It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
– Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve been wanting to have a book fight club for a long time.
You know when you have time or money to buy “a” book and you browse Amazon or a bookstore and see “two” similar books, but can only read one?
No one is going to tell you which one is the good one… until now! Bam!
I’m going to compare similar books and dish out the truth about which one I think is better and why, so that you may be able to save time.
There are more books than we will ever be able to read. When I read all the children’s books at my small local library in Hawaii, then my mom took me to the next further library and I read those books, when I got to the next reading level we had moved to California with larger libraries and it hit me that it wouldn’t be a matter of time until I read all the books, it would be an unfinished task when I died…
Fast forward to now and there are more books, movies, shows, people than we will ever have time to engage with… exponentially. Many are free and many are affordable. It’s great, but also harrowing for me, someone who had hoped to read “all the books” before I die.
At some point you realize you have a limited time on Earth, and there are “too many” books to read them all, it was actually a horrifying and sad point for me, you probably are more mature than me… but it’s still hard for me to face the wall of emotional futility that I won’t get to do everything I want to do before I die.
I do kind of enjoy all books the way some people enjoy all cats or all beers. But knowing there is a limited time on Earth I wanted to do not just book reviews, but Book Fights for others who were on the fence about what to read in the moment. By all means you could read the looser first, or the winner and the looser simultaneously (some people do that… multiple books at a time, yeah I’ve done it, when I was younger), but the whole point is for me to discover what I found more helpful and therefore make the world very slightly better by saving a very small amount of people, who follow my writing or find it, want to read the books I feature, but can’t read both, and then read the better one (for them) based on my recommendation.
This Book Fight Club was something I wanted to do with some drawings, but perhaps that will wait and I’ll just go through the discovery and comparison process first.
For some reason I see this as taboo, but just a little, not like dog fighting, more like rooster fighting…
I was once worried I would offend the authors, but I really don’t think they will care and if they do, hopefully they will step up their book game for the rematch.
I was thinking I will score the matches in these catagories:
In a normal Book Fight:
Life Change Catalyst Rate
In a Championship Book Fight:
Life Change Catalyst Rate
Stylistic Writing Quality
This won’t be a copy of what books teachers were forced to read and force you to read… this will be a no holds-bard free for all of free thought and wordcraft.
It will be biased and subjective, but I’ve noticed so are all other sports, boxing reserves the right for the judges to be right, their decision is defined as the correct decision, which makes it really tricky to follow and easy to fix the outcome via bribery. It’s right because “I said so” really? Actually yes, read the rules…
I’ve competed before in martial arts and refereed before in martial arts, so I’ve noticed from both sides that it’s impossible for the referee to be correct all the time, robberies happen and will continue to happen.
I plan to do this on Fridays… perhaps three match ups, a children’s book, a self help book and a fiction book? Ok, maybe four… got to show Non-Fiction some love too, “got to”.
Today I’ll be working on:
Fly Weight (Children’s): Richard Kipling’s Rickitiki Tavi VS Margret Rey and H. A. Rey’s Curious George
Bantam Weight (Fiction): Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth VS Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time
Welter Weight (Self Improvement): Ryan Holiday’s Ego is the Enemy VS Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fu*k
Heavy Weight (Non-Fiction): Paul G Hewitt’s Conceptual Physics VS Raymond Serway’s Physics for Scientist & Engineers with Modern Physics.
Hopefully I will finish this from 7-8 PM, but not sure how the day will play out because it’s family game night (Sneaky Snaky Squirrel a game that encourages your children to steal from you, but also teaches the cruelty of fate, all with cute plastic acorns!).
George – Height: 142cm (4’8″) Weight: 54Kg (120 lbs) Age 2020-1941 = 79
Going to be an interesting match-up today, a large weight advantage to George, he’s been trained by the man with the Yellow Hat, he has a huge fan following, but that won’t help him in the ring today. One of his skills is curiousity, however, Rikitivitavi is also strong in that front. Rikitikitavi is the older fighter, but that’s not always a disadvantage, sometimes experience can be the turning point in a very evenly matched fight. If his eyes are red, that should mean he has his head in the game today.
Rikitikitavi is coming off a victory against the pair of cobras Nag and Nagaina, but don’t count George out before the fight starts. Hopefully he kept himself thin for this fight, a full mongoose is a slow mongoose and Rikitikitavi has struggled with conditioning in the past, he’s still training with Darzee the tailor bird.
It’s nice to see George out of jail, he’s such a nice monkey, but has had fights cancelled due to legal problems before, such a shame to see an athlete of that quality held back due to those issues. So many children look up to George, I really hope he stays out of prison moving forward.
