Creating Content

As I sit in our dorm’s community room, I can’t help but look at the others in here who, like me, are scrounging for the free internet. There’s four of us sitting here in each corner of the room, all staring at our computer screens. Two of the guys are watching videos while the other one is playing an online game. They sit entranced by the content that they are viewing and it makes me think about this generation.

With how much focus we put into ingesting internet media, what is our output? The average viewer on YouTube doesn’t make videos. People view so much more content than they create. Think about how many people you’re following on Twitter, Instagram, or how many friends you have on Facebook. What is your view-to-create ratio?

I don’t want to suggest that ingesting media is bad but I can’t help but wonder what we’re contributing. Social media is incredibly interactive and you now have the ability to contact the content creators you admire, yet most people don’t interact with these people. Instead we just wait for more content.

I think that the underlying feeling is “why create in a world full of creators?”. Most people think that they don’t have anything to contribute and therefore they don’t try it. Our generation, in reality, is closer to the stars than any previous generation, yet we also feel the most powerless towards them. You could FB message, Tweet, Instagram, or comment on YouTube to almost any star and maybe get a response.

I don’t have an answer on why you should create or why I create. I just do. Sometimes the content is great, sometimes it’s incredibly boring. But it’s interesting how we live is such a free world but we’re so paralyzed by everything. It’s like sensory overload and too much to handle.

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21/31 Blogtober

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There’s a few days left before Blogtober, this is why you should join in!

October is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than to blog! While I’m already writing daily, I want to challenge you to blog for 31 days straight. All you will need is a few spare minutes and a cheerful attitude.

Below I’ve included a few details about the event:

Why do this project?

Blogging is a great way to record your life and express yourself. It’s also a fun way to decompress after a long day. Writing has given me a greater perspective on my life and helped me both set and accomplish my goals. I encourage others to write because it gives you time to contemplate your days and focus your energy into one product.

After only 31 days, you’ll have something to look back at. For some, this project will be easy. Others will find it difficult because they don’t feel like they have anything interesting to share. Take that as motivation to make your life more interesting. Cook new foods and write about it, go to the movies and write a review, try something new and share it! Blogging can be as simple as punching the keys on your computer, all you have to do is reach for the keys.

Who should join in?

I believe that everyone has something to contribute. Writing is a simple way to get your voice out there and to get feedback. When you write on a computer, you have the ability to read what you’ve written. This creates a loop where you can look at your ideas/thoughts from a greater perspective. You can modify them, erase them, bold them, whatever you want.

By interacting with your thoughts, you can start to understand yourself in a new way. You have the ability to see who you are and how you think. There are many days that I write and look back over what I’ve written with much surprise. Sometimes we don’t know what we know. Every person could benefit by spending just 10 minutes a day writing.

How much should I participate?

This is entirely up to you! When I began this 365 project, I set a few rules for myself. I encourage you to find what works best for your writing/blogging needs. These are some of the rules I chose, feel free to adopt a few of them or modify them as needed:

100 words minimum a day!

Writing at least 100 words daily makes the task easy to do but difficult to B.S.. It only takes a few minutes to write and I’ve found that I usually want to write more. 100 words is a strong enough commitment that I can’t just write one sentence.

Guest Blogging/ Collaborations count!

If you get a friend to write on your blog, that counts as a post! Collaboration is a great way to build friendships and to provoke thought. Everyone has a different perspective and a unique style of writing. Guest blogging helps introduce you to other bloggers and new topics that you could potentially write about in the future.

Video Blogging (Also known as “Vlogging”) is acceptable

Videos tend to be more in-depth that text posts for me. I can usually talk about more information while chatting on the camera than typing away. This option allows you to have more variety during your project.

Posts must be made in one conscious period

This means you must post sometime between when you wake up and when you go to bed. Rather than pushing off your writing to the next day, you must do it. It’s just a simple rule that helps regulate your posts. This one is definitely a measure of discipline.

Where should I post?

You can blog anyway! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all forms of microblogging. While I encourage you to write on a blogging platform like WordPress.com or Blogspot.com, feel free to write anywhere. Blogtober is about your experience of blogging, no matter where you choose to write. It doesn’t matter what you have to say or why you have to say it, only that chose to express it.

 

Happy blogging everyone!

