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Gank's Log


gankylosaurus
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Hey, all. Here's my (hopefully) daily journal. I'm hosting it on a wordpress blog at https://gankslog.wordpress.com/ but I'll also be sharing it here. The reason for the webpage is because I'm hoping to learn some things with coding, and also because I just like the way it looks. If anyone else has a blog, let me know, and we can follow each other. For the record, I'm at 16 days without gaming.

Twelve-Stair Program

I’ve tried and failed to improve myself on various levels over the past five years, and today, I decided that the best idea for me is to write out the person that I want to become, and strive to become that.

You see, all my efforts at self-improvement have been very vague, with little commitment. I get discouraged very quickly by the hard work needed to do something. The problem, obviously, is that I don’t seem to want it enough to work for it.

After training for a 5K, I now appreciate and understand the need to work at improving every day. Or at least several days a week.

Getting somewhere new takes a lot of time and hard work. It’s not enough to want to do something, and it’s especially not enough to focus on the endgame. You can’t become an overnight success story like Scott Cawthon without hard work.

So what am I right now? I’m a 26-year-old lifeguard with a beer gut who wants to be a writer but wastes too much time on video games and porn with an Associate of Arts that took me eight years to get.

But hey, at least I have a girlfriend.

whichisnice

First things first, I want to move on from lifeguarding, since I’ve been doing it for a full decade. I’ve tried to do new things, but I’m either a chickenshit about trying new things and going new places, or I just haven’t liked the atmosphere. I’ve worked at an airport and on a rescue squad. Both of them had a certain level of manly man machismo that I just didn’t get on well with. Lifeguarding is the only job where I’ve felt comfortable.

As for the beer gut… well, I really like to drink. I’m not out of control, mind you, but I like to have a couple beers in the evening. I often have one while I’m writing (though not right now because I’m leaving for work soon). So, I’m working out more to combat the carbs. Especially running.

Writing is the hard part. I’m in the middle of editing a novel, and part of that entails rewriting things, or writing new chapters altogether. I have to find time alone to do this, which is difficult in my tiny apartment. Barring that, I have to let my girlfriend know I’ll be writing so she turns the TV down and I put on my headphones to listen to music while I write. I’m considering moving my writing to the library.

Video games and porn… Well, games were the easy part. I uninstalled all of them from the computer, and the urge to play on the console is resistible. As for porn, I’ve set up a porn blocker through OpenDNS (which I highly recommend to anyone with similar issues).

So that’s me with all my problems and how I hope to come up with an attack plan to reverse them. But I want to go a step further and describe the person I want to become:

A paid writer who’s in good health and works out six days a week, never watches porn, and only plays video games in social situations (never online).

Sounds simple, right? Well, I’ve come up with a plan. I call it my Twelve-Stair Program. I call it this because I envision it like a profile view of a staircase, where under each stair, I put away my old problems, and each stair is made up of the new, much more productive activity/part of me.

For instance, I’ve locked video games under the first stair, and that stair is made up of the extra time I’ve been able to use writing and editing. They say you should replace bad habits with good ones, so why not use the bad habits as the foundation for each step? I mean stair.

Then when that first stair is solid, I can move on to the second one. You can’t build a staircase all at once, so why would you try?

I will try to update this daily, so stay tuned or not. Doesn’t matter. I’m kinda doing this for me, honestly.

Edited by gankylosaurus
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Hey! Great to have you here with us. I definitely think your plan is a good one. Writing will help you clarify your thinking and inspire you to write more often as well as you get into the habit. :)

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Hi Gank!

I am interested in how this continues.

I am always surprised how people in my school or office have this direct relationship between alcohol and achievement - In my opinion alcohol should not be understimated. I also used to like to play a game of dota while drinking a beer sometimes and that's really okay - But I have a friend that used to drink 1 to 3 liters of beer every day and that is just way too much.

I hope that you can also enjoy writing without beer. :) I could also imagine myself as an author...

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Cam - I totally agree. Journaling definitely makes me want to write more.

Tom - It took me a while to realize the beauty of simplicity. Used to have a blog design (not on this blog) that looked like it was straight out of the 90s. I feel much better about my more recent designs.

