Thursday Thoughts: Coming up With Ideas

Since starting the blog over a year ago, there is one thing that I have never had an issue with…and that’s coming up with ideas.

I’m not trying to brag about how I am some creative genius and I constantly have ideas flowing through my head…because that is far from true.

I’ve just learned a trick or two that has helped me come up with different ideas for what to write about.

There are three simple things that I do to make sure I don’t run out of ideas.

1.) Plan Ahead

It sounds pretty simple, but this is probably the most important of my three tips. if you’re rushing last minute to come up with ideas, you are going to enjoy it a lot less.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

I’ve rushed last minute to come up with ideas and by the end of the post, I am disappointed. Both with myself and with what I had written.

I’m not saying you have to plan out the entire post before hand, but at least knowing the topic you will be writing about puts your head into the proper space, and the information comes a lot easier.

I have heard of some people that prepare their posts days or weeks in advance. I personally don’t find the time to do that, but it is rather impressive when I hear of people that do it.

I find that writing ideas for the month on a calendar lets me see what’s coming up, and helps me prepare for what to write each day.


2.) Steal Ideas…Creatively

Don’t copy someone’s hard work by reposting their content as your own. That’s stealing and also is a quick way to be disliked by a lot of people.

What I mean by stealing creatively, is using others’ ideas in your own way. Change them up a bit, add your own flare, and your own content.

If you see someone with a good idea for a blog post, use the same idea, but give it your own flare. By now, it is probably impossible to come up with a 100% original idea, but you can come up with an idea that you have made your own, and that fits your blog, or website, or whatever it is, better than any others.

For example, you see a blogger posting a character analysis of Harry Potter characters, or different female protagonists.

It’s a great idea to write about, and maybe you like the idea. Don’t take the exact idea, but maybe you want to take a look at different characters that have similar features, or you want to look at different villains.

Similar ideas, but you’ve made it your own instead of just copying someone else.


3.) Write Things Down

This one isn’t always easy to remember, but I try to do it as often as I can.

When I see a quote, or an idea from a movie, or even an idea from a book, I try to write it down in a journal that I always carry with me.

They don’t always pan out to be something amazing right away, but in the future you might have an idea that works with something you wrote down months ago.

I’ve come up with plenty of ideas for creative writing pieces, blog posts, or even ideas I want in my future book just by writing them down when I come across them.


In the end, everyone has their own ways of coming up with ideas for what to create. You may do some of the things I mentioned, you might do things completely different. Either way, let me know your process in the comments. How do you come up with new ideas for posts?

Scary Movie Marathon

I have never been a big Halloween fan. I don’t have anything against Halloween per se, but I have never been one of those people that loves the skulls and witches and the spooky scary skeletons.

Monday evening came around, and I watched a YouTube video about upcoming scary movies, and I decided I wanted to do a scary movie marathon in celebration of Halloween.

Like I said, I’m not necessarily a fan of Halloween, and I am probably less so a fan of scary movies, but I wanted to challenge myself.

I wanted something to do this month that kept me busy. I find with living on my own now, that I try to laze around all evening once I’ve finished walking my dog and doing my chores.

What will I be doing?

Every day this month I am going to be watching a different scary that I haven’t seen yet.

I am going to try to watch them mostly in a dark apartment at night time, with nothing to protect me except my dog and a pillow.

I’ve finished two movies so far, and I already notice myself being more on edge and assuming the worst from people I pass in the street, so we will see how this goes for 29 more days.

I won’t be giving a super in-depth review of each movie, but instead of throwing up Solve it Sunday posts, I was planning on doing a short 5-star rating and a paragraph or two of what I liked/didn’t like and why.

What scary movies do you guys like? What’s your favourite one? Let me know in the comments

Do people still use libraries?

Libraries have literally been around for thousands of years, and have served some different purposes through time, but generally have had one goal: providing books/knowledge to people.

Whenever I think of a library, the Great Library of Alexandria comes to mind. Probably the most famous library in the history of the world, we unfortunately lost almost all of the contents long ago.

I read somewhere a few years ago that the world’s technology would probably be 100 years more advanced if we hadn’t lost it’s contents.

I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but I feel like there is some truth to it. Libraries used to be for scholars and academics to learn, and advance human knowledge and understanding.

Libraries are places for people to learn, study, and advance the world.

There is near limitless information that can be found in a library…but that’s not what they’re used for any more. They aren’t the epicenter of knowledge any more. That is what our phones are for.

Do people go to libraries to learn? In my opinion no. If people want to learn, (which they tend not to want) they go on their phones, find what information they want, and then forget it almost immediately.

Yeah sure, people at universities or college might use a library because their essay requires them to add a few citations, but do they really use the library? Or do they just go online?

The libraries I have been in have hundreds if not thousands of books, but they sit their unused. They don’t move, except for the very rare occurrence somebody can’t find them online and needs to use an actual book as a reference in their work.

In my opinion, physical libraries are dying, and are also becoming worthless. It hurts me to say that, but I don’t think they’re valued anymore. People don’t use them to learn, people barely use them (physical or online) as it is.

