and have more energy.

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Image Credit: https://www.onnit.com/academy/skip-breakfast-get-ripped/

Something else that I am definitely good at is relaxing. I always have a bunch of schoolwork to get done or other productive things I could be doing like checking off my “To Do” list. That said, while I try to be productive, I also recognize the importance in checking items off of my Netflix List as well. We all need to take moments to sit down and just do something that we enjoy, or something that will take our minds off of all the other stuff we are “supposed” to do. Of course, sometimes I get carried away and catch myself binge watching my new favorite show (okay, a lot of times), but it’s okay as long as I’m still completing the To-Do list, right?

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Image Credit: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/netflix/deceagebecbceejblnlcjooeohmmeldh

I’m sure that many people show themselves some love by making sure they get at least eight hours of sleep a night, or whatever magic number works for you. Personally, I like to stay up until at least midnight and fit in time for a quick nap throughout the day; who’s with me here?

Finally, something I try to do regularly in order to feel my best is go to the gym. I am far from perfect when it comes to the gym. I fail to go every day, and I am certainly not the most impressive performer while I am there. However, I notice that mentally I feel my best when I go to the gym. Even if I only go for twenty minutes and get in something quick, or even if I do some small activities in the comfort of my home, I love how my mind is clear and my body feels great afterwards. Of course, life gets busy sometimes and I will admit that personally it is easy for me to give up the gym before something else sometimes, but I try to get back into it as soon as possible!

Anyway, these are my personal ways to regularly love myself. Hopefully, this gave you some ideas of what you can try doing to improve your own self-love. If you have different ways that you improve your own self-love that I did not mention, I would love to hear them!

 

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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Showing Love by Taking Care of Your Health and Time For Yourself

Friday, April 14th, 2017

 “you deserve to be

completely found

in your surroundings

not lost within them”

-Rupi Kaur

There is no questioning the fact that keeping our health in check and taking time out of our busy lives to take care of ourselves physically and mentally are great ways to show ourselves some love. When we put effort into taking care of our bodies in various ways, we are sure to feel the best about ourselves.

Remember my friend, Ashley? We’re traveling together this week for our Spring Break, but, unfortunately, she was unable to get a pedicure with me this time! So I asked another friend, and we used our Campus Clipper coupon booklets to show ourselves some self-love! We used the below coupon to go to QQ Nails & Spa on 8th Avenue here in the city! 

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Both my friend and I are seniors graduating in less than two months, and, needless to say, we are feeling the stress and anxiety as we get closer to graduation. Not having jobs or apartments secured for afterward is simply frightening. That said, we both felt great when we took the time out of our schedules to get our nails done and simply relax. Clearing your mind and spending quality time either alone or with a good friend can be incredibly beneficial to your overall wellbeing.

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If you love getting your nails done or any sort of spa treatment and you love student discounts just as much, then follow the above link for the coupon and try QQ for yourself! All of the staff was friendly, our nails turned out great, and we even got complimentary massages! We will definitely be returning to take advantage of the loyalty program!

If this isn’t really your thing, then find out what is and take the time to do what you love in order to take care of yourself.

Something else that is important is ensuring that you’re putting effort into trying to maintain good health by working out, eating nutritious foods, and visiting your doctors and health professionals regularly.

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My roommates and I love to make smoothies, especially after a workout. Making ourselves go to the gym always helps us feel better afterwards and trying to eat foods that will feed our bodies in the best ways gives us the boosts we need each day! While I love a good smoothie and pack tons of different ingredients into that NutriBullet, I never forget to splurge and give into my cravings either-what’s life without a little fun!?

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So, I encourage you to seek out more ways to continuously take care of your mental and physical health. Find what works for you and what helps you feel good and stick to it. If you can, use a coupon in the Campus Clipper booklet to make it that much better, too! Take the time to relax when life becomes too overwhelming, even if it is only a few deep breaths. When you begin to consciously take the time to put yourself first, you will find that you can love yourself more.

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

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Self-Love Through Service-The Best Student Deal Yet!

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

“give to those

who have nothing

to give to you

-seva (selfless service)

-Rupi Kaur

Personally, I believe that giving back to others is a great way to feel good about yourself. Helping someone else always brings me great joy. I love knowing that I can make a difference and impact someone else’s day in a positive way. I want to make connections with people and let them know that I genuinely care about them, as well as let them know that I am there if they need someone to turn to. If you ask me, there is no doubt that giving back to others can improve our own self-love.