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The End of my Facebook Hiatus

Facebook annoyed me, and after six years of using it, I was fed up. Using RescueTime, an app that tracks your mobile usage, I discovered that too much of the day was wasted by scrolling through my “Newsfeed”. That was my final excuse. In an attempt to rediscover why I used Facebook, I took a two week long hiatus.

Why did I even use the site? This question plagued me for almost two years. I told myself that it was the natural progression from MySpace – but there was something different about it. MySpace was a different ballgame with different players. You didn’t have your family in the outfield and there was nothing more than a small “status update”.

MySpace was oriented towards the younger crowd, not the family. It was for a niche group of kids that could be themselves and customize their profile. MySpace gained popularity from the blogging hype, and perhaps it’s best to look back at the origins of social media to take a look at why Facebook became the monster that it is today.

In the beginning… there was only information. Simple data meant to inform the internet surfers that blazed through the net. It was filled with media that you would expect to come from a library, with very little interest placed on entertainment. From this darkness the surfers separated useless from useful. Web logging was a way to link people to sites you found useful. It literally was a list of hyperlinks to various websites.

As the net formed, customization became possible. Instead of posting a list of links, now people could write their opinions about the sites they liked. This lead to blogging (web logging), where online users began documenting life and forming what we commonly think of as a blog.

The difficult with blogging, even still today, is connections between users. If you want to see what your favorite blogger is up to, the most convenient way is to type in their website. This is a hassle because bloggers don’t post every day and you may know a handful of bloggers. Typing in ten different URLs can be a pain and time consuming.

MySpace and other blogging sites wanted to change this by integrating users into one website. This way you could log on and see a handful of your friends without typing a dozen URLs. Even better, they created “statuses”, where individuals could post how they were feeling at any given moment.

Before this point, there was virtually no word limit placed on a post. You could write a single sentence or a novel if you pleased. However, some people didn’t like this because it was time consuming to read long posts. MySpace compromised by limiting users to less than 200 characters. This way you could post how you felt and others could quickly read over it.

Microblogging was born in this moment and this concept would become the basis for Twitter, where users can express themselves through 140 characters. For time and convenience, this was a huge step forward. Instead of typing in different blog URLS, waiting for your dial-up internet, reading through long boring posts – now you could go to one site and scroll quickly through how your friends were feeling.

Facebook borrowed this idea when it created the “Newfeed”, a combination of your friend’s statuses, likes, and activity on the site. MySpace eventually was overtaken by Facebook, due to the ease of use and simple profile design. You no longer had to slave away and create a unique profile; all you had to do was create a profile picture and post statuses.

This was the basis of Facebook when I joined back in 2008: you logged on the iconic blue and gray home screen and were greeted with all of your friend’s statuses. From this point, you could “like” what they wrote and comment on what they had to say. However, “liking” a post seemed to remove the need to write a response. Instead of commenting on a status, you could mindless agree with what they had to say by clicking “like”.

Pages were created at this time so you could show your approval for products and ideas that were displayed on the site. From “Coca-Cola” to “I hate it when I get texts from a person I don’t want to talk to”. Suddenly you were able to show friends funny things that you saw on Facebook.

Going back to blogging, you wrote from a blank screen. On Facebook, instead of writing your own posts, or commenting on other people’s posts, you could just “like” them. This significantly decreased communication between users. The pages were created to bring people together but it instead removed the need to interact with friends.

Memes were brought from sites like 4chan and imgur onto Facebook. Instead of writing statuses, people began to share funny images. While memes can connect users through humor, Facebook continued to decrease communication.

This bring us to today, and why I decided to leave Facebook. The internet that I grew to love was built on communication and interaction between friends. We wrote about our lives and openly commented on each other’s profiles. Instead of sharing funny videos, we discussed what we doing or what we liked. We didn’t “like” what Bob had to say, we wrote that we agreed with him.

To be fair, much of this interaction is still happening; many of my Facebook friends comment on each other’s pictures and posts. However, the structure which shows these posts had changed dramatically. In web logging days, you scrolled through the prime content (the links) and selected directly what you wanted. When blogging was popular, you typed in URLs or saw the posts via sites like Xanga (blogging medium). Back on MySpace, you saw how everyone was doing as they posted their status. Facebook is different.

Right now Facebook claims that the average teenage user has around 300 friends and is subject to 1300 posts every day. The average person doesn’t have enough time to view all of this content, so Facebook decided to prioritize what you see. However, the algorithm that determines the “best” content is based on a flawed system.

