The challenges of writing 100 blog posts a year

In my recent years of blogging, the tally for my blog posts would reach around a hundred posts per year. With my consistency and love for the blogosphere came haphazard challenges and difficulties that I would love to share today.

 

Repetition

One of the biggest difficulties I face is my repetition, whether it’s topic-wise or wording or sentence structure, there’s always duplications in my expressions. I’d argue that writing too much makes me forget I wrote the same line before, and that my style forces me to stay within my own guidelines.

 

Lack of content

As much as I try to squeeze my mind, sometimes my head is entirely empty of words, so there’s always that fear of not finding inspiration and content for the posts.

 

Commitment

If you want to hit a certain blogging goal, you’re going to need a lot of patience and commitment. You have to have the same enthusiasm you had when the month started in order to fulfill the goal.

 

Readership

The more you write, the less likely you’re going to have all your posts read. And it’s understandable because people are selective, and it is impossible for them to read every article. (But that shouldn’t stop you as long as you blog for yourself).

 

Short posts

A majority of my blog posts would be usually 200 words or less, and that’s never because I am not inspired enough to go beyond. However, writing too much forces me to save my words for other themes and prompts

 

Hasty writing

This is perhaps the worst challenge of all because hasty writing makes me so regretful; I know I have potential, but I choose to write so fast and hit publish. Editing the post after it’s been up is quite futile, as readers have already read what you had to share.

 

 

I hate when a blog posts would come out different than I had planned, which happens too often. But the fun part of committing to such a number is watching your writing grow. I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone, writing about this and that. It now takes me a lot of scrolling through my blog pages in order to find a post as recent as a few months ago.

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How to always generate content

If you are a content creator, one of the most prominent issues you face on the daily is the lack of content. You try to squeeze the creative juices out of your head, but to no avail. With deadlines and tight schedules, the pressure and stress levels rise to the maximum, so how can one always generate content without losing their originality?

Take mental note of people’s conversations

Always be an attentive listener to try and grasp the latest gossip on the grapevine. Immerse yourself in the hot topics and hear both sides; see what the public is talking about and write an article about it.

 

Go on a nature walk

Whether the content you create is writing, photography, videography, or art, a silent walk around the block could easily nourish your dead cells. Strap that camera around your neck or stash that journal in your back pocket and let nature speak to you.

 

Be mindful and attentive

A simple visit to a new coffee shop or lounge could also storm your mind with endless ideas. Watch the interior closely and try to describe it on a notepad. The setting you’re jotting down could assist you in a short story when you’re describing a place.

 

Read other people’s work

See what others are writing about and get inspired by their words and opinions. Do not copy what you see, but let their sentences speak to you.

 

Diversify your content

Going through your old writings helps you grasp what kind of content you need to write about. If you’re written a lot about a certain topic, find something new to share with your readers. If you’ve never written a short story, even if it’s out of your comfort zone, give it a shot.

 

Look for prompts

Pinterest is a perfect place for writing prompts, in my opinion. Whether it’s a photo prompt or a blog prompt, the site is brimming with ideas to get you out of a writer’s block.

 

Watch tv series/movies/videos

As bizarre as it may sound, watching Youtubers play Daddy Dating Simulator has opened my mind about dialogues. In the game, the commentator reads the conversations out loud, which kind of sounds like an audio book in a video format. This kind of goes back to the point of being mindful because without mindfulness, a regular person would just watch for entertainment and won’t notice the lessons he/she could grasp from it. The same thing goes with movies and tv series.

 

Change your setting

You can’t sit in one specific spot and expect yourself to always create content. Your eyes and mind are in dire need of change, and one of my best pieces came from sitting on my arm chair with all the lights switched off (the idea sounds iffy but it somehow stimulated my fingers into writing). Drag your laptop to a local café or build a fort and write under it.

 

I hope those tips are handy enough to get at least one content creator out of their rut. Good luck!

How observation fuels my writing

When I hit the publish on my last post, I came to realize that the majority of my writings revolve around observing others: their verbal and nonverbal. That poem was based entirely on a Youtuber I’ve been binge-watching for a few days straight, and I didn’t realize how much influenced and inspired I was by him until this very moment.

 

Being a visual person, staring into the void does not help me come up with anything at all; I have to study someone diligently in order to forge a piece out of their words and actions. At times it takes one 4-minute music video to write a poem, and at times it takes weeks and weeks of studying a stranger in person.

 

So you could say I somewhat use people for what they offer. How else will I describe personalities so accurately?

