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.

The Week in Lnks

It’s been a buy and stressful week since the last edition of The Week in Links, but that’s why we call it work. It’s not always fluffy clouds and bright sunshine, even for those of us fortunate enough to be doing what we love for a living.

Despite all that, I have enjoyed quite a bit of reading this week. Once again I’ve highlighted a couple of articles which I really connected with. One from Shawn Blanc about work and one about working for yourself… probably not a coincidence after reading that first paragraph.

So sit back and enjoy this weeks edition alongside your Sunday coffee.

  • Concerning the Ebb and Flow of “Work” by Shawn Blanc – This is sometihng I’m learning about myself at the moment. Even before I was self-eployed my tendency was to do things all the time, I used to give my holidays to go and do a bible holiday club for two weeks every summer. It was different but incredibly tiring and it caught up with me. Now I’m self-employed forcing myself to rest is hard, in fact it hit me last weekend. I need to be away from home to rest and shut out my work, otherwise I and my work suffer.
  • Master working for yourself without crushing your soul — Dispatches from Paul Jarvis – Really interesting insights and thoughts on the areas on which to focus if you’re a freelancer. Focus upon what you want to do, talk about it lots and don’t be afraid of saying no. That final bit can be the hardest of all.

The Best of the Rest

Archives

Back in October of 2014 I wiped this blog and started all over again in an attempt at a fresh start and the beginning of more regular posting. The lack of baggage was supposed to be the catalyst to help me post, to a degree it has worked and I’ve been posting here much more regularly since the turn of the year. The Week in Links has helped, and is approaching it’s six month anniversary.

On Monday evening I read a post by Paul Stamatiou about his years of blogging. I was struck by a particular sentence half way through:

The era of the personal website is over. It’s now just a personal landing page with a photo, bio and link to a Twitter profile.

I understand exactly where he is coming from, but I also disagree, to a certain extent. It’s true a lot of websites have disappeared over the last few years, but over the last few months I’ve seen a resurgence in the personal site/blog. Something that I want to be a part of. It got me thinking about my own personal site, and the changes it’s been through over the last decade. I’ve never binned it to replace it with a personal site, but I did recently delete all my posts and before that I had another blog that has gone the way of the Dodo.

It struck me how wrong that is. I put a lot of time and effort into writing those posts, and for them to be erased is just plain wrong. Fortunately I managed to locate a backup of this site from just before I wiped it, and I’ve now added all the posts back into the archive. There’s still a bit of tidying up to do but for the most part the archives now extend all the way back to January 2011. I’m also hoping to be able to locate an old backup of my very first blog, the one that existed prior to this one. I’ve been writing on the internet for nearly a decade now, it should be preserved and maintained in some form or another not consigned to oblivion.

All of this to say, I’ve added the archives back to this place. If you’re interested and have the time, why not have a dig through and see what you can find.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition continues the evolution of the The Week in Links. Rather than presenting a list of links of varying length I decided it was time to start adding a little commentary and injecting some more of my interests and personality into the column. It is after all my personal blog that it appears in.

This week covers some technology news, some views on Art and Creativity, Le Tour de France, how dressing could affect our approach to work and an incredible video that I highly recommend you watch with your Sunday morning coffee or evening glass of wine.

Cheers!

  • The story of Windows 10 from inside Microsoft – It’s been a big week for computing with the arrival of Windows 10. I’ve long been a Mac user, and will be for a long time to come, but I have to say this release of Windows has me intrigued. I’m interested to see how it does and whether it can bring any traction in the mobile space.
  • Approval & Art by David duChemin – I really identified with this when I read it, in particular this short paragraph:

    The problem is that safety, in many ways, is toxic to art. We get addicted to it. We cling to it and venture out less and less. We risk less. We repeat what “works” and avoid what doesn’t. But if what works is what holds us back, it becomes a kind of sabotage to keep doing it.

