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Everything posted by gankylosaurus

  1. Essay draft done and submitted. Tomorrow morning I get to deliver a lesson to a class of high schoolers, and then I'll be coming home to work on yet more work I'm behind on.
  2. Day 5 I didn't do anything yesterday except watch movies with my girlfriend. I started working on some homework, but I decided I'd get it done more effectively today. I was partly true. This essay is the bane of my existence. However, I'm tackling it by integrating one element of it at a time. Now I only have one more article to pull quotes from, then I can incorporate Vygotsky and Piaget probably, and write up my conclusion. I don't even care if it hits the 2000 word requirement. I'm about halfway there, though. I'm going to spend today and tomorrow getting ALL of my assignments done. I have a little bit of a backlog. For one class, it's been no problem because the teacher just basically gives full credit for turning assignments in. Psych is going to be a little more of a question. The teacher hasn't given me any zeroes for missing assignments yet, so I'm hoping I can swing the possibility of getting something for turning them in. At the very least, I just want them off my mind. Hell, I'd take the zero just so I don't have to think about it anymore. On the plus side, I'm getting better at staying on top of keeping the house clean again. So that's something.
  3. Day 3 New finding of this accountability journal. Two, actually. One, it doesn't really deter me from succumbing to my vices as much as I thought it might (2.25 hours logged in that category). Two, it makes me consciously aware of what it feels like to spend eleven and a half of my wakeful hours being productive. I'm fucking tired now. Cheers. Everybody knows your name.
  4. Day 2 I might have given up on the psychology paper. I mean, not entirely. I still have to turn it in at the end, but for now, I'm not sure if I can get credit for this draft of it. The upload link is no longer online. We reap what we sow, right? I'll probably still get around a low B without those points, so, eh. It's an important class, but it's one that's required for everyone in my major, so it's one that a lot of people quickly stop caring about. I'll still finish it this weekend and try to email it, but I really have absolutely no drive to write it. I freeze at the letters APA. Anyway, today was a horrible example of what I can do when I put my mind to things and hold myself accountable for my free time. I had time between classes which I used to read for class and start my essay. Then I went to the store, got home, and helped and spent time with my sick girlfriend. So there isn't a whole lot of "free time" I can actually use effectively. I'll have the house to myself tomorrow. I've been keeping up with the accountability journal and making sure there's no time unaccounted for. No really profound observations to make yet. Give me a week and I'll report my findings. The one thing it does effectively, though, is force me to live each day intentionally, hour to hour. I try to write down a start time for every activity, but if I'm in school, I'm more likely to write it in after the fact since the day is so scheduled. Now I have to make a decision every time I'm not forced to be somewhere. This is actually how I got my essay started. I sat down, wrote down the start time, and wrote "Psych Essay." Once it was committed to paper, I had to do it, and I got about a quarter of it done. I feel like keeping up with my blog is also helping me stay motivated. Now that the first week of posts has gone up (which is really only two posts) I feel like I have to keep going. Especially since I'm getting views, comments, twitter mentions, and all that. I even had someone come directly to me for advice and another person contribute to my writing resources page. It's been a really uplifting week for my blog, and I think the accountability journal has given me an idea for a new post. Cheers, David
  5. Day 1. I decided that this is my actual starting point, especially because of the post on my personal blog today. I'd rather not direct link it, but you can hit the link in my sig if you want context. Basically, I decided that I feel like I'm killing myself. I feel like I've given up. It's all or nothing with me right now. If I get overwhelmed I just say "fuck everything" and go back to destructive behaviors. Today I started an Accountability Journal. I might share my findings from it, but really it's just a log for myself to see where all my time is going, see how many of my wakeful hours are spent being productive. And how much of my free time (when I'm not required to be in class, for instance) is spent well. I'll probably end up making an excel sheet, breaking down the day into hours awake, hours free, hours spent productively, and hours wasted. Anyway, I need to go read for class. I'm not planning on opening my laptop again today unless I need it or I decide to write something. Cheers, David
  6. I'm back for real, right now. I just uninstalled all my games, and I've already had my girlfriend hide the physical copy of a game from me. Any time I try to get my life back on track, I constantly have this "Right after I do this one more time" kind of mentality. Well, I'm stopping that now. No excuses. I might have to be a bit of a hardass on myself, but I have a short list of things I must avoid. That list is allowed to grow only if new activities present themselves as being disruptive. I have a paper due at midnight (about a half-hour from the time this is being written) that I've barely started on. I realized a while ago that it wasn't going to be done in time, especially since I have so many research documents to sort through for relevant information. I will submit it late. Luckily, I've figured out that the class's points system is pretty stupid, and even if I were to never turn this draft in, I would only lose 6% from my final grade. I'll still turn it in. It will just be late, and it might lose some points. I'm also planning on starting a schedule on my personal blog, where each month has a theme. This month's theme is supposed to be breaking old habits. Next month's will be about building new habits. My website is geared toward writers, so these aren't typical themes, but they're where I want to start to get the ball rolling, and they're also still pretty relevant to writers in general. But because of this blog plan, I realized that I should practice what I preach. Don't expect me to update this daily because I have a lot of work to do and would like to avoid the Internet as a distraction. I'm quitting gaming at least until the end of the semester. We'll see how I feel then.
