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.
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 confess, I didn’t do the greatest work in my undergrad degree. I learned a ton and graduated with honors and whatever, but I’m not really that proud of the homework I did. I bullshitted my way through most of my papers and assignments, but apparently that was good enough.
Anyway, after sliding my way through that degree and spending a few years letting my mind rest in the ‘real world’, I went back to grad school and found I’d need to learn to write papers, finally. (Apparently when you go to library school, you’re not allowed to skimp on references anymore… that’s terrible librarian karma.) So I decided to share my process for writing a real college paper, which I’ve developed and refined over the last five semesters of grad school.
Everyone knows a social media guru. A social media guru is someone who was an early-ish adopter of Twitter, who started calling themselves a guru one day and somehow people started accepting it. (Or at least, nobody called them out on it.) You don’t have to have any special skills or training to be a guru; you just have to tweet mundane things every so often and occasionally tweet about tweeting. Continue reading