5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Writing

5 Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Photography.

Apply these same ideas as a writer:

  • Study something, other than writing. Pick a hobby, how about photography?
  • Delete old stories, ideas and such which you “might use some day”. Don’t get trapped by old ideas, old clutter.
  • Limit your gear, make do with what you have. Stop shopping for new software, new books and other tools, accessories. Get back to the basics and rely more on yourself than props.
  • Take a closer look at your subject. Even if you are writing fiction, find something new, look for a fresh angle. Get a new perspective by stepping back from your past research, experience or opinions.
  • Teach someone else about writing. You can also pull together the information and resources you have and teach someone else what you know about the topics you write about. Explaining it all to someone else helps you rediscover what you thought you knew.

5 Reasons Why I Dread Turning 30

I’m not turning 30, I’m closer to 50 now. But, I read this post (link at the bottom) and wrote about turning 30 and getting older in general. Of course, you’ve read it all before – or lived it yourself. The main thing is the living part, not the number of years. Even when it doesn’t feel so great to be having another birthday.

Turning 30 didn’t bother me at all. Turning 46 was a bigger issue. Now I’m coming up to 48. I think I’ve worn myself into the drama of turning 50 so when that year actually comes I will be already over it.

Your post made me laugh, in a good way. Time does pass quickly when you’re a kid. We have 12 years to be a kid, part of those years we are too young to tell time. Then we have seven years as a teenager. That passes slowly because of all that teenage angst that just drags along. Then you actually get to be an adult in your 20’s. That’s just ten years. You have far more years of being an adult than you do for being a kid. So of course, time seems to go faster if you look back.

If you are already worried about menopause you need a hobby or something – you must have far too much time on your hands to think about stuff. Get married, have kids, do all that in between stuff so you have something to show for your wrinkles and grey hair when you do get old enough to think about menopause – when it really is an issue.

As far as skin and hair, I guess everyone is different. I got one grey hair when I was 32, yanked it out and didn’t see another until I was past 40. My skin is still the same as ever. Though I sure don’t miss the zits of my younger years. I don’t find my hair or skin to be coarse or less elastic. I have curly hair. My hair stylist tells me I would have smoother hair if I would just brush it while it was wet. I almost never do, so I have somewhat frizzy hair due to my own tendency not to fuss with hair, cosmetics and etc.

Make the most of all of your years. So far, I would say the 40’s are the best years. But, I’m 47 so at least partially biased.

via 5 Reasons Why I Dread Turning 30.

What would you write about turning 30, whether you haven’t yet, are right about there or passed age 30?

How to Start People Watching

You can’t write about people if you’ve never watched people, random people in random settings. I like getting a coffee, sitting by a window on along a busy street with a lot of foot traffic going by. I like to watch the people. Seldom does anyone look up and see me watching. That is something interesting. Am I hiding from them or are they hiding from me?

Supplies needed for people watching are few. Binoculars are not at all recommended. If you need glasses, they you should have them with you. Keep a low profile, don’t make the people nervous or suspect you of something more complicated than amusing yourself. Some may like to have paper and pencil handy to take notes. Keep track of stray thoughts and ideas. Snacks and coffee are optional.

Location is the more interesting part of a people watching hobbyist. A busy city street could be in the financial area of a big city or in the shopping mall lost in the suburban sprawl. Try watching people in nature, like a park, at a lake on vacation or while they watch a parade or another local event. As long as there are enough people to watch and you can find a place to seclude yourself a little, any location can work for people watching. However, use your discretion, there is a fine line between people watching and being a peeping tom.

Time spent on people watching should be leisurely, give yourself time to find a spot for the viewing, settle in to the place and the patterns of traffic going by. I don’t think less than an hour will work for people watching. Part of the exercise is to take time to let your mind wander and you can’t do that very quickly.

As you can see, people watching is not a very complicated hobby. It’s fairly easy to pick up and something you can do on vacation as well as at home. It is interesting to take note of which people you tend to watch most? What age groups? How do they tend to be dressed? What makes you like or identify with one person over another? Do you make up possible stories for the people or do you take them more at face value and try to pick up on who they are from the facts you can see?

Flickr: People Watching – Have a look at photos from people watchers.
Not So Boring Life.com: People Watching – A Hobby for Everyone

Snowflake Watching

Snowflake watching is a real hobby. You need a magnifying glass and warm clothes. Bring your camera too and try to photograph the snowflakes. I think the challenge would be to be out on a day that is cold enough so your own breath isn’t melting them as you try to focus in close enough to see their patterns.

Flickr: Julie Falk: The Snowflake Project
Flickr: FWWidall: Snowflakes
Flickr: Mark Cassino: Snowflake Photos
Flickr: Snowflakes, Snow & Winter
Flickr: Awesome Snowflakes
National Geographic: Snowflake Gallery

Snowflake Photography Resources:

Reposted from Popular Mechanics Magazine: Wilson A. Bentley: Photographing Snowflakes
SnowCrystals.com: Snowflake Photography
JPG: Photographing Snowflakes
Pop Photo: How to Photograph Snowflakes
EarthSky: How to Take Photos of Snowflakes
Weather Scapes: Photographing Snow Crystals and Rime

Suite101: The Snowflake Man, Wilson A. Bentley

From the Expanding Unidirectional Ring of Pages: EUROPa

You may not have been online when EUROPa began in 1994. You may never have heard of Denis Howe who is credited as the creator of the first webring service. Take a look at the sites that come up as you click to explore EUROPa, it suffers due to link rot and abandoned sites, it doesn’t go as far as it once did.

Step 4 in creating your EUROPa page was to “Put something interesting in the ‘Other Links’ section.” This didn’t mean a list of your favourite sites, or the blogs from your feed reader, or a list of your own collection of sites you work on. It was a list of links people would find unique, original and even… interesting.

I don’t know what my list of links were originally. The site I had my EUROPa page on is long gone. But, the creation of the links is still something we can all do. What links would you come up with? Maybe you have a hobby few people know about? Maybe you create an odd form of art? Maybe you have an odd collection of some kind and know a few others who have the same? Everyone has something.

Get Artsy Crafty

This is the blog I am writing with the Twolia network. The blog is about creative arts and crafts. There are all kinds of interesting ideas from paper doll chains to crocheted flowers, Inukshuks and digital scrapbooking. I’m mainly looking for small craft ideas which have been forgotten as we grow up and get too busy. I like simple things that can make you feel you used some skill, learned something new and interesting and have something uniquely you at the end to show for it all.

What are some simple crafts or unusual art forms which you have encountered, found interesting or tried yourself? If it is something you could stick with and do as a hobby would you or did you? It’s great to have something you create yourself. DIY! Even if you are all thumbs or can’t draw or can’t this or can’t that, try something.

Let me know what you try. Post about it to your own blog, with a photo if possible.