Cor - You're definitely right, alcohol can be a nasty mother. My dad quit both drinking and smoking, and I never knew that he'd been an alcoholic. Kind of unfortunate that he quit drinking shortly before I turned 21. Never got to have a beer with my dad.

Today's post is a bit longer and I meant to post it like six hours ago. I plan on these blogs eventually being more a log of what I've done and what I've achieved. Right now, though, it's still more about getting my bearings.

Laser Focused

 

I realized another problem I’ve had in the past when it comes to trying to improve myself: I never know where to begin.

It’s simple to say that I should just start changing these things all at once, but I find it easy to become overwhelmed doing this. A year ago when I was in college, I got into a habit of writing down all my activities that I planned to do that day. And those things had to get done. It worked.

Sometimes, though, I would give myself too many things to do. I’d underestimate just how much time each of my activities was going to take. I got better at learning what was too much, but I also had to learn that sometimes, some things just wouldn’t get done.

Other times, the notebook would get moved during cleaning, and it became “out of sight, out of mind” and it usually took me a few days to go looking for it. Usually once I realized how little I’d been doing. Not having it sitting open on the dining room table made it easier to forget.

So, here I want to sort of talk through some thoughts on where I should start. I apologize if this comes off as a ramble, because it’s pretty much stream of consciousness writing.

I’m already pretty focused on editing my manuscript, which means that I’m creating less new material, except for the scenes and chapters that have to be added/rewritten. I keep getting derailed whenever I want to write these new chapters or work on editing, though, because I prefer to do it alone and when it’s quiet. I’ve mentioned before that I’m thinking of moving everything to the library when I write, and I should really consider that option more seriously.

I’m signed up on CodeAcademy and I really want to learn to program something. I just don’t want this to be some sort of hour-a-night thing that takes over my writing time. So maybe this is a bad place to start. But on the other hand, I know that I’ll have programming on the brain until I do it. Gotta whip my mind into putting it on a back burner and focusing on one thing at a time.

The other thing about programming is that I have to pick a language to start learning. I’m considering just learning HTML because I already have a pretty strong understanding of it thanks to working with a few websites. I’ve read that it’s suggested to start with something like Python, but I think that’s advice for the newest of beginners.

And finally on the programming note, I need to pick a project to work on. This will probably be the ultimate deciding factor for how I go about it at all. It should come as no surprise that my mind immediately ran to the idea of creating a game, but I don’t know if that’s such a good idea. Instead, I want to develop something useful. Maybe even some kind of budgeting program. Or, because I have a D&D campaign in the works, some program that makes it easier to create and manage encounters. It’s a real pain in the ass writing out stat blocks.

Speaking of D&D, several years ago I actually had a Pokemon Tabletop RPG in the works, with stats and attacks drawn directly from canon material. I’ve considered retooling the whole system to be not a Pokemon system, but a more generic creature-creator system. Maybe just a system to give player characters more interesting animal companions/familiars. It would be difficult to balance everything, though, because the original system had stats that were way off the charts, so much so that they would never scale down to D&D levels.

I know it’s only day two of this daily blog, but I’ve gotta say, the idea of having to write something every day has really upped my desire to write in general. I think it’s just the mechanical motion of writing, especially in this stream of consciousness way where I barely stop to think about what I’m writing. I’ve also saved several blog titles as drafts for future blog posts if I can’t think of anything on a particular day. I’ve tried daily blogs before, and it just simply doesn’t work without a good plan.

Anyway, I’m starting up running again Monday, as long as I feel convinced that my back is fully healed. A while ago, I considered swimming on my off days (especially since I get to use the pool for free as a lifeguard) but there were two problems: There was a strong possibility that I was going to move/leave the job, and swimming sucks.

I still might never get back into swimming, but at least I’m still running. Might start doing resistance workouts on my non-running days instead. I just want to do something upper body.