  • Taking on the Tour de France – With the end of Le Tour last week, this VSCO Journal is timed nicely. Rather than your usual photographic essay looking at Le Tour with a focus on the Peloton this one has a more interesting take looking at those who are watching as well.

Other Reads

The Week In Links

This weeks edition is coming to you slightly late, no excuses other than yesterday flew by and I forgot to post it. I’ve tried something a little different this week, adding some commentary to a couple of links I really enjoyed and then listing some other good reads below them. I’m hoping to evolve this series a little over the summer to inject a bit more of myself into them. Hope you enjoy this weeks edition.

  • THE ALPS by STRAVA – The last week of this year’s Le Tour de France has been through the Alps. This photo story from Strava catches some of what the Peloton has been through these last few days. Even if you’re not a cycling fan these photos are worth viewing. The mountains are stunningly beautiful, I could sit and look at them all day and I loved visiting the Alps the three times I’ve been skiing.
  • Don’t Let Success Breed Failure — Shawn Blanc – The second half of this article from Shawn resonated with me and is why I’ve included it in this weeks edition. As a self employed person I spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of thing, especially after events earlier this year. It’s so tempting to continually say yes to everything, but it’s not possible to do it all. It takes a laser focus and discipline to make sure that workloads and priorities remain manageable.

Other links of interest

The Week in Links

Another Sunday and another edition of The Week in Links. The majority of this week’s edition came across my path in the first half of the week. In particular is the fascinating and challenging article on living well cheaply, whilst I don’t identify with the Millennials, I am technically of that generation. I found this an interesting read full of good advice.

Hope you enjoy these reads with your Sunday coffee or evening glass of wine.

The Week in Links

It’s been an interesting week, during which I’ve managed to plough through a good chunk or articles that I had been saving. It’s made this weeks edition a bit of a bumper one, and there’s a couple of articles that wouldn’t otherwise have made it. One of my favourite sporting events of the year started yesterday, Le Tour de France, and so there are a couple of interview with British riders ahead of it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Week in Links

Another new week, another edition of The Week in Links. This week has been a good week with the launch of some updates to a client’s website and a new homepage for 18TWO, so my evenings have been filled with some relaxation and bike riding. Consequently there’s a good number of links for you to devour over your lunchtime coffee, covering MacBook, Apple Watch, photography, product design, workspaces, writing and finishing off with some cycling.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links covers a rande of topics. There’s the usual dose of Apple things, some thoughts from Shawn Blanc on focus and creativity, an obituary to one of the greatest type designers of all time, a moving video from Israel and a moving story from the Welsh valleys.

With the edition also falling on Father’s Day it would be remiss not to mention my Dad. So just a quick note to him to say thanks for being my Dad, you support me, you help me and you guide me and as well as being my Dad you’re also a great friend. Have a beer on me tonight!

The Week in Links

The latest edition is a bit late in arriving. I’ve tried something a bit different this week, just adding a few thoughts to each link. Enjoy some Monday lunchtime reading.

  • Initial Thoughts on iOS 9’s iPad Multitasking: A Deep Transformation
    Thanks to iOS 9, I put The Talk Show’s video player in a floating popup, opened Twitterrific, and continued watching. When I wanted to take notes, I swiped from the right edge of the screen and I started typing in Notes – all while still watching the video and having Twitterrific open at the same time. It all felt natural, and it was glorious.

This is one of the things that’s intrigued me the most about the iOS 9 announcements. Apple paid the iPad some much needed attention and it grew up, making it an extremely compelling device once again.

  • The Apple Watch
    I’ve been waiting for this review from Ben Brooks, he’s waited and spent time with the device for publishing his thoughts to the world. What’s interesting to me is that the Watch seems to be genuinely helping people become less connected, and to have more space and time away from their more intrusive devices. I was convinced the Watch would just be even more intrusive.
  • Building an audience – Matt Gemmell
    There’s not much to add about this, other than a big YES!

I’ve been writing on the web since 2005, one of the biggest regrets I have is that I let that first blog die out and it’s posts disappear into oblivion. Building an audience takes time, and it’s taking a long time to rebuild it.

