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I only needed to sell 28 copies

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I’ve always loved writing, from a young age I would carry a notebook with me and jot down ideas for stories and poems. I would use my computer to type up my work, print it out, and give it a title — like my own little publishing factory.

Although I never wanted to have a career out of writing, the idea of publishing my own book always stayed in the back of my mind. Of course, I knew how difficult it was to get a book published and I’d read all the stories of how hard it was for famous…


Get the shots you want by using these 5 tips to overcome your inhibitions as a photographer

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I have always been interested in photography and I enjoy trying to find the best spots to take a brilliant picture. A few months ago, a friend lent me their old DSLR camera and told me I could use it to get familiar with all the settings before going out and buying my own.

I couldn’t wait to get outside and start shooting; I did some research online to find the best places to photograph — I was interested in street photography, so I headed into my capital city, Belfast. …


How it hurt Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and countless other brands

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

There’s no such thing as bad publicity. It’s become a cornerstone of marketing, it’s built the foundations for advertising campaigns across the globe and even has equivalents in different languages — in French, ‘succès de scandale’, meaning ‘success from scandal.’

Of course, this statement can turn out to be true for many businesses and their negative publicity can generate millions in sales revenue, but more often than not, bad publicity is the key to failure and it doesn’t care how big your business is.

Ultimo Lingerie

In 1996, Scottish entrepreneur Michelle Mone OBE started MJM International Ltd. with her husband Michael. They…


Why we still haven’t managed to communicate with the people of North Sentinel Island

The Sentinelese tribespeople, 1974 – Photo by Raghubir Singh, Nat Geo Image Collection

North Sentinel Island, in the Bay of Bengal, is home to the Sentinelese people. Located between India and the Malay Peninsula, the island forms part of the Indian Andaman Islands. Being so close to other inhabited land masses, North Sentinel is hardly what we would describe as remote. In fact, the surrounding islands are home to five other tribes that we’ve known about for hundreds of years: the Great Andamanese, the Jarawas, the Onge, the Shompen, and the Nicobarese. The only difference in the Sentinelese case is that they don’t want to know about us.

1867

The first recorded contact with…


LANGUAGE LEARNING

Stop with the Duolingo lessons. There’s a new way to master language learning.

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Growing up, I was always interested in languages. It was on my bucket list to travel the world and I knew knowing the local dialects would help me to achieve this goal.

Back in primary 7, when I was around 12 years old, we started being taught French. We didn’t learn a lot, just a few keywords and phrases, but it was a start.

When I reached grammar school, aged 13/14, I started learning languages properly — at least, ‘properly’ from a high school perspective. I was going to around one hour of class each week for each language I…


In some countries, it’s still punishable by death.

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In some parts of Asia, equality for LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) people is becoming more hostile and is moving away from what we typically see in the West. In Indonesia, for example, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country is enforcing Sharia law and has introduced some strict punishments for those who break it.

In 2017, two 20-year-old men were publicly caned for having sex with each other by three enforcers who caned them 83 times each for breaking the Islamic law.

The beatings were compared medieval tortures by human rights activists. …


The rise and fall of the global sandwich giant.

A Subway store in Belfast / Photo by the author.

In 1965, 17-year-old entrepreneur Fred DeLuca started his very own sandwich company in Connecticut, United States. Backed by investor Peter Buck, the pair started trading under the name ‘Pete’s Super Submarines’ before changing the name two years later to Subway.

Since its debut back in the sixties, Subway has grown to become one of the biggest names in the fast food industry and has the most locations out of any of its competitors, with close to 42,000 outlets worldwide compared to McDonald’s 39,000.

However, after half a century of success, Subway is starting to see a decline in popularity as…


Or did he escape to Argentina? Or the South Pole?

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Hitler was born in April 1889 and lived a crazy life, at least by our standards. He rose to power in Germany following its defeat in World War I and swore to take back what he believed to be rightfully theirs.

He, along with his Nazi party, stormed into Czechoslovakia and began claiming it for themselves. Fearing the start of another world war, the rest of Europe sat back timidly and let him get away with it. However, when he started marching towards Paris via Belgium, the U.K. stepped in and declared war.

After roughly 6 years of fighting, the…


The story behind the little piece of Britain in the south of Spain

The rock of Gibraltar / Photo credit

The Iberian peninsula is made up of five countries: Andorra, France, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K. It might come as a surprise to some that the U.K. has territory on the Mediterranean, but it’s true — here’s why.

In the year 1700, King Charles II of Spain died and, given that he had no children, he chose Philip, Duke of Anjou of the House of Bourbon, in France, to succeed him. Naturally, this angered the majority of people as it meant Spain would be under heavy French influence, and therefore, war broke out.

Most of Europe, including the U.K., united…


Going viral isn’t just down to chance.

Photo by Sarah Mae on Unsplash

I’ve been writing on Medium since June 2020, when my country went into lockdown and I was looking for a way to pass the time. I didn’t realize that my hobby could actually earn me some extra cash and, although I was only earning $2-$5 each month, it was still proof that Medium can be a source of income for anyone, not just professional writers.

In the beginning, my articles weren’t very good; they lacked a proper structure and I was partial to using filler words a lot more than I should have done (something I’m still working at cutting…

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