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Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/helping-others/

Most of us have been fortunate enough to have the help of parents or teachers or some sort of mentor throughout our lives. Some of us, perhaps, only had the help of strangers to get us through each day. Either way, there is a sort of peace created when we choose to help those not as fortunate as we are, or to give back in the same way that someone else was able to give to us. That peace is internal, but it is also unifying, as it brings together different people and families, different communities and sometimes even different cultures. It can remind us that at the end of the day we’re all just people who could use a little bit of help.

It costs no money to lend a helping hand in many instances. (The ultimate student deal). While many charities seek donations in order to keep their doors open, and occasionally people on the street are seeking a dollar for some lunch, many times, what we are truly volunteering is simply our time, and most of us have plenty of it even if it doesn’t feel that way.

I volunteered a few months ago here in NYC with God’s Love We Deliver, and I absolutely loved it. If you don’t know, God’s Love We Deliver is a large non-sectarian organization that delivers healthy, individually-tailored meals to people and their families who are unable to do so for themselves, with the belief that food is medicine. When I spent my morning at GLWD, I was placed in the kitchen as one of many volunteers responsible for peeling and chopping pounds of carrots and rutabagas to be used in that day’s soup. My experience at God’s Love was incredibly humbling. To witness people helping people feels so good and to be an active part of that feels so much better.

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Image Credit: https://www.glwd.org

I asked several other college students what they do in order to achieve self-love and what things help them feel better in their own skin. Everyone I asked agreed that helping other people helps them and one student made a great point; that when you help others, even if it is something that seems small and trivial, you often receive thanks or some sort of praise that instantly increases your own happiness. Some students cherish helping their parents or other family members, and some find it important to volunteer at their church. For many people, turning to a creative medium such as painting or journaling, or taking a step back from the chaos of everyday life by going on vacation or simply turning off their technological devices can improve their ability to love themselves.

If you don’t already, I advise you to try giving back to the community around you in some way. You may find that this is a newfound passion of yours. You may find that this is is the root of your self-love.

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


 

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A Student’s Guide to The Psychology of Self-Love Through Maslow’s Hierarchy

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

“you must

want to spend

the rest of your life

with yourself

first”

-Rupi Kaur

In the 1940’s Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed the idea that human beings all have certain needs and that those needs are best arranged in a hierarchy. In time, this hierarchy was indeed coined Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

maslow-pyramid

Image Credit: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

The five-tier pyramid shows Maslow’s interpretation of our needs. The bottom four levels are our deficiency needs, all of which must be met before one can reach the top level of the pyramid, known as our growth need. As the pyramid shows, our deficiency needs are then broken into basic and psychological needs. One must start at the bottom and satisfy their physiological needs before they are able to move up and satisfy their safety needs. and so on.

Once one is able to reach the top, he or she is able to finally begin trying to satisfy his or her self-fulfillment need. If successful, this will allow the person to reach a state of self-actualization. When someone reaches self-actualization, according to Maslow, they have reached their greatest human potential. It is said that only one of every one hundred people will reach self-actualization. This is because self-actualization requires some uncommon qualities, such as true honesty, awareness, objectiveness, originality, and more. Another reason self-actualization is so difficult to achieve is that many people are often too focused on satisfying their tangible deficiency needs that once they meet their esteem needs, they often then move back down and fluctuate between different levels of the hierarchy. Though we all have the potential and desire to reach self-actualization, for most people the challenges of life become too distracting, causing them to move back and forth between the different deficiency needs.

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Image Credit: https://alchetron.com/Abraham-Maslow-1355192-W

Self-love is appreciation for oneself that in part grows from actions that support our psychological growth. Hence, fulfilling Maslow’s growth need – achieving a state of self-actualization – will simultaneously increase your sense of self-love. People who have a strong sense of self-love are mindful and aware of who they are, not who others say they are. These individuals also act on what they need, not just on what they want. When you love yourself, you are able to focus on fulfilling your needs even if what you need isn’t exactly what you want. Also, someone who is able to reach self-actualization is fulfilling their full potential and purpose. When one can live with purpose and intention, they will naturally also love themselves more.

Personally, though I have always had the dream and desire to make a difference, I have more recently decided to make it a point to live with true purpose and intention. Consciously living each day with purpose will allow me to feel positive about what I am doing in life and will aid in my ability to reach self-actualization. I strive to be one of the people who is able to reach this state within my lifetime.

