How to Keep Your Resolution Without Even Trying

And I'm specifically talking about that hoary old chestnut of a resolution to either lose weight or exercise more (one and the same, n'est pas?).

Found it on sci-fi writer Jamie Rubin's fantastic blog, buried about halfway down his post on "How I Work", under "My Best Time-Saving Trick":

"Practical multitasking. I combine exercise and reading into useful mental breaks throughout the day. About three times each day, I leave the building to walk. At 10 am and 3 pm, I walk a brisk 20 minutes or so. At noon, I spent my entire lunch hour walking. While I walk, I listen to audio books. This allows me to get in exercise (the only exercise I get, really) amount to about 100 minutes of “very active” walking each day. It comes out to about 7 miles/day. At the same time, it allows me to read far more books that I have ever been able to do in the past. And it gives me a good mental break from work so that I come back to my desk refreshed."

Already in the habit of taking walk breaks, I found the idea of adding audio books (and, for me, Pimsleur French courses) a great way to forget about mentally tracking (and reviling) how many steps or miles or minutes you're walking and actually get through more of them. Happily.

Well played, Monsieur Rubin. Well played.



All of Us Hacks, All of Us Indispensible.

Buzzing about the A.V. Club's site, I came across a post on this worrisome algorithm supposed to predict literary bestsellerdom. But just as I was beginning the descent into despair over the future of publishing what will it mean if we start using cold hard binary to code our fiction into formulas?? something altogether hopeful happened on the way to the bottom. This quote, right here:


Thousands of aspiring novelists, some of them the next VanderMeer, Dan Brown, or Dickens, currently toil away at their keyboards in hope of becoming successful. Obscure or famous, successful or not, literature depends on them. All of them. The reason they’re necessary—even when the vast majority of them are destined to be failures, in the false binary of a literary algorithm—is that they contribute momentum, enthusiasm, and the kind of innovation that can only come from those who scribble outside the lines. And no formula can measure that.

Word.

Nifty Resume Targeting Tool

So, those of y'all who know me know that I'm in the market for a new gig. (I'm a response generating content writing ninja with 10 years' experience for those who ain't know.)

But while bandying resumes about on the interwebs -- and keeping abreast of interesting ways to catch an employer's eye -- I found a tip so nifty I couldn't help but share.

It comes courtesy of this IdealistCareers.org blog post about using a word cloud app like Wordle to see if your resume broadcasts the skills and experience you want it to, or whether there's a gap between what you think your resume communicates and what it actually does.

All you do is fire up the word cloud app, cut n paste your resume, and blammo:



That's mine. Nice to see that, for an editorial maven, the word "content" is front and center. I think it'll do. But if it didn't, the word cloud would show what I needed to add -- or subtract -- on my rez.

Pretty easy, huh? So what out-of-the-box job search tips have you come across lately? Share, yo.

Why You Can't Ever Fail. Literally. You Can't.

Just look at it from Edison's point of view:



That's courtesy of the pretty frikkin awesome Think Jar Collective, whose post featuring creativity expert Michael Michalko offered this choice snippet:

"The reality is that there is no such thing as failure. 
Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, 
we end up doing something else. 

You cannot fail, you can only produce results."


Paradigm shift, engaged. Boom!


You Know What's Awesome?

Even our most connected generation, our teens and young adults, or Gen Y (yanno, those strapped-to-their-devices 16-24 year olds), still prefer printed books over their digital, ebook counterparts.

One of the top two reasons? They have an emotional--and tactile-- attachment to physical books. Turns out we all love to clutch those suckers tighter than Daryl cradling dat crossbow (though, for real, I'm trying to clutch DARYL).

And--and!!--they, too, like to sniff books. Cuz wood-pulp plus ink plus glue breaking down over time = the nose-noms :D And, lo, how thine noms art redolent of vanilla.

(Though I'm partial not just to old book smell, but new book smell, too. Fresh binding glue or old-ass lignin, I'm an equal-opportunity page sniffer.)




Now if I could just sniff Norman Reedus...

You're welcome.


Because Your Mind Is A Terrible Thing.

Best argument for getting a second set of eyes on your MS, courtesy of Mark Twain:

"You think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes & vacancies but you don't know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along. Sometimes--but not often enough--the printer's proof-reader saves you--& offends you--with this cold sign in the margin: (?) & you search the passage & find that the insulter is right--it doesn't say what you thought it did: the gas-fixtures are there, but you didn't light the jets."

Damned pesky jets.

What Do You & Bessie Smith Have in Common?

You're both on my mind.

While I work that one out, here's Bessie Smith to accompany us hence:

i like you when you got your habits on...

Be back blogging soon.

Three times fast,
Z