Tag Archives: writing

Top 5: Tim Tam Slam, start a business checklist, Melbourne sunrise, food blog, Australian Writers’ Centre

Came across some delicious, pretty, funny and useful stuff this last week. The world is pretty awesome!

1) Tim Tam Slam
How did I not know about this? Maybe because I don’t habitually enjoy biscuits, but had to make an exception for this. You basically bite off little bits from diagonal corners, use the Tim Tam as a straw until you can taste your hot drink, then EAT! I’m going to have to try this again because I was laughing too hard from excitement the first time. Thanks Kimmy for introducing me to this wonder in Melbourne last week!

Image from Baking for the Office blog

2) Starting a Business  – The Great Big Checklist of Everything
Came across this fantastic post on docstoc.com. It lists off everything you need to know about starting a business, including:

  • Ideation and Protecting Ideas
  • Forming your Entity
  • Identity and Branding
  • Financing and Business Planning
  • Operations
  • Financial Planning and Accounting
  • Business Mentors
  • Building a Team
  • Human Resources
  • Sales
  • Marketing and PR
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Service / Retail / Online

The ins and outs will change for each country, but the pointers are a great place to start. Read the post here.

3) Sunrise in St Kilda, Melbourne
I was in Melbourne last week for work and enjoyed a jog in St Kilda during sunrise. Say no more!

4) We Call Him Yes! Chef! – food blog
I love this blog – it’s written well and has wicked photos! Although I haven’t yet made any of the recipes, I’ve taken many ideas from this blog and I have certainly got some of the meals on my ‘to try’ list. YUM.

Photo from the They Call Him Yes! Chef!

Photo from the They Call Him Yes! Chef! blog

5) Australian Writers’ Centre 
I’m 3 weeks into a 5-week Screenwriting Stage 1 course, and loving it! I’ve been a fan of good script for a while, but I didn’t realise that this course would give so much insight into effective storytelling. In turn, it’s a course that I’d recommend to anyone who needs to tell stories (or is in marketing/advertising/PR).

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Why written content is not dead (but video is awesome)

A few weeks ago I attended a Sydney Business Month presentation titled ‘Video Killed the Written Website’. It was run by Claire Stretch, Producer, and Brendon Stretch, Creative Director of Filmstretch. Claire and Brendon specialise in video production. Their presentation was very good and the insights they shared valuable. They shared great ads such as DollarShaveClub.com’s comical ‘Our Blades are F***ing Great’,

Nike’s compelling ‘Find Your Greatness’,

and the odd but attention-holding American DirectTV ad, ‘Don’t Have a Grandson with a Dog Collar’.

They showed us how the art of film has evolved over time, and just how much can be going on behind the scenes of films. Just check out the final scene of Hugo to get an idea:

By the end of the session we had an understanding of how much work is involved in all phases of video creation and digital post-production.

I’m not here to argue that video isn’t brilliant – when executed well. In an age of digital ADD, video is critical in engaging audiences. From advertisements to film, video educates, entertains, enlightens, informs and moves us in ways that a page of words cannot.

There are people (like me), however, who still enjoy reading a well-written article. Sometimes when I follow the link on a tweet I’m disappointed that I’m being taken to a video instead of a concise and smart piece of writing. I like the puns, the innuendo, the big words, the flow. I value the effort that has gone into creating a piece that makes me laugh, cry, learn, or just keeps me glued to the screen.

Sometimes, Internet services aren’t always fast enough for video. Also, not everyone has mastered the art of video, or has the budget to do it well. Great words coupled with relevant images or infographics can capture attention and inform adequately in many situations.

The crux: In many instances, video isn’t an option and many people still appreciate clever, entertaining and/or compelling written content that has been carefully crafted.

Yes – crappy written content is most certainly dead, but excellent, relevant, timely, useful written content is not.


Some pieces of writing that have held my attention lately:

This simple yet warming blog post about rice on The Patterned Plate

This recent post by a straight man about how he was ‘defriended’ over the wedding of his gay brother

Aleksandar Hemon’s gripping and devastating piece about his daughter’s plight with a brain tumour on The New Yorker

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Profile on: Michel de Montaigne, writer and the father of Modern Skepticism

Here’s the first post of my new blog post project: short, snappy profiles on interesting, inspiring and influential people from the past and present.


Who: Michel de Montaigne, French writer & philosopher who lived during the French Renaissance
Born: 28th February, 1533
Died: 13 September, 1592 (Aged 59)
Claim to fame: Montaigne founded the essay and was amongst the first to write philosophically with modern skepticism

Snapshot of Notable Facts & Achievements:

  • He is regarded as the founder of the essay. Michel de Montaigne described his works as ‘essays’ – ‘essayer’ is French for ‘to try’ or ‘to attempt’.
  • In his essays he expressed opinions on his nature and the habits of people, and he questioned the wisdom of humans.
  • He is most well known for the remark, “Que sais-je?” (“What do I know?”)
  • There is a biography of Michel de Montaigne written by Sarah Bakewell called How To Live. The question, “How to live?” obsessed Montaigne. In the book, Bakewell addresses Montaigne’s essays with 20 chapters including, “Don’t Worry About Death”, “Read A Lot, Forget Most of What You Read”, “Survive Love and Loss”, “Question Everything”, “Do Something No One Has Done Before” and “Reflect on Everything; Regret Nothing”.
  • For some time, he moderated between Catholics and Protestants.
  • In his essay Of Cannibals Montaigne wrote that “one calls ‘barbarism’ whatever he is not accustomed to,” questioning the differences between barbaric and moral man.
  • His skepticism got him into the Index of Forbidden Books for almost 200 years. The Index of Forbidden Books was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. It was abolished in 1966.
  • His birthplace is now called Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne.

Some of Montaigne’s quotes:

  • “Don’t discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved.”
  • “Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom.”
  • “When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.”
  • “A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.”
  • “An untempted woman cannot boast of her chastity.”
  • “I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older.”
  • “I know that the arms of friendship are long enough to reach from the one end of the world to the other”
  • “There is no knowledge so hard to acquire as the knowledge of how to live this life well and naturally.”
  • “Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.”

Image from Wikipedia

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