For my regular readers out there, you’ll notice I’ve been blogging consistently each Monday afternoon for several months… until last week. I missed my deadline for posting and was quite displeased with myself for doing so.
That being said, missing my streak gave me time to consider the concept of the streak, how I felt when I missed it and how to get back up on the horse from then on. This post is a result of these thoughts.
I pride myself on being someone who is keenly aware of the underlying meaning of words and the ways in which we say them. Being this way is both a gift and a curse, yet it forces me to be very conscious of the words I’m using to express myself.
This is all well and great until you realise you’ve been misunderstood. *gasp*.
Looking back, I have fond memories of the “early days of the internet” (well, as we see them now, anyways) where I’d get home from school, hop onto the computer and chat using IRC (Internet Relay Chat), mostly with others I’d seen at school not an hour or two earlier that day. While at the time this seemed somewhat run of the mill, I got to thinking about how this kind of interaction influenced how I communicate online and via text in general.
Over the years, I’ve met several people who influenced the words I choose when communicating. Whether verbally or over text, words have a specific meaning and, to me, there is little room for interpretation when selecting ones words. As I communicated more and more over text, I realised how much we actually convey without realising, purely through our choice of words. Today I’d like to pinpoint several words, how I interpret them in communication and how removing them or adjusting them can improve and provide clarity to one’s communication.
Since starting this blog several years ago, I’ve tried several techniques to keep up a regular blogging routine. From blogging daily for a week or two, to attempting to blog every day for an entire year, I’ve tried them all.
While this blog isn’t a business for me, it’s a great way to share knowledge, thoughts and interesting discoveries. At the same time, I simply cannot dedicate all day every day to blogging, researching and constructing articles. Ultimately, it’s also not how I most enjoy writing.
So here’s what I’ve done.
The craft beer craze has been around in Cape Town for some time now. While out for a day in the sun with friends this past weekend, we got onto the subject of what sets craft beer apart from commercially brewed beer. While not a huge beer drinker myself, I found something really special in this conversation.
The key point in favour of craft beer, aside from the taste, is the story behind the beer and the brewery. Through the discussion, we ascertained that one feels more connected to the beer, and thus more likely to purchase and consume it, if one understands a bit about where the beer came from. This is creating a sense of connection and loyalty between the customer and the product/manufacturer.
Lets try and prove or refute this concept by applying it elsewhere.
2014 was a tough year. The toughest year for me, yet. I’ve been debating for a few days whether or not to write a reflections post. I’ve just returned from my first gym session of 2015, and feel pretty positive, so I reckon what better time than the present to write this.
This year past brought several life challenges I’ve never had to endure, until now. These challenges are deeply personal and not entirely appropriate for this blog, so I won’t go into specifics. One interesting characteristic of a challenge is how it forces you to re-examine and re-evaluate other areas of your life. Large portions of 2014 were spent reflecting inwards, inspecting myself and my lifestyle and making small, yet highly impactful, changes to how I approach the world. One of these changes was to hack myself and get my fitness lifestyle under control. While this happened from late 2013, 2014 was the year where I kicked this into high gear… and it feels great!
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve also always enjoyed blogging, and have tried regularly to form a blogging habit. Over the past few months, I’ve managed to break several bad habits (eg: checking my emails on my mobile phone) as well as craft some wonderful new habits, such as a daily 5.5km walk with our beautiful puppy, Maddie. The one habit I’ve yet to (truly) form, is a blogging habit.
In re-reading the above paragraph, I take note of the first sentence above; in particular, they key-word, “writing”. Not all writing is blogging. Therefore, I’ve decided to reframe this goal from a “blogging habit” into a “writing habit”. That sounds like a much more realistic, and specific, goal.
What is inspiration? Where does it come from? How can it drive productive output? These are all valid questions.
At this moment, it’s a little misty outside my window. It’s early and I’m almost on my way to a nice hot cup of tea. This doesn’t seem related to the post at all, does it? It is. All of these factors are instrumental in driving productive output from within me. A relaxed environment with average, slightly overcast, weather conditions and the want for a soothing cup of tea.
The phrase “content is king” is splashed around so much these days. Content is the “meat and potatoes” of your website, and can be the reason why users return, as well as being one of the core aspects of successfully optimising your website for search engines.
What about the design then? Does having “good content” render the design of your website unimportant and “obsolete”?
My answer is “no”.
Jeepers. One post in and the mini writer’s block seems to have vanished. Awesome! 🙂 Anyways, the topic at hand…
I got a Moleskine. I’ve heard people raving about these for ages and thought I’d do some research and maybe get one. The fact that they look awesome definitely played a role in this as well. When I saw them on display at the shops earlier today, I knew the time was right.
For those who don’t know, a Moleskine is a type of diary/journal/notebook/creative writing or drawing book that is said to allude to the journals written in by such creatives and history shapers as Hemmingway, Picasso and van Gogh. According to the Moleskine website, the journals were produced by a small bookbinder in Paris for over a century and were supplied to stationary shops, frequented by creatively avant-garde individuals of the time (the full history can be found here and is supplied in the back of your moleskine).