In January 2015, I started a blogging goal to post every day. I posted over 840 days in a row, but this week, I broke the streak. It was partially not by choice as internet on my East Coast vacation was sparse. It mostly required walking to a neighbourhood pizza place and looking like a weirdo on my computer at the beach if I was that desperate to post. It was hard at first, but I decided to break the streak.
What I discovered was a new calm. I didn’t feel the stress of needing to find content to post. I enjoyed every minute offline with friends in the beautiful scenery and taking small road trips. I have plenty of stuff to share and have a backlog of real posts (and not quick cop-out posts).
I know I previously didn’t want to break the streak, but I think quality is greater than quantity. I’ll still post as often as I have content, but getting rid of the need to fill every day with a post will be better for my mental sanity.
I’m currently sitting at the airport, but get ready for bunch of adventure posts in the next few days!
It’s been a while since I updated the look of this blog. I got comfortable with what I had. My previous layout was a customized version of Forever, a wedding theme.
I think I outgrew it a little over the past 6 months, but I could never find the next look, one that fit me and didn’t require featured images (because it would require a lot of back-work). Finally, I chose a premium theme (I am still a part of the WordPress.com) community and also upgraded to a premium plan, as I was finally reaching the 3GB limit after 5 years.
My blog tends to be very image heavy and this theme lends itself well to it! Scroll down and look at some of the posts below with full-sized images.
Last week, Instagram went through a giant purge of bots. That meant a great deal of users lost followers in some way. Some lost thousands. I only lost 40, but it still felt like a lot.
I’ve never ever bought followers nor am I a huge user of hashtags, because I know they contribute to a lot of the bot numbers. But I guess they still managed to find me in some way. Instagram’s not like Twitter and there’s not so many tools out there for moderating your contact list (nor do I trust most that exist). I’ve never really used any strange “marketing techniques” to garner any of my current followers (on any social networks). I am a very big advocate on the attitude of “if they want to follow you they will”.
I’m a very big believer of influencer marketing, a topic that is now of heavy debate in Singapore. I think that’s what prompted me to write a post on the matter. This Instagram purge was very necessary for the network to know it’s real users and to reveal who their true influencers are. While Instagram still has yet to be infiltrated with ads, it has a lot of potential to be very valuable to advertisers. Hell, the other day I saw my first “sponsored ad”, one by Ferrero Rocher, my favourite chocolate in the world. How they knew that, I don’t really know. All I know is, Instagram’s ad network will be very targeted.
I’m not freaked out about social media and advertising. I’ve kind of always dove nose-first into it. We make unconscious decisions about everything we purchase and are surrounded by ads and marketing almost everywhere we look. I will just remain being myself everywhere online.
I blamed a lot of not playing on being busy, which I was with various internships. I also pushed the piano aside because Teddy (my precious little puppy) hated the sound and would howl whenever any instrument was played.
Though the above were contributing factors, none of them really explained why I was avoiding the piano. The truth was that in fourth year after a rather disastrous jury, I was tired and frustrated at the piano.
I am a big cognitive science junkie. In Levtin’s book This is Your Brain On Music he talks about how 10,000 hours of practice makes a great musician. I calculated that if I started piano when I was five and averaged about 2 hours a day since then (with the long hours in my advanced years evening out the early years and holidays) that it amounted to something like 12,410 hours. This was approximate number of hours I had spent at a piano from when I was 5 up to the day of my piano jury when I was 22 (I am currently 24).
It was disheartening having put in more than the required 10,000 hours and be far from “perfect”. This anxiety had caused me to be afraid of performing in front of other people. “What if I mess up?” was a constant worry during the hours spent in university practice rooms. The consequence of this unease was more intense practicing and the development of carpel tunnel (which I am happy to say I don’t have any more).
Today I sat at the piano without too much thought about it. I picked up a book of Chopin waltzes and simply started playing. I realized some of my strengths:
1. I am a great sight reader.
2. If I played a song once, my fingers will remember it forever no matter how long it’s been since I last played it.
Though imperfectly, it was nice to be playing again, especially the music of my favourite composer. Now that I am out of school (and finished RCM exams), I don’t have to be playing under the pretense of needing to be perfect or performing for somebody else. I can also explore pieces that excite me and not have to drill them to perfection. I want to continuously enjoy performing for myself. And for me, imperfect is okay.
I haven’t written here in a while. I was busy attending NXNE last week and catching up on photo editing this week. However, I looked at my WordPress Dashboard today and there was a striking amount of people visiting in the past week or so. I honestly light up when I even know 10 people read this, but the past little while have been in the 400-500s.
I started to ponder, what you all must be like and came up with this list of people who I think read this blog:
You people search the internet for random things. Some way or another, your quest to find junk landed you here.
My bichon is obviously the most adorable thing in the world. I assume 90% of you follow this just to look at cute puppy photos. Food Lovers
Maybe you’re a food lover, and you are here for the delicious photos of food. I’m not sure if my recipes are well written enough to warrant anybody following them, but I am going on an adventure to eat all sorts of things! Adventure Time Fans
I’ve only ever had one post about Adventure Time, but it is the top Google search of all time here. My Best Friends
Thank you for visiting, just because we’re BFFs. I know you probably think all that on here is terrible, but you’ll come back anyway.
On my music blog I started making video album reviews. It was definitely something that I had my doubts of doing because of some great fear of not being liked or that people would make fun of me. It has only been a few weeks, but here are some things that I took away experience so far:
I don’t know why but every time I go out to eat I get rather trivial looks and then am asked the question “Are you sure that’s what you want to order?” Yes, damn it. Why would I ask for it if I wasn’t sure? I admit that me (and my boyfriend) are pretty small framed people. That doesn’t however mean I munch on salads and bite size portions. I enjoy and can chow down on any fat guy’s happy meal.
One day I was in BQM in Toronto and was faced with a dilemma: Should I get the bacon filled poutine or a delicious burger? The solution? I got both.
The other day I went with my sister to Staples because she needed some things for school. I realized my new Pacman journal had been lacking inspiration lately, stuck in a sort of writer’s block. Then I realized inspiration just like life isn’t black and white. I decided to make my journal as colourful as life and my thoughts are supposed to be.
Are you stuck in a rut with writing?
Perhaps, adding a little colour can spark that brain. Don’t worry, I’ll stick to coloured pens on paper. I think you‘d all stop reading if this blog had multicolour text.
Your life should be more than just black and white, a pop of colour anywhere whether it be pens, make-up, wardrobe can add a little twist in your life.
Or I could just be trying to find a crazy excuse to buy beautiful pens.
It’s been a while since I last kept a written journal, even though I have a billion notebooks. I was 14 then, and I used to write about all the trivial experiences of being a teenager.
My sister got me this Moleskine diary/planner and I decided to use it to catalogue my daily thoughts and musings, most of which will probably end up in the form of blog posts here. With an iPhone giving me daily reminders, I don’t need a book to do it too. Nash made fun of me for referring to to the journal as an offline blog, because really blogs are online journals.
I have to say putting pen to paper again is pretty exciting. If you’re ever having a moment of writer’s block on the computer, stepping away from it really helps. There are times when chicken scratches become something much more and doodles make great stories.
I am in love with writing and since I journal about my dreams, I thought it would be appropriate to write what’s on my mind while it’s awake, so prepare to journey with me in 2012. Thanks for reading and hope we have a great year together!