  7. Hey, man. Thanks. Besides being unemployed, I don't have a lot of negativity to share right now without getting too personal. Day 2 Got everything done for the day. Well, that's not totally true. I said I'd rewrite that one chapter, but after looking at it again, I got a bit overwhelmed. I printed it out, made notes on it, then set it aside and wrote a whole new synopsis for the rewrite. I might end up typing up the new draft later, but I've got to give some time over to the girlfriend who will be home soon. I also finished that Udemy course on copy writing. It had some good insights, but it made it pretty clear that it's a really hard profession to get into and make profitable. Other than that, I'm sort of weaning myself off of caffeine finally. I did it by accident, though, because I wasn't paying attention and bought decaf coffee. I decided I'd still drink that then only get caffeinated coffee on campus when I need it. Having the decaf is good for me psychologically (I think) and yesterday I almost fell asleep in my first class without coffee. I've done this before, and I know how rough it is at first. But in the end, I'll be able to make it through a day without crashing. And if I do begin to crash, the caffeine will finally have an effect on me that it hasn't in a long time. Still, I'm exhausted right now. I'm thinking about getting back on my youtube channel again to talk about writing, but using my own writing as the source material. I wouldn't talk about the specifics of the story, but I would definitely talk about the issues I'm facing in the story in a broad sense, and follow up with how I fix them. Could be a good resource for other writers, and it could also be a good way for me to talk out some issues. See you tomorrow.
  8. Day 1 Today was pretty good. Had to deal with a sudden emergency, but overall I got most of what I wanted done. I wanted to edit a chapter. Instead, I read through the chapter and made notes. Ultimately I determined that it needs largely rewritten, especially because of some huge character changes I've made to the overall story. I will do that tomorrow. I thought about that Reality Craft idea and decided against it. It's a complicated system, and one I don't really want to keep up with. Instead, I got about halfway through a Udemy course on copy writing. I will probably do the rest tomorrow. Basically, today was a good example of ways to adapt. I didn't do the dishes because my girlfriend is home sick, asleep on the couch. I'd rather not wake her up smashing dishes together. I also got a good bit of reading done. Not a huge amount, but more than I've done lately. I want to keep this journal positive. I can be pretty negative at times, and I don't want that to be a continuing trend. But when I say that, don't assume that when I say things are good that I'm bullshitting you. I like being honest. If I have a bad day, I just won't mention it was bad. But I will, at least, try to salvage the good from it. Part of this starts with me, though, because I have more control over my livelihood than I give myself credit for. See you tomorrow.