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I spoke with FIT student Ashley Guillois, who didn’t realize how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs relates to self-love. I started to explain all that you are reading now to Ashley, and now she also feels that, moving forward, it is important to aim for self-actualization. After speaking with me, Ashley feels committed to not only loving herself, but doing so by making it a goal to fulfill her deficiency and growth needs by following the tiers of Maslow’s Hierarchy.

Ashley is not only a fellow FIT student, she is also my friend, who has agreed to accompany me in a few weeks when we use our Campus Clipper booklets to get self-love pedicures! I continue to encourage you to feed your self-love by fulfilling your needs (see above) and taking advantage of your Campus Clipper student discounts! Maybe this week try to begin to fulfill you most basic physiological needs with some healthy food! Check out these healthy student offers and begin your journey to achieving self-actualization and true self-love!

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By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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Use Student Discounts to Love Yourself: In Accordance to the Five Love Languages

Thursday, March 9th, 2017
Image Credit: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/five-love-languages

Image Credit: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/five-love-languages

“Self Care.

betrayal makes the heart fragile

handle yourself with care”

-R.H. Sin

The five love languages, as created by Dr. Gary Chapman, describe the different ways that people give and respond to emotional love. Of course, the idea behind understanding the different love languages is to create a lasting and truly happy marriage. However, this can also be tied strongly to all of our relationships, as well as the one we have with ourselves.

The first of the love languages is Words of Affirmation. This language includes using verbal compliments and terms of gratitude as ways to communicate our love. Using words of affirmation is a great way to show our appreciation for those we care about.

Quality Time is the next love language. It is important to take time for each other, to bond and appreciate each other’s company. When it comes to self love, it is just as important to take time for yourself and treat yourself with kindness and care, and to truly understand how you are feeling.The importance here, especially in today’s generation, is to not spend this time watching TV or browsing Facebook. Instead, partake in an activity that allows you to think and reflect on your feelings, thought processes, goals, aspirations, etc.

Next is Gifting. This is the idea of using some sort of gift, whether it costs money or not, to show someone that you have been thinking of them. Someone who primarily speaks this love language will use and appreciate gift giving as an expression of love.

 The Acts of Service love language goes hand in hand with the saying “actions speak louder than words.” If someone’s primary love language is Acts of Service they will appreciate someone cooking them dinner, helping them with work that has been stressing them out, cleaning for them, or running errands for them.

 The last love language is Physical Touch. The people that predominantly speak this language are those who we may recognize as “touchy feely”. Without physical touch these people don’t feel the same connection, compassion, or overall love.

I took Chapman’s online quiz to find out my top love language. Here are my results:

Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 10.24.29 PMIn a relationship, quality time is the most important for me. This means I appreciate someone’s undivided attention and spending uninterrupted time with another to deepen the connection between us. Now, when it comes to self love, this means I appreciate spending time alone doing activities that I enjoy and that help me feel happy and refreshed.

So, how can I feed my most prominent love language, thereby improving my sense of self-love and save money while doing it? Campus Clipper, of course! In the coming weeks I plan to use my Campus Clipper coupon booklet to get a student discount on a pedicure. Getting a pedicure will be a great way for me to focus on myself, clear my mind, relax, and will leave me feeling refreshed!

I spoke to an FIT student, Jordan Shramek, who also took the Love Language quiz, and found out that her primary love language is Quality Time as well! Here are Jordan’s full results:

IMG_1711 Jordan and I share the primary love language of Quality Time, and while I was speaking with her, she told me that she also loves to get her nails done in order to give herself some love. Getting her nails done and visiting Newport Mall for shopping on a regular basis are important to Jordan, allowing her to rejuvenate and ensure that she is giving herself the love she deserves. I believe that it is important for those of us with a primary love language of Quality Time to frequently take time to ourselves to simply do what we enjoy most in order to really feel great, and Jordan agreed with me on this.

I suggest you also take Chapman’s test to learn your primary love languages. This will help you understand how you need to be cared for in your relationships with others and how you can truly care for yourself.

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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The History Behind Self-Love

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

love of self.

you belong to you

sometimes your soulmate

is yourself

and everything

you’ve been searching for

can be found

deep within your soul”

- R.H. Sin

 

Image Credit: http://life-happens.co.uk/self-love-podcast/

Image Credit: http://life-happens.co.uk/self-love-podcast/

It’s February, and love is in the air, but often times what people forget or completely overlook, is the idea of self-love and how important it is to love ourselves. Each one of us has something unique within us, something that is not to be wasted and without utilizing those unique and special qualities that make us individuals, we are, in fact, doing those around us a disservice. Maybe you’ve heard this before, but truly believing it and feeling it is crucial to our well-being.

