2B or Not 2B


March 2017

Why You Need to Take More Risks [Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone]

Happy Saturday!

The differences between being alive and living are drastic. Depending upon how you analyze the word, being alive is merely existing. For instance, you are alive if your lungs expand, if your heart thumps rhythmically. You are alive if you simply function.

Truly living, on the other hand, consists of building upon experiences and memories. The more you experience and the more you make the most of the life you are given, the better you are living. There is a reason why the U.S Census Bureau calls a country’s standard of living its “standard of living” rather than its “standard of being alive.” It’s because living means satisfaction. It means happiness.

“I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


The character John from Brave New World outlines what it means to truly live by taking risks. He explains that he yearns for experiences in his life, even ones that he would not initially be comfortable with. The idea that the key to living is taking risks is seen through the character John and is a prime lesson to readers.

I believe wholeheartedly that taking risks is the key to truly living. Constant security will only leave you alive, and it will not make you happy.

This is why, this summer and next year, I am stepping out of my comfort zone more than ever and embracing the risks life has to offer. This summer I am traveling alone to England to study literature, and will also be traveling to Turkey and Malta the following month. Next year I will also be visiting Israel and exploring the Holy Land.

Although I am terrified beyond belief to step that far from my comfort zone, I hope these experiences will positively affect the way I live, and, in turn, will make me happy to be alive.


I hope to write about my adventures in these places around the world and will most likely start a series on this blog about my travels, so keep a look out for those!

Do you have any thoughts on the importance of taking risks, or the meaning of truly living? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you.

Happy living!

How to Be Happy

if you

pluck a rainbow from the sky and

tie it in a bow,

offer it as a present to

a clouded heart.


the weather channel will broadcast

the weatherman’s forecast

as a pair of sunshine smiles.


Written by Hannah Butcher

©2BorNot2B. All rights reserved.

Guest Post by Fin: My Writing and Journaling Process

Happy Saturday!

Hello 2B or not 2B readers, I’m Fin from Offbeat On-point and Hannah has been so gracious to let me write a writing tips and tricks post for you folks today.  I wanted to do something special for my first guest blog post and so I decided to make a picture essay for you detailing my writing process.

When it comes to writing, I live by a few simple rules:

  1. Write every day.  Or at least on a schedule, some people are really hardcore and go seven days a week but I personally need more flexibility so on average I do about five days a week.  I count blog writing, journal writing, writing an essay for school, writing a short story, whatever. What is most important is to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, or chalk to concrete, whatever tickles ya).
  2. Write a minimum word count when you sit down to write.  For me this is pretty light, 1000 words but I regularly exceed this.  The idea is to force yourself to write enough to get something worth saying by the end of the session.  Given my handwriting size, this is one page in my notebook.  This like, frequency and style of writing, is personal and flexible but the general idea is to pick a length that is comfortable plus 300 words or the equivalent of.
  3. Set the scene.  I’ve been writing for a while and in that time I’ve learned I have some specific tastes.  
    1. I write best at a desk but I’ve also found writing by a moving body of water is quite nice too (anything from a creek to a river).
    2. I frequently enjoy writing in the afternoon or later, usually between 4pm and 10pm.
    3. I write in ball point pen, pencil is no good. Black ink – always. Blue – when I run out of Black. Bic Atlantis is my favourite click stick. Ever.
    4. I like composition notebooks (spiral bound are the devil) specifically 5×5 quad ruled.  
    5. Music: creative writing and journaling – no; blogging/essay writing – frequently.


What follows is a template for my writing process.



Meet the Books (from left -> right) Artemis (ART), Levithian (LEV), and New Gods & Old Symbols book 5: outline and first draft (NGOS).  I keep separate notebooks for separate projects.  ART is my journal, LEV is my journal overflow and general catch-all journal, and NGOS is for my working project.   



This is what a normal journal entry looks like. Above is a sample sentence. I write in this space to write my journal stuff. Notice I use a header with date, day of week, counter of something to be mindful of, and time.