This fight takes place in Dictionopolis, perhaps a slight advantage to Rikitikitavi.
This is a championship bought, it will be scored by:
There are only two valid reasons to start a blog. Either a) you have some other business and blogging would be a nice way to help promote it. Or b) you just really, really, really enjoy blogging. Outside of those two reasons, there’s no legitimate reason to start one.
(Edit: a commenter pointed out that there is a legitimate third reason, and that is to build a platform to eventually get a book deal and/or to test ideas for a book. This is very true. But even so, you’re looking at a couple years of writing to build a platform large enough to get a publisher’s attention.)
– Mark Manson
I found that I do really, really, really enjoy blogging, which was unexpected and I wouldn’t mind building a platform to eventually get a book deal after years of writing to build a platform large enough to get a publisher’s attention. Yay!
When I started I wasn’t even sure I would be able to write articles. I had a book in my mind and didn’t want to practice with short stories or articles, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for a book. Not to say I would never write a book, but to me it was worthwhile to take this journey inward and explore the world of WordPress interactive readers and writers.
Going back to my childhood, sometime in sixth grade, in the winter:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost
Bam. Shot in the heart… by words.
It really got to me, I was permanently bit by “road less takenitis”…
Until you’ve written hundreds of thousands of words, you have no clue what you will enjoy writing about or what other people will enjoy reading from you.
Successful blogs exist at the intersection between the passions of the writer and readers. The problem is that everyone, despite thinking they know where those two passions are, don’t actually know either until they’ve put their reps in.
Until you’ve written 100 pages about a topic, you really don’t know how much you enjoy writing about it. And until you’ve published 100 pages about a topic, you have no idea how much people will enjoy reading what you have to say about it.
It takes a lot of writing and experimentation for each person to find their own individual style and voice, what they care about, what others care about, and so on. This is a natural process. But it just so happens that when you blog, you need to go through this process in a very public way. Which is awkward. And kind of embarrassing.
But you need to be able to stomach this. Most people, when they want to start blogging don’t realize how much embarrassment and “I can’t believe I actually published that,” goes into it. So if you can’t handle public embarrassment (not to mention the occasional hate email), then, as the South Park ski instructor once said, “you’re going to have a bad time!”
It’s for the three reasons above that my go-to advice for aspiring bloggers is always, “Write 100 posts and then come back and ask me again.”
– Mark Manson
I took that to heart and wrote 100 posts, this being 100. It was exactly at 100 that I had the basic ideas of what topics I wanted to write about “even just to start”. So, either it’s a mind game, or Mark had me down exactly. It took me exactly 100 posts to have a basic idea of what I want to blog about.
How closely did I play by Mark’s rules?
1. “Study branding and basic marketing. “
I completely ignored this. I wanted to live or die on honest interest of readers, no tricks, no gimmicks, no begging, no click bait.
2. “Writing first, design second.”
I did honor this, I really wanted to do something more reflective of my creative style artistically, but I also don’t know how and the technical skills causing me to struggle when I try to make design changes in the past resulted in no writing getting done at all.
3. “Read books, not other bloggers.”
Kind of… I read all sorts of books, because I’m a bibliophile, yet I read bloggers as much as I wanted too. Truly enjoying and respecting the articles of bloggers is one of the inspirations I have for even blogging to begin with, I think articles are the books of the future. Short for seems to be replacing long form.
Totally honored this, but it was easier because I had no traffic goals. One person reading would have been enough, potentially even zero, today I’m over 100 and I don’t even check that, because I don’t want to be read by 1 person more than who wants to read me, whatever that number is 0 or 100 or 1000. Life is short, I don’t want to force people to spend theirs reading what I’ve written, it’s an honor if they chose to read my thoughts, it’s a disservice if they would do so from guilt or coercion (to us both).
5. “At first, the only people who will care about your blog will be your friends and family.”
Actually none of my friends follow and my family knows about my blog, but very very rarely reads it… But I’m okay with that due to the above mentioned belief that I want people to read who want to read – to me that’s pretty much the whole point. I don’t want to be like the TV show that used to come on before the good one, and people just watched because they didn’t want to miss “the good one”…
6. “Set a word goal each week and then attempt to keep it for a year. When I started, I promised myself at least 3 posts of 1000 words each week. I kept that up for almost three years. Sure, a lot of those posts were crap, but man, did it pay off. I improved a lot. I got much closer to finding my voice. And I discovered a lot about what people did/didn’t want to read from me.”
