Wake Me Up When Lent Season Ends

It was something that needed to be done. I was constantly on Facebook on all hours of the day. Like an addict I was always making sure I had read everything off my feed and had cleared off all the notifications. And with increased frequency Facebook had became the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I look at before passing out in bed.

Facebook wasn’t a part of my life as much as my life had became specifically planned around it. I had to cut the cord somewhere, so for Lent this year I decided to give up Facebook and social media altogether.

Let Go Continue reading “Wake Me Up When Lent Season Ends”

It’s Oh So Quiet

IT’S BEEN so long since I last wrote something here. Since finishing my #100w100d project last December, I was hoping to take a quick step back and look at where I should proceed from there.

I gave myself a few weeks off to jot down everything I would want to do this year, but what was shown before me at the end of the process was intimidating and daunting. It’s one thing to take up a good challenge so I can grow, but I fear — and I always fear — that my ability can’t surmount to my insatiable ambition. As hungry as I may be to grow, I was also nervous that committing to myself would mean biting off more than I can chew.

The drive to SF was all sorts of cray. Look at these clouds! #vscocam Continue reading “It’s Oh So Quiet”

100w100d: Second Guess

Writing

Day 74: I second guess myself a lot. There’s been plenty of time when I’ve written something, may it be a blog post or a work email, only to re-read them over and over again. Are my words used as effectively to get my points across? What if people don’t agree with me?

Worst still, this habit has only been exacerbated by this #100w100d project. Confining to exactly 100 words, it’s challenging to compress my thoughts into a brief abstract, leaving out plenty of room for ambiguity and misunderstanding.

Hopefully, this exercise can help me toward getting it right the first time.

100w100d: 50%

Day 50: I’m officially at the halfway point of my 100 Words for 100 Days project, which was initially inspired by my friend Stephen when he was telling me about his daily writing project at the time.

It’s been taking a bit longer than I thought it would since I started back in May. But instead of being all half-empty about it, I’m actually pretty excited to keep planning ahead in order to wrap this project up by end of the year.

Keeping at precisely 100 words per post, this project is not unlike an Instagram of my daily thoughts in words.

100w100d: 100 words

Day 37: Today is day 37 of my 100 words for 100 days project. Initially, I wanted to use this project to reset my writing habit. Close to no commitment, all I really have to do is throw down 100 words and call it a day.

What’s surprising is that I’ve been putting off on this project (besides the insanity that is at work) not because I’m running out of ideas to write about, but I feel increasingly restricted by the 100-word limit.

I have ideas floating around, but don’t want to “waste” them by writing something down that’s severely abridged. Hmmph.

The Funny Thing About Writing Funny

LA is a funny place. It encourages you to chase after something you wouldn’t otherwise pursue. Unlike San Francisco or Portland where it’s equally, if not more important, to realize that life is great and everything is what it is, Los Angeles is a city built on dreams and aspirations.

As much as the red “real American” states like to tell you otherwise, LA is a model American city — a true land of opportunity, and a place where the mantra of “you can achieve anything you want” is breathed-in-and-out on a daily basis.

* * *

I’m a funny guy. I’m fully aware that I’m never going to be an underwear model (nor should I be one) and that my chance of EGOTing is pretty non-existent, but I know I’m a good friend and a fun guy to be around with.

That said, “funny” is also a very subjective thing. Unlike a SAT score or a college GPA, I can’t really explain to you exactly just how funny I am. You either get it or you don’t.

My sense of humor is most prominent on Twitter, mostly because the service allows me to be spontaneous to jot down the many random thoughts that live in my head throughout the day. This blog, on the other hand, is pretty serious. I tend to compose my ideas and opinions from the more cerebral, cathartic side of me.

I was talking to my good friend, Michael Rawley (@mikerawley), a few weeks ago on how to combine my humorous side of Twitter with my serious side of my blog. He mentioned that he always knew that I’m a funny guy and that I just need to let go of my insecurities and just go nuts, because that’s what comedy should be.

I’ve mentioned on this blog that I believe in written words, as it’s the only medium that allows me to place my thoughts directly into a reader’s head. But as powerful as writing can be, it’s surprisingly difficult to translate my sense of humor into words.

One of the reasons is that I see comedy mainly as an interactive experience. From hosting a talk show to doing stand-up, there’s always an audience who can guide the performer forward. With text everything becomes stale and one-sided. The only reason my tweets are funny is because they’re purposefully short and on-point (though most of the time I’m too stingy to write anything less than 140 characters — there are hungry children in Africa, #amirite?), but it is remarkably more difficult to pull off comedy with actual storytelling.

Obviously, Tina Fey, Louis CK, Stephen Colbert, David Sedaris, and countless others prove otherwise. I’m constantly inspired by their work and always wish I can create something just as solid. Maybe Michael is right; perhaps I just need to stop worrying and start writing.

❤ wins


Winson Shuen works at IGN but is not an editor. All opinions expressed here are solely his own and do not represent his employer by any means. You can follow him on Twitter @vdot90.

Words

The year is 2012, and the word on the Internet superhighway is that the blogosphere is dying. In fact, some say that the Internet itself is being replaced by the new promised land of social media.

The notion is that people have shorter attention span than ever before. People don’t have time to sit and read anymore. They’re barely able to watch a two-hour movie without checking their Facebook on their phones.

So with the change of how people take in information, content is now served in smaller bites and is shared socially than having a dedicated home/website. Instead of a blog post, video and status updates are now the new king of media. Anything more than 140 characters would be considered a long read and a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) is in order.

The thing is, I believe in writing. I really do.

Never have I been granted a tool that allows me to put my thoughts directly into an audience’s head. Sure, I can take a picture or capture a video to convey my message, but they are but mere eyes in comparison to writing. They just show what I’m seeing, and nothing more.

But with writing, and with words, I can put my audience in the driver seat. If I’m try hard enough, I can even convince the audience that the world is flat and that Britney Spears is the greatest singer in the world. No video can ever accomplish that.

Like many, I have a presence in social media. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Last.fm, and hell, even Path. But as much of an over-sharer as I may be, nothing comes as close and authentic to who I am as this very blog. In my many years of having an online life, I’ve never thought once of starting a photoblog because I can never convey as much of my thoughts, visions, and ideas better than with words.

Anyone can take a picture of a frou-frou meal and masks his/her insecurities behind the Valencia filter on Instagram. But only I can be at my most expressive and direct when I’m writing. Some people hide behind their words, and well, I suppose I’m a man who stands by mine.

I don’t want to show you my life; I want you in my life.

❤ wins


Winson Shuen works at IGN but is not an editor. All opinions expressed here are solely his own and do not represent his employer by any means. You can follow him on Twitter @vdot90.