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TheJan

TheJan's Journal

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31th day. 1 Month :)

I uninstalled the program again. Problem was it kept shutting down when it logged me off - and then the data was lost and it reset the daily quota or something similar. It was therefore unusable long term.

Today I installed RescueTime Lite instead. It keeps track of what i am doing and has idle detection. Much simpler and more accurate to use. Shows me like: 30min Opera, 2min Windows Explorer, 10min OpenOffice. It's also supposed to group it into activities like "social media", "design+composition", "programming". I can specify which activities are productive and which are distractive, and then shows me statistics like "total productive time", "total distractive time", "total time spent".

Much better. So far it is very accurate. I am looking at the different "categories" right now. Wow, there is so much that can be adjusted. Can also create new categories. In its initial settings it is tailored to a workplace setting (like business/programming/designer).

Also, putting together financial stuff, how i am going to spend money, etc. Looking at how i can make a little money beside jobs etc.

Edited by TheJan

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Congratulations TheJan. 

I hope you keep your journal up throughout the challenge, I have learnt a lot from it already. 

Despite not really needing it, I'll try out RescueTime just to see a breakdown of my time spent on the computer - it sounds really interesting! Thanks for the experience and suggestions , and all the best.

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34th day. RescueTime is actually gathering some valuable data. And i spend lots of time on the computer. And lots of time watching series.

My guess is, that when i start doing things on the computer early in the day (esp. like watching series), it actually leads to more computer usage throughout the day. I will see if that is correct. I think i will reschedule my training to the morning/midday, or only doing productive things on the computer until a certain time of day.

I will see if this has an effect on my total time spent on the computer + productivity.

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34th day. RescueTime is actually gathering some valuable data. And i spend lots of time on the computer. And lots of time watching series.

My guess is, that when i start doing things on the computer early in the day (esp. like watching series), it actually leads to more computer usage throughout the day. I will see if that is correct. I think i will reschedule my training to the morning/midday, or only doing productive things on the computer until a certain time of day.

I will see if this has an effect on my total time spent on the computer + productivity.

Yep I find this too!

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37th day.

Yesterday i had really low energy. Everything was hard and kind of sluggish. Sometimes i feel like i have missed so much of "real life", i sometimes feel like a teenager in the body of an adult. The whole last week i had kind of low energy.

Had a few aches in my right knee. Therefore i have toned down the running. I think i didn't regenerate properly - the last time this happened was when i had trained too much.

On the long run, maybe 4 times a week is too much and 2-3 times a week might be better.

But i have finally plugged in the microphone into the mixer (about a year ago i bought many things from an online-musician-store) along with my guitar (since two days now). Right now they come out of my small guitar amp. Looking for an audio-interface to get it into my laptop (need line-in, otherwise there is no point having a mixer and all that). Webcam microphone quality is very bad for recording.

After reading up on the topic, i found out why i often have problems singing rock-songs and such. Most of rock/pop singers are tenors. I used to sing in choir, i was put in bass, but i always thought it was kind of low for me. After reading up, doing research like where my registers end (it is really really complex)... i now know that i am a baritone (That's between bass and tenor). I can hit some of the high notes, but the problem is the tenors sing at this height all the time and for my voice this is at the border of my spectrum (whereas for them it's still in their comfort zone) so it is not really healthy to sing there all the time for me.

When i wanted to sing the rock songs i always had to sing it an octave lower and that was too low for me; it was uncomfortable, or my voice was not loud enough. 

So now i have started to transpose. Also, the songs i have written in the past. Also writing some songs at the time. Have started voice training with some books. It turns out i was using the wrong techniques.

I want to do incorporate music in my life more. One day i might even do something with music as a part-time job.

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That is certain! :) The "part time music job" is a long term project. Now that my gaming addiction is under control, i can actually get onto the long term projects, which were often hindered by gaming. I will still first finish my education over the social insurances thing (so that i can have a stable job).

39th day.

I have transposed lots of songs to better fit my vocal range today and yesterday. I have bought an audiointerface online, it will probably be here saturday or next week. I am excited to finally piece everything together.

Have started eating low-carb today, over the long run i want to "eat better". I mean with less of those processed grain foods we are flooded by everyday. The crazy thing is i already have less appetite. Often when made myself a bread with for example cheese on it, i got hungry again like two hours afterwards.

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42.

I have been busy the last three days with a composing software i still had on my computer. Time flies when i compose stuff. Finished something big today. I don't like "publishing" mp3/midis in the Internet if it hasn't at least been played once - or recorded with real instruments. So far i only have the music from the composing software - which is subpar to the real thing. I don't like it being out there without having been played at least once. I mean, i have to find people to play it or play it in parts myself on keyboard for example.