Veritasium is a YouTube who has briefly discussed the flaws with this algorithm. You can watch that video here.

In short, the way Facebook determines what content to show you is based on two things: money and interaction. “Like” pages can only have their content shown if they decide to pay the site money. If you have 1,000,000 followers, only 1,000 of them may see your content… unless you give Facebook money. The other way is through interaction; when your friends, or your friend’s friends, comment, like, or share a post.

Likes are by far the most powerful determinant in whether you see content or not. If your friends “like” a post, Facebook sees this and thinks that you may “like” it as well. That’s why you can scroll through your “Newsfeed” and see pictures of people you don’t know; because your friend liked that picture. Remember that likes are mindless and don’t require much involvement. One person can scroll through their “Newsfeed” for an hour and like 150 posts, if not more.

When you sign on Facebook, you’re met with a very large “Newsfeed”. This “Newsfeed” is comprised of: friend’s posts, friend’s liked pages, friend’s liked/commented posts and the occasional advertisement. Many of these posts that your friends like are images or video, which take up more space than text status posts. Therefore most of your “Newsfeed” is pictures and video.

This contrasts with MySpace’s homepage, which exclusively showed how your friends feel. When you logged on, you saw that Suzie was “feeling great to be home”. Because you couldn’t comment on statuses (in early MySpace), you post on her profile or message her. If she didn’t respond, you see that Jeff is “doing great and glad to be starting a new job”. So you message him. If he doesn’t reply, you get offline and do something else.

Facebook eliminated this interaction with the “like” system. You don’t have to message Jeff to talk about tell him congratulations on the new job, you can show your approval by “liking” his status. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m circling on the how there’s less meaningful interaction on Facebook.

So what did I learn after two weeks away…

1. Facebook consumes more time than people believe.

When you’re waiting for the bus, it’s natural to grab your phone and see what your friends are up to. If you’re between class periods at school, you better believe that people are checking their phones. Any moment the boss isn’t looking at work, checking your “Newsfeed” or playing games like Clash of Clans, Game of War, or Mafia Wars.

What happens is you fill your spare moments with mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. The effect of this is that waste your free moments with useless information. It really doesn’t matter what Jeff is doing if you’re checking Facebook every five minutes. Even to the average user who logs on twice a day, image what you could be doing with your extra time!

At first I struggled with keeping my phone in my pocket. It became such a habit to constantly pull my phone out to look at Facebook and Instagram. Over time I realized that everyone else was constantly on their phone. At work I would go out with friends on their smoke break. I thought it would be a great way to talk and interact but I discovered everyone was always checking their Facebook – disregarding the people around them.

2. People are always on their phones

Before the two week, I knew that everyone was on their phones constantly. Afterwards I really became concerned with how much time people waste sitting on their phones. You don’t really notice it until you stop doing it yourself. It’s like you’re a smoker, you may not realize how much you smoke until you quit. Then you’ll be painfully aware of how often everyone else goes out for a smoke.

My concern stems from how exhausted people seem to be. Instead of taking a moment to breath and look around, people are filling their spare moments with Clash of Clans. Our human-to-human interaction is suffering.

3. Microblogging is terrible

Expressing yourself in 140 character is too shallow in my opinion. Most microblog posts lack depth or well thought out ideas. Their only use is a quick laugh or smile. I see them as a precursor for more interaction rather than their own entity.

When you have a full blog post, you have something to gain from reading it. You can understand how a person thinks or a concept that they’re talking about. Even from this post you’ve gained some understanding about the history of blogging. While it has taken much longer to read than a single sentence post on Facebook or Twitter, it is much more intellectually valuable.

While I don’t log on Facebook to gain knowledge, I don’t log on to hear what your cat is doing every five minutes. Microblogging has trained the population to constantly post useless information. When you take time to write a longer post, you give much more information. Microblogging has significantly reduced the amount of useful information online.

So am I done with Facebook…?

In short, no. It’s a great way to connect with friends that are traveling or live far away. However, I’m reducing the amount of time that I spend on it. I’m also reducing how much content that I “like” and increasing interaction.

While monopoly is not the correct word to describe Facebook, it still seems to fit it. There aren’t many other options that all of my friends are on. So I’m stuck if I want to continue interacting with them online.