Because my thoughts can wander and branch out, I implore the “Sidenote system.” (I)


4ART 2 small.jpg

(I) is an example of a sidenote.

— I strike out ideas versus marking them out because I like to still be able to read them. I don’t believe in self-censorship in journaling.

–I also make up rules as I go because it’s okay to break the rules sometime.

(I) the note system contains: Sidenotes, Footnotes, Sidenotes: the Sequel, Headnotes, Insidenotes, Loopnotes, Out of the Loopnotes, (“book emoji”) (NGOS V, 42)B <–Interbook note, Intranotes (i, 99)C.



(A) I use 10 squares for sidenotes [width] and 5 squares for footnotes [height].  I use footnotes as a subset of sidenotes. (B) Format: (“book emoji”) (Call #, page #) <- interbook notes ( C) Format: (destination, origin)



This page exists as a template for “the note system.”


Headnotes: (.) I use different symbol systems to delineate directions of notes. I. sidenotes – roman numerals (I, II, III…), footnotes – alphabet (A, B,C), sidenotes: the sequel – maths operators (“aries emoji”), loopnotes – astrological signs (“taurus emoji”)”



Inside Loopnotes: (“Aries emoji”) England says ‘maths’ rather than ‘math’ because “mathematics” is the plural of “mathematic” but the latter is obsolete so we say “maths” which is proper. (“taurus emoji”) (“aries emoji”, “taurus emoji”, “gemini emoji”), headnotes – Mayan numerals ( . , . . , . . . , . . . . , _ ), inside notes – time (“12’o’clock emoji”)


9NGOS 3 small.jpg

Out of the Loopnotes: (“A rune”) for the record, I’ve never gone this deep in the note system.



This is my open page for the new notebook. Still working out my system (only get one chance per notebook).  


I’m trying out a table of contents thing but I have decided that I like the grid much better than college ruled pages. More freedom for formatting.



(99, i): The first two pages of a notebook are labeled numbered “i” and “ii” and contain an introduction and timeline (ii, i). Then the last two pages are not numbered and are called “Closing thoughts” and “sticker space.”



This is the timeline page where I detail noteworthy events in the course of the journal time.


I also like to dedicate to reflection on the time that has past since starting this notebook and the contents of this notebook and maybe speculate on what I would like to do with the next notebook.



I ❤ stickers.  

With that tour of my writing process, I hope I’ve inspired a new idea or entertained you at least because for me this whole process is about entertaining myself.  Everything I do is for a laugh or because I think it might be fun to try.  Overall if I had to give a singular tip or trick for writing is this: Buy some of the “Wreck this Journal books and WRECK SOME JOURNALS! Inspiration will follow.  

February Poetry Contest Winner

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I would like to congratulate Alicia Mrachek for being February’s poetry winner of the 2B or Not 2B website! Alicia’s writing truly is amazing, and her poem “Rubber Pieces of April” shows how raw and honest her writing is.

Every month there will be a new winner pertaining to all genres of writing, so keep a look out for new artists featured on this blog.


Rubber Pieces of April

by Alicia Mrachek

I walked on echoed water,
baptized so I could reach your memory;
I held onto the blue string
of your balloon,
before you floated into heaven.
I was wearing my zebra print dress,
which was striped with my dried tears,
when I saw you last.
And as I jumped up the steps,
to peer into your sleeping face,
I wondered,
if I still wore my bracelet of stars,
would my dreams sleep, too?
Before your balloon popped in a
freeze-dried cumulus,
I read the past,
through a crystal ball,
and saw the fortunes of
small veined hands,
that held bread crumbs
leading to scattered pieces
of blue rubber,
six years ago
in April.


You can view Alicia’s other works on the website Teen Ink.

*If you would like to participate in the March writing contest, simply fill out a form on this website’s Submissions Page. You may send me an email or comment below if you have any questions or concerns.*

Keep writing!

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