  • MessageKit
    I really the concept outlined in this post on Medium. I have a load of apps installed on my iPhone that only get used occasionally. It doesn’t play well on a 16GB device, this seems like a great solution. With natural language coming in Spotlight on El Capitan, maybe it’s not a far off idea…

The Week in Links

The sun has been shining here this weekend and I’ve been out on the bike I enjoying it. Consequently this weeks edition of The Week in Links is a bit later than usual. There’s still some interesting reads to enjoy with your Sunday evening glass of beer or wine!

The Week in Links

Issue 15 of The Week in Links is a very visual one. Photography is at the heart of it, with photo stories from a trip to Vancouver, an Apple Watch review, different ways a design team uses notebooks and the story of one of my favourite cycling races. Enjoy!

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links is an eclectic mix. The history of Japanese business culture, workspaces, Ethiopia, Apple Watch and a look into designing a typeface to represent a nation to the world.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links is a small one, but features some great projects. An insight into developing a consistent branding for one of the most recognisable brands and some tips on starting a business. Finishing the edition is a look at the process behind a brilliant personal project. One I would love to do myself one day.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links is packed with some great reads and a stunning video. It covers notebooks, Antarctica, workspaces, focus, learning and a stunning piece of branding. Grab a coffee, beer or glass of wine and sit back and enjoy.

The Week in Links

Writing, future uses of new technology, design processes, an interview with a design legend and Apple Watch. The range of subjects covered in this weeks edition of The Week in Links, has a bit more variety in it than previous weeks. Sit back and enjoy.

Rediscovering the Personal Site

It’s been an interesting start to the year to say the least, but one positive from it has been the renewal of my interest in both my own blog and the blogs of others.

I’ve been reading blogs, or personal sites would probably be a more accurate term in 2015, since I came across them in my second year at university in 2006. Back then I loved the idea of people publishing something to the internet and quickly set my own blog up. I came across a number of great writers who like me were just finding their feet in the world of Web 2.0. In the 8 years that have passed since then, I’ve had a number of my own blogs and lost my motivation/desire to post to them all at various points in time.

In the early days of the blog, there was what felt like a strong community. A group of people writing about what interested them in a way which was new and exciting. It was inspiring to see others sharing in this way and it made me want to do the same. In the years since I left Uni in 2007 there seemed to be a change amongst the blogs I read. They became focused and somewhat same-y in their content, it felt like the blogs lost their personalities as their authors pursued a desire to be better writers. A few of them managed to maintain the personality that drew me to them in the first place, but, many didn’t and as a result the blogs either died off or my interest in them waned. It was sad and with that homogenising of content my own inspiration and desire to write also dried up.

Over the last few months I’ve started to notice something different. Perhaps it’s just that my own mindset has changed, or it could be that I’ve been finding a bunch of new sites, or a reaction to the likes of Facebook who seem to want to be the internet rather than part of it. But the personal site seems to be rising like a phoenix from the flames.

Many of the sites are specialised, with focused content, but they no longer seem to be of one voice talking about the same thing all the time. They have personality. The posts, whilst often being focused around a similar subject, are varied and seem to be a reflection of the people who write them. It’s both inspiring and a joy to read these sites. They might be writing about a pen, a notebook or a new Mac, but they are doing it in a way which is interesting and engaging.

These personal sites have the polish and high standard that the web in 2015 demands, but they seem to be returning to the personality and interest that was so apparent in the the rise of the blog back in the mid naughties. It’s refreshing and I’m thankful for it. I applaud those behind it and I hope it continues long into the future.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition is a bit of a bumper one with a combination of interesting and geeky. There’s a look at what London could’ve been, some thoughts on work and showing up, a history of a typeface, a pen review and reflection with the benefit of hindsight.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition, covers the new MacBook, a review of the iMac with 5K retina display, the struggle of packing the perfect bag, and the emotional rollercoaster of being a freelancer/self-emlpoyed developer.