Brief Blog Hiatus: Family Matters and Travel

I had to fly home last Thursday due to an expected, yet unfortunate death in the family. As a result, I have been visiting with family and friends, with very little time to devote to writing blog posts. I appreciate your patience and understanding during this unexpected pause.

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On Writing: Decision Fatigue and the “Flow State”

Writers are a notoriously vulnerable group and because of this are often the target of online confidence scams, author mills, and nefarious types who are all to willing to sell writing advice or productivity “training” for exorbitant fees.

Obviously people are free to spend their time and money however they want, but taking advantage of the gullible has always been a pet peeve of mine. Not to mention, a lot of the information these people try to profit off of is already available for free online.

Whether or not the “Flow Genome Project” is pseudoscience is up for debate, however given the direct-to-consumer marketing of their ideas it’s impossible to classify this project as legitimate science. While there appears to be some truth to the concept of a “flow state” for increasing productivity, the explanations of how or why this works are more straight forward than the Flow Genome Project would have you believe.

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A Short History of Coffee and Café Culture in Europe

For most writers the legal drug of choice is caffeine and it is often administered through a hot cup of coffee. Because of this, it’s no wonder why so many writers fall in love with Viennese coffee houses; so much so that it even spawned a genre of writing called “coffee house literature.” In addition to coffee houses being a place to read, write and unwind, café culture can also foster wide range of valuable social interaction that only costs the price of a cup of coffee to participate in.

In February of 2016, a “Starbucks on the go,” opened in the newly renovated train station in Graz, Austria. This coffee stand sits lonely, unstaffed in a book and magazine shop in the center of a city in a country that is obsessed with its café culture; it is not hard to see how little a brand-name stand has to offer the coffee house scene in Austria.

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On Writing: WordPress and the Hashtag “#amwriting”

As an active member of WordPress for a little over a month now, there are a few idiosyncratic things that I’ve noticed while perusing through the content of various blogs.

First of all, there’s a lot of writing about “writing,” but this writing isn’t actually about anything. That kind of bums me out, because there’s nothing that I enjoy more than reading a well-written article that is about something.

While it can be difficult to come up with interesting topics to write about, this is why it’s so important to read the work of other authors so that you can allow some new ideas to percolate in your brain before you crap them out on the page. But this is only the first step, because the real key to writing well is editing that crap into food for thought that a total stranger would actually want to consume.

Empty platitudes about writing adorned with the hashtag “#amwriting,” are some of the most common posts I’ve seen writers making across social media. More often than not, this hashtag seems to be a way for some writers to stay relevant than it is to share an interesting piece of writing.

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