Science fiction has this one concept it uses and abuses absolutely to no end. It’s the multiverse theory, which is the idea that an infinite number of alternate realities exist based on each and every choice that we make or don’t make. That means there is a universe out there I invented Facebook. There’s one where I’m a homeless person living on the street. And there’s one where this blog became an overnight sensation and gains millions of views a month. (more…)
Life is full of big decisions and complicated scenarios. One thing that every person does routinely is think intently about things. But everyone has that one place where he or she reaches the most clarity. A place where you can climb the mountain of life, look down, and see the big picture with unhindered perspective. This could be anywhere, from literally on top of a mountain to in the dark silence of your room. Running, in class, or in the bathroom, you can let those thoughts all form a mosaic of great ideas. My location is a bit unique. I think best in the shower.
For me the shower is where my thoughts free-flow into constellations of creative ideas and informed decisions. It’s where life-choices are created. Something about the hot water hitting my body and cleansing of my skin is conducive of intelligence. What can I say? If you stick around here long enough you’ll discover how strange I am. Anyway…
College choices, writing ideas, mathematical solutions, purchasing decisions, daily plans, spiritual realization, public speaking topics, and even breakup strategies have all been born in the shower. You can bet that if something big has ever happened in my life, it was first mulled over in the shower.
My first motto was “be careful what you decide in the shower,” because at first my shower-time decisions often ended in immediate regret. But as time passed, that regret reached a state of metaphorical metamorphoses where it turned from a bad to a good decision. Now my motto is a little different. Now I “only make decisions in the shower.”
So where is your place of clarity. I know exercise or meditation does it for many of you. Is there any other place where you can come to decisions of clarity?
It was suggested to be by a friend of mine that I should create a five year plan. What’s a five year plan? I asked her that question only after Google gave me a list of countries with five year plans for economic recovery. Turns out there’s also a movie called “Five Year Plan.”
It’s probably a brand of perfume, too.
“Hey Matt, I want some Five Year Plan for Christmas!” my girlfriend would say exuberantly. “What’s Five-Year Plan?” I’d ask. “It’s a new fragrance by Taylor Swift.” she’d reply.
Then I’d say, “Oh, you mean like Taylor Swift’s five-year plan to find a steady and constant boyfriend?”
Nope, turns our a five year plan is just what the name implies. It’s a five year outlook about where you want to be in your live at that time. So, made public for everyone to see, here is where I want to be in five years.
I am going to be married. You know where I’m going with this. And as a wedding gift, my future wife would like to request some “Five Year Plan by Taylor Swift.” It’s a perfume.
I am going to have a Master’s Degree. I graduate this summer with my bachelor’s in communications. I am going straight to Auburn University for my Master’s Degree. They’re paying me to get it. That’s kind of cool. I’ll be more than done with that in five years.
I’m going to find a career that allows me to accomplish things beyond making money. At the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and wish I wasn’t a workaholic. I want to be a person who spent time serving God, being with my family, and changing the world for the better.
I will have published at least one book. I’m almost finished with my first novel. I plan for it to be published, as well as hopefully its sequel.
This blog will be popular. A Link to the Matt will still be going strong, and it will be an entertaining and important blog in the WordPress community. Hey WordPress gods, if you’re out there, I want to be Freshly Pressed!
I’m going to be better than who I am right now. Every day I want to progress. I want to be a person that goes beyond expectations. I want to be kind to another person every day. I want to grow to a better understanding spiritually. I want to learn one more thing about myself and others. When I look back at this blog five years from now, I want to say that Matt is a better human being than he was on December 15, 2013.
[Thanks Kimberly Waites for suggesting that I do this!]
Names. They stop us from every creative work under the sun. I’ll bet that more than once you’ve been stopped from writing that short story, song, or poem because you simply couldn’t come up with a solid name. I know I have. And while a good workaround for everything mentioned earlier is to simply name your work last, a blog doesn’t work that way. You need to have a name for the blog from the very beginning in order to establish its identity.
So you need a good blog name? Here’s how you do it in five not quite so easy steps.