In the future, I will look for other media to use. Blogging on this site has changed my life and my perspective on social media. Sites like Flickr cater to another another specialty in me, as well as YouTube. I will continue to use Facebook but I will focus more energy on creating for other sites.

How many notifications did you have…?

On my primary Facebook, 34 notifications and 5 messages. Most of the notifications were birthdays or posts by pages that I subscribe to. Immediately upon returning I got useless notifications that users “liked” my comments on other people’s posts. Again frustrating me. Too many useless notifications.

 

Anyways, this post has become long enough. I saw we call it night!

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Word Count

Last year I earned a reputation as a blog-pusher, which is a person who enthusiastically attempts to get others to blog. I fell in love with writing online, so naturally I spread the passion to friends. I spent a lot of time asking friends to start a blog and usually I was met with much resistance. Often I heard the excuse, “I don’t know what I would write about”.

After writing for eight months, I still don’t know what I’m writing about. Some weeks I write about artists, and other weeks I review things that I like. There are even days that I blog about about blogging (like today!). However, I can always push out 100 words a day for this project. Anyone can.

When this project was created, the minimum standard set for myself was 100 words a day. Like others, I thought that it would be too difficult to write. I feared that eventually the words would run out and there’d be nothing left. Today I installed a plugin to read how many words have been published since December 2013, when I began this blogging project.

I have published 111,117 words. According to Wiki, a common thriller has between 60,000 to 80,000 words, and a mystery could have 100,000 words. While writing a book requires much more organization, I feel like blogging has shown that I have the capability to write over 100,000 words.

This fear that you don’t have enough to write about is completely irrational. It may take time but you can fill a page. If you did a project like this and wrote the bare minimum, you would finish with 36,500 words. Even that is incredible and a low commitment! You just have to spend time building it and cultivating it.

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Why you should stop saying “I’m Fine”

The more that I blog, the more I realize that words often negate the deeper meanings in life. Instead of feeling an emotion, we like to label how we feel as “happy” or “sad”. While language is great, the real range of emotion is much more than what a simple word can describe.

How many variants of “I’m fine” can you think of? There is the shallow one, spoken quietly and reserved. While the next could be stern and show the speaker doesn’t want to talk about their emotion. Often at work I pass coworkers in the hall who ask me how I’m doing. Neither of us stop to continue the conversation but instead reply with “I’m good” or “I’m fine”.

What does “good” mean? When you say that you’re doing fine, what is “fine”?

When we say this out loud, it’s to simplify conversation. Saying that you’re doing “great” is easier than explaining why you feel great. However, many of our conversations aren’t spoken aloud anymore. When you write that you’re doing good, you negate a greater meaning.

Let’s take a look at a simple conversation:

“Hey, how are you doing?”

“I’m good, you?”

“I’m doing fine.”

Now that we don’t have body language, we don’t really know how you are. Are you “fine”, meaning that you don’t want to talk about it? Or are you “fine” as in your day is neither good or bad? This is why it is important to use a wider variety of words.

Personally, when somebody asks how I’m doing, if I’m in a good mood, I say that I’m doing wonderful. This shows that I’m happy. If I said that “I’m good”, I could be alright, fine, mediocre, or a wider variety of other emotions. By using a word that is slightly less common, I’m able to better communicate with others.

Online, by using a broader vocabulary, you are better understood by other people. You can fill your writings with “everyone”, “anywhere”, “a place”, or generic substitutes like these, but your writing will be uninteresting.

Don’t write “we went to a new place today”, say “Today, for the first time, we went to _____ (specific place)”. Instead of writing “my sister’s friends came over”, word it like this, “my sister’s friends _____ and _____ came over”. While too much specificity is boring, when you write with greater detail, you make it much more personal.

Now that I’ve explained this to you, notice it in your own life. When you’re waiting in line to check out and the cashier is asking the person in front of you about their day, watch their interaction. Maybe they’ll say “I’m doing well” or “I’m alright”. When it’s your turn, switch it up and describe how you feel; “It’s hot outside, but I can’t complain” or “My sister came to visit, so I’m doing great!”.

What you’ll notice is that when we use more uncommon replies, people better understand how we are. They’re more likely to respond and interact with you and to talk about themselves. It stimulates conversation and makes like flavorful! Just try it and you’ll see a change in your life!

