Inspiration | May 2

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I absolutely loved this in-depth answer to the question “What can I start doing now that will help me a lot in 5 years?” There is some truly excellent advice in there, and it makes me want to get going and doing!

I rarely keep watching Youtube ads after the 5 second delay is up, but this one caught my attention and I watched the entire thing. I still don’t really know what it is advertising, but it’s a stunningly beautiful video portrait of Vancouver and it made me want to live there forever and ever.

Taza made a video of her favourite spots on the Upper West Side of New York City and that too gave me some serious wanderlust.

Famous, powerful men talking honestly about sexual assault and how to stop it? And it’s endorsed by the White House? I love it.

An elegant phrase that can help you get out of doing anything you’re uncomfortable with. It’s like sleight of hand! Off the top of my head, I can think of about 5 situations in the past where having this language would have helped me say no. Important stuff.

How to find meaningful work: career advice for millennials. (via Millennial Abroad)

Awesome advice as usual from MarieTV about creating lasting changes in your life.

I watched a lot of VlogBrothers videos this week (after reading the fabulous book Looking For Alaska and watching The Fault in Our Stars trailer 3 times) and was especially inspired by this video of book recommendations. It made me want to read a book a day until I was as well-read as John Green.

I love This American Life every single week, but this week it had a story on hospices and the truly amazing people who work at them, and it really touched me.

Laci Green is a feminist, and so am I, and if you needed some persuasion as to why you should be too, check out this video she made this week. Good stuff.

Two Instagram accounts I loved this week: @sarahyates and @3191milesapart. Both accounts have amazing food and lifestyle pictures and just seem to embody living a good life.

Some oldies-but-goodies: a hand-knit red-and-grey checkered blanket, delicious easy homemade chive bread.

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I cannot believe it’s May! For the 4-day weekend we have in Korea, I’m going to Seoul with a few friends. I’m excited to see some beautiful old buildings, eat lots of traditional Korean food, and enjoy my time off. You can see all my adventures there by following me on Instagram! I hope you have an excellent weekend.

How To Use Social Media More Effectively

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On today’s episode of Guinea Pigging Green, we’re talking about social media. Now, I totally love Instagram and Twitter – I think that they’re awesome tools for sharing inspiration and beauty. Unfortunately, they also have a dark side if you’re not careful about how you use them. For instance, I’ll readily admit to checking for “likes” compulsively and feeling strangely competitive towards those with more followers than me.

So that’s why today’s episode is all about using social media more effectively, in ways that will make you feel good and that take advantage of the positive aspects of these platforms. Our jumping-off point for this episode was a great article from Relevant Magazine: 5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media. It really resonated with me and since then I’ve been sharing its ideas in conversations and trying to consciously keep them in mind whenever I’m posting content.

In the episode, we talk about finding intrinsic motivations (ie. finding enjoyment in the act itself) for using social media rather than extrinsic ones (ie. enjoying the act because you want the reward that will follow). Personally I find it rewarding and (intrinsically) motivating to seek out beauty in my everyday life, to practice my photography and see slow-but-steady improvement, to find a community of like-minded people and to curate a collection of photos that are special and beautiful to me. I try to focus on these motivations every time I start to fall into a downward spiral of comparison or greed.

I think that it’s possible for these platforms to be a positive part of our lives, but I think it’s important for us to use them in a healthier and more conscious way. You can find the episode, which I think is full of food for thought, on our blog or by subscribing to us on iTunes.

The Book Learning Podcast: #4 + 5

Hey you! Have you been listening in? If not, you’ve been missing out!

Since I last posted about podcasting, we’ve recorded 2 more episodes. Episode 4 is described and linked in great detail on Gabrielle’s blog, so head over there to learn more/download it/put it in your ears.

Episode 5 is crazy cray cray. We’re beginning to talk about the steps of the editing process. Put it this way: according to Gabrielle, there are 7 steps in editing a novel, and we only covered two of them in this podcast! I’m way in over my head and feel like running away at full speed, but luckily my podcast partner is an old pro with editing and can walk me through it (relatively) calmly. It makes me nervous just writing about it!

If you, too, need a little guidance when it comes to editing your work, I encourage you to tune in to this series. You can watch the video above, or download (and subscribe) to the audio podcast on iTunes here.

Confused by all this podcast talk? If you’re new to The Book Learning Podcast, I have a FAQ written up here.

The Book Learning Podcast: #2

Episode 2: The Beginner Writer’s Toolbox (Part 1)

It’s a juicy week for the podcast! This week, we’re tackling the major mental obstacles that most beginning writers have to deal with as they start their journey as a writer. These are big ideas – really big ones! Writing can be very discouraging and difficult at times, so (we hope that) learning what not to do when you start writing can keep you writing for longer! Make sense? Maybe you should watch the video. Or, you can listen to the podcast here.

Make sure to subscribe in iTunes and give us a quick rating while you’re at it!

Mentioned

We mentioned a few different resources this week for the beginner writer. Check them out!

We also talked up some really great books that we’re reading! These are them.