Speaking of upper body, I’m going to take a week off from drinking beer, and then I’ll switch to only drinking on weekends or with friends. This doesn’t mean alcohol entirely, and this isn’t an admission of alcoholism (cue obligatory I can quit whenever I want) but beer really doesn’t do a whole lot of good for maintaining a healthy figure. It’s really funny, because every other part of me is fairly in shape still aside from my belly. I feel like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause at the doctor’s office where he grabs his belly and shakes it and compares himself to a Clydesdale.

Other things other things… I feel like I had other things to say.

Well, I guess I’ve gotten a little bit away from the purpose of this exercise. I need to pick something to work on and decide how to do it. Obviously, I’m going with editing my manuscript, which, I already mentioned, requires a lot of rewriting and new scenes. I have my workspace already, but it’s just a corner of the kitchen table, and I haven’t been alone a lot lately. Whenever I am alone, it’s usually unplanned, and I haven’t really thought of what to do, so I browse the Internet or read or do something else. I just need to write down a plan every day and stick to it.

And I’ll probably have to go to the library to do it. But unfortunately my work schedule is particularly sucky today, so I won’t be able to do that before six. Ugh.

Maybe I’ll just try to write on my breaks at work. Update: Not enough breaks at work. No words written. Except for these ones right here.

And maybe I should stop waffling about with “maybes” and “shoulds.” I just need to fucking do it. So I will do it.

 

Edited by gankylosaurus
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An Actual Specific Plan (For Real This Time)

Alternate title: The Results of Yesterday’s Ramble

I’ve decided on a writing plan. I just finished a book called Lifelong Writing Habit by Chris Fox, the second book in his Write Faster, Write Smarter series, and I highly recommend it.

In fact, I recommend it to everyone trying to improve and develop good habits, not just writers.

Fox details not only actionable steps to take to replace bad habits with good ones, but he also goes into the science of habit, which is extremely important to understand. And as much as he bemoans the pomposity of anecdotal About the Author write-ups, his personal story does a good job of proving the usefulness of his book, because he actually used these very techniques to get where he is.

In 2010, Chris Fox was a 300 lb. slacker who smoked pot and played WoW all day. Now he’s dropped 100 lbs. and he’s making six figures between publishing books and working as an iOS app developer. A true success story if ever there was one.

It’s the kind of story that makes you go, “If he can do it, I can do it.” The book is only $2.99 on Kindle, so go ahead and get it, even if you don’t have a Kindle – just read it on the Kindle app on your computer or smartphone. Barring those options, well, the hard copy is only eight bucks.

Between this book and his previous book on writing, 5,000 Words Per Hour, I’ve come up with a plan. This is actually sort of a response to Exercise #7 in the book, with a dash of specificity from Exercise #11.

I’m going to set an alarm on my FitBit for 7 AM. This will serve as my habit trigger. As for my routine, I will take the dog out, start a pot of coffee, and then do a ten-minute word sprint using the 5KWPH app (compliments of Chris Fox, again) to get my mind ready. This sprint doesn’t have to be fiction. It could be my summary for what I plan to write for the day (a practice I picked up a year ago, and one that I fully endorse).

Then, after the first sprint, I’ll grab a cup of coffee from the pot, stretch, and go back and do a 20 minute sprint. I’ll do this until I’ve written 2,000 words, alternating back and forth between 10 and 20 minute sprints.

Oh, and I’ll listen to my writing playlist when I do it.

In case you’re wondering, I’m using my FitBit alarm because it doesn’t wake my girlfriend, but it wakes me up just fine with its annoying pulsating vibrate. This will assure that I can get up on my own and she can continue to get a good rest.

I’ll probably eventually aim to write more, but I’m trying to start at something comfortable. I’ve written 1,000 words in a half hour a few times before, so 2,000 should hopefully take no more than an hour and a half. I started using the 5KWPH app yesterday and got 1,500 words written with a few five-minute sprints. My peak rate was about 2,700 words per hour.

Like I hinted yesterday, I want to avoid putting too many things on my plate. I’ve already got a decent running schedule going, so this writing schedule is just a next step.

One issue, though, is that there may be some days when I won’t be able to write at 7 in the morning, mainly because I’ll already be at work, or I’ll be getting ready for work. I’ll have to decide whether I’m just going to not write at all or if I’m going to alter my schedule/routine for that day. The option to get up earlier is always there, but if I have to write in the afternoon or evening, I’ll need a different routine altogether.

