Category: Blog (Page 1 of 15)

Desert and tree

Five Reasons My Writing’s Dried Up

This post was originally shared on Medium.


Drafts (23).

On the rare occasions that I log into my blog, that number greets me from the dashboard. My Drafts folder is littered with nearly two dozen abandoned posts. Some are one round of polish away from publishing; “long multi-part thing about election, prolly too long idk” is a full 3,500 words. Others, like “writing long arguments = not caring,” exist only as note-to-self titles. There’s enough to post twice a month for the next year, if only I could motivate myself to write.

The cogs of my brain, it seems, have locked up. In August 2014, I challenged myself to a “Blogathon” and published 19 posts in 31 days; in the past year, I published two. Drafts (23) makes it clear that it’s not for lack of ideas. Something else must be jamming my motivation.

I’m not alone. Back in November, Alex Gabriel acknowledged his struggles with writer’s block and launched a daily writing challenge to pull himself out. In December, Miri started something similar. This month, it’s Greta. My blogging game is a league or two below these three, but their openness about their challenges with writer’s block nevertheless inspired me.

I have a basket full of lemons right now labeled “inability to publish.” In the interest of making lemonade, here’s what’s holding me back — good excuses and bad.

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The Etiquette of Sharing

The Etiquette of Sharing

I made a thing about Facebook and sharing people’s work.

Inspired by Melissa McEwan’s recent experience having her work reposted without credit. Don’t do that.

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Link Roundup: Hope, Fear, and Fascism

Link Roundup: Hope, Fear, and Fascism

I’m trying something new in the interest of blogging more: posting roundups of the interesting things I’ve read on the internet. How frequently will I do this? Who knows?

Let’s go.

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Mr. Trump--I mean, Toad.

I want off Mr. Toad’s wild ride.

I.

Toad is very rich and a bit of a fop, with a penchant for Harris tweed suits. He owns his own horse, and is able to indulge his impulsive desires, such as punting, house boating and hot air ballooning. Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful; however, he is also narcissistic, self-centred almost to the point of sociopathy, and completely lacking in even the most basic common sense.

Wikipedia

Let’s call him Mr. Toad.

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A robot screaming dramatically, "Everything is RUINED!!"

Anxiety-Bot

Recently1that’s a relative term, I wrote about the ways in which my brain betrays me, and questioned what a “normal” emotional experience was. Today, I’m going to continue talking about what it’s like in my head by sharing one way I disarm anxious thoughts–with the help of something I call Anxiety-Bot.

Please note: This post is most emphatically not advice. I’m not saying this is what anyone should do, because I’m not in a position to provide that sort of advice. All I’m doing here is sharing my own personal experience.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. that’s a relative term

Off

What do we mean when we say that everyone has off days?

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Review: Fisher Space Pen M4B

A few days ago, I realized, with a sharp jolt, that I wouldn’t be able to carry an ink bottle onto the plane with me during my upcoming summer of world travel.

If you’re a normal person, this might not register as an issue–an inconvenience on the same level as a coffeeshop lacking a hitching post for your horse, or the discovery that none of the supermarkets in town offer telegraph services. But since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing almost exclusively with fountain pens, going so far as to replace my long-beloved Parker Jotter with them. As much as it may seem a blast from the past, I own and use bottles of ink with some regularity, and not only was I going to be unable to keep them in my carry-on, even if I checked a fragile glass bottle of deeply colored ink, carrying it around in my backpack seemed like an invitation for disaster. Traveling with my fountain pens was simply not going to work. What was I to do?

It was only after that brief panic that I realized I’d already anticipated this dilemma and purchased a Fisher Space Pen M4B for my travels. I am a forgetful man.

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The infamous ambiguously-colored dress

The Dress

So, the internet’s been blowing up today because of this picture of a dress:

http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112166688660/bellasfault-swiked-katze-geht-meow

No one seems to be able to decide if it’s white and gold or black and blue. Well, okay, the resounding evidence is pointing one way, but it might not be the way you think, and that’s what’s tripping people up.

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#selfie

#selfie

[Content note: This post mentions struggles with self-acceptance and self-sacrificial mindsets.]

i.

On my way out the door, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Something about it–maybe my outfit, maybe the way my hair is doing a thing–makes me smile. Before I step out, I pull out my phone, thrust out my arm, and–selfie.

Peak hipster selfieLast week, I finally got around to one of those tasks I’d been putting off and went through my cell phone photos from the last nine months. Most were quick snapshots that I freely discarded; the rest I tagged and categorized on my computer. In doing so, I confirmed what I’d been strongly suspecting: I’ve been taking a lot of selfies.

Oh, selfies, the phenomenon we love to hate. Scroll through the opinion section of any site frequented by readers over 35, and you’re guaranteed a column decrying selfies and the narcissistic, tech-addicted generation that takes them. Occasionally, when a researcher at the University of Everything’s Changing and I Don’t Like It or the What’s Wrong With the Youths Institute publishes a study confirming Millennials’ inflated egos with Science, you’ll even find selfies outside of Opinion.

“Selfies are for the selfish,” opines Kelly Iverson, senior at Kansas State. At Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan calls them “a cry for help,” arguing that “young women take selfies because they don’t derive their sense of worth from themselves, they rely on others to bestow their self-worth on them.” Gizmodo declares that the selfie stick–a monopod that allows you to take pictures of yourself from farther away than arm’s length–is an “enabling device that deserve[s] a permanent ban“.

In other words, smartphones and Millennials are ruining everything. Again. Pass the salt.

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Tag Aliases

Food for Thought: Tag Aliases

Know what feature I’d like to see in content management systems? Tag aliases.

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