  9. Hello again, GQ. This is my fourth attempt at this. Things happened recently and I realized that life doesn’t stop and wait for you to catch up. You have to keep moving with it or it will leave you behind. I’m trying to catch up here, and I’ve put a TL;DR at the end which is not exactly exhaustive but should at least hit the core of what I’m doing here. Hopefully the section headings will make it easier to keep up. My goal here (especially in the interest of not annoying veterans or Cam) is for this to be the last journal I make on this site because I want to stick with it for more than a few weeks. But if you’re interested, here are links to my previous journals: Gank’s Log Dave’s Log Resistance is Futile Introduction Where I Went Wrong I don’t want to go back through my old blog posts again to see where I went right or wrong in the past. I think I had some good insights that violated one core principle I’d discovered in self-improvement. I had gotten good at keeping up with running, until I stopped suddenly. But I hadn’t told the world about my running because I wasn’t looking for a pat on the back. Only when I felt comfortable in my progress and my resolve to keep up with it did I tell anyone about it. Running taught me the power of habit, of focusing on today and not thinking about the goal. By just running a little a day, I made it a habit that I wanted to keep up with. It made me feel good about myself, and it gave me energy. I didn’t get to do that 5k I wanted to do because I got sick that weekend (and ultimately this led to me not running anymore for a while because I’d broken the habit) but for a time, I felt great. I also made a good daily habit of getting the apartment clean, and reading, and writing. I wouldn’t allow myself the more “time-sink” activities like gaming or YouTube until after a certain time of day. Usually 8 on weekdays and 5 or 6 on weekends. That way, when everything was clean, my only choices for passing the time were finding other errands, reading, or writing. I usually settled on reading, especially if I’d already done my writing and didn’t feel a burning need to get more words down. More recently, I’ve lost sight of my priorities. I put them on the wayside and let all the things I need to do pile up. We have the things we need to do, the things we want to do, and the things that we just do to pass the time and pacify ourselves to the world around us. I chose the third category too often for too long. As a sidenote, I lost my job recently. Some of my hobbies became habits. Gaming is one of them. I drank too much, watched too much porn, and blamed all my unhappiness on these things rather than the person I had become. It was my decision to do all these things and yet I didn’t think to blame myself. Now I recognize where I went wrong, and I know what I have to do to fix it. It’s uncomfortable, but I know from the past that it is worth it. But before I also complicated my life with trying to adopt new hobbies and turn them into habits, under the guise of learning and personal development. Like learning to draw or code. Thing is, while I would still like to do these things, I need to get my life as it is under control. I’ve had my girlfriend help me with porn before, by blocking access to it and giving her exclusive control of the account with her own password for it. But I found a way around it because I understand how the modem and router work. I don’t think I’ll do that again. There’s so much more power in being able to say “no” when I feel an urge to go back to my old ways. She did come up with a “you drink when I drink” rule a while back, though. I’m going to go back to that. I felt better about it. I didn’t overindulge and she didn’t come home to find me passed out in bed and worried for my life. The Future The goal of this is not just to eliminate bad habits, but to focus on building and keeping new ones. I’ve tried using programs developed by others before, even tried Habitica. The only thing that’s worked for me is relying on my own intuition. Coming up with a plan, sticking with it until it works, and figuring out how to adapt and overcome in order to keep on keeping on. Here comes the hard part: Figuring out where to start. Scheduling Well, I can start off by focusing on my schedule. I’m in class for a large portion of the day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; off Tuesday; and back again for one class on Thursday. Tuesday and Thursday mornings I go to a high school for observation hours. So those hours are pretty much locked down. However, when I start my day, I can give myself a little time to relax. Let’s say an hour because that’s what I did before. This means that when I get up or I get home from school/work (you know, when I get a job again) I can watch a little YouTube or something. But once my time is up, it’s time to get to work. After 8 on weekdays and 5 on weekends are freetime. School Homework comes first during home hours. There can be no exception to this. However, I got into the habit of waiting until the last minute to do this work, especially for my two online classes. To change this, I’m going to start looking a week ahead at my requirements for my online classes. The workload on one of them changes from week to week and has taken me anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours to complete. By looking ahead, I can be prepared to work on this homework throughout the week whenever I get downtime. As for other classes, I actually care about my in-class classes. So I’ve had no issue doing the work for those (except for online discussion. The points aren’t worth it and I really don’t care). The one sticking point is the reading for one class, which requires a weekly journal response. I'll just have to work harder to put up with the forty-page chapters. Reading I’ve tried setting a minimum time for me to read daily. I don’t wish this upon anyone, and won’t do it to myself again either. It makes it into a chore and takes the fun out of it. Instead, reading will be my go-to activity when I’m out of things to do. Writing Hoo-boy. This is perhaps the biggest hurdle. I’ve done every approach to this: Write when the mood strikes; write a half-hour a day; write 1500 words a day. I can say that every method has shown results to varying degrees. I have an issue with a time limit or word requirement, though, because I end up only doing that much, when I could do so much more. Instead, I’m going to hold myself to work on a novel every day. But that comes with the attachment of a daily task. I don’t ever know how long that task could take and once I get into it, I often stop caring about how long it will take. It’s done when it’s done, whether that takes fifteen minutes or three hours. Cleaning I’ve written before about how the physical clutter in my life becomes mental clutter. Now that I have an office that I keep generally pretty neat (he writes as he spots an ant on his desk) this isn’t such a problem. But it’s funny how quickly keeping the house in order gets away from you. I know