The journey of self-love is one that has always sat in the back of my mind, but it has more recently come to the forefront to play a large role in my life. I was raised to be strong and independent, to work hard to achieve my goals and to obtain a life where I don’t have to, or even want to, rely on anyone else for anything, whether it be physical or emotional. This ideal has always played a huge part in my life, and it is probably why the ease of falling in love caught me off guard, yet why I also made decisions that were best for me even when I was in a relationship that I thought was bulletproof. Maybe this is a bit of an oxymoron, but I was so invested in my relationship, while also focusing on my own agenda, such as: doing well in school, studying abroad, and planning my upcoming job search and career. Naturally, when my three-year relationship came to an end against my will four months ago, I was at a complete loss.

I realized that while I always had the mentality of an independent, Chanelle and not Chanelle and her significant other, and that I could do anything I set my mind to, I had to actually feel this independence again and move forward as the dynamic of my life, my daily routine and emotional state, all changed. This felt like the most difficult obstacle I had ever needed to overcome, but it didn’t take me too long to realize that I am an array of amazing qualities and I do not need to be accepted or loved by anyone who does not appreciate all of the amazing elements that make me who I am. And the same goes for you.

Nathaniel Branden Image Credit: http://mylifebook.com/blog/dr-nathaniel-branden-explores-romantic-love-and-effective-communication/

Nathaniel Branden
Image Credit: http://mylifebook.com/blog/dr-nathaniel-branden-explores-romantic-love-and-effective-communication/

So began my true journey of self-love. As a term, “self-esteem” was first introduced by William James in 1890. It is one of the oldest concepts in psychology. I personally identify more with Nathaniel Branden’s definition from 1969, stating that self-esteem is a relationship between one’s competence and one’s worthiness. Branden is considered the father of the self-esteem movement, and this definition sees self-esteem as the result of dealing with challenges of living in a worthy or respectable way and doing so consistently over time. There is no doubt in my mind that self-esteem and self-love go hand-in-hand and together take a journey to achieve. It is here where I find myself today, in the early stages of a, what I presume to be life-long, journey toward increasingly powerful self-love. The self-esteem movement really began in the 1960’s, when self-esteem first became an attractive and influential idea. 

Taking a look at Psychology Today, you’ll find that self-love is appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. It is dynamic, and it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand our self-love, we begin to accept our weaknesses and our strengths, we have less need to explain our shortcomings, we have compassion for ourselves, we are more centered in our life purpose and values, and we expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.

It is important to understand that you cannot obtain self-love from an outside source. Self-love must be obtained by you and for you. Again, we often turn to outside sources for encouragement, reassurance, or a confidence boost, but we need to find our own reasons within ourselves to feel encouraged, reassured, and confident. Also, understand that you will not reach a full state of self-love overnight. Self-love takes time, so be patient with yourself as you walk through this journey. Understand that everyone is capable of obtaining a state of self-love, as long as they put forth the effort and give it time. Join me on this journey and together we will begin to truly seek a state of love for ourselves.

By Chanelle Surphlis


Chanelle Surphlis is a Campus Clipper publishing intern, who is graduating from FIT this May. Passionate about giving back and pursuing volunteer opportunities, Chanelle aspires to work for a fashion or beauty company that includes philanthropy in its core values. If you like Chanelle’s writing, check out her blogs here and here. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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Having Your Novel Published

Saturday, January 7th, 2017
Image Credit: http://nerdist.com/inkshares-nerdist-novel-contest-published-sci-fi-fantasy-enter/

Image Credit: http://nerdist.com/inkshares-nerdist-novel-contest-published-sci-fi-fantasy-enter/

This blog post is for people who want to get published in some way. If you’re looking to get in print, be warned: it will be hard, it will be more commercial-based than your average undergrad creative writing course, and you will probably have to spend some money.

I got lucky and Lorrie Moore taught my creative writing class last semester, so I shall pass along some of her advice.

Don’t just send your manuscript to random publishing houses. It’s the same principle as sending your own mixtape to a record label—there are people specifically hired to go out and find new writers (or new music), and they are not sifting through pounds of unsolicited novels. If you’re determined to get this specific novel published, start small. Pick a little publisher who is not daily inundated with other peoples’ manuscripts. Send your writing to literary agents, who will in turn talk to publishers.

