Criticism and feedback

Which one is worth more?

Often feedback is something you ask for whereas criticism is something you get given.

And so there is the idea that criticism is always negative and feedback is useful which in some ways I think is true.

I think that both are worth something if they’re specific and can be used to make improvements but the circumstance should also be considered.

Letting a restaurant know the food arrived cold is worth more than telling an author that their book was bad because you didn’t enjoy it. Nobody enjoys cold food that’s supposed to be hot but there will always be people that like stories about aliens.

And so it’s not a conversation about criticism and feedback but instead objectivity and subjectivity.

It’s more than what it is

This blog is more than just a blog.

It’s a daily blog.

It’s a writing practice.

It’s a come as you are space where I feel free to write as I please.

It’s a habit.

It’s a commitment.

It’s a hobby.

I’ve been blogging for years and but I never considered how I would feel about having a daily blog where the sole focus was on words. Turns out I love it, I could happily stop writing my lifestyle blog that’s how much I enjoy this blog.

It’s so much more than what it is. After over 7 years of writing online I’ve finally given myself permission to share my words in my own way.

I like a mixture of serious and silly. I can write about feeling afraid, the inner monologue and the importance of exploring yourself. But I can also write about creating a dream life and make up analogies based on cars. 

And then there’s references to Seth Godin, someone who has had a major influence on me alongside pieces that are about moments I’ve experienced.

It’s hard to summarise what this is but it’s definitely more than just a blog.


When you’re not in-flow

Having a daily writing practice means that writers block isn’t an excuse I can use.

There are days when writing feels a little more rigid and I suppose I feel ‘blocked’ but I don’t feed it because whether I feel in-flow or totally out of flow I still have to write and share something.

I think one of the easiest ways to loosen up and allow the words to flow is to write and it’s ironic because we’d usually do the opposite.

Perhaps the first 100 or even 500 words might be what you think of as rubbish but once you get past that you get to the good stuff. All of sudden you’re scoffing at that supposed ‘writers block’ knowing that you should have listened to Seth when he said:

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

Seths Blog: Talkers Block

Day 183

When I started this blog 6 months ago I never really considered what I wanted it to be. I just knew that I wrote a lot and thought it would be nice to have somewhere to share it.

The months have flown by and knowing that I’m committed to finding a ‘gemm’ each day is something I look forward to.

Some days I think I’ve written a master piece and other days I think I’m clicking publish on some of my worst work. At times that can be a difficult thing to navigate but I find solace in knowing that I can share something new tomorrow.

I don’t pay much attention to views, followers, likes or comments in terms of keeping track and trying to make them go up because I know that it’ll take the fun out of things and I like that this place is so free.

It’s my ‘come as you are’ space. And each day I think about life and write what comes to me. It’s helped me to think differently because I don’t want to write posts complaining about how the cancelled meeting messed up my whole day or how a relationship has fallen apart.

Instead I try and focus on the lessons I’ve learnt and the growth points in the challenges I face.

Cheers to 6 months and cheers to 6 more!

A writers confidence

My writing habit was born from journaling which explains why I write with such confidence.

I’m used to writing about my thoughts on life and things I’ve experienced, in fact I’m incredibly comfortable doing it.

Granted a blog is more open than a journal but the practice is the same.

It’s been more than a decade and since I first started journaling and more than 7 years since I started my first blog.

And looking back over 10 years, my writing has improved so much. I can’t promise I’m the best at it but I’m confident that I’m better than I used to be.

Best of all, it’s something I love to do.

Pyramids and Ponzis

Less than two weeks ago someone I follow on Instagram who I met at an event last summer posted something about a loom to their stories.They detailed how they were looking to recruit people to add to their circle and even showed a graphic to explain how it all works.

Below are snippets from a BBC article I read recently:

-The scheme asks participants to pay £160 up front with the promise of making a return of eight times that amount.

-The scheme relies on you then recruiting other people to join up and to part with their money as well.

For everyone in the scheme to make a profit, though, there needs to be an endless supply of new members.