from experience that once the place is clean, it’s easy to do little things here and there to keep it clean. Just spend fifteen minutes a day going around picking things up, throwing things away, and dealing with the day’s dishes. Better yet, if you do the dishes on a meal-by-meal basis, it’s like there were no dishes to begin with. New Habits Considering I don’t have a job right now, I’ve been applying at places around the area. But this has also lit a fire under my ass to try and start writing for money once more. I mentioned in a followup post on my last journal that I might try Reality Craft once more. I can use this to develop the skills I need to become a copywriter (or better yet, a copy editor) and get paid to do it. This is one aspect where I know less about my goal, but I’ll look into it on a daily basis. As for other habits, like drawing and coding… Well, I draw when an idea strikes me, and I came up with a pretty cool idea for a book cover design. But it’s not something I want to focus on. With coding, I have a pretty good lesson plan through Udemy to follow, but again I’m not going to focus on it. I want to get the other aspects of my life in order before I get into the thick of coding. Compartmentalization Simply put, when I’m working on school, I’m working on school. This goes for all other aspects. I might even draw circles on my whiteboard labeled School, Writing, Cleaning, and so forth, and move a magnet into the appropriate circle depending on what I’m doing. Exercise [TBD] No, seriously. I’m bad at coming up with workout plans. I would get a gym membership if I had an income right now. And the trail where I used to run is about seven miles away now. And I’m not running on the sidewalks of Cleveland. I guess I could work out at the gym on campus for free, though… Damn, I guess I’m going to have to do that. Just give me a little time to adjust to this idea first. TL;DR I know this is a long post. This won’t be a continuing trend. Actually, I can’t make any promises there. Anyway I will distill all I said into the following: My goal here is to build up habits like cleaning, doing schoolwork, reading, and writing. My “freetime” where I can screw around a little more happens later in the day, but only if everything is done. I’m going to stop making up excuses, and stop blaming other things (or other people) when I’m responsible for my own shortcomings. Talk is Cheap The only way I can prove that anything I’ve written here is valid is by going ahead and doing it. I’ll check back in with my progress tomorrow.
  10. I find it kind of discouraging to look back at my old posts on here. In case it's not obvious, I fell off the bandwagon flat on my ass. I'm not too sorry about some of it, because sometimes the "wasted time" is actually valuable, and makes me feel good. Other times, I end up wasting time doing things that I think will make me happy, but instead leave me unfulfilled. Which is I why I started to take a new look at the games that I do play. I've mentioned before (a long time ago) that I really like games that follow a story. I prefer them because I like stories. They're another form of fiction as far as I'm concerned. So I stopped playing games that are repetitive and don't follow a story, because I don't feel fulfilled by these games (unless they're the kind I can play with friends). But when I get into wasting hours of time doing anything non-productive, and I look around the house to see the place a mess, my homework undone, my reading forgotten, my novel still stuck in the third draft of the third chapter, I feel like shit. Sometimes this prompts me to clean like a madman, which makes me feel happy in the end because the place ends up clean. Other times I just call the day a loss and say I'll do better tomorrow, and go back to wasting more time and getting drunk. I'm on the fence about coming back to being a regular contributor here. I don't know what I'm looking for here that I can't get on my own. Mostly I think I'm afraid of "failing" a fourth time. I think, also, that I keep thinking there's some magical formula I'm missing from my life, and that I'll figure it out by writing out my daily thoughts on here. But I'm starting to think that each day is a different struggle more than it is the same struggle. We fight the same battles day-to-day but the enemies always change. Plus, even as much as I stress myself out and procrastinate, I still get good grades. Maybe this is just a testament to giving a damn, because I work hard when I do work, and this has a double-edged effect. On the one hand, I produce quality work; on the other, that whole stress thing. It's a big circle. I stress myself out, I procrastinate, I work hard (sometimes too hard) all in one burst, then go back to procrastinating, which leads to me stressing myself out all over again because I've put shit off again. A few things are still clear to me. First, I need to simplify my lifestyle. Second, I need to stay on top of things by working on big projects piecemeal. Third, I need to remember how to enjoy myself. I also need a routine. The last time I had an effective routine, I kicked my ass to stay on top of it. I allowed myself a little time to screw around when my day started (that is, after waking up or after getting home from school/work), then I had to do the things I had to do. I had to exercise, clean, do homework, write, read, and do any errands before I could indulge myself in traditionally "fun" activities. Sometimes I just kept reading instead, if the book was interesting enough. The one thing I won't give myself anymore is a time constraint. When I wrote a half-hour a day, I only wrote a half-hour a day. It wasn't very effective. Now I just need to at least look at my novel, or write notes. Just something to keep it in my head. This usually leads to me writing anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours. It's been so long since I've gotten really into my writing that I've kind of lost what I was doing in the edit, as well as the passion to do it. Part of this is the story itself, which requires a lot of new writing in the middle portion, and part of it is because school and other hobbies ate up all my time. I'll own up to the fact that my priorities are all out of whack. I'm thinking about getting into Reality Craft and tailoring it to blogging, writing, and maybe vlogging. I was going to write more about this, but it seems like a rather nuanced topic now that I think about it. Reality Craft is a pretty cool gamification mechanism for building good habits and learning new skills. So for now, I'll just say that I might use it to come up with an actual plan for my personal blog and to try to gain the skills needed to be successful down that avenue. I just wanted to give an update for anyone here who might remember me, as well as try to talk out some issues and thoughts I had for myself. It's ironically more difficult to talk these things out in a setting where I know no one else will read it. At least here I know someone might glance at my words.