I kept very close to the 1000 word minimum, often going over, rarely going under, I don’t think I was ever consistent about 3 post a week though, it was very often many more, or less, or even none, when life got busy. When I started I felt like 99% an imposer of a writer, and now I really truly feel that I have always been a writer, but that I’m a sensitive soul, easily blown off track by criticism. This Saturday at 9 AM, I have a writers group meeting with “real writers” for the first time, and I’m a bit unsure if I will be able to handle that environment emotionally, sometimes other writers or artists are the worst critics… hopefully not, but even if they are, I feel somewhere in my soul it won’t change my resolve to express my soul in the way that has always worked best for me (writing). Whether I’m a good writer, or a bad writer, after 100 posts I am at least sure that I am a writer.
Totally didn’t proofread much at all, only a handful of articles even got one proofreading, I felt emotionally I needed the momentum of continuous writing, I plan to go back and work on editing when I feel like it. There isn’t anything wrong with off the cuff blogging, it’s one thing I’ve learned from reading other’s blogs and though proofreading has a place, I don’t regret the way I didn’t proofread my articles, since they had a casual theme. I don’t think I could have made it this far without allowing myself to make the writing process less painful as much as I could. One way I did that was not being notified if people unfollowed, they had my blessing to come or go, but I didn’t want that news in my day throwing me off kilter.
8. “Have fun. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy writing/blogging, otherwise this is just going to be a vanity project that you’ll scrap in a month. Blogging is a very lonely profession in many ways. It can also be stressful in weird ways. Like anything else, you really have to have a natural passion for the work if you’re going to make it. You have to be in it for the right reasons. So try it out for a few months or a year, and if you still aren’t excited to be posting, then perhaps chalk it up as a nice attempt and then go try something else.”
I didn’t know at the beginning how true all of these points would be for me, sometimes I was very lonely, but most the time I felt my faith in humanity restored and my spirit uplifted by some very special friends who I felt like were flying in a “v” with me the whole time, even though we are thousands of miles apart. I felt so much kindness from readers comments, one interesting thing about comments, they can be only a few words, but it really feels to me like the sentiment goes through as intended. I’ve sent heartfelt thanks to people and they commented back that they really appreciated the gratitude, so many people have kept lighting my way through the darkness. It was really beautiful to have young and old, male and female, local and international people inspiring me, motivating me and cheering me onward. It’s getting to be cliche, but the good people you meet along the way are the best treasure from the experience of living. One thing you can never have enough of is good company… or maybe you can, but I haven’t. The stress was crazy, the stress of fighting my own perfectionism. Of not over analyzing how ever millimetre of the page looked, if my free account adds were going to look to trashy, of a million small details that seem to matter when you start and then don’t in the end. I actually am not sure about what I want to name my blog, I’ve been going with an idea “bubblegum monkey” but without having really settled on anything. Still after 100 posts a clever name like Hands Free Mama or A Girl and Her Blog, hasn’t come to me. But I did learn to have fun, learning to have fun blogging has helped me learned to have fun in life, which has also allowed me to live a better life.
One thing I’ve found is I don’t allow myself to enjoy life as much as I should, the more I take care of myself the more I have energy for my loved ones. Self care is the easiest thing to say and hardest to do for me.
I don’t talk about Mark Manson a lot, because he has 350,000 subscribers and I have about 100… so it seems like mathematically it just doesn’t need doing. Also because I’m a stoic and he’s a little Epicurean sometimes…
But here on my 100th post in responce to his challenge, I must say that I really enjoyed his books “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and “Everything is F*cked A Book About Hope” as well as his Free Ebook and Monday news letter.
The first time he wrote back to me about his book for my book club, it had a big impact on me as an inspiring writer. Like in the children’s book “Dr. Mr. Henshaw” by Beverly Cleary…
Also Rachel Macy Stafford, Jerry Jenkins, Jeffrey A. Carver, Owen Williams, Michael Sheridan, Arleen Lorrance, Diane Kennedy Pike, Steven Turikunkiko, Nomzamo Madide, Lovie Price, Jessica Dimas and Abby Lawson have all had the kindness to reach out to me in one way or another and each time I talk to another writer I feel 1% more confident as if by proxy and that really helps me because that’s about 13% of my confidence borrowed from other writers (maybe I’ll return it someday)!
I think some of us in life, spend a lot of our life waiting for other people to give us permission to be ourselves and to start living. I don’t want to think of it as wasted time, I prefer to think of it like a squirrel stocking up for the winter, or a butterfly taking time to grow wings, I prefer to imagine that this time spent seeking who I am as a writer was not only acceptable, but essential to finding both “my unique voice” and also to “uncover the fun” in the process of being publicly imperfect.