For the most part they’re used a source of free internet access for anyone who just walks in off the street.

I know people do use them, and to those who do, bless your souls because it brings me joy knowing that someone is using a library for it’s original purpose.

Some people use them for movies, or to check out the books they can’t afford to buy, and that’s good. The only problem is, that these people are few and far between.

Am I wrong about libraries? Do people use them for more than I think they do, or do you agree that libraries are dying out, slowly but surely.

Hello, and Goodbye…I’m changing things up

For years now I wanted to create something that allowed me to express my thoughts and opinions for others to listen to or watch, and maybe learn from.

I created this blog to do just that, and have loved doing it since I started it.

I’ve hit a few bumps along the way, and I’ve gotten over them and have always come back to this blog and am super grateful that I have.

Because of this blog, I have also started a Podcast about the Wheel of Time series, called The Winespring Inn.

I really enjoyed doing it at first, but it quickly became a lot of work that I couldn’t find time for and I lost interest.

It was kind of lonely doing a podcast on my own, and I am half glad half upset that I won’t be continuing with it any more.

I’m no expert on the subject matter, compared to other people, and I find myself dreading the time researching stuff to make the script.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy making a podcast, it’s just I’d prefer to focus my attention on other projects that I want to try out.

My podcasts used to come out on Saturdays, when I did post them.

Now that I won’t be continuing it, I want to start a new review series…reviewing TV shows and Movies.

I know this doesn’t really fall under the “book” category, but I think it does in the sense that it is storytelling. Movies and books are part of the same umbrella of storytelling. Movies are visual, books do the same, they just use your creativity and imagination.

The one stipulation for a movie/TV show review…it needs to be adapted from a book.

That’s how I am going to tie it into the book genre that I currently follow.

I hope you are all as excited to do the book/TV show reviews. I think it’ll be less time consuming for me, but also more fun for me and for all of you.

For the most part, I’ll try to cover modern movies that I’ve seen, but I’ll probably throw in a few classics/older movies if things slow down.

Write your story…not someone else’s.

When I started blogging, I never thought that anybody outside of my friends and family would read it.

I mean I’m just an average guy from a smaller capital city in Canada. There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a genius, or a fantastic writer, or even overly successful. I’m okay with all that of course, but I still don’t expect anyone to read this blog I’ve thrown together.

What’s really surprised me, and has made me excited to keep posting, is seeing what countries my readers are from. Canada is the most popular country for my readers at the moment, but the United Kingdom is quickly catching up to them, so for all my UK fans, HELLO! thanks for being your awesome self, and beat these damn Canadians! I know you can do it!

One of my “goals” is to have the WordPress map completely colored in one day which would be so cool! I check the progress every now and then and slowly but surely more countries are being added to the list.

When I started this blog, I did a bit of research into how blogs work, how people come up with ideas, how to get more viewers, and different things like that. I actually had a few pages of notes that I wanted to follow, but I soon dropped all of that.

I didn’t want to fit into some formula that other people made. I didn’t want to do the same things other people were doing. Where is the fun in that anyways?

I’m Andrew, I’m not Peter, or Martin, or Susan, or Erika. I’m me, and I am going to do what I want.

Yeah, my ideas might not be the best, and they are definitely not the most popular, but I like them. I enjoy making them. Some are more fun than others, and some are easier to write, but in the end, I like them all for some reason.

I mentioned a piece yesterday that was all about not taking writing advice from other people, and just doing it your way, and that’s what I want to do. I’ll take advice along the way. I’ll steal ideas and make them my own. I’ll do what I want to do because I’m me, and On My Bookshelf is my voice.

You have to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, the only person you are stuck with for eternity is yourself, and if you can’t enjoy you, or enjoy what you’re doing, then what’s the point?

I don’t come up with some elaborate script for my blog posts, or write every post with the same analytical process every time.

I write in my own way, and if that gives me less followers than someone who posts in the same format as everyone else, I am fine with it.

Don’t let others tell you no. If you want to try something, then try it. Don’t let others say this is a bad book, or that’s a bad makeup line. If you like it, then own it.

Be the outlier.

Be you.

People might want this picture perfect idea that hundreds of thousands of people change themselves to fit into, but you shouldn’t want to be everyone else. You should want to be you.

Love your quirks, love your weirdness, write how you want to write, tell the story you want to tell.

Anyways that’s it for my little “rant”. I just feel it’s important to do things the way you want to do them, not how other people want you to do them.

I started a podcast!

Since becoming a communications student, I have fallen in love with the idea of sharing my thoughts and opinions on different topics for everyone to see or hear.

I started this blog as an assignment, but went above and beyond what the assignment required me to do, and I have now taken to keep updating the blog, even after school has ended for the year.

It’s a lot of fun. I like sharing my thoughts and opinions, and in doing so, I have had so many great discussions about books, movies or TV shows, and I wanted to keep doing it.