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The Beginning of Blogging

Waking up to my 100th day in Charleston tomorrow is going to be strange. Ever since I’ve started this 365 project the days have flown by. Tomorrow will also mark the 200th day of this project and I feel forced to re-evaluate the reasons why I started blogging. After all, I’ve spent more time blogging than I care to admit and to an audience that I could count on my left hand. The point of this post isn’t going to be to entertain. I just want to write this one for me.

The whole project originates back in 2009, when I first ran across Anna Szczekutowicz‘s work on Flickr. She was a younger photographer at the time and I found her work around 100 days into what she called a 365 project. It’s where she took a photograph everyday and posted it on the site. There usually wasn’t much writing but man were her photos breath-taking.

By 2010 I had decided to do my own photography 365 project. I tried it, usually only making it to day 20 before giving up. On my 6th try I made it all the way through. Another artist named Carolyn Snyder helped motivate me and kept me accountable for my posts. Around this time Anna took down her photo-stream and I felt like somebody had ripped a carpet out from under me. Removing your original inspiration leaves you with a hole and forces you to see what truly motivates you.

What I found motivational turned out to be my need for expression. The project gave me an outlet to get away from the world and do my thing. While it was escapism at the best, I found I grew more with photography than anything else in my life. The bug had bit me and I was forced to scratch that itch for years.

My project completed in early 2011 with no hiccups. Photography coursed through my blood at this point and seemed to be the only path I had. Many of my friend knew me because they saw me carrying a camera around. I had shot a dozen senior photos and most of my friends had modeled for me during the 365 project. I lived and breathed art.

Another great inspiration at the time was Linus Hui of Linus & the Feel Good Factory. He completed three 365 projects and evolved my concept of the project. Linus’ art was photography but it had a different take. Instead of just being a beautiful photograph, he included paper crafts that he designed. In addition, at the bottom of his posts, he wrote a tutorial on how to be or do something. “How to fake interest in conversations or on dates” was just the fourth day of his 3rd project.

What Linus showed me was that there really aren’t any rules on a 365 project. When I worked on my photography 365, I was strict and wanted a full year of only images. After that, I realized that art was so much greater than the limitations that we place on it. Restricting myself to taking photographs produced a portfolio but it didn’t satisfy my creative itch. I need something more.

I spent years looking for what that scratch might be. I delved into a 90-day project (like Anna’s) and found no satisfaction.Producing art had always given me fulfillment but I couldn’t figure out why it stopped. Perhaps this is something all artists face occasionally.

2012 was a great year because I finally found something that satisfied me. At this time, the photography community shifted from a photo-sharing site (Flickr) to Facebook. Involvement with up-and-coming photographers on Flickr gave me the ability to be friends with photographers on Facebook and interact with them on a personal level. These interactions lead me to becoming active on WordPress.com, where I could interview and write about artists.

The most satisfaction came from writing about artists and reviewing their work. This time bore “The Anatomy of a Dreamer“, “The Memory Get-ter“, “Navel Oranges“, “Eric Albee” (original personal blog), as well as many other projects. The inspiration that lead other artists to create inspired me. I suddenly understood why people create and I felt it again in a greater sense.

Mid-2012 I changed career fields and spend June and July immersed in training. I didn’t have access to the outside world until September and I was so wrecked from training that I didn’t know who I was anymore. The damage the training incurred made me have to reconstruct who I was and who I wanted to be.

Blogging came back naturally in slow increments. I experimented with other mediums like painting and vlogging as a way to figure out who I was. Inspiration came sporadically and I didn’t have very much time to myself. The nights I spent painting were often concluded with a sigh and a lack of satisfaction. The skill I desired needed more time than I had to give to it. I wanted to be good at these things but I couldn’t spend 10 hours learning a new skill each day.

The interesting thing is that although I didn’t feel satisfied, I still felt compelled to create. Something drove me to go to art and I couldn’t explain it at the time.

Stress ruined me from September to October and I turned to many Buddhist texts. I found that the advice I read could relieve a couple of hours of stress and give me an emotional break. Essentially these books helped me rebuild myself. Everyday I woke up and dreaded going to work. I would come home after 9 hours and cry in the shower or sob on the phone seeking consolation. Books like “The Power of Now” taught me coping mechanisms and released the clamp I felt I had on my head.