I’m proud to be “done” with the 100 post challenge, but I’ve actually only just begun. It took me 100 “irreverent posts” to even begin to write about a variety of topics I find interesting:
M Mindful Minimalist Monday T Transformation Tuesday W World of Wordcraft Wednesday R Tech Talk Thursday F Fight Club Friday S Stoic Saturday U See the Good Sunday
So Ironically after finishing the challenge, I’m only just begging the challenge (like the first Zelda game, when you beat the game – the reward was, playing a harder version of the same game).
Because until you’ve written 100 posts, you generally have no clue what you enjoy writing about or what people enjoy reading from you, you have not developed anything close to decent writing chops, and you have no chance at ever monetizing.
Because until you find that unique voice, and until you get your writing chops up to speed, there’s not much that can be said other than, “Keep writing. Keep experimenting. Keep testing out new ideas and seeing who responds.” Hell, start three blogs. Write a post a week for each one. Write a fan fiction. A tech manual. A sci-fi fantasy novel starring Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. The more creative, the better. Eventually you’ll find something that sticks.
– Mark Manson
So the end is actually the beginning of the next phase. Like Kung Fu Panda, I didn’t start at level 1, I stared at level 0, and tomorrow I start level 1.
It’s a big deal for me personally, I may not be a butterfly, but I’m a pupa instead of an egg…
I’m surprised that I’m not scared, I’m surprised that I feel a sense of peace, it’s like a warm feeling in my heart, that I think this is what I’m meant to do, but not a clear vision that I would wish for… more like quiet stirrings, subtle suspicion.
Anyways, I’ve stayed up very late… 1:34 AM my time, because I’m so excited, I’m not sure if I’ll stay up all night and watch the complete sun rise.
I perhaps shouldn’t have considered myself a failure after the change of plans not to attend medical school, but being honest I did, this achievement, small as it may seem to some, is perhaps a greater achievement towards becoming who I was meant to be, though less glamours and less high earning, it seems to resonate much more profoundly with my soul. I think that was a road to empty, external acknowledgement (at least for me) and this is the road home that will lead me back to my own lost soul someday.
Here’s to you and to the approaching dawn of a new day. Thank you for joining me on this journey. 💐
I’ve been using the free Grasshopper App to learn Java, I’m not a computer major, not a “computer person” but it’s very accessible.
I find myself relying on a lot of math knowledge and some extremely amateur Rimworld coding experience, I wonder if I can make it even easier for anyone else interested in trying?
So far I’ve covered the first three sections:
Part 1: Drawing shapes, the point was drawBox(blue); makes a blue square. The squares move in order from left to right across a line until newLine(); is typed. Command 1 = drawBox(color);, Command 2 = newLine(); In the fictional world of Flat Land you could make an army of workers.
If the stripe is the same on top the code is different because it doesn’t need to change lines after each square. It’s still the box code drawBox(color) but it can be drawBox(‘ggg yyy bbb’); the ” matter, the spaces matter, the () matter, they are important to the computer, the spaces indicate new lines (like hitting enter on a keyboard), the ” are saying the inside is the inside, like a cell membrane separates the blood from the cell contents, the ; is closing that command, giving closure to what the command started.
Command 3 = drawBox(pickRandom(color)); this is a little fun, the computer will pick a color for you…
Part 2: Instead of painting the color directly another way is to set a variable as a color and then use it. Like var LivesThatMatter = Black, would attach that color when you type “Lives that Matter” so drawbox(LivesThatMatter) would give you a black box.
Command 4 = print. It displays text that is defined with your variable.
Without typing print, the information stored is there, but won’t show. The title of the variables can not have spaces so capitals are used to make reading easier, ItHelpsSeperateTheWordsVisually.
3. Arrays, the new term “array” means choices that will show up for a random choice.
I laughed and laughed at baking a hypothetical cake with a penis… not that I would ever do that. But I did go to my husband’s friend’s birthday party, who had a cake decorated with a penis cake topper, the guys started throwing it around after cutting the cake and then I got hit with it. So… it’s just fond memories perhaps, not necessarily pro-cannibalism or extreme feminism by the way.
Not sure if I’ll cover coding next week vs another app or program, but I really wanted to expose people who hadn’t tried the app to what it would be like. I had no idea before hand how easy it would be to start learning, and I think most likely many people wouldn’t have known either.
So, there’s a fun game, a job skill, or a brain exerciser that you can do for free from home, maybe it’s not your jam, but perhaps now you know you could probably learn to handle that if you cared to learn.
I find it an ironic topic to post about, because I’m a recovering technophobe, I’m the last one in my family to get the newest form of technology and I only reluctantly learn how to use it once I get it… but just like math, society uses technology and if you don’t know about it, it’s just to your own detriment… so slowly getting on board with being more open minded and building skill to improve my blog, or my job skills, or my world with more tech skills.