  11. Day 19 I'm losing my mind trying to draft the new version of this story.
  12. Day 18 Today's been better. We finally went and got curtains for the living room, and that put my girlfriend at ease because she became somewhat obsessed about finding curtains. It was kind of difficult finding some the right length and width for these windows so they wouldn't drape down behind the entertainment center. Now all that's behind us, though. Phew. Today I started work on drafting the re-write for this novel. It's like starting from scratch, but even harder than that. Not only do I have to consider how I'm going to retell this story, I have to remember which elements of it are changing so I can get all that in order as well. So all these details get jumbled up when I go to a page to work on it, and I also have to consider that I can change so many other things about this story. For today, I ended up grabbing some character pictures (a more involved process than you might expect) and jotting down ideas for the premises of the sequels. I think tomorrow I'll try my hand at writing out new summaries for the story. Might write out multiple, with different elements changed. I'll also have to write the story out from the individual perspectives of each major character in order to get a better idea of where stories intersect. I had an issue of having too many scenes with only one character this last time through, and I can fix that by making sure more characters come together more often. Plus, a friend pointed out that the characters in this story don't really have unique voices. I think that's because I didn't really get who my characters were yet. Now that I have a better idea of that it should be a little easier to get everything straight. I'll be going pretty hard getting just the planning stages for this story right. Now that I have the original story written, though, I have a lot to work with. Like I've said before, I've rewritten a novel before and it worked out well. And I know exactly the factors that helped me do it so much better that second time through. Now I just need to tap back into that.
  13. Last night I got drunker than I would have liked to. I remember now why I decided not to do that anymore. It's like I become a different person and start telling myself that it's okay to do the things I know I shouldn't be doing, the things I know are bad for me or end up wasting a lot of time. Today I backslid a little and wasted a lot of time. Not with games, though. Anyway, ended up lying around feeling sorry for myself for a couple hours. I realize that I can't get the time back, but I can use the time I still have to be productive. If only that realization didn't hit me at ten at night. I'm done with this read-through of my novel. I'll start drafting the next version tomorrow. ETA: I almost dropped a lot of money to rebuild my computer today. Decided to be responsible and wait until I get the full amount of money coming my way. But in hindsight, it would have been a better use of my day and I wouldn't feel so shitty now.
  14. Day 16 At kind of a difficult stage right now. I'd been getting sick but it came to a head in the past couple days. Tried to make a new video today since I finally decided on a blog and YouTube schedule (Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I have the least amount of schoolin') but I decided against it when I started looking through the footage and realized how gross and obviously sick I look. I think I'll reshoot when I'm better. Don't look! I'm hideous! Anyway, also found out that I'll get my financial aid in four days. I can rebuild my computer, and I think I will. It's been bugging the hell out of me not having it. But it might be difficult to not play games. Part of me realizes, though, that I've gotten into a good flow already. I've been getting through my writing-related stuff, and then I kind of run out of things to do. Also, the house is clean, and I've been better at keeping it clean since. I really have gotten better at prioritizing things. That's been a nice change. But what good are priorities if you don't have anything to slack off with? Oh well. I have time to decide on what I end up doing. For now, I'm still a bit out of it. Time to relax for a bit.
