I’ve noticed something since I’ve started paying attention to e-books and writing conversation: Many people see a difference between e-books and ‘regular’ books where I don’t think there needs to be one.
Do you need to learn special skills to write a successful e-book? No. Is the book that different depending on the published format? Not in ways that matter.
Many of us have things we’d like to do “someday”. I am personally hell bent on becoming a novelist, and I’ve been wanting to organize my personal journals for years and years now. But most of those “someday” goals never get realized.
Since getting my masters degree, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it takes to accomplish those goals. I’ve had writing goals since I was a kid, and haven’t done it yet. But I managed to finish my degree in two years, and have a life otherwise. So what’s the difference between grad school and writing a novel?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a longtime journaler. I have been writing privately about my own life since partway through seventh grade, or 15 years ago. While the format has changed, from a paper notebook, to a couple different blogging websites, to a leather volume, to the Day One app, the habit has remained fairly consistent. And while I’ve not convinced myself that the world is so interested in me that they’ll just need to read what I’ve written, I do feel that it’s been a great exercise in writing.
Something I’ve been working on lately, which is admittedly only half the reason I’ve been so bad at social media lately, is focusing on creative output rather than on just consuming what others are doing. It’s really hard for me, to break out of the habit of cruising from one social media site to another, from one RSS feed to another blog, just reading and consuming everything that’s out there.
I remember a few years ago, when I first gave serious writing a try, that was my preferred method of procrastination. I could head to a coffee shop with my laptop, intent on a little writing time, and spend an hour on Facebook, a couple hours on Google Reader (RIP), and round up my work time on a few of my favorite silly blogs. I never ended up writing much.
In my New Years entry, I wrote that I had a variety of goals I would be pursuing this year, and some of those were fitness-related. I want to tell you about what I’ve been up to lately.
Around mid-February, I completed Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred program. I didn’t do it every day, but I did it 30 times before I called it complete. I actually got really great results! I haven’t weighed myself, and I am debating whether a scale is something I care to own. But you can see the difference in my before and afters. Continue reading
Clearly the blogging experiment is going brilliantly.
Part of my struggle, I think, is to decide what goes where in terms of what gets blogged. One of my major projects lately (starting last fall sometime) has been to get all the journal entries I’ve ever made moved over to Day One. It’s a beautiful little app, that syncs between all my Apple devices through Dropbox integration. It’s easy to use, it’s simple to read, and they’ve been adding a lot of neat export features lately. Continue reading
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog. Not that I think anyone reads it, but whatever.
Last semester ended up being much crazier than I’d anticipated. I had trouble getting into the classes I wanted, and ended up taking a B-list class instead that was much harder than I’d guessed it would be. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to just relax… having that time to myself I think is what keeps the gears turning in the rest of my life. I didn’t write, I didn’t read, I didn’t exercise. But that’s over now, so hopefully all that can change. I graduated last month; I now have a Masters degree!
What will this blog be about? I’ve been thinking about that. Blogging about social media and apps and stuff like that is fun sometimes, but making this blog solely about those things feels kind of artificial to me. What I really need, for myself, is a place to show off the fun things I do. It’s not that showing off is the goal, I guess, but being able to share those things somewhere is I think what it takes for me to be motivated beyond watching entire seasons of TV shows on Netflix. I’ll actually start doing more things that I can report on and talk about. Accountability.
Here are some things I want to do this year:
- Complete the Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred workout program, blog about results.
- Start making more things in the kitchen, starting with lemon cutout cookies with earl gray frosting.
- Make some things for my apartment. Rehab some old garage sale finds or something.
- Make my apartment a nice place to be. I’ll only be there for like 6-7 more months, so it’s not that big a deal, but it’d still be nice for it to feel homey and less like a cave with poster adhesive left behind on the walls.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about content creation vs. consumption, and about conscious use of social media. What I’ve been finding is that I can make less and less of a case for personal use of many tools out there.
Facebook is a time suck. And it’s pointless. And you can find a lot of criticism, and reasons to hate it, and reasons to quit, online. Some users feel their self esteem struggle when they use it. Some use it because of low self esteem. Some use it out of boredom, for hours every day, and never get anything out of it. So quit it, right?
‘But wait’, I hear you saying! ‘I use Facebook to stay in touch with people! Without it, people might forget to invite me to things, or maybe they’d forget I exist entirely!’ Continue reading
Probably the most important part of creating a popular Instagram account is to take good pictures. I’m not going to advise you on which filters and effects to use – there are plenty of pros out there doing that already. (Here is some good starter advice, and here is another article with some tips for new users.) But what I do want to talk about is subject matter. What makes an Instagram account interesting? What will make people like your photographs? Continue reading