In reality, the number of people willing to join the scheme, and ultimately the amount of money coming into the scheme, will dry up very quickly.

-“In this one 64 people had to pay in to get the top payout – that’s about £10,000 you need to send to a fraudster between 64 people. So it’s pennies for a fraudster to send back £1,000 to one person, they’ve still made £9,000.”

Warning over pyramid scheme aimed at social media generation

And so the point is to be recruited and then recruit. Straight away I knew this didn’t sound right. It was a one off payment of  £25 to join which I suppose was smart because it makes it attainable to the common man.

However, what first came to my mind was a Ponzi scheme. It’s something I’d forgotten the definition of but what I did remember was an individual getting rich and promising the same for others, along with fraud, prison and the Wolf of wall Street.

I’d almost forgotten about the loom circle post until I saw someone tweeting about it and the next day the person that shared it on their stories shared it again.

There was no part of me that wanted to join but what I did do was research because I knew there would be articles from victims of the loom circle warning others against it.

This whole thing is a pyramid scheme where people make money from recruiting new people. No recruits, no money.

It’s advertised as an easy way to make money and of course there is money to be made but it’s the people at the top that gain.

The difference between this and a ponzi scheme is the illusion. With a ponzi scheme you get money from people and decieve them into beliving you’re investing their money then recruit money from more investors to pay the ‘return’ to the other investors. A popular example is Jordan Belfort  whose book inspired the movie ‘The Wolf of wall street’ movie.

I don’t support these kind of schemes either way but at least with the ponzis scene the people you’re taking money from believe you’re legit.

With this loom thing once you give it some thought you realise that it’s model of success is built on having infinite people to recruit. And so how does the last person to join make money?

Of course a 7+ billion person pyramid scheme would never happen. But our circles of who we know only span so far and circles of contacts will overlap. All of a sudden it becomes a race to recruit.

By law in a lot of places these schemes are a type of fraud because you aren’t actually investing in anything. It’s not sustainable and eventually the person at the top after collecting x amount of money will disappear and the scheme will collapse.

The people that gained nothing from it will want their money back and trust will be lost.

The recruiters offer the promise of financial reward but it’s so much more than that, it’s psychological. Factors such as greed, likeability, authority, reciprocity and consensus all contribute to how the scheme manages to work (The psychology behind pyramid schemes).

Likeability is a great example because we’re more likely yo trust the people we like or be convinced by them.

Granted participants can make money from pyramid schemes but why not play the long game. Start a business or learn to invest in stocks. Provide a product or service that people are willing to pay for.

A quote from Seths blog post Are you being Manipulated?

“if you knew what they know, would you be happy to do what they’re asking?”

It’s a question worth asking.

The answer will probably be no, it’s only a small group of people that can say with certainty that they’re okay with convincing family and friends to put money into a scheme that is a form of fraud by dressing it up as a great business opportunity.

3 Months of daily blogging!

Time has flown by and one thing that I can tell you about daily blogging is that it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be.

The act of coming up with something to write every single day and sharing it is more enjoyable than challenging.

I thought I’d get ‘writers block’ but any time I felt stuck for what to write I just tapped into my inner monologue. I’d think about something interesting that had happened recently, what had I learnt or experienced.

Some days I’d be really pleased with what I’d written and other days  I’d click publish knowing that it was not my best work.

But it’s unrealistic to expect that everything I write will feel like the best thing that I’ve ever written, that’s something pretty useful that I’m learning on my writer journey.

Over the past 3 months, I missed one day of blogging and instead of berating myself I just posted twice the next day. Through that I learnt to not be so hard on myself with this daily blogging thing.

I love that I’m writing more and sharing more because as a result of it I’m thinking differently and even though this isn’t as challenging as I thought it would be there is some level of challenge involved.

For me, it’s that challenge of committing. I’m an ideas person and I get excited by new things. In the past my excitement has run out rather quickly and I call it quits and just move onto something else.

But I think that part of me has changed as this is post #90 and I’m still excited about this blog.

Everyday I give myself the opportunity to do something I love and share it.