My audio interface came yesterday (They are always really fast, i think their storage is very near). Haven't tried it out yet, was busy composing. Cleaned up my room. Went running yesterday after a few days pause (because of the knee)

Having more energy again. Looking for small jobs, like delivering newspapers or filling up shelves in the supermarket.

Edited by TheJan

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Thanks. :)

Day 49.

Today i went "running" without eating breakfast before. That is SO hard! I write "running" because i only jogged about 1/3 of the whole track.

Have plugged in the audio interface. Recording Quality is up >400% now. Still trying it out.

Been busy with music, running, etc. Giving guitar lessons to family now.

Edited by TheJan

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Day 53.

In recent days my sports activity was kinda low due to increased music making. I picked up again today. Been busy trying out the microphone. Re-tuned my small guitar (3/4) to four strings with a mandolin-like tuning. Liking it very much. Very good for covering like Irish Folk and Rock'n'Roll. Covered some songs. Really liking the "feel" of the four strings only - have a lot to learn still though and can only play 4 chords. Want to invest in a real mandolin, which will be +200% in terms of sound. I have to raise money. Thankfully an e-mandolin (has an extra single-coil pickup in addition to the normal corpus) is not that costly. Not focusing on contemporary music right now.

Want to make a session with maybe one or two of my old musician friends. Think i'll start a blog and blog 1-2 covers/original songs a week - then i can "shelf" the mp3s so that i have enough in store for times when i have less time.

 

Have told my whole family that i am looking for a small job. Will tell my friends too, if they know of something somewhere. It's not easy getting a job with my curriculum vitae - but i will try it. Some job with a low entry point. A small job is better than no job. I need money for my music.

It seems to me the social insurances will postpone everything again. If they got something for me, i will just quit my job then.

I made some (private) money on the side this month with giving guitar lessons to family and sometimes i fix the computer problems of my grandpa (he downloads stuff from what i call "dubious sites". You really have to look out, ALWAYS install stuff from the ORIGINAL site. Not from some site of some computer magazine! They won't admit it, but the truth is, they put small "extra-programs" on top of the programs... like "filters" for Internetbrowsers - and then you get advertising on EVERY SITE which you cannot block with an adblocker because it is not even from the site itself... He gladly gives me like 20€ each time - the computer guy down the street would charge like 50€ - from which he then would take 10€ for the government, 10€ for insurances and 10€ for holidays+retirement).

I almost came to the plus-zone, since i invested in music equipment and the ebook.

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Congrats on 53 days so far! Seems like you're headed in the right direction. I love Gary Vaynerchuk's advice on entrepreneurship and making more $ on the side. Check him out.

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Day 59.

Time begins to fly. It's incredible how this happens. While the early days of not gaming were "a pain", it's beginning to be different.

I have thought about what i regret about gaming. While i regret that gaming hindered me in "completing life milestones", my biggest regret is that i could have spent much more of my time with others. I could have spent more time with my family, or more time reaching out to others. I also could have taken time to actually enjoy things.

When i was growing up, i got to see the world as a hostile place. My parents constantly argued with such intensity (i remember my dad throwing stuff around the room+breaking things, them shouting "for no apparent reason" imo, to me it all seemed like they were often fabricating an argument over incredibly minor things) that i sometimes thought they should just get divorced (that would have been a relief). Eventually my dad began to drink alcohol a lot. After primary school i had big problems fitting in with the other kids and i had little friends. It came to a point where i got thrown balls at my head during the small 5 minute pauses between classes. At the end of school (11-13th grade) it calmed down, because we were now assigned individual courses instead of fixed classes(i now had school with a wider variety of other teenagers) - so it was easier to choose with whom i would spend my time.

I fled to computer games more and more. It was a way to blend out reality. Everyone seemed to have the potential to become hostile without warning. I eventually gave up on pleasing others entirely and was in a bad mood often, which then scared off even helpful people. I then fled my bad mood again with more computer games. Of course, it also helped to "cope with school"+"cope with family life" because i "had something to look forward to" (that sounds terrible i know, but it was how i "functioned" those days)

I developed an "anti-attitude". With that i mean, if many people around me were in a good mood, i became disgruntled or just was in a bad mood. When most people were more solemn, i was in a better mood. Good moods were very rare. I guess it had to do with me seeing everyone as a danger - people in a good mood had more energy and were a higher risk. Or they could be laughing at me (something like that).

This of course alienated me further.

When i walk around in the streets today, i often get the feeling that everyone "is watching me"/"is a potential danger". Which of course leads to me being very stiff, particularly in the shoulders area. I began to notice this. I "forced myself to atleast relax my shoulders"+made "internal self-talk" that it is normal that people will feetingly look" (and believe it or not, doing both of this actually made me feel better) Before that, i didn't really notice this. I mean, maybe i DID notice it on some subconscious level, but i never took time+energy to actually change my behavior. This was very recently.

