Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Off to Prague!

Am off to Prague for the next 5-days -- a much needed break from Madrid and my computer!

Stories when I get back!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Important Is Blogging For Your Career As A Travel-Writer?

This is the latest subject of discussion at Written Road. I was lucky to get some great input from some of the best travel-bloggers/writers/editors/authors in the industry. Check it out here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quote for the day

"The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it." -- A Bend in the River; 1979 novel by V. S. Naipaul.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Career Advice From A Manga Comic

A short attention span is the main peril in the quest of trying to achieve anything these days, at least for me.

My attention span these days is a whole 15 seconds; if you can't keep my attention for that long when telling me something, I'm mentally off to Neverland. If I care about you, I'll make the effort to listen, but otherwise -- forget it.

Same goes for reading (books, online), movies, studying, planning, what have you. This is not helpful at all, and is seriously affecting my productivity -- especially because what I do is on my terms. The pressure I have is from me, and only me, so it's not hard to prolong things, or simply invent a million things to do to keep yourself mentally stimulated. This is a problem I'm working to fix. Avoiding multitasking, making short concise lists of things to do etc etc, are my baby steps towards getting things done by paying focused attention to them until they are done.

Anyway, I digress. I had to laugh when I saw on Amazon books, career advice for those with a short attention span. It was a consolation realizing that I'm definitely not the only one and better off than others; I'd actually read a good career book in full, without it having to be a comic. Obviously many can't even do that, hence a market for this book.

The promo for the book written in form of a Japanese Manga comic made me chuckle, this is how it ends:
In the 70's and 80's, people asked "What Colour Is Your Parachute?"
In the 90's, people asked "Who Moved My Cheese?
Now a new generation is asking the question about their work: "WTF?"
The book is called "The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need", check it out along with its promo, here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just what every woman wants to hear...

"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her."
-- Oscar Wilde.

Some quotes should just not be allowed to get famous.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Does blogging kill?

Well, I certainly hope not.

If there is any job description you can give me, it's that of a blogger. That's what I am, that's really all I do. I've just started blogging for another site called Planet Eye, that will make it a total of 6 sites I blog for regularly (including mine).

Across all, I churn out at least 50 posts a month -- at the end of which many times I just want to scream, or pick up my laptop and throw it out the window. The latter I can't afford to do at the moment :)

But anyway, a friend sent me a link today with the subject "be careful". The link pointed to a story in the NY Times that reports a feature on the death of two prolific bloggers, and the unhealthy lifestyles of other well-known bloggers.

Of course, blogging cannot be called the cause of death but the lifestyle it warrants is unhealthy enough to cause serious mental and physical problems.

Blogging can often get the better of you. I have spent days locked in my room blogging and felt the depressing side-effects of it. It is a lonely, isolating, tedious, and often frustrating profession.

The only way to stay sane as a blogger is to not compromise on social activities, but when you get paid per post, it's hard not to just stay in and write instead -- after all you do need to pay bills.

I'm happy to say that although I do fall into that trap sometimes, I'm good at dragging myself to go out, even if it's on my own. You'll find that being away from your computer and socializing will give you small bursts of very productive time blogging. I'm out with people at least 3-4 times a week, and at least once on the weekend. I hate teaching English, but it gets me out and makes me speak to people, a good paid break from the computer screen. I play sport, run and salsa to keep me physically healthy.

So, I'm not worried about "dying as a blogger". It's probably because I'm not as addicted or obsessed with it like many others. Also, although I thoroughly enjoy blogging (probably because I do it in large but controlled doses), over this year I have realized that I cannot be a full-time blogger. I don't love my computer enough and am far too much of a social being. This article, nonetheless was an interesting read, one that every blogger will be able to relate to.

Fellow bloggers: be careful!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Aamir Khan's Blog?

As I was updating myself on the China-Tibet issue I stumbled upon Aamir Khan's blog today (he's one of the torch bearers for the Olympic games). Now, I have stumbled upon many celebrity blogs -- both Indian and international -- but they have obviously been blogs for pure PR purposes, most definitely written by people hired to blog on their behalf. That's enough to never want to go back to them.

But when I saw Aamir Khan's blog today, I read a good number of posts and you know what? -- I ACTUALLY THINK IT'S HIM!

He writes like he speaks, he gives life updates that could only come from him, he has spelling mistakes (surely a paid writer wouldn't DARE have typos if he was writing for AAMIR KHAN!), and he has over a 500 comments on every post he has written.

I'm trying to think why I got so excited about this discovery. Aamir Khan is one of my favourite Indian actors; not only is he a phenomenal artist but is also an active social worker who has more often than not, used his fame to make a difference in needy societies. He has a strong and powerful personality that particularly shines through because in public he is very down to earth, he doesn't act like he is a hotshot superstar.

So, I suppose the fact that I can now read stuff that seems like it's totally written by him(?) got me looming.

If any of you have time and the remote desire to help me figure this out, can you read his blog and tell me if you think it's real? Or is it just a great attempt by Aamir Khan's PA?

Friday, April 04, 2008

El Canto Del Loco new disc launch

Yesterday I went to my first press conference as a journalist. It was for the launch of El Canto Del Loco's (one of Spain's most popular pop boy bands) new album - so it was obviously a big and "important" one.

I have probably organized and attended 15o press conferences, but only as a public relations professional, it felt strange being on the other side.

But honestly, it's so much better attending a press conference as opposed to organizing one. I felt like that one hour I was at the conference was worth it because I was there to listen and to learn about something new; after which I'd have to write about it and I would be a mouthpiece for what I saw and grasped.

It also put into perspective what I did when I was in public relations. So many hours of work for one simple press conference: designing and producing press packs, writing and translating the press releases and backgrounders, photographs for the press packs, captions for the press packs, venue set up, venue branding, podium, mics, projector, teleprompters, menu for the event, press invites, press confirmations, press list, follow-up calls etc etc -- all that work for something that wouldn't last more than an hour and leave me wondering, what was all that for exactly?

I felt like a princess at this press conference. I was there for my brain, as a guest -- what I do with the experience afterwards is up to me -- it was strangely empowering and I felt better after that hour than I ever have after any press conference I've organized. Weird huh?

Anyway, those who care to know about El Canto Del Loco -- they were really pleasant, down to earth, and approachable for how big they are. I was shocked that it started on time -- something that rarely happens in celebrity conferences. They were happily mingling with the crowd after -- you could get all the kisses, autographs and photos you wanted. All the press -- print, TV, and radio alike -- got all the footage, photos and quotes they wanted, with no hassle or drama at all. I went on behalf of European Vibe and will be doing my write-up soon.
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