Time will tell. I have a plan for right now, and that’s what I’m gonna have to work with. Wish me luck.

Edited by gankylosaurus
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Such an impressively detailed plan! I find that knowing your ultimate goals and setting everyday measurable actions helps a lot. I'm looking forward to reading your book ;)

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Thanks guys :)

I didn't end up following through with the plan, though. My girlfriend got in late from work last night and we didn't get to bed until around 1 or so, and then we slept in until 11. My alarm went off, and I almost got up, but then she woke up in a panic because she had a nightmare, so I helped her get back to sleep. That meant I went back to sleep.

I've been in a weird funk all day. I think it's the weather. Head's just been feeling weird, but I got some reading done and I messed around on CodeAcademy learning some Python for a couple hours. Lazy Sunday, all in all.

So, this can count for my journal today.

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Well, I'm kinda sick today, so I'm posting while I still feel like I can move. I worked out this morning, too. On Dayquil. Not sure that was a great decision, but it was only a fifteen minute workout, and I was planning to run originally, but between being sick and the weather being cold, I figured staying inside would be the wiser choice.

Obsessive Personality

I kinda like this (almost) daily blogging. It's very introspective and it gets me to realize things about myself that I was never able to articulate before. And writing these thoughts down somehow makes them more important.

Anyway, I think part of my biggest issue with gaming addiction comes from being obsessive. I think there's some psychology of it of wanting to go back to "better days" when I was a kid and there were no worries or bills and when I actually got a lot of enjoyment out of playing games. As I got older, I started playing games to avoid obligations. This took a lot of fun out of it, and I never quite got the same "high" as I did as a kid.

One of my favorite games was (okay, is) Mega Man Legends, as well as its sequel. I've replayed it so many times I couldn't even begin to guess a number. Umpteen-something.

I replayed it for many reasons: Because I liked it, because I was bored, because I wanted to improve on my speed-run time, because I was pissed off and needed something to center me, because it was the weekend and I wanted to marathon both games and get drunk while doing it.

Actually, there's a funny story from that last one, but I'll keep it to myself for now. I'll quickly get away from the point.

I didn't just like the game - I obsessed over it. I knew everything there was to know about it. I knew the layout of even the most confusing labyrinth. I based the plot of a book off of it, sort of as an experiment. I've used the dungeon maps in D&D games - and I drew those maps from memory.

(Sidenote: Stealing maps from video games for D&D is actually not a bad idea. It's hard to make a map that seems either not too random or not too straightforward. Just make sure you use something that people aren't too familiar with.)

And it's not just MML, either. I've replayed the entire Mass Effect series at least four times - the second game even more times. I read one of the books. I don't recommend the books.

But even with everything about these games that I did (and still do) enjoy, they don't really mean anything to my life. I should have played them once, enjoyed my time with them, and moved on. I don't know what feeling I was trying to recapture, but I know now I was just chasing a dragon.

I think I've spent enough time trying to relive the past, and now it's time to take charge and create my future. That's my new obsession.

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Let's hope the ME movie will do the saga justice. I hyped it so much that even my wife (a non-gamer) is waiting for it.

All the best with your new obsession ;)

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Hmm I think many people are obsessed with games. I once read from one guy in the Factorio forums: "Oh no this game is my personal hell - I usually start a new game and want to gather every single resource there is on the map" ;)

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Hey Gank! Since you mentioned it, I also just started a blog after quitting games: https://kortheo.wordpress.com/

It's still pretty fledgling, (title is a placeholder), but if you want to follow that would be cool. I'm only posting once per week at the moment, on Fridays. Anyway, I just followed yours.

While I don't aspire to be a professional writer, I do really enjoy writing, and it would be cool to hear from someone also into writing.

Hope your day is going well!

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Tom - They're making a movie?! I don't know how to feel about this. I'm equal parts terrified and ecstatic. That'll definitely be hard to do justice to. I just hope they don't go typical military movie with it.

