Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

I Spent Half of Yesterday Locked Out

I had a grand plans of productivity this week. I was going to catch up and be amazing! But so far I’ve pulled my foot, had two snow days, and got locked out of my house for most of yesterday afternoon.

It was one of those things you just have to laugh at. Often, after lunch, I take the dog for a walk around the block and through our local open space park. It takes about 15 minutes to do our loop. Sometimes, if we’re feeling motivated, we’ll do a longer loop, but it’s snowed a lot recently and everything is muddy, so aside from going on the bridge over the creek to see how high it was, we just did our normal loop.

Now, I didn’t take any house keys with me. I rarely do. We have a keypad on the outside of the garage, so normally I go out and in that way, and that’s what I did yesterday.

HOWEVER, in the fifteen minutes I was out of the house, the power went out. Of course it didn’t go out the four hours I was home. It goes out the only fifteen minutes I was outside.

And, of course, the garage door will not open without power. And the house is locked up tight, because of course it is. Every window, locked. Every door, locked.

I mean, it wasn’t the end of the world. It was warm enough, not precipitating, and I had my phone and a coat. But it quickly became apparent that the power was not coming back on any time soon, and my car was in the garage, which I could not get into, and I needed the car to pick up the small, mobile ones from school.

Long story short, each of my neighbors on either side took me to get a child. I had to discourage the larger, mobile one from trying to pick the lock on the front door. The dog was very confused about why I would not let her into the house.

Finally, just before dinner time, the power came on and the house was regained.

So, yesterday was not as productive as I had hoped.

But overall, I’m pretty proud of myself. I kept a good humor about everything the whole time, so it didn’t ruin my day, and that’s been hard recently, you know? It’s funny in retrospect (what are the odds of it being THAT exact 15 minutes?), no one was hurt or cold, and, in the great scheme things, there are other days to be productive. And I have great neighbors who were more than willing to help (and now are owed baked goods of some sort).

How have you been, squider?

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

So, uhhhhh, how about them local sports team?

Anyway, sorry about not coming back last week like I said I was going to. Friday, instead of blogging, I tried out streaming on Twitch, which was a disaster. Oh well–can’t expect things to work well the first time you try something, right? I’m going to install different streaming software and try again sometime. Maybe tomorrow, but more likely next week.

Let’s talk about Camp, though, and how World’s Edge is going.

It’s not bad! I’m at about 8.5K for the month, which is about 3K behind where I should be.

But it’s also more than I’ve written any other month this year. In fact, it may be more than I’ve written every other month this year COMBINED.

My productivity has been really off lately, which has been so aggravating, because normally I’m that person you come to when you have a short deadline and you need something. It’s been so painful to write anything over the last year, and when I do write, everything comes out uninspired and awful.

(Semi-related, I suspect the Changeling Story just needs to be dumped in a drawer. But that’s something for another month.)

It’s possible that my 8.5K is also awful, but it feels okay. And it’s nice to actually have some momentum on something after twiddling my fingers for so long.

I’m considering, next week, adding in some smaller goals to my to-dos. Just one off things that’ll take me maybe an hour, but just haven’t gotten done yet. Maybe get some real productivity going here. It’s so nice to be able to mark things off, you know?

Because they say you’re more productive when you have more to do, I also signed up for an introductory course on graphic design on Coursera. I haven’t gotten to an assignment yet, so jury’s still out as to whether this is a course where I can access everything for free or not. I’ve yet to figure out how one tells when signing up, which is the most frustrating thing about Coursera. I don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money on a subject I’m just trying out, but when I can’t do the assignments on a course it makes it hard to really get a feel for the subject matter.

(I took a Python course on there a few years back where I could do all the assignments, which was great for telling me I still am awful at programming, and, of course, there was the amazing Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative class that I took back in 2014. I think all the courses used to be 100% free and over time they’ve gotten less so, because it turns out offering things for free on the Internet is a bad business model.)

