Today’s daily prompt from the Daily Post is titled “Winning Streak” – “What’s the longest stretch you’ve ever pulled off of posting daily to your blog? What did you learn about blogging through that achievement, and what made you break the streak?” It’s funny that the Daily Post is the website that’s asking me this, because, back in 2011, I blogged for 366 days straight from December 31, 2010 until December 31, 2011. The Daily Post had a blogging challenge in 2011 where they encouraged everyone to blog every single day of 2011. To help people out, they posted topics and prompts every day of the year. I actually decided to participate in this, and successfully completed the entire challenge. Some days I had things to blog about already, but on the boring days when nothing happened, the prompts were pretty useful. Although I don’t really make any effort to blog daily anymore, I still check the Daily Post website once in a while to see if there are any interesting topics, and this one caught my eye because it was so relevant to something I did three years ago. From this experience, I learned that in order to be committed to something like this, you really need to want to do it (or be forced to do it). Seeing as I wasn’t being forcefully required to blog daily, I had to find some intrinsic motivation to keep going, because it’s very easy to skip days or fall behind on busy days. It helps that, not only do I enjoy writing, I also enjoy posting content for others to read and enjoy. Unfortunately, making content for people to enjoy started getting difficult because I was also blogging on days I wasn’t feeling very creative, but regardless, I still like sharing my thoughts to people who want to listen. This extended period of blogging, among other things, made me think about the theories behind motivation. It encouraged me to think about the things I do on a daily basis, and decide if it’s something that I really want or need to do. For example, if I’m participating in a particular activity and I think it’s boring, I stop to think about why I’m doing it. If it’s something that I’m not required to do, and there aren’t any severe negative consequences to not doing it (i.e., a severe negative consequence of not going to work is having no money), then I choose to stop doing it and find something else more worth my time. At the end of the year, I decided to break the streak because I got a little bit burnt out from blogging. I also decided that I no longer wanted to blog when I wasn’t feeling particularly creative, or if I didn’t have any interesting concepts to share, because I wanted to change my blog’s reputation to being a site that always publishes content worth reading, rather than a site that publishes something daily, even if it’s not something worth reading. Overall, I think that this daily blogging experience contributed in helping me find a middle ground for blogging where I am now, and was definitely worth the time and effort invested.
If you know me, you know that I like everything in moderation and balance. So, I think it would be unsurprising when I say that I like spring and autumn a lot more than winter and summer. Autumn is actually my favorite season. Based off what I just said, it’s obvious that my favorite would be either spring and autumn. Spring is nice and exciting and foretelling of growth and expansion, while autumn is like the evening of a day when you look back at what you’ve accomplished and feel the relaxation of winding down and resting for the night. Although I like getting inspired to complete great things and finish great projects, I like seeing the results of them even more. Autumn seems to reflect the moment when everything is done and you know that the pleasure of your completed work is on its way. It signals the calm that’s about to come, and I think the calm and peace is very important after a hard day of work. Less figuratively and more literally, I also like autumn because it’s when my seasonal allergies end. I usually have allergies around August and early September, and autumn is right about the time when my allergies go away. On top of that, the weather is fitting for me to wear a t-shirt, long jeans, and boots – probably my favorite outfit because it’s so simple and comfortable, yet neat. So, going back to the prompt, autumn actually doesn’t fill my heart with warmth – it actually cools it down. But of course, I like cooling down rather than warming up, so that’s a good thing.
Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread? Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/autumn-leaves/
Although this sounds a bit narcissistic, if I could choose anyone to narrate my blog into an audiobook, I would pick myself. If I were to ask someone else to narrate my blog, I feel as if they would not be able to portray the implied emotions in the text properly, while I could (seeing as I wrote all the posts). So, I think that everything I was feeling while writing the posts – excitement, frustration, etc. – would not all accurately be portrayed by someone else at all the appropriate and relevant times. Of course, these emotions aren’t all portrayed explicitly through the text either. However, because that emotion is not specifically described and written out, it is open for interpretation. Even if someone were to guess an emotion associated with a post or a sentence, there’s no way they can prove if they are right or wrong. Thus, even after a guess is made, that interpretation is still available, and acts as a challenging element to encourage people to question if they are actually right in their interpretation. On the other hand, in audiobooks, that emotion is explicitly portrayed through the tone of the voice. If the narrator were to read a sentence with the wrong emotion, (s)he is explicitly portraying it incorrectly. There is very little room for open interpretation while listening to the sound of someone’s voice, so if the narrator is wrong, they are simply wrong, and there is little questioning and doubting to do. Thus, in order to eliminate the chance for error, and for the most accurate possible representation of the content of my blog, I would pick myself to be the narrator. Now, hopefully I won’t forget what I was feeling at the time of each of my 1,000+ blog posts and portray my own work incorrectly.
“Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook. If you could choose anyone — from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson — to narrate your posts, who would it be?” Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/voice-work/
Unsurprisingly, I don’t really have that many hand-me-downs in my life. In the literal sense, I don’t have any older siblings (or any siblings at all), so there hasn’t really been any clothing, toys, or other used physical possessions that I inherited. I recall cousins attempting to donate clothing to me about once or twice, but the clothing always ends up being the wrong size or looking absurdly hilarious. Even in the figurative sense, where I’m being handed down concepts, ideas, or beliefs, I feel as if I am generally underexposed to those as well. I read and gather a lot of knowledge and information from many different sources on a daily basis, but when I gain this information, I accept it in its appropriate context. For example, when I hear someone’s opinion on a particular topic, I think of it as just that – someone’s opinion. I don’t feel as if I am being handed down their beliefs that I am obligated to accept. Instead, I store that information away and tag it as “something that someone else thinks.” Overall, I’m very much of a self-doer and self-thinker. Although it’s easy and convenient to look to others for advice, I prefer to work things out and discover things on my own, and choose to do so when time or efficiency isn’t a high priority. For example, if I have a very difficult task to finish by tomorrow, I ask for help; if I have a very difficult task to finish by next year, I take the challenge and figure it out myself. Flipping this in reverse, I also don’t really like to “hand down” my beliefs as well. When someone asks me for advice, I always make sure to put it in an appropriate context by giving background information and supporting evidence. For example, when advising someone, I will always give a summary on my qualifications in that particular field, as well as the original sources where I got my information. That way, the person on the receiving end can make their own determination if I am reliable or not.
“Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.” Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hand-me-downs/
What’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”? Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/daily-prompt-strange/I actually don’t really have any strange places from where I’ve posted to my blog, because about 99% of my blog entries are done at home on my laptop in the comfort of my room (even though the actual geographic location of my room has changed various times throughout the existence of my website). Occasionally I’ll post to my blog from the library or from some common area when I’m bored, but nothing too ridiculous – it’s already some sort of area where a bunch of people are on their laptops doing something, so I didn’t particularly stand out. However, one specific away-from-home blogging experience that I clearly remember is on the last day of my junior year of high school. I was sitting in the literacy center, which was a special room all the way in the back of the library that normally is a working area for students who are not up to par with conventional reading standards. Even though my level of reading was fine, I still liked to do stuff in the literacy center because it was so quiet and peaceful in there. After my last final exam, during the free time I had before heading out to catch the school bus, I wrote a pretty frustrated blog post as an overview to my junior year. Pretty much what I was getting at was that I thought I was a lot more prepared and capable than I actually thought I was. I basically gave myself a misconception that just because I was quicker to catch on and more intuitive than any of my peers, it would make up for me being lazy – which it didn’t. My grades and overall academic performance ended up being awful, and my blogging at school was somewhat of a symbolic act – although I didn’t exactly know what it symbolized. Today, writing that blog post over four years ago is still clear in my memory. I don’t know exactly why, because as of today it doesn’t really have much of a meaning to me (meaning that writing that blog post didn’t change me significantly or didn’t set off a catalyst for change), but it still ended up being memorable.
Do you like being scared by books, films, and surprises? Describe the sensation of being scared, and why you love it — or don’t. Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/daily-prompt-frightening/I don’t think I’ve ever been scared by a book (except maybe when someone throws one at me), but I have been by films and surprises, and I definitely do not enjoy it. In normal situations, I always value being in control of everything. Although I do not necessarily demonstrate my control to others, it’s always a thought in my mind. If I notice that something has a potential of doing something unexpected, I think of ways of how I can react to these things such that I can easily regain control of the situation caused. To me, the feeling of being scared is a feeling of losing control. Something that you weren’t expecting happens, and you are not prepared to properly react to it. As a result, I feel like being scared is a sensation of vulnerability, which I do not enjoy feeling. I generally don’t watch horror films in the first place, but when I do, I usually have to remind myself that I’m in a completely safe environment and it’s perfectly normal (and intended) to get scared. Otherwise, I tend to naturally begin to overanalyze the film, trying to predict what’s going to happen to prevent being taken by surprise. But even when I do let myself get scared, it brings back feelings of unpreparedness and vulnerability, so I tend not to watch horror films. In real life, I always have a mentality of reacting, which helps me expect the unexpected. I have also built up some good experience dealing with strange and unusual situations, so even if something catches me unexpectedly, I’m able to react to it properly without getting scared.
Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen? Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/daily-prompt-unplugged/I find this to actually be a really funny prompt, because things tend to be the opposite for me. When I know it’s time to unplug, it’s usually unplugging from real life and entering the world of a “little glowing box.” However, I do guess that there are times when I need to unplug from technology as well. There are literally an infinite amount of things I can do when I’m connected to the Internet – I have a list on my virtual notepad, and it’s actually impossible to finish the list because multiple items can go on forever (a few easy ones being adding more content to my website, and watching other people’s League of Legends streams to get better at the game). So, I eventually need to find a stopping point so I can go to sleep. Generally, the only time I really need to get away from a computer is when I’ve been on for so long that I can feel myself getting dizzy and need to start walking around. There have been days when I have been on my laptop for around 16 hours straight, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, and still haven’t felt exhausted. Normally, the only reason I would feel dizzy while using the computer is if I’m also sick in the process (but that usually means that I’m dizzy regardless of what I do). Overall, I think I have adapted my life enough that I never really need to unplug, because such a huge portion of my normal life now exists in the form of technology – online in the form of the things I enjoy doing, the things I make for others, and the communication I have with friends.