I have my opinions on things, but so often, I find my opinions being influenced by other people’s when I discuss it with them, or other people have an opinion that I had no idea about. Hearing other people’s opinions is something I enjoy doing, and I thought giving my opinion might help other people.

That’s why I wanted to start a podcast.

Podcasting seems like the perfect platform to discuss a certain topic, and the idea of starting one has interested me even before becoming a communications student.

I haven’t released any episodes yet, but I have recorded a few. They’re not great, but they’re a good stepping stone to be sure, and I hope to keep making better content for any listeners that I might have in the future.

The podcast is called The Winespring Inn, and it is about The Wheel of Time. I love the books, and since the books are being adapted into a TV show, I figured it would be good subject matter to start talking about.

Currently, it’s just me, myself, and I, which kind of sucks, because I would like a partner to talk to on the Podcast, but I’m okay with going solo.

I’m going to try to get episodes out every week, but I’m not going to promise that because who knows? I might be busy.

The idea of the podcast will be more of a discussion/encyclopedia type. I’ll discuss certain topics, but also give a sort of encyclopedia entry on different aspects of the series. Whether it is locations, people, weapons, or various other things, The Wheel of Time is a massive book series, and it can be pretty confusing.

But yeah! I started a podcast, and I am pretty excited about it. Look out for it this weekend!

The Book That I Destroyed The Most

As any good reader knows, every books can go through a lot of wear and tear during their lives. Some people go out of their way to keep a book in good condition, others don’t really care, I mean how much damage can really be done to a book right?

It’s just some pieces of paper stuck together, and I’m not gonna throw it in a fire or anything so it should be fine (though I do know some people who use old books as firewood and I do not agree!).

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Personally, I would say I’m the type that doesn’t worry about what damage can be done to a book, because I just want to enjoy reading the book.

It’s also pretty hard to avoid ruining the book at least a little bit, in my opinion. Hardcover books are a bit safer because they keep themselves open more than paperbacks, but sometimes I notice that there is an oily fingerprint on the bottom corner of the page, or the cover is faded or ripped a bit from being carried in my backpack all day long.

Plus hardcovers usually have a sleeve, which hides the damage done to the book itself, so I tend to worry a bit less when it comes to those.

Paperbacks are much worse. Just carrying them to and from school I’ve spilled water on them, been splashed by cars, or had covers rip and pages fold when something else in my bag squished it.

Honestly, even after all of that I don’t care. I don’t want to ruin my experience of reading a book just because I don’t want it to get dirty or ruined.

If a book was ruined beyond repair or pages get torn out, then I might be a bit upset, but that would be pretty difficult to do, so I don’t worry about that too much.

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Now maybe I am going a bit crazy, and people aren’t these perfect book keepers I assume they are, but I have proof of at least one person who is! I know someone who will not and can not ruin a book. It’s impossible. Destiny has forbidden it.

They wrap their book in a soft cloth cover when they aren’t reading it, and they have a special pocket on their bag dedicated to nothing but the book. Nothing bends, rips, or even touches it except the cover.

I’ve even seen them handle the book pretty nonchalantly and it’s like the Book Gods won’t let their books be ruined. There’s a small force field or something around the book that prevents any harmful materials from entering.

They can’t even ruin the spine of a paperback book! How is that possible?

A 800+ page book and they don’t have one single crease mark on the spine? I call bullshit.

It’s either some sort of witchcraft or they only carry around books and don’t actually read them.

Either way, that’s not my life. I’ve yet to ruin a book beyond repair (but I have come pretty damn close) and that’s all I care about.

As long as the book has two covers, legible words on the pages, and the pages are all there, I will read it, though I’m pretty sure I have read a book with no front or back covers before.

Now…

To get to the point of this post… the book that I have ruined the most.

This book has been through it all. I spilled water on it, put oily fingerprints on the pages, dropped food on the pages, squished bugs between its pages, dropped it in dirt, and even dropped it down a two-story building by accident.

The worst thing that happened to it was actually when I first started reading it though. I was on a boat with my girlfriend and her family, and I had brought the book along for the day because it was a nice summer day and I didn’t want to swim…so I figured I’d stay on the boat, enjoy the sun, and read.

It was going well. I had crushed through 75, maybe 100 pages in an hour or so and we started heading back to shore because it was getting late and we were getting hungry.

My girlfriend and I were sitting at the front of the boat, and were getting splashed a bit by some of the waves, so I threw my book and phone under my hoodie and put it at our feet.

WELL that turned out to be a big mistake because not a few minutes later, a HUGE wave came and splashed the boat, leaving the entire floor covered in 4-5 inches of water for a good 30 seconds.

Worried about my phone, I quickly grabbed it and put it somewhere more dry, but as I did my book started floating to the back of the boat.

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I was devastated, but there were more important things to worry about.

When we finally made it back to shore, the cover had been basically torn off, paged bent beyond repair, and some of the words wee smudged, BUT all in all it was still a book, and I ended up finishing it a few weeks later when I was on the boat again…clearly not learning from my previous mistakes.

What’s the worst you’ve ever dont to a book? Let me know in the comments.