Every great writer that I know, no matter how experienced, admits to having a weakness: whether that’s struggling with the cadence of their sentences, the accuracy of their tone, or the trickier problem of gracefully articulating their thoughts in words.
My struggle is in writing introductions: every time I sit down to write, I can expect feelings of frustration, hopelessness, and humility to wash over me — and I’ve barely even begun. …
I hate my morning commute with a burning passion. It’s easily the worst part of my day, an entire hour devoted toward the soul-crushing, mind-numbing, feet-hurting crawl of rush-hour traffic.
It sucks that I have to endure the whole thing, to get to the job that I love. To have to sit on my ass, stewing as the idiot in front of me slams on his brakes a little too suddenly. Or as the chap in the truck beside me picks his nose with unholy enthusiasm.
Most people spend upwards of 30 minutes on average, one-way, in a vehicle moving at the speed of a garden snail. And with the global pandemic, more and more people are avoiding public transportation for personal vehicles — which does not help rush-hour traffic one bit. …
When I’m stressed, I become easily distracted. My focus flits erratically like a hummingbird, pulled along by the myriad of daily problems, conversations, and curiosities.
Perhaps you can relate. I could be working hard on something for half an hour, then impulsively fire up Google to search a problem that’s been bugging me all morning.
While I’m doing that, my email could chime, grabbing my attention. Five minutes later, I’m talking to a colleague about the weekend — my earlier email, problem, and work all but forgotten.
Long bouts of stress trigger longer bouts of mental wandering, until and unless I begin consciously ‘chunking’ up my day. …
I view the tendency to overthink as a gift.
It starts as a mental struggle, but how you wield it will determine if it remains a burden or becomes a valuable power in your life.
I’m an introvert and an overthinker, which means I’ve spent my fair time isolating myself in a sort of “mental hell”. Hours have been spent fruitlessly ruminating over ‘what if’ and ‘why did I’ questions in my mind. Mental whack-a-mole. …
When I first played Warframe, I never expected to learn anything, much less about chain gangs. That’s because Warframe’s core gameplay looks like the love child of Dynasty Warriors and Prince of Persia. You parkour-dash across levels like a ninja, shooting enemies in the face or dicing them to pieces. Not exactly educational material.
My first introduction to chain gangs came through Fortuna, an open-world expansion introduced to Warframe in late 2018. Preceding this expansion was a launch trailer that had a haunting track that sounded like something in between Russian martial music and industrial synth.
Hear it for yourself:
He smiled thinly from behind the counter. His convenience store uniform creased further as he scanned my items, and I glanced at his name tag: Jaleel (not his real name). He looked to be my age. Sensing a kindred spirit before me, I asked: “Have you eaten?”
He was taken aback by my question. Probably because nobody had asked before. Because nobody cared. Because Jaleel was from Bangladesh and one of the millions of migrants eking out a meagre living in my homeland.
They worked as grass cutters, waiters, security guards and construction workers. They were Bangladeshis, Nepalese, Myanmarese, Indonesians and Filipinos. They lived in tiny cramped rooms with three or four fellow countrymen. …
It’s midnight and an idea pops into my head. A diamond in the rough. With some polishing, it could become a decent opinion piece or article. Excitedly, I tuck it in my book of ideas before going to bed. The next morning, the idea headbutts me like a playful cat. I examine it further. There’s potential that a little coaxing will bring out.
But before I do that, I lean back and ask myself the same question I pose to all my work:
“If I pursued this, would the end product be something I’d dare show to someone I respect or admire?” …
Since childhood, I have been blessed — or cursed — with an above-average capacity for imagination. It demanded outlets that I, as a scrawny kid, struggled to accommodate.
I had some action figures, Happy Meal toys and a small bucket of LEGO, but those were never enough. For my make-believes, I had to make my own toys.
My favourite thing to do was constructing a city made of paper. Eight pieces of A4 sheets stuck together became the landmass. Atop this, flimsy rectangular paper structures pierced the sky, their drawn-on glass window reflecting imaginary sunrise.
I don’t know why urban centres fascinated me as a kid. They just did. Maybe it was because each paper building held hundreds of imaginary lives, which became hundreds of outlets for the stories and characters in my head. …
When was the last time you swore from joy, anger, or excitement? For me, it was yesterday, midway through my workout. For others, it might have been an hour or a second ago. Swearing is so ingrained into the way we talk, and we use it to convey emotions or add intensity to our words, often without thinking.
So we shouldn’t be surprised when our ads start to do it.
My first encounter with ‘swear-vertising’ was in Neil French’s autobiography. There, on a yellowing double spread, was the man’s notorious XXX campaign. …
It was pegged to be one of the toughest and most gruelling fights ever to be introduced into Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. The week the announcement trailer was released, scarred veterans of the series swapped battle stories in the comments section. Their warning to us newcomers was clear. Alatreon is not to be trifled with. It was not like the beasts before it. Be prepared for a world of pain.
My team and I had easily beat the previous monsters Capcom threw at us, so we were feeling pretty alright. And so were much of the player base. …