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NEW VIDEO: The EASIEST Way to Stop Gaming

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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.

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Just a suggestion: Remove the word "crappy" from your video. Just for the mindset. I would say the fact that you sat down and made a video shows that you do stuff and that is not crappy in my opinion. If it is easier for you to work on such things when you categorize them as "not so great / important", than of course, go on using this technique. I just thought I might point out that I don't believe it is crappy, considering that all you have is a basic webcam, a microphone and an idea. If you compare it to "other YouTubers" and think it is crappy because their videos look better and all that fancy stuff, than that is not a fair comparison. That is like comparing a note on a piece of paper to a play of Shakespeare, right? ;)

Also, if you add value to what you do, it will be easier and way more natural for the viewer to experience that value. If it is crap, why should anybody watch it in the first place, eh? Eeeh? Also, I liked it and subscribed.

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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...

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Hey, gankylosaurus,

One of my favorite web sources that if you want to have a gallon of happy juice, you need to swallow a shot glass of sweaty discomfort. Also, soreness is an illustration of your real effort. Keep up the good work and laugh a little when you feel the soreness. :-)



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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.

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I've ran into lots of those types of people in my career. I've found that the best thing to do is just ignore them, assuming the job is not one too serious you can take heart in knowing that you'll be moving on at some point. Typically those that don't follow good morals in the work place (playing favorites) often don't succeed very far. I've had one of those supervisors before, and now that nearly 8-ish years have passed since I've had him as my supervisor, I'm running my own business and as far as I can tell, he's still his same old self.

Apply yourself to your passion, you'll only know him temporarily so best not give him the time of day.

Great job on the exercise, I actually am trying out that app as well now that I saw you and LuxoLamp mention it. Also, great job on the YouTube video, I enjoyed it.

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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.

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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

Edited by gankylosaurus
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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.


I made two videos.

A channel trailer


A video on writing.



Edited by gankylosaurus
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Edited by gankylosaurus
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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.

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