365 Days of Writing – 1st July 2016 – “Great or Greatest”

365 Days of writing? more like one or two… So I can’t remember what happened to my writing everyday thing but I’m back to try again. I’m currently trying to work on content for my email subscribers so I need the practice writing. Todays prompt:

What makes a blog great? What makes you follow a blog or “Like” a post?

I think I’m quite selective when it comes to engaging with content both on and off-line. Whether its a good book or a great YouTube channel  they are both forms of getting a message across. There are of course allot of things that can make content great, which makes this a tricky question for me to answer.

Apart from TV shows and movies I tend to consume allot more non-fiction, it’s just my nature, I most enjoy content that gives me something very practical that I can use in my life and work somehow. Content that I really enjoy often has a certain simplicity to it, I think the best content is able to get a point across that can be quite complex or deep but it’s  expressed in such a way that makes it perfectly simple to understand. It really depends on the subject, I think of myself as a logical person in so much as I enjoy logic, things that theoretically or technically make sense and I can relate to and use…

This is something I have been thinking about recently in some ways, as I said I’m working on some of my own content teaching guitar and music theory. There’s so much out there on this subject but not allot at all that I truly enjoy, because it lacks any real depth or decent structure, and the small amount that is pretty decent in terms of the subject matter that’s being shared, they often fall short when it comes to presentation.

You can have the best most valuable message but if it’s badly presented it can be very difficult to properly take in. For instance if you’re presenting your message using video then the picture and audio should be of a decent quality, the “script” needs to be concise, and the presenter or “talent” needs to be enjoyable to watch and listen to.

I’ve taken a more broad approach to this question since I don’t follow too many blogs or often find blogs I can really connect with, but hopefully it gives a rough overall impression.  I’m kind of having trouble answering this question, in actual fact this is in some ways the reason I’m writing these blogs in the first place. I’m trying to find my voice, find my way and practice making great content, at lease the writing side of it…

This requires more thought, after all If I fully knew what my answer to this question was I probably wouldn’t be here writing this….

This reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s most recent book release “Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t” he explains in this book that “It isn’t that people are mean or cruel. They’re just busy.” so you need to “1) Streamline your message. Focus it and pare it down to it’s simplest clearest, easiest-to-understand form. 2) Make its expression fun. Or sexy or interesting or scary or informative. Make it so compelling that a person would have to be crazy NOT to read it.”

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Witness Protection

Today’s Prompt

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

In general I consider myself to be a rather self sufficient, independent person, and this has been the case pretty much ever since I was born. My mother used to call me a wonder baby, (or something along those lines), due to the fact that I didn’t need too much attention, just needed feeding and other life essentials, but otherwise enjoyed being left alone.

When it comes to stressful situations or any activity, it really depends on the particular situation. In some cases being with complete strangers can be easier, no baggage no expectation, and you may not even see them again, so you don’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself 😛 On the other hand I want people who are the most understanding for other situations, since they will be able to help the most.

There are of course many variations in between, but the one person I would appreciate being with through thick and thin, whom I can be most free with, is of course my beautiful wife 🙂

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A Tale of Two Cities

Todays Daily Prompt:

If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

Well this is a very easy question considering my current circumstances. About a year ago now I married the love of my life, who happens to be from Argentina, the only problem is, that I am British, and British immigration laws are absolutely terrible. Even though we are legally married there are still very strict rules in place that make it very difficult for me to bring her to live in Britain. (And yes I could move to Argentina, but you need only take one look at their declining economy and corrupt politicians to see it wouldn’t be a wise choice)

I have recently moved to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland where I can live no problem, due to the fact that I am an EU citizen, and the immigration laws are far more sensible here, I just need to find myself a job, and my wife can come live here with me.

So I’m sure you guessed it, if I could be in any two cities at once, at the moment it would be Dublin to find a job and Buenos Aires to spend time with my wife.

By the way, if you live in Britain and want to help stop this law that violates our human right to be with the ones we love, then please Click Here to sign a petition.

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Worst Case Scenario

Todays Daily Prompt:

Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today?