  15. Day 15 Just to let you guys know, if I have any short or rushed posts, it's because my girlfriend was home all day. I try to do my editing and exercise when she's not here, but when she is here, I have to let her know that I'll be doing my own thing for a little bit. We're both sick anyway, so we're spending time together. The only thing that I hold myself to doing every day is working on a fiction project. In fact, I haven't worked out the past two days, but that's also partly because I feel like shit. On the bright side, I told her about the 7 Min Workout app and she agreed to do it with me, ideally when we're not both sick. Anyway, I had trouble sleeping last night and actually considered getting up to write. Instead, I read a chapter of a book and watched a movie. For some reason, Futurama gets me to sleep easily. I don't find it boring--it's one of my favorite shows--so it must be either a conditioning thing or the fact that I've seen it so many times. I ended up finishing the book in the morning. I just wrapped up my editing. I haven't gotten 10k the past couple days, but I made sure to get at least 5k. Today I took that to 8k because that was the end of Act II. Now I have 23k left to edit (which is such a misnomer at this point) and I can do that in the next two days. Maybe even just tomorrow if I feel like it. We'll see what happens tomorrow, I suppose. At the very least, I'll have notes on this entire story by Saturday. Then I can start to draft out the next version. And I think this time, I'm going to go ahead and write out broad sketches for the sequels. It'll help me build things into this first book. Like, remember the snake scene at the beginning of the first Harry Potter book that didn't become relevant until the second book? Those kinds of moments. Only for this it mostly has to do with characters. I've introduced a lot of minor characters that I plan to make more important in later installments. Now that I'm redrafting this story, I can build that kind of information in early. My friend who's reading this draft now agrees with me that this book reads as a series of scenes right now and that changing it to a chapter structure will help a lot. He also agrees that the book that I rewrote is probably my strongest story to date. I have that book second on my list of stories to fully develop and edit to publishable level. I'd rather not do series books back to back unless I have to. And that's only if a publisher makes me, really.
  16. Well, I developed a cold overnight. Maybe this is what my body was trying to tell me yesterday when I was so tired. I ended up cleaning the whole house, and my girlfriend came home surprised to see how clean everything was. She was pretty happy. I'd say that's worth it. I also got close to the end of an audiobook while cleaning. I have the physical copy now because I found it on sale. Maybe I'll finish that this morning. Otherwise, probably going to take it easy today. This is a really uncomfortable cold.
  17. Day 13 Super exhausted today. I blame the weather. I did get out to the school though to pay for my background check. As long as the FBI and BCI don't find something I don't know about, I should be officially accepted into the education program. Which is definitely necessary this semester because one of my classes actually has me going into middle schools for field experience. Gotta have that background check before they let you around kids. And I was supposed to get to the laundromat today but I didn't. I'll make plans to take care of that in the morning. Tonight I'm just going to look up the nearby facilities.
  18. Day 12 Got my "editing" and my exercise done today. The editing took a long time because of distractions. Girlfriend asked for an estimate and I said an hour to two. Would have taken only an hour if I'd been able to do it alone. Instead it took two and a half hours. Anyway, as I read through this draft, I keep getting ideas for how the next draft should look. And it looks good in my head. This is such a pointless update.
  19. Day 11 I'm not feeling as defeatist today. In fact, I figured out how to get much higher quality video going on this laptop. Now it's giving me sass when trying to export the video, though, saying I don't have enough memory. It should only be a 200 MB file... I'll figure it out. I'll share when I do. Anyway, I figured out what I'm doing with this story, which is kind of the subject of that video, actually. The short version is, I'm going to keep going through this draft, but I'm not going to make any major changes to it. Instead, I'm just going to pull notes about the characters and setting. Then I'll come up with a new outline and see where the original scenes fit within that, if I decide to keep any of them after all. All in all, not a difficult day. I did realize that the last day I got a lot done, I used my leftover time to fuck around a bit more than I should have. I could have gotten a lot of reading done. Also, today the temptation to look at porn is strong for some reason. I think it's because it's the first day of the year and I'm acutely aware that I could screw that whole streak here on day one. Then again, I don't believe in streaks for quitting porn. It should be more a thing of either quitting it forever or curbing the habit immensely, making it no longer a habit but a once in a blue moon kind of affair. Although I guess the latter option could benefit from a 90 day detox. So yeah. I have nothin else for you today. Quitting gaming is so easy relative to all these other things. UPDATE: I made two videos. A channel trailer and A video on writing.
