January 11, 2016

11012017

The blog tune this time is The Gun Song by The Lumineers, it come from their album Cleopatra which may well have been my favourite of 2016.

Crossing off days on my calendar has commenced and just like that the year is already a little shorter.

My plan for this year is to try and write everyday (beside’s New Year’s Day where I spectacularly failed to meet my resolution immediately) . To ensure I achieve this I have acquired the tools of a yearly wall calendar, a marker, and a big tin of just-do-it-you-lazy-idiot which I’ll use to paint over any I-can’t-be-bothered feelings that crop up. To be fair, I’ve made it pretty easy for myself to succeed by setting the bar low in terms of what constitutes ‘daily writing’. I have an unofficial daily word limit of 600 words, which can go towards whatever I’m working on; a short story, a script, an outline, or even this blog (157 words so far). However, I’ve also decided that as long as I open one of these documents and really try to write something, even if all I get out is one line because my brain, or motivations, or writing juice is all tapped out, then I still award myself the coveted cross on the calendar. For the moment it’s more about ensuring the mindset and practice is in place.

So far this plan is already paying dividends in the form of a completed short story, which I stamped the final period into yesterday. After getting home from work (and not having been able to sneak some writing in during work hours) I was sitting at zero for my daily word limit and so made a coffee, force fed myself way too much leftover Christmas chocolate, and got to work. I added around 740 words to the story and was ready to call it a day and made my mark on the calendar. After dinner however, with both my food and sitcom watching tanks full, I found myself opening up the story and thinking about what should come next. My fingers continued their typing and a very enjoyable 900 or so words later I was done and so was the story. It still needs a polish but is a testament to what can be achieved by plugging away everyday.

I currently have nine crosses and I want to keep that train going. As the year goes on hopefully I’ll increase my daily word limit and have less instances of shortages in writing juice. We’ll see.

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In things not about me, here are some bits from the internet that I stumbled upon recently and enjoyed.

First up is this TED-ed talk by Jia Jiang who purposely completed a challenge in which he sought to get rejected for a hundred days in a row in order to help him get past his fear of rejection. He did this by approaching strangers everyday with some absurd request they were likely to give a definite no to. The results were funny and entertaining but also informative because once he did get past this fear he found he could actually turn some of these no’s into yes’.

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Next we have an animated version of Dan Harmon’s universal theory of storytelling. This comes from other similar story synopsis’ like The Hero’s Journey or the 5 Act Structure but simplifies it in a way that I found easy to understand and easy to use, and it’s animated so you don’t even have to read.

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To keep the animation train going I’ll finish with this animated short about a dog doctor who’s wondering if she should have instead been a stay-at-home dog. Beautifully drawn and a lovely exploration of choosing a dream career over more “normal” goals all done in the space of two and a half minutes! A very enjoyable watch.

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I’ll leave it at that for today. In the meantime give a conspiratorial wink to a stranger, make a new animal friend, and hug your loved ones until they feel uncomfortable.

Talk soon

Damian

January 28, 2016

28:01:2016

It was a very full day for me today, mostly due to my continued existence (and doesn’t that get tiring sometimes). It was comprised of such exhausting activities like waking up, eating, and having to move my body from one spot to another. All done in order to complete activities that allow me to get paid. I’m always a bit annoyed by that last one. Not the paid part, that’s lovely, but the having to move part. With the global connectivity of today’s technology it sometimes seems ludicrous to commute everyday in order to sit at a specific computer. I have a computer in my house. I also have a computer in my pocket. In fact my television is also a computer, one that would allow me to do any work related things I needed to were it connected to the right network (and admittedly also watch television). Granted for my job there is more to do than just computer based tasks, but on the average day those comprise maybe a couple of hours work, with the rest of the day spent on the computer.

All this makes me wonder if with the rise of technology there’s an equal rise in people working from home. It seems likely, except for two things. We’re lazy and easily distracted.

Between finishing my course and working full time I had about six months of working very part time, just six hours each weekend. As there are one hundred and sixty eight hours in the week that leaves me with a lot of free time. Maths. While I didn’t have a paid job in this time I did have a self appointed job, screenwriting. I would work not only at improving my writing but also at trying to worm my way into the biz. I did not however achieve either of these two things. I did instead watch a lot of television, read a lot of books, and weed most of the garden. If that last one seems odd just remember that procrastination can take many forms.

I think the problem may be that there was no punishment for these incomplete tasks, other than the disappointment in myself for not achieving my goals, and this was easily fixed with chocolate.

In fact I’ve managed be a lot more proactive in that field since I’ve restarted full time work.

I’m not sure if I’m leading to a point here other than I’m pretty good at disproving my own original point of view, or, that if I ever do work from home there needs to be a bigger punishment for procrastination than failed dreams.

Maybe I should just continue to ride to work.

And on the topic of procrastination here are some wonderful things the internet passed across my eyes today:
+ A short animated video from TED-ed about how and why our internal organs are asymmetrical. If you haven’t seen these TED-ed videos before prepare to get hooked.
+ An exceptionally cool and most importantly free online course about writing comics. It includes classes on defining comics, comics relationships, time and space, layout and grid design, and how to thumbnail. It starts in February, I’m going to be doing it, and did I mention it was free?
+ And finally this outstandingly hilarious video entitled Anyone Can Quantum featuring Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and Stephen Hawking. It’s so very funny and clever it’ll have you asking yourself why haven’t these three been in a video together before? 

That’s all the words from me today.

Talk soon.

Damian