 

The core of this discovery is basically: look for inspiration wherever you go. Study a Youtuber’s personality or watch a stranger closely. Hop on Pinterest and look for photographs with depth; let the image speak to you. Watch a movie or take a hike and jot down what you see.

 

View this world observantly.

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How I define Minimalism

According to The Minimalists, Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

 

Minimalism is not about restricting yourself from everything and living your life off of a backpack. It’s about living life in the simplest of forms, in your own terms of how minimalistic you want to be.

 

To me, minimalism is that voice of hesitation before I purchase an item, not because of its price tag, but because of the after-purchase guilt. It’s thinking things over and over before buying because any extra gadget sounds like a burden.

 

A simple life where the majority of our belongings are bare necessities is what we seek. It’s ridding ourselves of unused items, de-cluttering every month, keeping a clean space, and growing and living in the moment.

 

I own clutter, but I rely a lot on closed-shelving units, boxes, and bins to smartly conceal those things (which, regardless of how huge the bundle of items is, is still a pile of necessities.) To another fellow minimalist, that pile can be TOO MUCH. That wouldn’t make me any less of a minimalist.

 

Not every minimalist follows the exact same manual, as we get to choose what simplistic lifestyle we want to chase.

 

The downside to minimalism is some of the misconceptions. One misconception that comes with following this lifestyle is this: people constantly view you as stringent or repetitive. You can be seen as that person who never splurges, when in reality, some luxuries can cause you discomfort.

 

We can also be viewed as empty, when relatively we are filled with happiness to the brim. Having less allows us to focus on other aspects in life, such as religion, interests, activities, nature, and relationships.

 

Minimalism is living small, living healthy.

The little details you need to look at before an interview

This post will not discuss the kind of questions you need to prepare for before a job interview. If that’s what you’re looking for, I highly recommend the book “Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again” by James Reed, chairman of the Reeds group. The amount of content, examples, and advice within this book are so worth the 65 AED price tag.

When we’re getting ready for an interview, we tend to rehearse our greetings, answers, and way of conversing. We overlook the small things that can seem too noticeable to others.

 

So here’s what you need to look out for//

1- Your handshake: practice a very firm, not-too-strong, not-too-weak-kind-of handshake.

2- Your choice of lipstick says a lot about you. Avoid the dark colors as they tend to make you unapproachable and nonchalant (based on experience). Opt for a tinted lip balm or a light lip color.

3- Don’t overdress or underdress. Be balanced with your choices. If your outfit is eye-catching enough, go easy on the other details.

4- Try not to overline your lips or thicken your eyebrows a lot. Think of it this way: I am here to make a first impression. Once I’ve gotten the job, I can go back to wearing whatever makeup look I want.

5- If you wish to wear rings, wear them on your left hand so that when you shake hands, the rings don’t jab into the other person’s palm.

6- Memorize the route to the meeting site. Using Google Maps, watch out for the buildings or landmarks nearby.

7- Using Google Maps again, click for directions to see which route takes less time or if the route has tolls.

8- If the place is a 30-minute drive, leave home an hour earlier just in case you get stuck in traffic.

9- Avoid wearing expensive items. If you come dressed in brands from head to toe, you kind of seem like you do not need the money at all.

10- Hide anything that seems childish; things like: an embarrassing ringtone, an immature phone cover, light up sneakers, etc.

11- Put your phone on silent.

12- If you feel nervous, fill your head with lies. Fake it till you make it. Tell yourself overly: I’ve got this (even if you don’t), I can do this (even if you’re worried), and I will be great (even if you’re afraid you won’t). The fake optimism will get your through the meeting.

13- Practice your eye contact. Be attentive but know when to break off the eye contact.

14- Lastly, don’t forget to: dust off your shoes, wear perfume, sanitize your hands, and iron your clothes.

 

 

The list above is obviously just my own tips, which means you can take or leave whichever point. At the end of the day, you can wear whatever you want to wear, and every person is different.

 

Good luck!

What to do during and after the internship

The previous post hopefully gave you the guidelines for the pre-internship process. In this article, I will mention the things to keep in mind during and after the internship.

 

During//

 

-Introduce yourself

Take the first few days as a chance to practice how you want to introduce yourself to people. As first impressions matter, show them the best version of yourself.

 

-Tell them what you’ve done

This is not considered gloating, so inform your supervisor or manager of what you did and how successful were you.

 

-Expand your personal threshold

If you’re easily ticked off, bite your tongue longer. If you’re frustrated, do not give up that easily. Show them that you’re strong enough to do the job without complaining or sighing out loud.