You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate? http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/daily-prompt-celebration/Because of my somewhat utilitarian and opportunity-based style of living, I actually don’t really celebrate much, even when I receive great news. When it happens, I generally accept it, feel happy for a bit, then move on and continue with what I was doing. If anything, my way of celebrating is to leave some time out for later so I can do some thinking and planning about how this great news will affect me. Some people wonder how I manage to get along without having any parties or celebrations, but that’s where my opportunity-based style of living comes along. It’s not that I don’t celebrate, it’s more that I let celebrations come to me and I don’t take any extra effort to make them happen. In terms of my own parties, I don’t have actual parties, but moments of relaxation everyday – I guess you could call them micro parties. Each evening or night, I rest, relax, do something fun, and eat some ice cream and other snacks. I’d rather do this and split up my fun among all days of the week, rather than have a huge party at the end of the week. Yes, this also means that I also don’t have parties during times most other people do, like my birthday. Instead of meeting up with all my friends at once during a party, I’d rather meet up in smaller groups when the opportunities arise. Some people like to buy themselves gifts when it’s their birthday; I, on the other hand, buy myself “gifts” whenever I see something I need on sale.
Note: for this Daily Post assignment, I decided to put the prompt at the end rather than at the top, because I feel reading the prompt before reading the post will act as a spoiler.Jonas entered the library with a skip in his step. Earlier that day, his teacher complimented him for being a great reader, and encouraged him to keep reading. Jonas took his reacher’s advice to heart, and sprinted straight to the library after school. He wanted to get the biggest, thickest, hardest books so he could become the best reader in the world. While scanning the shelves, he came across a 2,000-page encyclopedia. He instantly knew this was the one. Even the name of the book was beautiful: Britannica. Jonas and Britannica – it was meant to be. He brought it up to the circulation desk to check it out. “I’m sorry, young lad, but you cannot check out reference materials.” Jonas stood there thinking about what the lady had just said. Then it clicked. He knew what was happening. He had seen it in movies before. It was a forbidden love. The love between Jonas and Britannica was forbidden. Jonas knew exactly what to do next. The movies he’s seen taught him well. He had to run away with his true love. He had to run away with Britannica. He carefully looked toward the exit. There was an obstacle blocking the path to freedom and true love. There was a young girl standing by the door, looking out. Jonas sized her up – only about four feet tall, not much larger than he was. He made the decision. He believed in himself. He could do it. He dug his heels into the ground, then sprang forward. He began sprinting head-on towards the exit. The lady at the check-out desk began calling out for him, but he didn’t care. She just wanted to hold him back from his destiny. The obstacle got closer and closer. “Britannica, we will get through this together,” Jonas whispered. He held the encyclopedia at head height and charged forward. As he approached the obstacle, the book collided with the back of her head, causing her to topple over like a bowling pin. She shrieked out in pain and confusion, but Jonas didn’t care. The noise was just another attempt at the world trying to stop him from achieving his ultimate fate. The path was clear. As Jonas charged through the door and the book passed through the magnetic sensors, sirens started going off. “Wow, this love must be REALLY forbidden if even the police and FBI are after me,” Jonas thought to himself. He began the sprint back home. He never looked back, not even to notice that he had accidentally dropped Britannica in the parking lot on his way out. Five minutes later, Jonas arrived back at his house. “How was school?” his mother asked. “It was great, my teacher made me really happy today!” Jonas replied. “What did he do to make you so happy?” she asked. “He tried to hit me with a forklift!”
Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” Source: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/daily-prompt-nonsequitur/
Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why? http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/daily-prompt-public/Although I’m an introvert and prefer to be alone or in small groups, I am still comfortable in front of people, and like public speaking. When most people think of introverts, they think of shy people who run away from big crowds and hide in the back corner until they can leave. Although some introverts are like this, this is a better description of someone who is socially shy, rather than someone who is introverted. An easier way to describe the difference between introverts and extroverts is how they like to spend their relaxation time – alone, or with others. This shows how they recover their energy; introverts recharge alone, while extraverts recharge with others. Thus, especially in my situation, introversion or extraversion can have very little to do with someone’s desire to speak in front of crowds. In my case, I enjoy speaking and performing in front of large audiences. Often times, I seek out opportunities to do so, and even speak online in the form of shoutcasting during live stream broadcasts, if no person-to-person chances are available. I think the easiest way to describe why I enjoy public performance is because the presence of others places pressure on me to push myself to the limit to make my performance as entertaining as possible. Trying my best in something and reaching new levels of achievement gives me a thrill that may generally not be possible if others weren’t there to push me forward. My introversion comes into play here at the end of the performance; when everything is done and over, I like to go home and rest by myself. Note: After finishing writing this post, I looked back at the prompt and realized that it mentioned nothing about introversion or extraversion. Thus, I have no idea why I spent so much time talking about it and clearing up the nuances. So, in case you were wondering why I keep mentioning introverts and extraverts, it’s because I apparently don’t know how to read and understand prompts on the first try.