Fear is born in uncertainty and nourished by pessimism. — Lois Wyse
One of the scariest feelings in the universe is fear of the unknown. If an outcome is certain, we don’t tend to sweat it that much, even if we know it will be bad. However, when an outcome is unknown, we imagine and assume the worst of the worst of the worst — and since we create our own reality, we send ourselves spiraling down a negative path.
To a writer, what’s worse than an article that is poorly received by your audience? It’s easy to start inventing all kinds of negative reactions people could have — negative comments, negative book reviews, and the like. I’m fairly certain that some of the potentially great pieces of literature have never seen pen put to paper because the author imagined their work would be received badly. …
There is not a day that goes by that I do not see this image on here. It is absolutely, positively, without a doubt the most overused image on Medium.
Look. I get it. This is a platform for writers. Therefore, there are many stories about writing and editing. And this photo just screams “editing.” It’s a great photo. If there were an Unsplash Hall of Fame, this would undoubtedly be among the first class of inductees.
But it’s overused.
It’s like if you turned on the classic rock station on Pandora and “Stairway to Heaven” was every fifth song played. You’d get tired of it. You’d wonder what great music you were missing out on because someone chose to play “Stairway” once again. …
Below are the fruits of a morning spent piddling about on Quora. If one of these doesn’t spur an idea directly, try running the keywords in the prompts through Answer the Public to come up with many, many more prompts.
If something you read here inspires a story, I’d love to read it! Please drop a link in the comments.
Should I add “piddler” to my profile description? Anyway, here goes:
What are you shocked about?
Someone commented, “The last two sentences. Wow. Great answer.” What question were they answering, and what were the last two sentences?
If you got drafted by an NBA team and awarded a 4-year, $39.6 million contract, what’s the first thing you would buy? …
Every writer on here knows the feeling of checking their stats and seeing that their latest killer post, the one they poured their heart and soul into, earned pennies, getting just a handful of views and reads.
“But I did everything right!”
“It was the perfect length!”
“I wrote in second-person voice. My post was all about delivering value to ‘you,’ the reader!”
“It was even in one of Medium’s biggest publications! What more can I do? What more can I do? Should I just give up?”
My most successful story on this platform did not follow a lot of the conventional advice handed out to new writers. Yet it has accounted for about 40% of the revenue earned from 30 stories I have so far published. …
This one came up as a writing prompt recently, and it seemed to resonate deep inside, so I figured, sure, I’ll take a shot.
I have these two friends, Randy and Theresa, who I meet every Saturday for brunch at the restaurant around the corner. We’ve known each other for years.
For two Saturdays in a row late last year, they had to miss brunch because Randy was on a business trip to Malaysia. The Saturday after that they were back. Randy and Theresa had a bag.
“That’s for you,” Randy said, pushing the bag across the table. It contained an assortment of Malaysian chocolates (see image at top) — milk chocolate curry, dark chocolate chili, dark chocolate ginger, and white chocolate with black sesame seeds, chocolate covered almonds and raspberry chocolate squares. There was also a selection of homemade cookies Theresa had made — sugar cookies, frosted cookies, and chocolate drop cookies. …
A quick personal story
When I was about 11 years old, my grandmother gave me a pair of houseshoes to keep my feet warm as I walked around the house. They were lined with fleece to maintain body heat.
I never asked for them and never wanted them.
My feet felt hot and sweaty in those houseshoes. I hated being sweaty then and I hate it now. …
Not all narcissists are easily identifiable. When we think “narcissist,” we tend to think of someone who is preening, vain, hogging the spotlight; someone who doesn’t have a care in the world for anyone but themselves.
Narcissists are not capable of deep empathy, but they are very much keen observers of people. Some of them learn to hide their true selves behind a mask of altruism.
Today we will take a look at White Knight narcissists, people who do quite a bit of good in the service of others — but who are still narcissists.
Narcissists have a deep emptiness inside them, a void that must constantly be filled by the attention and admiration of others. This external validation that the narcissist is special and perfect is known as narcissistic supply. …
“All operators are currently assisting other customers. However, your call is important. Please remain on the line for the next available representative.”
Is there anything as dreaded as tech support on the phone? Filing your annual tax return, or waiting in line at the DMV for your license might be up there, but few other experiences come close.
Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the bad music played while you’re on hold, but once you speak to a person, I have some tips to make things easier for you. …
Writers, remember your first posts on Medium? Some may have been good, some not so much, but one thing’s for sure… if you’re like most writers, they didn’t earn a whole lot of money.
And, if you’re like most writers, they probably still don’t. As new readers discover you and view your profile, they may scroll down through the most recent 5 or 7 stories… and your older ones remain at the bottom, untouched.
However, one of Medium’s recent updates makes it possible for you to revive those older posts and squeeze a little extra juice out of them. …
Every May, my teammates and I compete in the world championships of barbecue (known to the locals as “BBQ Fest”), held in Memphis, Tennessee as part of a month-long festival. The competition lasts four days, but months of planning happen behind the scenes.
In this article, I will provide you with a complete look at how a barbecue team operates from start to finish. I will discuss the types of barbecue teams, how they are named, and what functions non-cooking team members perform.
Furthermore, I will talk about budgets, memberships and sponsorships, and I will break down the timeline over a period of months. Finally, I will discuss the most important aspect of being on a team, the food, and how you can get some competition-style ‘cue. …