 

-Ask for more tasks

There will be days where you’ll be stuck with plainly no tasks at all. Either your supervisor is too busy to assign you a new task, or he/she is in a meeting or out of the office. Before they head out, ask them what you can do while they’re away. Go to them and say: what do you want me to do next?

 

-Find alternatives when ordeals arise

In my internship case, I had no WiFi during the entire 8-week process. We all worked to find alternatives. I resorted to data plans and hot spot for one week. Other weeks, I worked offline and submitted my outcomes back and forth using a USB.

 

-Write your reflections daily

Assign a small journal for your internship and write on it daily. Report what you’ve done, what went wrong, what you liked, and what you hated.

 

-Limit your usage to the phone

You’ll have plenty of time to keep up with your friends’ updates. If your usage to the phone is not contributing to the job, then put it aside.

 

-Give it your all

Show them that you’re capable of doing everything you get assigned, but when you’re not certain, ask for help. They know you’re just an intern who’s learning.

 

After//

 

-Write a thank-you note

Write hand-written letters to the employees. It shouldn’t be too long to bore them nor too short that it barely conveys your gratitude.

Sample:

Dear Employee,

I am very thankful for the opportunity you’ve given me to showcase my skills. I hope I was of help during my time here. Send my regards to the team. It’s been an amazing internship experience.

 

Regards,

Your name.

 

-Get a cake on your last day

Celebrate your last day and showcase your gratitude with a cake.

 

-Ask them to stay in touch

When it was my last day, I informed my supervisor that she can always contact me in case she wanted anything from files or artwork. Also, if you’ve done a good job during your internship, ask them if you can add them as a reference on your CV.

 

Good luck!

Getting ready for internship

“Your CV is your passport to an interview.” This is a phrase I’ve heard during one of the internship workshops I’ve attended. Another phrase successfully hammered in mind was: “Your internship is an 8-week interview.” Those quotes easily indicate how meticulous you need to be in your internship preparation process.

Whether it’s a university internship or a summer internship you want to pursue on your own, a lot of thinking and preparing needs to be done. Below is a list of what you need to do.

 

-Update your CV

Before sending in your CV to any manager or recruiter, make sure it is up to date to include your university GPA and your recent extra-curricular activities. If it helps, let a friend take a look at your resume for any suggestions.

 

-Write a cover letter

Now my knowledge in cover letters is brief, but what I know is that the cover letter should inform the recruiter of where exactly you want to be placed. It’s something you attach with your CV to state why you’re contacting the individual and what position you’re interested it.

 

-Set up a LinkedIn account

The best way to enter the real world is to enter it professionally. Set up a LinkedIn account to be an extended version of your resume. Grow your circle and follow the industries you’re interested in. Update your connections regularly with a post, a quote, or a photo.

 

-Go through your social media accounts

It’s not highly unlikely that your social media accounts will not be researched prior to a confirmation; it can happen. If you have any questionable photos or snobbish or negative tweets, privatize your accounts or delete some content.

 

-Pick the right place.

Ask yourself before you create a list of your top choices: Why do I want this place? Is it an easy commute? If it’s a far location, how bad do I want to get this internship?

 

-Send in your CV and cover letter

Keep in mind that you need to contact the desired sites weeks before the internship’s start. Attach your CV and cover letter with your emails and give them a week or so before contacting them again for confirmation. Some industries can be unprofessional, and they might ignore your request completely. This is why you need to have a few alternatives in mind. Also, it is better if you have a direct contact to get a better hold of the company.

 

-Do your research

While you’re waiting on the confirmation email, use your time to research the industries you’re interested in. See what they have to offer, their latest news, and their available positions. Look at their website and social media accounts to get a better understanding of the company.

 

-Write your internship objectives

Create a list of what your objectives are from having this internship. Do you want to get a glimpse of what an entry-level job looks like or what it’s like to be a trainee? Do you want to put your studies into action by applying what you’ve learned in the real world? Whatever your goals are, write them down and make sure you follow them.

 

-Get a journal

This may not be a necessity, but getting a journal to write in your reflections, outcomes, and feelings isn’t that tedious. Also, it saves you the trouble of “tweeting” your frustrations.

 

-Prepare yourself for a new routine

You’re one step closer to starting, so what do you else do you need to do? Contact the company to ask them: whom do you report to, when do you need to come and when do you need to leave, what floor do you report to, and what department will you be assigned. After all of that is figured, get mentally and physically ready: fully charge your laptop, get chargers, get a snack, visit the site before you start and familiarize yourself with the place, sleep early, be presentable, and arrive early.

 

Good luck!