1. Consider your blog’s theme.
So you’ve gone and set yourself up a Tumblr or a Blogspot or a WordPress (WordPress is the best. I would know, as I’m using it now). That’s great but… what do you want to write about?
Is your blog related to a specific topic, like computers or photography? Or does your blog cover multiple topics, like mine?
Is your blog serious, with little to no joking? Or is it full of jokes, references, and humor in an attempt to build a laid-back community?
The answers to these questions will not only help you focus your writings, but will also help you come up with solid titles.
2. Consider your blog’s audience.
Who is going to be reading your blog? Is it a personal blog, meant for friends and family? Or do you intend to “try to go mainstream with it”?
If it’s a personal blog, you can inject it with all of the “inside-jokes” you want. Seriously, go nuts building a framework of life experiences that only your friends will get.
But if you want a wide readership, you are unfortunately going to want to at least slightly conform to cultural norms. You want something either really catchy or really serious, depending on your theme.
If it’s a religious blog, you may want to consider taking a phrase from your religious text. If it’s a tech how-to-guide, you can’t go wrong including a name of a component or a procedure. Either way, make sure it’s something your audience will recognize before ever coming to your blog.
3. Make it short and simple.
Brevity is not a requirement in a blog post, but it absolutely a requirement in naming your blog. Keep it 5 words or less. In fact my blog name, A Link to the Matt, may run a little long. It also contains two articles and one infinitive. The only reason I’m using it is because it is awesome, of course, and it references something equally awesome.
Your title needs to be memorable. It needs to roll of the tongue with ease, and contain ZERO complicated words. Have you ever seen a tech blog called Servomechanism Alley? I didn’t think so. And yet Servo Alley sounds a heck of a lot better. And yes, the first one to actually make a blog by that name can use it. You’re welcome.
4. Inject your personality.
Next is integrating personality, and that is where I feel my blog title really shines. Yes, A Link to the Matt is a reference to A Link to the Past, a SNES Zelda game. And it’s even more than that.
On the internet, how you get from one place to the other is a link. A link to the Matt. As in me. Also, it rolls off the tongue. There is no word over 4 characters.
But enough about my blog. What should you do? Consider yourself. What are some of your favorite things? What’s one of your favorite words? Who it one of your favorite people? Don’t be scared to mix and match words until you find something you can repeat over and over again. When you find something you enjoy each time you say it, you’ve got a winner.
5. Come up with multiple titles.
Don’t stop at one title. Follow steps 1-4 until you run completely out of good titles. Scratch the names you like the least off of your list, and then get your friends to vote on which one they like the most. Don’t just do this with one group, as they may be too similar. Let friends of every race, religion, and status vote. Get their feedback, and then carefully pick out the winner.
And there you have it. A winner! Just be sure to Google your blog’s name (in quotes) so that you can be sure it’s unique.
What did I get my girlfriend for graduation? Right… geeky stuff. Did you even have to ask? I got her four things.
#1. This Awesome Superman T-Shirt.
She looks awesome in it! Oh wait, she looks awesome in everything.
You can snag it at Wal-Mart, but I can’t find it online. Sorry.
#2 This Stuffed Appa Doll from Avatar: The Last Airbender
I’ve got to say, this is one of the most well-made stuffed animals I’ve ever seen. It has padded feet, like a real animal. Awesome. It’s not cheap, but if you’re an Avatar fan, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to NOT get one.
#3 This Golden Heart Necklace
Because she needs a little something if she’s “going away” to college. It’s an important event. Real gold, real diamonds. Here it is on Amazon.
#4. This Oblivion Keyblade Necklace from Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts is a favorite video game of both my girlfriend and mine. I can tell you how well made this necklace was. It looks (and feels) awesome. I’m so glad I found it on Etsy.
I really want to highlight the seller on this one. He got this amazing acrylic necklace to me fast. Like… within a week of purchase it was in my mailbox. He does a heck of a job making acrylic jewelry based on all different kinds of video game series, including Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy. I THOROUGHLY recommend you check out his shop. You can do that by clicking here.