  20. I was going to do an actual post today about how superficial the idea of the New Year as a chance to start over is, but maybe I'll save that for tomorrow. Today, I'm just going to turn in. I started to edit, and lost interest. I tried to keep going, but instead I ended up making notes for how I would re-draft this story. I want to add mystery to the story, I want to make one of the characters sort of a Robin Hood crossed with Oliver Twist kind of character, and I want to have all the character relationships built into the story rather than shoehorned in or added as afterthoughts. I also want to restructure the story. The scenes I'm going through right now are all scenes from the festival where the city is attacked. Nothing's happening. But I can rework the setting so it works as long as I have that psychological marker known as the chapter. I think if I keep trying to edit this draft tonight, I'm just going to start the outline for the new version. But I know I still want to get the full summary from what I wrote so I have something off of which to base the new version. It's just not gonna happen tonight. I'm drained and in pain and I need to relax. Happy New Year
  21. I appreciate the support, guys. Things got better before they got worse. I think everything's back to about middling on the shittiness scale now. First, the supervisor's buddy, who has been out of town for a while, noticed that I've lost weight. Then I asked the incoming supervisor if she'd pick up coffee for me and I'd give her cash. She almost always stops for coffee so it wasn't a hassle for her. Then I had a conversation about my novel with a friend who's reading it, though I had to remind him not to nitpick details right now (because I'm not at that part in the editing process). But I used him as a sounding board for some broader character changes I wanted to make and he liked the ideas. Now I'm considering redrafting the story from scratch using the current draft as notes. It's hard to change the writing that's already there, but I know that I can't just move a few sentences around to make the changes I want. Besides, after this pass of editing, I'm really going to sit down with my notes and work out the characters. Then I can figure out the story based on the characters' wants and needs. Anyway, after all this stuff had me in a pretty good mood, a coworker informed me that such-and-such and so-and-so were "talking mad shit" about me that morning. I expect this of so-and-so, but such-and-such is a nice person and this information surprised me. They apparently also ragged on my fiance (who used to work with us) by snidely saying things that were totally true about her. But from our perspective, none of it was an insult, so I just laughed at that one. Anyway, they were talking about how I'm 27 and I still work at the rec. I'm not going to justify why I haven't found (and kept) a different job. But I'm a supervisor, I'm one of the best-paid wage employees, and people appreciate the work I do. They especially like my style of supervising, because I'm fair to everyone. I've heard this from a lot of people. It kinda bugs me that I still work there, but at the same time, it works with my school schedule, and in about a year and a half I'll have a degree to go teach English. For now, the prospect of finding a part-time job that works with my school schedule and having to build the rapport I have at my current place just doesn't seem worth it. No one had ever questioned what I was still doing there, and this was the first time I'd heard anything about it from anyone else. Thing is, I still don't know how to react. I feel like if I quit and take another job, I'll be giving in to criticism. If I stay, well, I'm going to have to remind the boss that I'm still there because she's gotten funky with scheduling me. She acts like I have one foot out the door at all times, and doesn't schedule me shifts that are difficult to get covered. I get scheduled anywhere from 8 to 28 hours in a week. I'm getting jerked around, but at least on that count it's an easy fix. Part of me also wants to pull a "Heard you was talkin' shit" the next time I see such-and-such. I'm not afraid of confrontation. I just feel like it's probably not worth it. One of the guards tried to cheer me up, and I guess she did a little. But I dunno. The fact that it's an issue I've had myself for a while (but had reconciled) just makes it harder when it's brought to me from someone else. Anyway, I came home and worked out despite my back hurting. Was hoping the exercise would help, but it didn't. I took an Aleve and I'll probably soak in hot water later. A friend is having people over tonight, but I'm not sure I want to go anymore. For now, I'm having a beer and I'm about to dive back into my editing. Again, I also don't want to do this right now, but I have to.
