Blog Tour Stop: The Beginner’s Guide to Winning an Election by Michael R. French

I don’t really read anything to do with politics, but this book was quiet interesting. A high school student who is accused of hacking an election against a boy who is running (which she was on his team), decides to fight back by running against him.

Synopsis

In 2025, the “youthification” of democracy has inspired younger candidates to challenge the ineffective and hypocritical gray-hairs in Congress. Running for student body president at an Indiana high school, political novice Brit Kitridge takes on incumbent Matthew Boltanski, who, with help from a mystery backer, already has his eyes on Washington. Brit gains courage and insights from a wise history teacher on how to win, but ultimately finds a maze of deceit and corruption in her school. Is exposing the truth enough to win the election?

I love any book with a girl who is a bad***, who has no fear, and will stand up for what they believe in. This book definitely showed this with Brit. She was kicked out of a running team because she was accused of hacking, runs against the popular boy in school for revenge, and finds deep, dark secrets of both the boy and his friend.

But, the more I read it, the more I started seeing today’s problem. I don’t really like anything politics, so I kept it in my mind that this is a book for the young adult, and to inspire girls to be strong, and to stand up for what they believe in, and no one can tell them they cannot do it.

I give the book five stars. Because I was a teenager (long ago), and I am raising my little to be a strong and independent woman. This is definitely the book for the girls who strive to be the best.

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How to Conquer Journal Writing in 5 Easy Steps by Karen Brown Tyson

“I would love to write a journal.”

I hear this statement a lot followed by, “But I can’t keep it going.”

Like a lot of you, I said the same thing for years. I would write in my journal at the beginning of the year or the start of a new month and stop after a few weeks.

But no matter how many times I tried and quit, I know the benefits of journal writing.

Journaling is therapeutic

In dealing with life, lots of people find relief in therapeutic writing. The three types of therapeutic writing you can use include:

Pen poetry is a creative way to write about your feelings using images and emotions.

An open letter allows you to write a letter (but not mail it) to a person highlighting what’s going well or an issue you have with a specific person.

Freewriting or journaling allows you to write about what’s on your mind without worrying about style, punctuation or grammar.

For the few weeks when I wrote in my journal, I found power in being able to write about what happened in a day or a week. Understanding how I feel and seeing how I respond to life events over time is not only therapeutic but also empowering.

After many failed attempts, I finally built a journal writing habit using several steps, including the five listed below.

Step #1 – Make a commitment

To change my journal writing habit, I made a commitment contract with myself. The contract was a simple sticky note posted where I could see it every day. Every writer’s commitment contract is different. For my contract, I committed to writing five to seven days per week.

Step #2 – Start small

  • As a Lean Six Sigma communicator, I know the power of the Kaizen approach which uses small steps to improve a process, a habit or a product. To strengthen my journal writing habit, I started small by writing three sentences per day. Once I mastered three sentences, I added more sentences until I was writing a paragraph
  • Step #3 —  Use a trigger

    To help me write daily, I use a trigger or a cue that leads me into my journal writing habit. Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology, determined that people were more successful at achieving their goals when they wrote “if-then” statements where “if” represents the cue and “then” is your planned action. Here’s my statement, “If I am in bed, then I will write three sentences in my journal.”

    Step #4 — Protect the chain

    I love the fitness app on my smartphone.  Once I complete three challenges each day, the app displays a perfect circle with three closed rings. For your journal writing habit, keep track of your progress by putting a checkmark or ‘X’ on a calendar. Don’t let the chain break by missing a day. Each day represents progress.

    Step #5 — Schedule a weekly review 

    At the start of each week, I read all of my entries from the previous week. During your weekly review, assess how well you did in keeping your journal writing commitment. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed a day or didn’t write for a long time.  List what’s working and what’s not.  Make adjustments quickly and get back to writing.

    Karen Brown Tyson used journal writing to complete her book, Time to Refresh:  A 21-Day Devotional to Renew Your Mind After Being Laid Off, Fired or Sidelined.  

    Karen works online, in person and by phone as a communication and writing coach. Karen helps her entrepreneurial clientele focus on business and nonfiction writing.