Cor - Yeah, I've always been a little bit of a completionist myself. For a while, I had a bucket list of games I wanted to beat before I kicked the habit. Then I threw the list away and sold the games. Got three-hundred bucks out of it too - thanks, mainly, to a few collector's items.

Kortheo - The blog looks good! I like how you have a consistent habit of including relevant images, too. I'm terrible about finding and adding images to blog posts.

Re-Engaging with the Real World

Little by little I'm developing better and better habits. It's been three weeks since I played a video game* and the free time I've regained has got me doing more reading, writing, and editing. I haven't picked up any new bad habits, either, and I've caught up on some movies I've been meaning to get around to. I've also exercised the past three days, and I have a workout schedule now, six days a week, with a break on Sundays.

I've discovered that my edit on this current manuscript I've been working on is  going to be more of a rewrite than an edit. Less a fixer-upper and more a take-a-wrecking-ball-to-it-and-rebuild-from-scratch.

It's really not that big a deal, though, because I know the ultimate payoff is worth it. I'm excited about it, and I have a brand new first chapter that's given me a great new starting point for the story.

On to the topic!

I've always had a weird thing when it comes to real life and online life. It's like I was living a double life. I've shared more of my inner thoughts with people online than I have with real people. And that's bad.

I guess I always just felt more comfortable with the extra layer of removal that the Internet provided. I also didn't stutter or mumble online, and I've always been decent with writing out my thoughts. My spoken words always came out jumbled in some way or another. Also, there's no delete button on things that have been spoken out loud.

So when I started sharing and creating things online, I never shared them with people in real life except for my closest friends. My family didn't know I had a blog, or that I did Youtube videos for a time, or that I write/edit for a small video game fansite. I never shared any of this with them.

And the times that I did share things, I came to regret it. Either because it made me even more anxious, or because I had family commenting on everything I posted telling me how great it was. Even I knew when I'd made something crappy, so I didn't appreciate the white lies.

Twitter and Facebook are two different entities for me. On Twitter, I follow a lot of my online friends, as well as fellow amateur authors and writing sites (writers are good at following each other back). My blog posts all automatically get shared on Twitter, where they either get lost among the Sea of Tweets or one or two people click on it and like something I have to say.

On Facebook, I'm only friends with like twenty-some people. And I don't post there, ever. My blogs don't get automatically shared there. I think I'm too embarrassed about what people I actually know might have to say about me or my thoughts or my opinions.

Well, today, for the first time, I allowed a blog post to publicize to Facebook. It came as the result of talking out this very insecurity with my girlfriend, and she convinced me that nothing horrible would come from sharing things with friends and family. And guess what? She was right. One friend even liked it and commented on it.

It may seem ironic that I'm still fairly anonymous here, and that's because this stuff is a little more personal. It's not the kind of thing I'd like to share on my public blog - the one with my face and real name on it, that is. But that's just how it goes. But for you guys here at GameQuitters, because I feel a certain camaraderie here, I'll let you in on my reality: Listen Star Wars, We Need to Talk

This seems like a small step, but it's a small step in the right direction. My life has been partitioned, compartmentalized, divided between the online/gaming community and the people that matter to me in real life. And sometimes I've failed to strike a balance between the two sides, and I've finally made my choice which side I want to stand in permanently.

*I should admit that I still play multiplayer games with my girlfriend, but only on her suggestion. I also have a game that helps me get to sleep. I used to stay up for hours watching Netflix without making any progress toward falling asleep, but then I started playing this game (it's sort of one of those visual novel games) and it gets me to sleep in about fifteen minutes, tops.

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Nice! Proud of you for pushing forward and publishing your post to Facebook. That took courage and in doing so, you are building your courage muscle a bit more. Congrats on three weeks without games*, that's an accomplishment to be proud of.

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Cam - Thanks for the encouragement! I really appreciate your dedication to this cause, by the way.

Wookie - I'm glad you find my journal worth the read :) I really need to get caught up on others' journals. Maybe that can be a project for today.

Raise Your Standards

It's these three words that keep me going. And it's these three words that get me to evaluate every little thing I do. Every time I pick up a project or look at what I'm doing, or what I'm planning on doing, I stop and ask myself, "Is this a step in the right direction?"