Last month I worked for UNICEF for about a week, during my short time with them I took on board some truly shocking but in some ways also empowering facts. Facts that I think we’ve all heard at some time or another, but tend not to penetrate or take much lasting effect, but when working to turn them around they become much more real, part of your day to day life, this tumblr post illustrates them nicely.

Poverty poster for good
And todays Daily Post prompt lead me to talk about this because it made me think as a member of the relatively small number of privileged people in this world, what IS the worst that could happen to me today? It’s incomparable to the majority of people in this world that are struggling to even stay alive. 

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Reason to Believe

In my venture to getting into blogging I have also come across The Daily Post WordPress site that amongst other things, offers daily prompts that you can take part in, so I thought why not?… 

Todays prompt is:

 

Reason to Believe

In Reason to Believe,, Bruce Springsteen sings, At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe. What’s your reason to believe?

I think this is a great opportunity to talk about a movie that I am looking forward to seeing, hopefully this month. It’s about a four year old boy that has a near death experience while undergoing emergency surgery. Months after he starts talking about people and events that would be impossible for him to have known about. It looks to be a compelling, thought provoking story made for the big screen, and hopefully a strong reason to believe.

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365 Days of Writing – 29th April – “Cringe-worthy”

Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

I consider myself to be a sympathetic person, and therefore do feel bad when people find themselves in situations that threaten their honor or dignity. Unfortunately for this blog post I can’t remember any particular situations, but I think the majority of the time these kind of things can be laughed off, I take the stance that you shouldn’t take yourself so seriously to the extent that you let embarrassing situations affect you too much, just laugh ’em off, that’s gotta be healthier.

In terms of other cringe worthy things, I don’t really consider myself to be too squirmish, I generally have no problem for instance with horror or particularly gory movies, but then I came across this post on buzzfeed.com that definitely hit a soft spot for me. I guess the dramatisation of movies has had a desensitising affect on me, but when I come across real life depictions of physically painful or crippling injuries it definitely makes me recoil. I think it’s mainly because I place allot of value on my physical well being, I absolutely hate being imobalised be it due to illness or physical injury so definitely cringe at the sight of nasty injuries.

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365 Days of Writing – 28th April – “Your time to shine”

Early bird, or night owl?

Well I tend not to like the fact that as human beings we have to sleep, there’s far to much to do in this life and nowhere near enough time to do it, so why on earth would I want to spend such a large portion of it seemingly doing nothing at all!

Because of this mentality, if I am left to my own devices, to do as I wish with no real schedule, I tend to operate on a slightly longer cycle than the usual 24hours that we are given each day, which means that initially it would seem that I am a night owl by staying up longer, but at some point my cycle makes me get up early in the morning. Because of this I came to believe that’s my natural cycle, but it turns out science has something to say about that.

I came across an article on slate.com which explaines that there are in fact photosensitive cells in your eyes, other than the rods and cones used for normal vision, which connect with your hyporthalamus, these cells basically feed the hyporthalamus with information that allows it to decide wether it is day or night, and when night does come around it relays that information to your pineal gland that will then release melatonin which makes you sleepy.

By staying up longer and using artificial light, you trick your hyporthalamus into thinking it has it’s cycle wrong, so it will try to compensate, and you won’t feel tired until later the next day, and the next day, and the next day, so your cycle is being artificially shifted. So I guess my “natural” cycle is not so natural after all.

I do feel however that I’m definitely capable of adjusting wether I get up early or stay up late depending on my schedule, I did a paper round for about four years or so, having to get up at 5:30 or something like that, everyday, which wasn’t a problem for me. But that is more physical work and doesn’t really require your brain to be in gear. My best work I believe gets don’t after I’ve warmed up a bit and then I like to keep going for as long as I can, which usually means working into the night.

I read a quote the other day

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Working late!

“No human believes that any other human has a right to be in bed when he himself is up” (Robert S. Lynd)

And in general I think there is social stigma toward night owls, but there’s really nothing wrong with it, according to an article in the New Scientist about 10% of people qualify as early birds and 20% are night owls with the majority of people left falling somewhere in between and it’s completely natural for people to have these different chronotypes. As well as this, studies have shown that night owls are better at reasoning, more productive, wealthier, and more professionally successful, so don’t dis yo!

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