I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

In response to my post the oth­er day, John Philpin respond­ed with a quote from his Mum. I real­ly liked it so want­ed to share it here for more peo­ple to discover.

Mom: “Remem­ber … don’t for­get to write to me at least once a week – even bet­ter – every day.”
Me: “Every day! There wont be enough to say every day!”
Mom: “You will find that the more you write the more you will have to say, because then every­thing is impor­tant. If you only write once a month, there will be noth­ing impor­tant enough to write about.” 

Don’t forget to write

Write More ›

Cameron Moll post­ed a thread on Twit­ter urg­ing peo­ple to write. Here are the four tweets quoted:

I’ve found it incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to make time for long-form writ­ing the past few years. When I have, the cat­a­lyst has been remind­ing myself of the tremen­dous ROI as a design­er, man­ag­er, busi­ness own­er, and so on.
If you want to be a bet­ter design­er, write more.
If you want to be a bet­ter man­ag­er, write more.
If you want to be a bet­ter biz own­er, write more.
You can also sub­sti­tute “speak more” for each of these.
The act of syn­the­siz­ing what’s in your head for an audi­ence of crit­ics leads to increased ana­lyt­i­cal think­ing, self-aware­ness, clar­i­ty, and much more.
Last but not least, you inspire oth­ers to write—or at the very least ‘write’ by join­ing the con­ver­sa­tion you’ve started. 

It’s some­thing I’ve been think­ing about lots the last cou­ple of weeks. I’ve been want­i­ng to post to my blog more because I think it will be ben­e­fi­cial for me in many ways, one of which to help me build dis­ci­pline and self-con­trol in oth­er areas of my life.
The thing that real­ly strikes me about this Twit­ter thread, the whole thing would make a good blog post. It prob­a­bly would’ve been eas­i­er to post to a blog as well, like­ly have a longer life span, and con­se­quent­ly have more of an impact. Not all writ­ing on a blog has to be long to have an impact, if it’s worth string­ing four tweets togeth­er in a thread to make a point, it’s wor­thy of a blog post.

Thoughts as Nest Eggs ›

Today when you say “nest egg” many think of mon­ey saved and put away, but a lit­er­al “nest egg” is a real or fake egg that you put in a nest to encour­age a bird or a hen to lay more eggs there. So what Thore­au is say­ing is that by sim­ply writ­ing down a thought, you encour­age more thoughts to come. When you have enough thoughts pushed togeth­er in the same space — a col­lage of thoughts, jux­ta­posed — they often lead to some­thing total­ly new.
This is the mag­ic of writing. 

Austin Kleon wrapped up a recent post with the quote above. The post on one lev­el is about jour­nal­ing and writ­ing in gen­er­al, but do you know what else that quote describes? A blog.
A blog is noth­ing more than a series of thoughts writ­ten down over a peri­od of time. When you think about it that way it’s incred­i­bly free­ing. There should be no pres­sure. Instead there should just be turn­ing up to write down a thought and see­ing where it takes you.

Tinker

The desire to tin­ker is strong in this one.
I have this prob­lem when it comes to my blog. The more I start to post to it, the more I want to tin­ker. The more active I am on the site, the more I notice lit­tle things I don’t like and want to fix. The more I post to it, the more I want all my inter­net post­ing to orig­i­nate on it. It’s like an illness.
It’s some­thing I’ve always strug­gled with, and I con­fess it’s a side to blog­ging that I enjoy. The trou­ble is, the more I tin­ker the less I post. The more I craft the design, the less time I spend writing.
It’s a bat­tle, although one I’m sure I do not face alone. It’s not just the bat­tle of a blog­ger, it’s a bat­tle of a design­er. Most of the tin­ker­ing I do is design relat­ed, lit­tle details and quirks in my theme which I notice but very few oth­ers will. I also know from expe­ri­ence, that I will get to the point where I’ve caught the lit­tle tweaks I need to and they will be fixed. Then it’s just a case of resist­ing the big­ger things I’d like to do. Or at least knock­ing off the major ones first, like find­ing a way to post pho­tos here and on Insta­gram, dis­play­ing them in a way I’m hap­py with. The key though, is to keep the posts flow­ing. Keep to my chal­lenge of post­ing every­day, and get­ting through the tin­ker­ing stage until I get to the point where I’m just post­ing each day and all my pub­lished con­tent orig­i­nates here.
Or is it just a pipe dream? Should I just keep post­ing and ignore the lit­tle bits that nag?
But I know I can’t just ignore the nag­ging. I’m a design­er, I like details and its in my nature to keep refin­ing bits until they’re gone. To keep craft­ing until they as close to per­fect as can be, it’s just impor­tant to keep the per­spec­tive, to keep in mind that per­fect does­n’t exist. It’s about get­ting things to good enough whilst keep­ing on post­ing each day and build­ing momen­tum so that the writ­ing takes over the tin­ker­ing and becomes a cre­ative out­let in its own right.

