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Pressure: Writing

write-blog-post-fastDid you feel a lot of pressure with January’s NaBloPoMo?

At the beginning of this year, without actually calling it a resolution, I decided that I would like to pull the selection of blogs I have been dipping in and out of for the last five years into some kind of shape.  I have a blog for each of my pets where I post from time to time, attempting to develop a distinct voice for each blog that matches the personality of the dog or cat who “owns” it.  I do that for my own entertainment.  I also have this one, Occasional Stuff, which I was originally going to reserve for various rants about things like cheap, tatty election posters and how I got on with my first call to jury service, but I let it slide.  Wondering whether I should just shut this site down or find something to do with it, I cast round the Great Oracle, Google,for ideas, and discovered the concept of writing challenges.

I began following the WordPress Daily Prompts and Zero to Hero challenges, and about a week in to that, discovered NaBloPoMo January 2014.  Through January, I found that some of the challenge topics harmonised with each other, whether accidentally or by design, I don’t know.  Being realistic, I knew that it would not always be possible, during a working week, to come up with a minimum of two posts and follow all the tasks set by Zero to Hero so I translated the challenges from something to do every day into something to do for every day.    I also reminded myself that the title of this blog is “Occasional Stuff” and the tagline is “random stuff”, and because, when I set out my agenda for this blog on January 2 in Daily Prompt:  Progress, I decided that these will only change if Occasional Stuff meets the 10 points set out in that post.

To repeat, the reason I am doing this is for my own entertainment. If I felt any pressure other than to meet my own expressed desire to write more and better – if following the challenges becomes a chore, then I have defeated the purpose of this exercise.

NaBloPoMo January 2014  – Picture from Scalable Social Media – if you’ve been feeling pressure this month, you might like to read this – Under Pressure – Queen

Daily Prompt: Generation XYZ

who-high-numbersThink about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?

I’ve always understood the concept of “generations” but never gave much thought to the date parameters until I began to think of what I might write in response to this prompt.  A quick consultation with the Great Oracle Google, and I’ve got what I need –  a definition I could use for a generation immediately younger or older than me.  So for the purposes of this post, and to allow me to  include a song I really like, I’m choosing to look at the post WWII baby boomers  e.g. those who were growing up in the 1950’s and came to adulthood during the 1960’s.

I don’t think it is necessary for me to go very far into the huge cultural upheaval that took root in the 1950’s and blossomed in to the crazy, heady days of the 1960’s.  What beats me is how, in that period, so many young men and women managed to break out of the confines of propriety and austerity that had marked their parents lives, or how those same people, in their teens and twenties, were able to craft original art and music that still resonate with a young audience half a century later,  and continue to wow their original audience. For example, I wouldn’t have been caught dead listening to anything my parents listened to in their youth, but my 20-something nephew has appropriated my entire collection of  The Kinks, Beatles, Stones, Hollies, Yardbirds, John Mayall, The Who, Hendrix, Them, The Doors et al, much of which I had previously appropriated from his dad.ROC166_MusicianPortraitsFOA_74  My niece’s two little boys were not averse to the odd antique power-chord when they came to visit either. 

As for that song.  What else would fit in with the topic of this post but The Who’s “My Generation”?    Back in 1965, 20 year old Pete Townshend condensed an all-pervading sense of resentment against embedded concepts of authority and perceptions of age  into  3 minutes and 18 seconds of raw power, with Roger Daltrey spitting out  “I hope I die before I get old”.  How can that pair of old war-horses manage to perform this particular song so many years later and still retain the song’s and their own credibility?  Because it’s still about concepts of authority and perceptions of age, of course. 

So what have I learned from these representatives of the generation before me? It’s quite simple, really – regardless of chronological age,  you don’t need to adhere to 1 Corinthians 13:11 – you can remain true to the values you developed in your youth.

Now enjoy Pete and Roger demonstrating that they still don’t fit into the concept of “old” that Pete wrote about 49 years ago.

Glad they haven’t all died before they got old

Daily Prompt: Generation XYZ – Pictures:  Classic Rock MagazineRock God Cred (I just discovered this blog – it’s got loads of really cool stuff…)

Pressure: Definition

All through this month I have felt somewhat ambivalent about what the word “pressure” really means in the context of the NaBloPoMo January 2014 list.  To get some clarity, I once again consulted the Great Oracle Google for a definition and here it is, courtesy of Oxford Dictionaries:

Definition of pressure in English:

pressure – Top 1000 frequently used words – Line breaks: pres|sure – Pronunciation: /ˈprɛʃə

NOUN –

[MASS NOUN]

  • continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it:the gate was buckling under the pressure of the crowd outside

[COUNT NOUN] the force per unit area exerted by a fluid against a surface with which it is in contact:gas can be fed to the turbines at a pressure of around 250 psi

  • the use of persuasion or intimidation to make someone do something:  backbenchers put pressure on the government to provide safeguards[COUNT NOUN]: the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks
  • the influence or effect of someone or something:  oil prices came under some downwards pressure
  • sense of stressful urgency caused by having too many demands on one’s time or resources:  he resigned due to pressure of work[COUNT NOUN]: the pressures of city life

VERB

[WITH OBJECT]

  • attempt to persuade or coerce (someone) into doing something:it might be possible to pressure him into resigning[WITH OBJECT AND INFINITIVE]: she pressured her son to accept a job offer from the bank

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pressura, from press- ‘pressed’, from the verbpremere (see 1) in Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)”1).

Definition of pressure in:

Under Pressure – QueenNaBloPoMo January 2014 – Picture from Live Science – Queen, Under Pressure