  22. Got to bed a bit late and I'm paying for it this morning. I'm working 9 to 5 today, and I'm already pissed off because of who I'm working with. The supervisor today plays favorites. And one of his buddies is here. It's going to take a lot of willpower not to go off on him today. I don't think I can resist, though, because he needs to be told that what he's doing is bullshit. I've told him before, but today would be even better, especially if I don't just do it in a one-on-one setting this time. If he pulls too much shit I'm gonna tell him I'm leaving and I'll be back when the next supervisor clocks in. A friend is having people over tonight for New Year's and I realized I still have to work out and edit. At first this was a distressing thought, then I remembered the words of Heather Sellers - sometimes you have to be a little unpopular. Follow your own schedule, show up late or not at all, whatever. As long as the work gets done. Man I'm in a bad mood.
  23. Powerful stuff here, man. You got us all nailed down with instant gratification. It's something I've admitted about myself, because after years of trying to write a publishable book, I started to lose focus on the love of writing and crafting stories and started to just want to have a book. It's that sign of success that I wanted to have to prove to myself that I can do this, because I did do this. I've since learned to back off from the end goal and just focus on the project. It's okay to daydream, but it's not okay to obsess and ultimately give up. Also, that bit about showing the guy to the Mazda shop sounds like the seed of a short story to me. It was fascinating and enlightening to read even in its current form.
  24. Hey, thanks man. The reason I have "crappy" in that description is sort of an inside thing between me and a friend who does YouTube videos. Everyone has to have a first video and it's usually one of the worst on the channel. Cringeworthy and amateur and all that. I told him that I like to look at YouTubers' first videos to see where they started, and he took that idea to make a reaction video to his own first video. So I don't think it's actually crappy, is what I'm trying to say. The fact that this isn't my first time making videos for YouTube helps that. I knew that my original 24 minutes of recording weren't going to be easy to edit, so I completely recorded from scratch, getting it down to 8 minutes, which I boiled down to just 4. That at the very least puts me ahead of YouTubers who don't edit their videos at all. One thing that really annoys me is when I see a video blog that's full of long pauses and ums and lasts for a half-hour. I know someone like that and it makes his videos practically unwatchable. In an ironic twist, by the way, I ended up taking a long nap after that cup of coffee. But I got up and went back to editing and now I'm caught up to where I wanted to be. The only thing I haven't done on my to-do list now is making notes for that potential video series. Not like that's really a chore though, right? Who groans when they're told their homework is to watch a movie? Okay, I guess it depends on the movie...
  25. Day 9 I have a surprising amount of energy today. I actually woke up really tired, and only had enough coffee in the pot for one cup. Didn't feel like making more. But I made an omelet for breakfast and after my girlfriend left for work, I did another seven minute workout. Maybe that gave me the energy I have now. Or maybe I just built up a good head of steam from all the cleaning I've been doing. I started with my office, which was already fairly clean but I wanted it a little more organized. I found my bookends and used those to prop up my notebooks on my desk, then sorted out which binders I need to keep handy. If you watched my YouTube video above, you might have noticed a bunch of shit on the shelf. That's all cleaned up now. Then I started working on the living room and bedroom. Both are still a disaster zone, but I'm slowly picking at them. Had a friend come over to pick up his tools (I filled in for him at his job and got a pretty good check out of it) so I hustled to clean a little faster. At least got all the underwear up off the floor. Meanwhile, I already got a good start on my editing today. Didn't make a lot of changes yet, and I think the distance I've given myself between drafts this time paid off, because I can see the story as a reader better. Some of the notes I made before don't bother me as much as they used to. I'm actually pretty happy with the way the story's turning out. Just gotta get some things straightened out and then I'll have a list of scenes to create/rewrite/remove. I'm not worrying about adding a bunch of material this time through mainly because I don't feel like it. It can wait until the next editing pass, or maybe the one after that. But I decided I want to get about 10,000 words edited a day, meaning I have to get up to the 20,000 word mark in this story today. That's just three more scenes where I stand now. Back to the YouTube thing, I had an idea that I'm excited about. My girlfriend and I watch a series on YouTube called History Buffs, where the guy analyzes historical movies for accuracy. I was thinking I could do the same thing with books that were made into movies, especially since I just read The Martian for a second time and I have a lot to say about the movie. I was originally going to call the series "The Book Was Better" but that was taken by a series with a decent following already. So I think I'll call it "I Read the Book." The premise is not just to analyze the story for accuracy, but to also highlight some things the movie might have done better and to fill in viewers on what they might have missed by not reading the book. I think it could be fun. Unfortunately, I might have to wait until I rebuild my desktop before I have the power to produce it with decent quality. I can still write a script for the first episode, though, as well as find other movies to review later. So yeah. Back to cleaning. Just after I finish this cup of coffee.