I have this stiffness in particular when there are teenagers around who are in a good mood mood, loud+laughing. I remind myself that it is very probably they are just laughing at a joke or they are just having a good time.

I seem to have more awareness for myself since i stopped gaming. I used to numb my awareness for myself/my emotions/my awareness for the environment with gaming. It is getting back, but VERY slowly.

My ability to ENJOY things (not just "robotically doing stuff"), like a good breakfast or the company of others, is also coming back VERY slowly.

It's a very strange feeling, like when you are lying in bed and you are half-awake and half-dreaming. I have no other way to describe it.

Edited by TheJan

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Time begins to fly. It's incredible how this happens. While the early days of not gaming were "a pain", it's beginning to be different.

Awesome to hear this. Also good to hear that you're beginning to ENJOY things a little bit more, even if it's just a little bit. It will continue to get better, hang in there. :)

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Day 72. Just posting so that people know i still exist.

Started writing a novel yesterday. Base Ideas had been in my head a long time. Writing to "let them play out". At ~4100 words now. Prologue and Chapter 1 finished, plus some extra ideas for later chapters. Genre: Science Fantasy. Writing in German. Developing plotlines now. Already have 3 parallel plotlines and plans for more. Will merge them sooner or later. A little unsure about the way i will tell them. Influenced by Terry Pratchett. If i publish one day, i will publish under a pen name. I think most people will probably think it's crazy when they read it.

Goal is to write at least 500 words per day.

When you want to write something. Just start. Write it down. You will probably reread it a hundred times, there is plenty of time to improve. When you have no ideas, reread your work, improve it. Do something completely different to get new ideas. Write from experience. Write about what you want. Write how you want. When your head is empty, stop and continue tomorrow.

Edited by TheJan

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Day 73.

Wrote the next chapter. Will maybe add some extra words later. Stopping now, will revisit the project tomorrow. Made backups of lots of my creative work.

Think I will join an online writer community next and read some books about writing in the library.

I know that it probably won't be published by a publisher at all. I don't necessarily write to get it published. Sure, it would be nice, but i could still self-publish as an ebook or let a few books get printed for myself (when i have the money, it is not necessarily THAT costly once you let them print a few of them)

Edited by TheJan

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Addition: Wanted to edit first, but it got too big.

My research about publishers has brought up unpleasant "news":

It seems that there are publishers "targeting" hobby-authors (who don't have a chance with the "Big Guys"). In essence, you (as the author) then have to pay THEM for publishing your book. They know they don't make money with you, so they just take it upfront. There is a similar attitude in the music business with small bands. In this very special case, thank god noone buys cds anymore, because you had to give them money to print cds for you... which you then basically had to sell yourself. And in comparsion the money the publishers for books want is little.

It seems like "printing a book" is the last standing foothold in this regard.

I have thus no idea what i will do with the manuscript once it's done. The main reason i write it is actually because it's the kind of book i would like to read.

On a "totally unrelated note" (heh), i have read up on Patreon. I got to admit, the idea behind it is incredible. I made some calculation based on Music-Streaming a little while ago, it goes like this:

1 Stream - that means somebody has to hear AT LEAST 30sec of your song... gives you about 0,005 CENT (data: 1 year ago, it seems to vary from musician to musician though). That means 0,00005€.  In order to make 5€, you need to be played 100.000 times. That's insane. Even if you factor in a hypothethical botnet causing poeple to hear your song nonstop (and even that has to come from somewhere), there is no way this could ever be profitable in a way that you get paid per hour of work. 

On the other hand. You put up music for free and put a  "donate" button on your website... You set the minimum donation to 5,50€ (5,50€-1,9%=5,39-0,35€=>5,04€ on Paypal)...

And then 1000 people visit your blog per month. One of them accidentally clicks the donate button. There is a 99% chance the person will realize they don't want to donate, and a 1% chance that they will say "ok i may as well donate to this guy. I can spare that 5,50€". Congratulations, you have now beaten getting your song streamed 100.000 times.

It seems, in terms of profit, a small but dedicated/excited fanbase is much more profitable for "the little guy" than a big but unexcited one.

And, i got to say, i'd rather have 10 people who love my work and 90 who hate it than 100 who are like "yeah whatever". At least then there is a real reason to update.

My blog conception is going so-so. I am not really getting forward. I think one day i will just sit down, write a few posts, put the first one up (have the next few in storage for regular updates), then send around links.

Edited by TheJan

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Day 75.

~650 words yesterday and ~1050 words today. Ch3 is coming along great, but will need at least 2 more sections. Will continue again tomorrow.

I've gotten into the habit of making a copy of the work each day and also making a backup each day. It's just so important to me.

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