What Do You Write About?

I know what you’re think­ing. It’s only the sec­ond day of the chal­lenge I set myself, to post to my blog every­day from now until the end of the year, and already I’m ask­ing the ques­tion of what do I write about.
I would imag­ine it’s a famil­iar sto­ry to any­one who’s decid­ed to under­take such a chal­lenge. Going from bare­ly writ­ing or post­ing to your blog to post­ing every­day it’s only nat­ur­al to find your­self won­der­ing what to write about. If I hadn’t been here before it would be a big wor­ry, it might even be so dis­cour­ag­ing that I would just aban­don ship straight away. Whilst this morn­ing when I decid­ed it was time to write today’s post I didn’t have any­thing in par­tic­u­lar I want­ed to write about I know that if I keep going and post­ing each day I will even­tu­al­ly end up with too many sub­jects to write about. It’s the nature of the beast, the more you do it, the more ideas you have.
There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent tac­tics that I’ve come across over the years that are aimed at help­ing you come up with sub­jects to write about. Unsur­pris­ing­ly none of them have ever worked for me, but there is one thing that does. I know it works because I’ve demon­strat­ed it in oth­er parts of my life, be it read­ing my bible or doing the work for my free­lance business.
Show­ing up every day.
So here I am, show­ing up. A new sheet in Ulysses, my head­phones in and I’m writ­ing. In fact through the course of writ­ing this post I’ve already come up with the top­ic for tomorrow’s post. There it is in action. Show­ing up today has trig­gered the process. The more you do some­thing the more idea’s you have, the first step is show­ing up.

Ulysses 2.5 for iPad and, Now, iPhone Review ›

A glow­ing review which I could­n’t agree with more. Ever since I down­loaded it for my iPad I’ve been using the app, now it’s on my iPhone as well every­thing I write for this site goes through the app. Paired with the Mac app, it’s great for writ­ing ser­mons in as well.

Just Hit Command‑N

Just hit Command‑N. Those are the words I just read in a post from Man­ton Reece, and so that’s what I’m doing. I may not be a devel­op­er or some­one who’s had much of an audi­ence in my life on the Inter­net. How­ev­er, for the last few weeks I’ve want­ed to start post­ing to my site again but for what­ev­er rea­son I’ve nev­er known what to write. So here I am press­ing the plus but­ton in Ulysses on my iPad and writing.
I remem­ber when I first got in to the whole blog­ging way of things. I was­n’t real­ly selec­tive about what I wrote about, I would just write what­ev­er came to me. Of course there was a set of themes that would be cov­ered, but they weren’t cho­sen with inten­tion, there were just what my inter­ests were. They were me. Since dis­cov­er­ing Man­ton’s blog towards the end of last year I’ve been remind­ed of my ear­ly blog and the ear­ly blogs of those who I still fol­low. They were gen­uine and full of inter­est­ing things because they weren’t over­ly focused, they were just per­son­al sites. Of course those sites, at least the ones that are still going, are still inter­est­ing but they’ve become more focused over time. Although that focus may have hap­pened by a nat­ur­al evo­lu­tion as peo­ple found what real­ly makes them tick, those sites are inter­est­ing in a dif­fer­ent way now. Thank­ful­ly what I’m start­ing to see, and what I hope I con­tin­ue to see, is more vari­ety and new sites that are per­son­al and reflect the whole of the per­son who writes them. That’s what drew me to this hob­by we call blog­ging, and it’s what I hope will help me return.
So here’s to new begin­nings, to start­ing to write more and to being less both­ered about what I should write about and instead just post­ing what feels right.

