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Learn all about the tool we use to write, edit, and draw

pencils
pencils
Photo by javier gonzalez from Pexels

The pencil brings back fond memories of when we were little. For many of us, it was the instrument with which we first learned handwriting. We doodled with it when we were bored in 7th-grade math class. Back in the days before there were electronic calendars, we found the time to “pencil someone in” — literally — for an appointment.

Let’s take a few minutes to examine 20 fun facts about the pencil. If they don’t make you a better writer, perhaps they will make you the star of your trivia team.


A reminder that ideas are everywhere — don’t miss them

woman reading e-reader
woman reading e-reader
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Always eager to add ingredients to my idea recipe, I signed up for a two-month trial of Kindle Unlimited on the very last day of last year. Kindle Unlimited lets you read an unlimited number of books on your computer, tablet, phone, or on a web reader for a $10 monthly subscription fee. You can have up to 10 books “checked out,” similar to a library, on your subscription at any one time.

Of course, not all Amazon Kindle books are available on Kindle Unlimited. There’s little incentive for the author of a popular bestseller or a classic that never goes out of style to make their books part of an unlimited-reading program. Still, though, with 1.4 …


This simple test lets you spot them early on — while you still have time to get away

woman, afraid, standing behind fence with NO TRESPASSING sign
woman, afraid, standing behind fence with NO TRESPASSING sign
Photo by Trinity Kubassek from Pexels

Victims of narcissistic abuse know that once you’ve been entangled with a narcissist, it’s hard to trust anyone. Every time someone shows a bit of interest in you, there’s the tendency to ask yourself, “Are they trying to draw me in? Are they love-bombing me? Are they setting me up, so they can use me and hurt me later?”

While those feelings are natural, we need to remember that the vast majority of people in the world are not narcissists. …


A goal that’s completely in your reach, no matter the stage of your writing career

celebration
celebration
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Who can tell me what each of the milestones below, widely celebrated by new writers, has in common?

  • 500th follower
  • First story chosen for distribution
  • First story accepted into a large publication
  • First story to receive 5000 views
  • First story to get 1000 claps
  • First story to receive a highlight, comment, or claps from one of Medium’s most well-known writers
  • Named a Top Writer in your niche
  • First month to earn over $100, breaking into the top-earning 7% (or whatever the percentage is this month) on the platform

Every one of the accomplishments listed here is a cause for celebration. …


GRATITUDE

A board game (minus the board) that will make you an abundance magnet

dice and a variety of board games
dice and a variety of board games
Photo credit: quicksandala on Morguefile

Gratitude is a momentum generator. There is no more effective way to tell the universe you are open and ready for more abundance than expressing thanks for what you already have. If you get down to the microscopic level, we are all just pulsating blobs of energy. Gratitude raises the vibration of that energy and draws in what you desire.

Today we’re going to have a look at a game, which can be played as though it were a board game, that offers the chance to be grateful for what you have right now as well as what you had in the past. …


NEW WRITERS

The story of a band considered third-rate by their peers — how they improved quickly, and how you can too

Image for post
Image for post
Reeperbahn, Hamburg, Germany. Image by Hubert Pelikan from Pixabay. Modified by author.

During my first four months on Medium, I may have called myself a writer, but I wasn't one. I was a hobbyist dabbling in writing. I’d publish erratically. Sometimes I’d publish stories on back-to-back days; other times, I’d go over a week without getting anything new out there.

Can you relate?

I looked at the top writers on the platform, then looked back at the $2.36 I earned on what, for me at the time, was a very good day. I wondered, how do they do it? …


It’s not a younger, more savvy version of Donald Trump I fear. Many prognosticators are worried about such a human phenomenon. They worry someone will learn from Trump’s mistakes, come…


NEW WRITERS

Do these 5 things instead to fast-track your development as a writer

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: Prawny on Morguefile

Recently on one of the Facebook groups for Medium writers, a member asked a question:

How often do you check your stats? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Hourly?

The question drew quite a few responses, and I felt the need to contribute my own:

Hourly, but only during the hours I am awake. When I’m asleep I check my stats less frequently.

That got a number of “Hahas” and “LOLs,” but it poked fun at an unfortunate reality — many Medium writers, myself included, waste a lot of time checking our stats!

True, it doesn’t take long to select “Stats” from the menu and wait for the bar chart to appear, but that’s not the sum total of the time lost. By stopping to check, you’re breaking away from a flow state ideal for writing or for being an idea-generating machine. Once out, it may take many minutes for that flow state to resume. …


He’ll join James K. Polk in the club of presidents who died the calendar year they left office

Trump waving goodbye
Trump waving goodbye
By The White House from Washington, DC — President Trump Departs for Kentucky, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81516555

Donald Trump’s presidency will come to an end Wednesday not with a bang, but with a whimper. Following his popular vote loss to Joe Biden by more than 7 million, his world has collapsed around him. Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in swing states were thrown out by the courts, one lawsuit after another. He went too far when he rallied his base to storm the United States capitol building the day Congress was to certify the electoral tally. His allies in Washington began abandoning him, and his net approval rating dropped like a rock.

Only one past president of the United States has left office and died within the calendar year: James K. Polk, the 11th president, who served from 1845 to 1849. I believe that before 2021 is over, Trump will join Polk as a member of this club. …

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