This may be my last go at Coursera if it turns out that I can’t do any of the coursework because I didn’t pay them $50 a month. That’s not a good investment for things I’m just playing with. So we shall see. (Probably tomorrow.)

Anyway, there’s your update. Writing goes, learning goes, random things shall hopefully be going soon. How’re you? Thoughts about online learning?

WriYe and Life

Another month, and I’m still keeping up with WriYe, which may be a miracle. April was really good from a productivity standpoint, and I’m almost done with revising the nonfiction books (and writing the parts I didn’t blog) and creating the workbooks. Hopefully we’ll have more or the same here in May.

That said, on to the prompts for the month.

Life is busy, sometimes often insane. How do you find the time to write within your life?

I laughed since, you know, this is literally one of the nonfiction books I’ve been working on (the second to last one I revised, in fact).

But basically, it comes down to the fact that you have to make time for writing. You can normally fit some in, no matter what else is going on, whether you’re using diction while you’re breastfeeding or getting up early or dedicating one night a week as writing time. You’ll have to sacrifice something, but that might just be television time or a little bit of sleep.

That being said, there are times when you just don’t have the mental capacity to write on top of everything else, and it is okay to accept that and try writing again later when your circumstances have changed.

Me personally, I write while the small, mobile ones are at school, and I can normally make one or two writing group meetings a month, where writing can also occur. And one day each weekend I normally get up an hour early and get something done.

Bonus:
How do you deal with procrastination? What are your favorite tips/tricks to stay on track?

Ahahahahahaha I am the worst procrastinator. The current issue is games on my phone (and the dreaded podcasts, but mostly the games). I deal with this by using an app called Forest that locks out your phone for a specific amount of time (that you set), and if you successfully leave your phone alone, you get a bush or tree for your forest (more time gets more impressive plants). I also purposefully leave my phone in a different room where it’s out of sight, out of mind.

And if I do need a mental break, I’ll try to remember to set a timer before I get the phone or dive into the Internet, so the break doesn’t get out of control.

Hope April was good for you too, squiders! I’m in the middle of 50 million books and need to start finishing some (and stop starting new ones).

How Important is Your Writing Space?

We’re just going to question everything, apparently.

I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about the importance of setting up your writing space. In theory, I think this is supposed to increase your productivity or the ease of your writing flow or something along those lines.

And do they?

You’ll have to correct me, Squiders, if I am wildly off-base, but I kind of feel like the whole “writing space” thing is just a way to procrastinate set up as creativity.

Is it good to have some place dedicated to writing? Oh, probably. You certainly need somewhere where you can work, where your kids/significant other/cat won’t bother you, some place where you can relax and get things done. But does it need to be this big ToDo, with fancy wall hangings and inspired decor?

I would argue no.

Why?

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I write all over the place. I write at the library. I write at various coffee shops. And even around the house, I write in the office, at the dining room table, in front of the TV while my husband plays Skyrim. Sometimes I write in bed (though not often because frankly it’s not that comfortable and because the laptop gets suspiciously hot to the touch).

And maybe there are people out there who can only write in one spot, and only if things are laid out in the best creative feng shui, but that seems inefficient to me and I kind of feel sorry for those people.

But because people like these sort of things, here’s my “writing space” (where I am currently writing this blog post, and where I do my freelance editing work, and write my serial and short stories, and sometimes novels, and also where I pay my bills, play on Tumblr, and listen to the current music of choice).

The space itself:
Writing space

You’ll notice there’s lots of books. And tribbles. And crocheted squids.

You’ll also notice that it’s wedged in the corner instead of facing my lovely, large bay window where I could, in theory, spy on my neighbors, because my “writing space” shares a room with my husband’s desk, the filing cabinet, our library, and occasionally a large puzzle in the middle of being done.

books

Here’s a sampling of books.

And here’s the one attempt I made at one point toward having a “proper” writing space:

Writing flair

They say “Imagine, Create, Inspire” and I never ever look at them.

So, what do you think, Squiders? Do you need a writing space? Or is that time that could be better used actually writing?