I have to credit Chris Fox for giving me this drive with just these three words. Three simple words that have been said before, by many different people, over and over again. But I'd always heard these words in relation to things I'm doing for other people, so it had always come off as "Do better work for us."

But Fox put it in a context that was for me to enjoy. I'm raising my standards for my own benefit. And because of this, I care, because I like me.

I know, it's probably a bit arrogant or selfish for me to take advice because I know it will help me and not because it will help others. But hey, I don't think there's anything wrong with proper incentives.

So now, I'm working harder to write better, write faster, and write more. It's why my edit has become a complete rewrite. While I like the original manuscript, I know it's not the story I should be telling. There's a much better story within it, and I need to dig it up.

Now, whenever I write a blog post, I stop and ask myself if there's a point to it. I've written some pretty crappy posts in the past, some of which I deleted, mainly because they were half-baked ideas that didn't have any real substance or authority to them. Now, I have to either be passionate about what I'm writing or have some real understanding and benefit that I can impart upon readers.

I also need to find a better job. But to do that, I need to do more work to achieve the skills and/or portfolio needed for whatever better job I end up getting. That may mean getting my Bachelor's, but that's on hold until I know where I'm going to end up. In the meantime, this is part of why I've been so hard at work with editing. I've thought about just getting a different job, but then I realized that that wasn't a raising of standards; it was either going to be a lateral move or a step down. Lifeguarding (and the pay) could be worse.

These three words are also the reason I've been trying to not spend as much time on the Internet, because raising standards isn't just about improving quality of work; it's also about improving quality of life. It's pretty easy to waste a lot of time online, but even I can tell when I've exhausted all of the new material I'm trying to catch up on.

Instead of mindlessly browsing or waiting for new notifications to pop up, now I figure out what I could be doing better. Could I be working out? Reading? Do I have an opportunity to edit or write something? Or maybe I should do more targeted web searches, like catch up on blogs by other writers?

Anything is better as long as it isn't a waste of time.

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Hey Gank,

Great post. Allow me to play devil's advocate, slightly. Or I guess just share my experience with personal standards.

I agree that having high standards for yourself is important. If you're coming from a place of low standards, then by all means raise them if you want to accomplish more. 

My experience was different though. High standards aren't always a good thing, if they're too high. Growing up I had low self-esteem, and I set high standards for myself in a way to counteract that. Achievement was a way to plug that self-esteem hole. The problem with this is they were often so high as to be unrealistic (perfectionism). And when I inevitably failed to meet these impossible standards, I just felt worse about myself.

I think the sweet spot between not accomplishing enough and perfectionism is 'striving for excellence' (as Brene Brown puts it). We need to be compassionate with ourselves where we're at, so that we feel good about ourselves even if we aren't knocking it out of the park. And from that place of esteem, then we strive for excellence.

Keep the posts coming!

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Hey, Kortheo. I definitely get where you're coming from. Luckily(?) I've never been much of a perfectionist, and I don't think I'm going to start being one any time soon. I, like many other self-important blogger types, instead made the mistake of thinking everything I did was great, the first time, and anyone who thought otherwise was wrong. I've long since gotten over this, but it's been an important realization.

One of the things I've learned about writing is that perfection just simply isn't attainable. You can spend years editing a manuscript and it can still be imperfect. Many writers find things in their published works they wish they could change. In fact, I heard Toni Morrison admit in an interview to wishing she could go back and change one of her novels.

Plus, I find Anne Lamott's words both wise and comforting: "Write shitty first drafts." I used to not be able to turn off the critical side of my brain while writing until really taking this advice to heart - along with the words of Chris Fox, Rachel Aaron, and anyone who advocates for freewriting. Now I can write more with my creative side on and my critical side in the background, which means I'm able to finish more things. They may not be perfect, but it's easier to fix something than nothing.

Nowadays I have the presence of mind to realize that the important thing is to get things done. Sometimes I'll write a post and realize that it's not worth posting, and that's fine. I'll save it to see if I want to fix it up later. Most times I end up trashing it and saving the good ideas from it. I've even revisited whole concepts from completely new angles in this way.

