Experts of the Internet

One of the biggest impediments to getting blog entries together, and to my life in general is my self-esteem issues. Having a career in something, or having the skills to make something successful within my mind means being an expert in something since those that seem successful have the air of being experts. I see myself as an amateur in all the things I do; including things that I’ve been paid for, and things that I have gone to school for. This stems mostly from the realistic view I have that I cannot know everything, and for some reason in my mind experts are people that know everything about a subject. I am pretty sure this reasoning is false though since logically if I cannot ever know everything about a subject despite how much time and effort I put into learning it, can anyone?

It is not that I know nothing mind you. When I really think about it I do know a lot. I have the gift of being able to retain a great deal of the key points of things that I read even when reading quickly and I have read a lot. One year I decided to do online reviews of the books I read just to see how many I went through in a year and I basically did one book every 1 1/2 days for novels in the year. That wasn’t including several computer and programming related books I studied and manga, although I do consider manga volumes as books. Granted a large portion of those were fiction, but the gift for retention includes the words I read which continually expands my vocabulary.

The issue is all in my mind I know but it is just difficult to push past that hurdle. That is part of the reason why I really want to make a go of having a personal blog again. I may not be an expert, nor am I a professional since I don’t make money at it, but I just love the subjects that I want to write about and hopefully there are others that are interested in them as well.

Keeping to a schedule

While I have not been able to spend as much time reading as I would like lately, I was reading further in the book The Elements of Blogging by Kinetic Bear and one of the suggestions was to write something every day. Given the amount of hobbies and interests I have that can distract me that seems like reasonable advice, but at the same time going from not writing a whole lot to writing every day might be a little much for me at this point. I do agree though that I need to set a schedule for blog entries and stick to it. With that in mind, I will give myself the requirement for right now that I will post a general update once every week.

Part of my reasoning for this is first that I do want to at least write something on a regular basis and this seems like a good compromise to every day. Second is that although I do not want this to become a personal journal or the equivalent to posting the dinner I had last night, with all of the hobbies and things that can take my concentration and motivation this will give me something to be grounded in. I can and will start building on this as time progresses. A third relatively minor reason is that occasionally I will need to admin and maintenance to the site and this gives me an outlet for that as well. I do not want the site or my writing to become stagnant.

A final reason is my self-esteem issues. Writing is hard enough as it is, and having my brain constantly telling me that the ideas I have are bad does not help at all. So I thought that this might be a good confidence booster for me. It is not that I think I will suddenly get a ton of traffic and positive comments from people just wanting to listen to me give a general synopsis of my plans, but being able to develop my own style of writing by just writing knowing that it will be of little interest should allow me to feel better about writing something that will be of even more interest to more people.

Well that is all from me this week. If you liked what you read feel free to leave a comment.

What are books?

I love reading and gaining knowledge. I have an avid curiosity that cannot be satiated since there is no way I can know everything and books are the primary way I use as an outlet for my inquisitive nature. The one question that I end up asking myself is what is a book?

The reason I ask that of myself and really of anyone is that there seems to be some confusion as to what is a book. Traditionally you think of a book as something thick with either a cardboard reinforced cover or just a heavy paper cover. Back when ebooks where only in their infancy that debate of what is a “real” book was rampant. It has been many, many years since then and ebooks have become so mainstream that they tend to sit alongside paper books as far as popularity. Personally I love the entire experience of a paper book including the smell and feel, but at the same time I cannot compete with the space-saving properties of ebooks since I can hold what used to take up an entire room for me in a device that I put in my pants’ pocket.

Even beyond that though, the debate of what really is a book persists in a variety of subjects. Is manga a book? Are comics and graphic novels considered a book? What about light novels? If ebooks are considered books now, what about short stories only posted online?

Much like other symbols, the traditional book has gone beyond its intended purpose and come to represent something that is merely a collection of information as a means of transmitting thoughts. If the ebook debate has taught us anything it is that the media that the conveyance of thoughts are contained in does not matter, nor does the length of it either. Whether you enjoy comics, manga, or light novels does not matter since as long as it allows for the transmission of thoughts between people it is all good.

Writing Is Hard

I’m finding it hard to get posts ready. Coming up with ideas has not been that difficult since there are lots of things that I want to be able to talk about. The issue is that the more ideas I have, the more overwhelming the task of sitting down and writing gets since then I have to narrow down to just one particular idea.

The biggest issue overall has been motivation though. I have an issue with low self esteem so even when I feel like I have centered on one idea that I would like to write about inevitably I talk myself out of starting just with the mental block of thinking that I could never do a good job of it, or maybe someone out there has done it better, or hundreds of different excuses as to why I should not even start doing it. At the very least though, I want to do an update to the blog every week. I am trying to be consistent in at least writing one entry for posting a week. I am hoping that at least with this I can get enough confidence to be able to do a lot more.

The difficulty in this though is that I do not want this to be a personal journal. While I like having an outlet for talking about the things that happen to me, private thoughts need to stay private for me. It is not a question of embarassment, although I do feel that to a particular degree, it is more of a question of a dividing line between what should and should not be broadcast to the entire planet. It is not even about whether I truly think someone would be uninterested in what I did throughout the day. If someone posting a picture of everything they’ve eaten or drank can get thousands of people interested I’m sure there are a few people who would want to hear me complain about some distressing situation with my job. It is just that I truly believe that there is a time and a place for everything under the sun, and I just do not feel as though a perment record needs to be placed on the internet about the 4 coffees I had yesterday or the recent encounters I had with some old friends I had not seen in years.

