Back when I started doing reviews, I shared them by email with some friends and other people who asked to be put on the list after seeing other things I emailed out for PolyWogg Trivia and PW-Humour. I was an one-man GoogleGroups of sorts.
I had dreams of becoming semi-famous as an online blogger for movies. I tried posting a few reviews to various sites, and a site called Ottawa FilmCan loved my reviews — free content for them! So when studios offered them “press passes” for some premiere, they gave one to me. I went to the theatre, got in for free, and sat in a decent row where five of the seats said “reserved for press”. Me, with a press pass for a movie? Cool. I didn’t get a lot of free passes, but just enough that it remained a rush each time.
At the time, I was going to the movies fairly regularly, mostly by myself, and I tried to go to some premieres several times a year. » Read the rest
Soooo, about my book reviews on my website. I tweaked and played about five major times with layout, format, etc. between 2005 and 2015. It has come up enough that my wife’s reaction to ANOTHER change was basically that I was always fiddling with it, wasn’t I? Not quite, but it obviously seems like it to her.
Early on, it was just by email. Then I had a website, and I tried multiple layouts and even some plugins. I was posting the reviews on Amazon, and even had some inkling that maybe some day I could be a top reviewer for them. Lots of people do 10-20 reviews and stop, and back when I was starting, even 500 reviews would have put you in the top 50. Then Amazon exploded and their affiliate program grew too, so now people review EVERYTHING. So I expanded my reviews to post them elsewhere too — Indigo, Google, Barnes and Noble, GoodReads, Ottawa Public Library, LibraryThing, etc. » Read the rest
I have been wanting to do a reading challenge for some time now, and each year I think I’m going to do the Good Reads one (with a 50 book pledge, for instance). But I feel the approach of just counting books is “off” somehow as a raw number isn’t really what I’m talking about. Would I feel twice as good if I read 50 books instead of 25? What about classics, should I only be counting classics? Is there a way to somehow add gamification to the mix?
Or when it comes right down to it, is all I’m hoping to do is keep track of the books I do read and actually get around to reviewing them? My “to be reviewed” pile is more virtual than real, but is still quite large.
What am I trying to do by participating in a Reading Challenge? I thought I would look at a bunch, see which ones appealed to me, and work backwards to figure out why. » Read the rest
The last chapter of Jeffrey Kottler’s book, “Change”, was one of the ones I was most looking forward to reading — “Why Changes Don’t Often Last”. The sobering statistics are quite common in pop psych — the huge numbers of people who set New Year’s resolutions but abandon them before the first week is out (often from trying for perfection in “Just Do It” mode rather than incremental chain-growth like the Seinfeld method mentioned earlier), and that 80% of those who join gyms stop going after the first few visits even though they keep paying for membership for much longer (the illusion of still being committed that would be shattered by formally quitting their membership).
Oddly enough, I was quite surprised at the beginning of the chapter that those who study change don’t have a firm grasp of why it fails. First and foremost, those who are heavy at work in the change industry — like therapists or weightloss consultants — don’t know what happens after the patient reaches a goal. » Read the rest
Jeffrey Kottler says he saved the most difficult subject for last in his book, “Change”, and it is addressed by Chapter 13, “Soliciting Support and Resolving Conflicts in Relationships”. He isn’t kidding. There are some really tough things in this chapter, often dealing with abusive spouses, parents with addictions, and family problems out the wazoo. It is both a problem in and of itself as well as an obstacle to other changes being accomplished. A list he includes of the types of changes you would like to make in relationships is an extremely powerful one, simply put:
Changing the patterns of those that are frustrating, unsatisfying, or unfulfilling;
Setting boundaries for relationships that aren’t meeting your needs or are taking a bite out of your soul;
Reducing the level and intensity of conflicts with others, especially those locked into repetitive patterns;
Ending relationships that don’t seem amenable to necessary changes;
Enhancing intimacy with friends and loved ones;
Feeling and expressing more love and caring in current relationships;
Initiating and broadening new relationships that meet interests and needs that are currently unsatisfied;
Experiencing more authentic, caring, honest, respectful, and fun exchanges with people on a daily basis;
Processing and recovering from perceived slights and relational difficulties in the past;
Practicing forgiveness to let some things go and move forward without lingering resentment; and,
Learning from past mistakes, misjudgements, and relationship breaches in order to enhance future connections.