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Yeah, I can see where you're coming from too. This seems like a thing where either extreme is bad - if you're overconfident and you think everything you do is great, you're not going to be motivated to improve or proofread, etc. If you're a perfectionist you're going to beat yourself up and be paralyzed because nothing you do is ever good enough and you won't be able to actually put something out there - you won't write 'shitty first drafts' if you're a perfectionist, because it feels too vulnerable.

You're correct that perfection isn't attainable. I was reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown last night and a particular sentence struck me - "Perfection doesn't exist." Whoa. I think she's right. Not only is it not attainable, but there isn't even really such a thing in an objective sense.

I guess my interpretation of that sentence is as follows. Things can always be improved. And maybe perfecting one aspect of the whole inevitably detracts from another part of it. Having awesome detailed prose might make the draft longer overall and detract from the pacing in some way, if we're talking about a novel. A perfect maximalist style isn't going to be perfect to someone who hates wordiness and perfers a minimalist style. So it's really wrongheaded to strive for perfection, on this view. Just do you thing.

I do like the advice about shitty first drafts. Just throw it all on the page and cut what you don't like, and improve what you do like. Trying to make it perfect the first time leads to analysis paralysis. 'Just writing' allows you to finish more things... and I'd rather have several things finished that are 7/10 instead of one thing finished that's a 9/10, etc. You'll grow more as a writer from that approach, simply because you're writing more. It's like you say - the important thing is to get things done.

 

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A big change in my life happened when I changed my paradigm from "having high standards" means being hard on yourself... to what I believe now which is having high standards and being kind to yourself, while still having personal accountability.

Also I do believe the most selfless thing you can do is become the best version of yourself. It's a lot easier to help someone else from a position of strength.

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A big change in my life happened when I changed my paradigm from "having high standards" means being hard on yourself... to what I believe now which is having high standards and being kind to yourself, while still having personal accountability.

Well put, and I think that's essentially the point that gank and I are dancing around. We want to have high standards (achieve excellence) as well as feel good about ourselves and being responsible.

Also I do believe the most selfless thing you can do is become the best version of yourself. It's a lot easier to help someone else from a position of strength.

Interesting... food for thought. 

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So, I'm sick today. Came on last night. Took dayquil and benadryl (because we were out of nyquil and I really needed to sleep) at four in the morning when I got up and watched my fiancee sleepwalking around the apartment for a few minutes. She passed out in bed as though nothing ever happened, so I went and made sure to put away any food that had been pulled out of the fridge and to make sure no electronics ended up in the fridge in their stead.

Not making this up. She finds it embarrassing but it's actually kinda hilarious. First time I got to see her walking around actually moving things. She had her hands out in front of her, kinda zombie-like. Picked things up by feeling for them, even though her eyes were wide open. Then she'd move whatever she picked up somewhere else and sometimes switch objects. It's something to behold.

Anyway, back to being sick. Dayquil reacts weirdly with my system. It hits me harder than others, I think, and it makes me completely non-functional. Sometimes I wonder if I'd just be better off pushing through being sick, in fact. But I can hardly focus on reading, and I'm definitely not going to edit or write in this state. Kinda wish I were allowing myself video games right now, because I feel like this is the kind of situation they were made for. Not like I'm doing anything else productive right now. Instead I watched a movie.

I really hate this time of year. The weather starts fluctuating and the cold temperature gets to me and slows me down, and when the flux in weather goes back and forth between extremes, I get sick. And I can't do jack when I'm sick, so I'm left here feeling and being useless. 

At least I got to hang out with some friends at the bar last night. Being out late may have aggravated the coming cold, but I'm pretty sure it was inevitable and it was a good time anyway.

Oh, and two nights ago, I wrote up a new second chapter for my story. It's coming out smooth like butter this time.

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If you want a natural alternative to Dayquil, check out Oil of Oregano. it doesn't taste good but it works really well (put a few drops in a glass of orange juice if you can't take it directly.) Most health food stores will have it.

Hope you feel better.

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