I’m not trying to be insulting to anyone that does that, nor am I trying to be mean to anyone that loves to follow stories like that. It is just that I personally don’t enjoy that and this blog is as much an extension of me as it is a means to communicate.

Working on the new blog

One of the persistent issues I have struggled with on this site has been what to do with it. When I thought about revisiting it recently and decided I wanted to renew my blogging “career” I was stumped over what to write about. Curiousity is what has always driven me throughout my life and has led me to try a lot of different professional careers. The blog was always just a bit of a hobby, something to play around with when I felt like it and not really something to be taken seriously. When it came to things I was interested in, I just dove in, learned what I could about it and inevitably started using it somewhere in my life and often got applied to my work environment. When I learned Excel skills it was partially curiousity, and partially because I used it all the time at work and I always found some way to apply what I learned at work. I did not ever think that I could ever apply that to my blog. Additionally, when I learned web design and coding, it was curiousity for the start and any application to the site was more in playing around and learning, not in telling others what I learned through the blog.

My recent reflection on the blog however has led me to think that I was way too narrow minded in my thoughts towards the blog. When I thought about what I think the blog should be, I kept coming back to the realization that I just wanted to share a piece of myself with other people. Trying to get more specific than that was something I had issues with since my curiousity never allows me to be so narrow in my focus as to pick one subject. Yes I love technology and yes I love books which where things that I loved to blog about. The only issue is that my curiousity is not limited to learning just about those things. I love photography and more recently videography as well. I love coding and making my computer do things that most people wouldn’t think of it doing. I love learning how other people do things as well since no one person can know everything. With all these interests in mind, how could I possibly narrow things down to one subject? In the end I decided not to try narrowing it down.

So my plan for the blog is now to simply write about my curiousity and to just write something. Whatever catches my interest at the time is something that I will write about. There is so much out there and so much to learn and see in all creation so I will not limit myself to just one idea or genre.

Laid-Back Camp

Also called “Yuru Camp”, this manga has me interested right now, and it has me revisiting my passion for camping and the outdoors. Like the name suggests, it is a pretty laid back story following some girls as they learn and enjoy camping around the Mount Fuji region in Japan. The places and sights they go to are real places and the information about the camping gear and how to use it is pretty accurate.

If you are looking for a quiet read this is a good manga to pick up. You can get it on iTunes and Amazon. Additionally if the anime is more your cup of tea you can watch it on Crunchyroll.

 

The Elements of Blogging by Kinetic Bear

I was browsing books recently. That probably shouldn’t be a surprise with an alias of bookhunter, but what I came across was relavent not only to my curiousity with learning new things but also to my plans for this blog. I’ve only just started reading it so I will probably have more to say about it later on, but I wanted to post about it since so far it has resonated with my personal musing regarding the restart of my blog. The synopsis of the book states that it is not about running a blog site so much as focusing on the content of the blog. So far I am really enjoying it and look forward to applying several concepts to this blog.

The book is available on Kinetic Bear’s site, but you can also get it in iBooks like I did.

MCMMO Repair Skill

If you play on a Minecraft server that has MCMMO installed on it, there is a skill called repair that allows you to cheaply repair your tools. It is very helpful especially since the vanilla version of repairing by using the anvil requires a considerable amount of experience levels and materials the more you use it, and there are limits to how much you can repair a tool. The repair skill on the other hand only requires a small amount of materials to repair and uses less as you improve the skill.

The down side of this skill is that if you use enchantments on your tools and armour (and you should be) a low repair skill will downgrade or remove the enchantments. To get the skill to a level that is usable, the key is to just repair either a tool or armour that has been damaged. How you damage the items is what makes the repair grinding fast or slow. Just grabbing a pick and mining is really slow. The best way is to just get a full set of amour and get it damaged somehow. The reason this is the best is because it is 4 pieces that get repaired which increases the amount of items that need repair. What makes it even better is when you can damage them all evenly. Since you take damage with cactus, running into some will damage all of your armour relatively evenly.

 

A “new” site, an old story

If you have encountered my other site start ups, or followed this site in the past you will know that every few years I take stock of things and revisit my blogging. Given that so few real people ever visited my site however, in all reality I am assuming that if you are reading this then you are new to my content. Regardless, welcome.

The domain is not new and some of the things I wish to do with the site is not new to me either, but I think it is the first time that I have tried to find focus with the way that I like to work. In reflecting on my past failures to keep sites active I found that a lot of the issue comes from my avid curiousity. It is a good thing to be curious, but at the same time it is a double edged sword for me in that it tends to make it difficult to find permanence when you are just looking for new things. These blogs, and indeed my online presence in general has always been seen in my eyes as something permanent which fights against my desire to look for new things.

 

What I have realized is that the sharing of information can be a way of enhancing my desire to try new things, and hopefully encourage others to try new things as well. It is all right to stick with something I have done before, as long as it can fuel my curiousity.