Send an excerpt to a magazine. Publishing houses don’t solicit books; magazines do solicit short stories. Some have short story contests alongside their regular content, some are devoted to short stories, and some love brilliant excerpts from larger pieces. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The Paris Review are mainstays. Esquire and GQ occasionally run contests. Explore magazines that are more specific to your subject and style: McSweeney’s is known for its humor, Seventeen caters to the “young adult women” genre (and they run a yearly short story contest), Asimov’s Science Fiction is devoted, naturally, to science fiction. If these all feel a little too mainstream, hit up any number of college reviews. Kenyon Review and Five Points are the most acclaimed.

Better yet, write a new short story and submit it. It’s hard to justify an excerpt of a larger work over a completed, within word count restraints, short story. Stretch those writing muscles. Word limits vary from magazine to magazine. Try to keep your story under 3,000. As a warning, submitting for contests and sometimes for general content often involves a submission fee. Don’t back out of an opportunity just because it will cost you, but know that it will cost you.

Publish online. If you’re not into the whole printing press, you do have an entire internet at your disposal: wordpress, tumblr, livejournal, AO3, etc: not just for social media. You can also set up your own page quick and simple using Google Page Creator. But if you’re serious about your writing—serious enough to put it on the internet, which is just a giant audience of Anon—it’s worth putting money on a domain name and a professional design.

Part of the getting published game is just waiting for the right moment, or trusting yourself over the publishers. A nice anecdote about this: a poetry professor once submitted his poem to an anthology; the editors sent it back with an encouraging note and a pageful of edits. He waited a few months, then resubmitted the same poem with a thank you note about the edits. The editors then published it. Trust your instincts. And suck up a little.

Sidebar: But part of the getting published game is about your writing as well.   You’re going to become disillusioned with your own accomplishment. You’re young and inexperienced and these things take time. Have some encouragement from Ira Glass:

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me…is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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Time for Revision

Saturday, December 31st, 2016
Image Credit: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/editing-your-novel/page/2/

Image Credit: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/category/editing-your-novel/page/2/

Yay! You’re finished! Congratulations. Pour yourself a nice flute of champagne and relax. You’ve earned it. You just wrote a novel.

If you just wanted to write a novel to write a novel and maybe brag about it to some people, then by all means, get on with it. If you want to share it with some of your closest literary friends or maybe send an excerpt to the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly—still take your time enjoying the champagne. Put the whole thing out of your mind for at least a few days. When you’re still in the mindset of cranking out the words, it’s easy to get attached to passages or characters that actually drag down your writing. After a nice rest, prepare yourself for the revision cave.

 The Writing

Now’s the time to look carefully at your writing, its mechanics and logical constructions. Style has nothing to do with it; it’s strictly a close, word-by-word reading. Check your diction. Do you really need to use “twirl” twice in one short paragraph when you envision two different motions (other words: “swirl,” “spin,” “turn,” “stir”)? Do you really need to use different speech tags (said, shouted, murmured, whispered, accused, countered, replied, yelled, etc) when the characters are having a superficially low-key conversation and everything is actually just “said”? Jeffrey Eugenides raises a similar complaint about Oscar Wilde’s diction in The Picture of Dorian Gray; Wilde doesn’t abuse his thesaurus, he merely dramatizes everything. No one ever just sits, everyone “flings himself down” on something. If Dorian is uncomfortable, he always does things nervously, and when he’s nervous, he always twitches. Pick the right word for the right image.

 The Arc

Go through and, at the end of each chapter or section or what have you, record the characters’ progressions in that section, how it fits into their overall transformations, and major plot developments. If a character regresses at some point, does it make sense? People regress all the time. There’s usually an impetus. You can’t crowd everything under the umbrella of “it’s the character” just because that’s how they were at the start. Even if you’d prefer to keep a character static, make sure the justification comes through. Laying out developments in this outline can also help you pinpoint trouble spots in pacing.