In October I met another artist who lived in the same building as me. We shared our frustrations and meeting him released a lot of stress. Suddenly I knew that I wasn’t alone and that other people suffered through the same things that I did. We spent a lot of time talking about art and just hanging out. It was good to physically know an artist.

I was forced to move away from that friend in October.  I didn’t have anyone to have deep conversations with anymore. Blogging filled that hole and shifted purposes. It gave me a way to create a monologue of what I wanted to say. Although there wasn’t conversation, I was able to express myself again.

Around the end of November I had an emotional charge about censorship. I couldn’t contain myself and it was like a last burst before I started blogging regularly. The truth is that I’ve blogged since my 2010 trip to Spain. It wasn’t until this emotion charge that I felt compelled to write more often and with purpose.

December 2nd I decided to start another 365 project. Instead of taking photographs everyday I wanted to write. It didn’t matter what I wrote about as long as it was 100 words every day. My job couldn’t take my life away from me and I wanted to prove that to myself. I was an artist and it was in my soul to create.

That unnerving lack of satisfaction I dealt with disappeared. Even though I didn’t have my camera or the equipment I could produce something that was my own. Days passed by and I had writing to prove that I was alive. No longer did I feel totally repressed.

After about 15 days I knew the project was going to stick. The words started off philosophical and my posts revolved around dealing with stress. These were things I knew and could easily write about. I was recording my life at one of the most stressful times I had ever experienced and sharing that with everyone.

As the year concluded my mother flew down to visit for Christmas. When the holidays were over,  the stress about work changed to homesickness and loneliness. I felt alone again and I wanted my old life back. My blog reflected this with about 20 posts about missing my cat and house.

The reason I started my 365 was to relieve this stress and to talk about it. Perhaps blogging was more of a conversation with myself than it was with anyone else. Photography was an expression that other people could appreciate even if they didn’t understand the message. Blogging is very different. It was direct and a tool I needed to rebuild a broken Eric.

As time progressed blogging documented my life events rather than hopeful Buddhist advice. When a boy unexpectedly kissed me in class, I wrote about it. Going home was a huge time for me, so I spent a week writing about it. Finishing training was a huge event. Moving to Charleston on day 100 was a huge life change. Becoming involved with another openly gay guy here lifted me up through 5 posts (and shoved me back down afterwards with 10 posts). Blogging was a way to digest everything that was happening.

As tomorrow marks day 200 out of 365 days, I really have to look at why I blog. Is there purpose to write for another 165 days? The answer is obvious; yes.

Blogging means so much to me; It records my life at any given moment it allows me to digest thoughts and things that I’m thinking about regularly, it opens my eyes towards what I’m doing with my life. Blogging reminds me that I still have some say over what’s happening. It gives me the opportunity to share my passions and experiences with other people. I feel human after writing. Blogging gives me something to share. It is medicinal after a heartbreak. Writing this fuels a fire within that I cannot put out. I feel compelled to create everyday and I haven’t found anything that satisfies me greater than caving in to that desire.

That is why I blog.

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I apologize for how long this post became. This past year has been filled with a lot of emotions and I didn’t want to restrain why I blog. That would almost be self-defeating. If you made it this far, thank you for reading. I really urge you to start your own blog over at WP.com. It’s life-changing, free, and will take you only 10 minutes to learn.

Book-writing non-sense

For the past few years I’ve been contemplating writing a book. I have no idea what it will be about nor why I even want to write one but I want to write a book. In fact, this blog is part of preparing to write it. It’s a way to get used to writing regularly and analyzing how I write.

“The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us” by James W. Pennebaker is a fantastic book. I’ve only just began reading it and I already feel like I’m learning so much about writing styles. Basically the book explains how our use of pronouns shows who we are. If a person uses the word “I” excessively, perhaps they are depressed. It talks about how poor people talk to other people and how the rich talk to the poor. It’s incredibly interesting.

Yesterday at the Mall of America I purchased the book “Wired For Story” by Lisa Cron to learn more about story writing. It’s all astounding to me! There is so much expression in writing that I didn’t understand before! That is one reason why I’ve gravitated towards writing.

Today is day 91 of my project. That’s about 3 months into the year, or 1/4 the way through my project. I still don’t know what exactly I’m writing about but I’m making progress. Words seem to flow better in my head and I feel like I can express myself better through language. As a visual person sometimes words fail me but now I’m starting to become more comfortable with words. We’ll have to see where this takes me in the next 9 months!

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