On Writing ›

A real­ly inter­est­ing and com­pre­hen­sive post by Ben Brooks about Writ­ing.
What I like about this post is that it isn’t just a list of tools or a work­flow. Although he cov­ers those top­ics, the main meat of the piece is about why he writes. This is the kind of thing we should be read­ing more of, of course it’s fas­ci­nat­ing read­ing about apps and work­flows, but it’s more thought pro­vok­ing and inter­est­ing to hear about why peo­ple do it.

Building

I’m great at mak­ing state­ments and promis­es about things that I want to do. It’s easy. I think of some­thing I wish to do, decide there and then a means by which to do it, then post to my blog declar­ing it in the pub­lic domain.

In prin­ci­ple it’s a good tac­tic. The pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion should be enough of a moti­va­tion to make sure I stick to some­thing, but the real­i­ty is that more often than not I fall short. I might stick to it for a cou­ple of weeks, but then life will hap­pen and that’s it, the idea slides out of exis­tence. Why? Because of a lack of discipline.
When it comes to dis­ci­pline I’ve gen­er­al­ly been quite good when it comes to doing some­thing that real­ly mat­ters, or some­thing that I have to do. The trou­ble was when it came to doing some­thing I want­ed to do, like writ­ing for this site. So as part of get­ting back into it, I’ve been tak­ing lit­tle steps, to build integri­ty, trust and discipline.

Integrity

Build­ing integri­ty with myself is crit­i­cal. The num­ber of times I’ve set out with an aim to do some­thing, then not suc­ceed­ed to do it are count­less, and this car­ries over into start­ing new things. Whilst the inten­tion and desire can be strong, the belief that I can do it less so. It’s been errod­ed by years of unful­filled promis­es to myself about start­ing to write on a reg­u­lar basis.
The trick, I’ve dis­cov­ered is to start small. It’s not a new tech­nique, but I tes­ti­fy that it’s start­ing to work. I start­ed with The Week in Links, my week­ly post shar­ing a few links to good arti­cles or inter­est­ing things that I’ve seen around the inter­net over the week. As of the time of writ­ing, I’ve now post­ed an edi­tion of that post for nine­teen weeks run­ning. I’ve built integri­ty with myself that I can post to this site on a reg­u­lar basis, on a sched­ule I decid­ed and want­ed to com­mit to.

Trust

Now I have built some integri­ty and belief that I can do some­thing I want to do and not just some­thing I have to do. I’m build­ing trust in myself that I can actu­al­ly do it. I trust that I can man­age the rest of my day well enough, to be able to set aside time to write.

Discipline

The trust in myself that I can do this, builds the dis­ci­pline that I need to actu­al­ly do it. Hav­ing estab­lished a pat­tern of turn­ing up each week to post The Week in Links, I’m now dis­ci­plined enough to carve out that time each week to make sure I keep doing it.
It’s a knock on effect, or maybe more of a cir­cu­lar cycle. The more belief that I have in stick­ing by my stat­ed inten­tions, builds the trust I need to be able to make those inten­tions in the first place. In turn, that builds the dis­ci­pline I need to exe­cute those inten­tions, thus giv­ing myself more belief. It’s why this week I’ve added anoth­er step into my morn­ing rou­tine so that I can be sat here at my desk and do a half hour of writ­ing before my work day begins. Not only am I build­ing trust that I can work on writ­ing for my site with reg­u­lar­i­ty, I’m also build­ing trust that I can get up and go through my morn­ing rou­tine with the time to do all that I both want and need to do.
Of course there is anoth­er side to this. If I do miss one of my carved out writ­ing slots, I must not give myself a hard time about it. Life hap­pens and I won’t always get to do these things. When that’s the case I need to be able to say nev­er­mind, reset and go again the next day remem­ber­ing that for the past how­ev­er many days I’ve been able to do it.