 Excise, Excise, Excise

Just because it’s a novel and you can make it as long as you want doesn’t mean you need to devote lines to everyone’s hair color and outfit or the entire layout of a room. Of course, there will be parts that need more clarification, but for the most part, you can afford to cut out entire paragraphs without confusing anyone. Whatever you leave in has to have a purpose. You don’t necessarily have to follow Chekov’s Rule, but if you’re going to spend the time to note what your characters order from Starbucks, then their orders have to mean something. Hot chocolate? Iced coffee during a Russian winter? Drip coffee instead of a latte? Americano instead of drip coffee? In real life, that doesn’t indicate anything significant, but in a novel, it matters (unless your point is that it doesn’t actually matter, in which case you have more thematic issues to sort anyway). Oh, and that huge existential monologue/soliloquy with some beautifully flowery phrases you wrote in a feverish haze of inspiration can stand to lose half its length. Hemingway says of his writing process, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” We’re not all minimalists like Hemingway, though. Hold onto some of your pretty, introspective bits. The good bits.

 Sidebar:

If you need a break or want to procrastinate even more, spend some time on www.reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com, a snarky passage-by-passage critique of Twilight. It’s an equal opportunity hater with regards to all the things people find wrong with Twilight, so be forewarned…but definitely pay attention to perhaps the most indisputable problem with the series: it’s just not well written. There are periods of rampant thesaurus abuse; there are periods of predictable diction; there are moments when the limited first person is suddenly omniscient; there are illogical sequences of action, in which someone walks away and suddenly reappears to respond to something; there are sloppy (rather than stylistic) comma misuse. (What’s the difference between a sloppy and a stylistic one? In Twilight: “He lay, smiling hugely, across my bed, his hands behind his head, his feet dangling off the end, the picture of ease.” In Joan Didion’s “Goodbye to All That”: “It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” Didion said in an interview, “every word and every comma and every absence of a word or comma can change the meaning, make the rhythm, make the difference.” Sometimes you have to earn the right to flaunt grammar. Life’s not all fair.) Forget Bella and Edward’s questionable status as “heroine” and “the best dark brooding boyfriend ever.” When your words and their order distract a reader from the throwaway details they describe, something is wrong.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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Hitting the Plateau

Saturday, December 10th, 2016
Image Credit: http://araugustyn.com/overcoming-writers-block/

Image Credit: http://araugustyn.com/overcoming-writers-block/

For the first few days or weeks, your novel will seem easy. You’ve settled into a style, you’re inspired by everything around you, you’re writing your favorite chunks of the plot. But then disaster will strike. You know that you have to link two sections of your novel, but the effort of thinking about it, much less sitting down to write it, is too much. Plus, every time you sit down to write, you can’t get into the rhythm of your style, and everything you produce feels trite and insufficient. It will not be fun.

At this point, many people give up on their novels (see myunfinishednovel.com). It just happens. And maybe most tellingly, you won’t think about your characters or your plot for days; you won’t notice small details in your everyday life and remember them for later. You will hit a writer’s block.

This is fine. It happens. If you’ve completely stopped caring about your seedling novel, then maybe it’s time to let it go. People do “outgrow” the stories that they once wanted to tell. But if you still like what you’ve written so far and you’re still (even abstractly) interested in seeing your characters through, then here are a few tips to get through the hard times:

Keep a notebook and pen/pencil with you always. You’ll have experienced by now the difference between composing paragraphs in your head and transposing them onto paper. A brilliant subway train of thought always deteriorates by the time you get to your stop. I know that you spent over half your life on a computer. You’ve been allowed to take notes on a laptop since the start of freshman year. But look: don’t underestimate the power of writing things down.

Make playlists. Follow the tradition of vampire/supernatural novelists (Stephanie Meyer and Kim Harrison do it) and several pop-y TV writers (The OC did this too): make character-specific playlists. It’s like making a playlist for finals. It’s a fun way to procrastinate, and thinking about specific songs also forces you to think about the specific character and how much certain songs fit into their lives. You can also make plot-specific playlists, or if you want to get super specific, cross reference the two and make a really comprehensive series of playlists for every character in every scene. Having a standard set of associations with your novel will also help you get into the same mood every time you prepare to really write.

Write. Write more. Joyce Carol Oates writes for about eight hours a day. Ray Bradbury tries to finish one short story a day. Ask any writer, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or historical: the only way out is to keep writing. Whether you use any of the material you write during your dry spell is irrelevant. Take fifteen minutes at the beginning of everyday and just free write—don’t worry about the topic or spelling or punctuation. Write your bridge chapter badly, changing it every day until you can move on to the next bit. Write in the present. Write in the future. You know. Stick with it and all that.

