Tips for getting inspired, getting started, and getting published.

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Every weekend, I worry about carpal tunnel.

Because every weekend, I write. A lot. On Sundays when my boyfriend disappears for the day mountain biking, I grab a notebook, pen, and laptop, and write till my heart’s content or my wrists are worn out. …

Search term stories about people.

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Several months ago I asked friends and strangers to share their Google search history with me for a project I was embarking on. I was curious to see what I could learn about people by looking at their online search history.

It started when I noticed how often many of my friends turned to Google search during social events. No matter what the topic of conversation, for certain friends there was always something worth Googling: an actor’s name, a historical date, that song lyric on the tip of their tongue, or the origins of that cheese on the menu. …

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Earlier this week, I went to the doctor’s office. What should have been an in and out consultation for seasonal allergies turned into a two hour mess of misdiagnoses, desperate attempts to prescribe the problem away, and profuse apologies that came too late for errors that could have been avoided.

By the time I left, I was emotionally exhausted: just about everything about the visit had gone wrong, and I vowed I would never return.

On my way home I made note of the doctor’s costly missteps. It occurred to me that many of the mistakes I’d seen that day were surprisingly familiar — or at least, their effect on me was. My problem hadn’t been solved, and I had a nagging suspicion the doctor had never understood my symptoms to begin with. It was the same combination of dissatisfaction and distrust I feel when I turn to an app for a specific solution and it fails to deliver the right experience. …


Ximena Vengoechea

I write about career pathing, behavioral design, & the intersection of technology + society. Currently, design research @pinterest. More at

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