Sidebar:

Casting your novel

A friend of mine is ghost-writing a creative non-fiction book about her boss’s grandmother. She finds it easier to work when she can look at the grandmother’s photo; she imagines the woman in the photo living her life and narrates that. I’ve celebrity cast my novel (Josh Jackson and Matthew Goode are in it), and I find that putting the thoughts and actions on a physical body helps me map a logical progression of what happens next. Also, looking up photos and making pretty montages is a great way to procrastinate.

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

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Do Your Research

Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Image Credit: https://uwioss.com/2016/01/22/efc-tip-8-do-your-research/

Image Credit: https://uwioss.com/2016/01/22/efc-tip-8-do-your-research/

Whether you’re writing a historical or modern or fantastical or futuristic scifi novel, do your research. If your character listens to the radio in World War II, what exact kind of reports are they listening to? Is there music? Which songs, what genre, what is the character’s opinion of it and does it contrast with the historically recorded attitude? (You don’t necessarily have to pump all this information at once. Or at all. But if you choose to include that detail about the radio, then it’s significant in some way and it does contribute to the character’s definition.) If you’re writing a CIA spy novel, what screening process do people actually have to go through now to enter the CIA? Would your character have to worry about it or not?

Even in completely invented settings, the details matter. You won’t have to do much concrete research, but do consider that while you don’t care about the economical structure of the futuristic dystopia that you’ve invented, or maybe the specifics of swordsmanship are irrelevant to your medieval-esque fantasy, someone will question it. The issue of how your characters make money or whether money is even extant matters. A saber is not an epee is not a foil is not a broadsword, and certain actions simply can’t be done with a broadsword. If you just wing it, your novel will lose credibility.

A common Terry Pratchett Discworld theme to keep in mind: people can accept a large, improbable event in your characters’ lives, but they more readily notice and reject wrong (or missing) details.

On researching while you write: inevitably, you will come up with extra scenes or maybe change a character’s profession to better suit your novel. It’s easy to Wikipedia whatever details you want to add, but of course that usually devolves into lost hours clicking around on Wikipedia. Sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow uses this tip: when you come to a point that needs research, just type “TK” where your facts should be. The combination of the letters “TK” is rare in the English language, so you can do a quick document search at the end of a writing session to find where you need to fact-check.

Sidebar: Excellent places in the city to research:

The National Archives (201 Varick Street)

Houses or has access to all government-related archives in American history. Excellent collection of primary sources, from genealogy to previously passed economic policies. Good for historical American novels or more general research on political intrigues. Call ahead if you want to use an archived material in person.

The New York Public Library (Main Branch on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue)

Holds archives on several different topics in its various branches; art and architecture at the Main Branch; Performing Arts in the Lincoln Center Branch; science and business at 188 Madison Avenue branch. Great for reading in general, but especially good for nailing down the details in your settings. Protip: The Main Branch also has a huge collection of original manuscripts from interviews with common New Yorkers to the papers of writers such as Truman Capote and James Joyce. It’s worth checking out, but if you want to take notes, use the paper and pencil provided. The librarians will not hesitate to throw you out if you write in pen. Or use your own notebook.

Central Park (Central Park)

Work on your tan and eavesdrop on passing conversations. There’s no limit to the topics that people willingly discuss in public, and it’s a great way to pick up and squirrel away some idiosyncrasies of humanity.

American Museum of Natural History (200 Central Park West)

Scads of scientific information, as well as physical reproductions of animals existing and extinct, an exhibit about space, and everything in between. Iron out the scientific justifications for your aliens’ appearances (as H.G. Wells does in War of the Worlds), or visualize your nomadic protagonist trekking across the sweeping savannahs of Africa.

International Travels (Various)

Not writing your novel on Americans? Have a love affair with Western Europe (like T. S. Eliot) or perhaps East Asia (like Pearl S. Buck)? Well, sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to get a feel for your (Earth-bound) setting unless you actually physically visit. The importance of small details in daily life, like tipping in restaurants or physical proximity to country borders or a country’s layout around bodies of water, aren’t prominent until you have to deal with a different system. (Did you know that microwavable burritos are not common in England? If your British character gets the munchies, kebabs or fried chicken are more likely.)

By Robin Yang


Robin Yang was one of the Campus Clipper’s publishing interns, who wrote an e-book on how to write a novel. If you like Robin’s writing, follow our blog for more chapters from this e-book. We have the most talented interns ever and we’re so proud of them! For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

Share