Dead Stop

Image Source: https://www.americasmarketingmotivator.com/dead-stop-the-value-of-a-time-out/

It seems like I’m forever apologizing for not working on the blog, but this time I had some very good reasons as to why I haven’t posted in a while (over 3 weeks, I think). Basically, it’s because I haven’t been writing—not creatively, nor for the blog.

Work-Life Balance

So, the thing to understand is that my work-life balance is completely out of whack. I could go into the many reasons as to why this is the case, but to sum most of the reasons up in a short, pithy way: school. The classes that I had to take this semester were intense (one was reading intensive, while the other was watching films, both in and out of class, so it was time-intensive). The two classes that I was teaching were Monday, Wednesday, Friday courses at 8:00 am, so it was hard (and became impossible) to both plan lessons and write blog entries at the same time, and lastly, the Chromebook, while necessary to do my work, isn’t really conducive to “writing” as its keyboard is horrible in terms of feel for touch typing. I find myself making double or triple the amount of keystroke errors than I make on my (now ancient) 2008 Macbook Pro. The Chromebook does not make for a good writing experience—in fact, outside of short one or two paragraph feedback entries for my students, I now actively try to avoid doing any extended writing on the Chromebook as it is such a frustrating and dismal experience.

Solutions

So that this post doesn’t turn into a “gripe” post, I wanted to provide some solutions that I’ve been musing over during the unintentional sabbatical that I’ve had to take and you’re actually reading the first one—changing the time when I write the blog. Every weekday, M-F, I have approximately 30-45 minutes of usable time that I used to try to use for my creative writing. However, I was ultimately frustrated by the lack of progress that I could see myself making in those short sessions. I’m taking that time to write this blog entry. While I can’t actually find and place the images, nor upload it as I’m not on the internet as I’my typing these words, still the time (in my mind’s eye) fits better as I can write these words now and upload them sometime tomorrow—yes, I’ll still have to spend time finding images, linking them, and sourcing them, but at least the majority of the work will be done ahead of time. I still have to find a place to move my creative writing, but I’ll experiment with a couple of times I have in mind on the weekend to see if those times work better and allow me to actually finish drafts. I’m also going to use Scrivener to try to help out. I can see the word count at the bottom of the page (494 words so far), so I’m aiming for the 500 word mark. Some posts may be around 400 words (or even shorter if I’m tired), some may go long (600 words or more), but I’m going to try aim for 500 words, with a hard 1000 word cap. This, too, should help with getting these posts out of my mind and onto the blog in a timely manner. And, as I’m quickly closing in on that 600 word mark, I think that I will close for today with my family’s most adhered to adage (along with my personal addendum); If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it (but if it is broke, fix it until it isn’t broke anymore, and then leave it bloody well alone!)

Sidney




  • Current Work-in-Progress: The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story – 2nd Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Project Star (Sci-Fi Short-Story -1st Draft)
  • Current Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows (Sci-Fi Graphic Novel – Script, Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32)


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A Peek Behind the Curtain

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Blog Calendar.  Image Source: Peppercorn Creative (Click for more info)

Word Count (What I’m Writing); Updated Daily (mostly)

  • Project Independence Word Count: @3700 words (+253)
  • Project Ship of Shadows Graphic Novel Page Count: 12

Goal = 168 words (5000 words by July 1), added approximately 253 words.

Currently Reading (What I’m Reading); Updated Daily (mostly)

  • For Fun:
    Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy Novel, Stormlight Archive Book 3) (somewhere in 800s in terms of page count–more than half way finished.)
  • For School:
    Ancient Rhetorics, Digital Networks: A book that combines New Media (digital rhetorics) and combines them with ideas and theories of the Ancient Rhetorics.
  • For Research/Personal Development:
    Great Aircraft of WWII by Alfred Price and Mike Spick (for Project Skye)

I wanted to read Oathbringer over the summer break before classes started again, but BS said that it might be helpful to read a Novella entitled, Edgedancer, before starting on Oathbringer.  I finally found a copy atMTSU’slibrary and I’m reading it now.   Great Aircraft of WWII is a book that I’ve had in my collection for sometime–I’ve glanced at it periodically, but never read it cover-to-cover.  Now, with Project Skye, I intend to do just that.

Game Mode On (What I’m Playing); Updated Weekly (Mondays)

  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (Ubisoft Multi-platform): Open World, Third Person Tactical Shooter–About ¾th of the way through.  Special Ops/Military combat in a fictional Bolivia taken over by a Mexican drug cartel.

    Still working my way through–I’m trying to clear out a province a week, but because I’m catching up from E3 so I only got to clear about ½ of the province I’m currently working on.  I was planning on finishing that province today, but I have far too much to do today, so I’m not going to get to play it next week.
  • Until Dawn (Sony PS4 Exclusive): Third Person, Horror– branching storyline game that features a variety of choices that affect the outcome of the story using a system call the “Butterfly Effect.”I got further along, but now I have a decision to make: do I let the “creepy” best friend die, or do I let the character’s potential girlfriend die.  I decided to stop right there.

A Short Blog Post (and the Reason Why it’s Short)

So today’s blog post will be a shorter one because of school.  The reason I’ve been so regular lately in terms of posting is that I’ve learned to do these posts earlier.  I now write 4-5 of these over the weekend and schedule them earlier in the week.  While I like working on these in the morning (a great way to wake up and get my brain working in the morning).  However, because of school, I just don’t have the time.  I’m usually reading for my 9:45am class and/or writing up a 200-300 word summary of the readings for that morning’s class.  Most of my time in the mornings for the past 2 weeks have been eaten up by getting ready for class and getting ready in general.  Doing these posts ahead of time (all on Sundays, or split over Sat./Sun.) allows me to get a complete week’s worth of posts done.

Scheduling These Things Ahead of Time

After these posts are written, I then hit the “schedule” button on WordPress and set a day and time for these posts to “pop-up” for readers to see.  This has been a life-saver over these past two weeks.  Last week, I was only able to get 1 ½  posts written and I’ve been struggling every since.  I’m writing this post at 10pm Wed. night and I’m dog-tired, having put in an 15 hour day in class, working on a “literary magazine” (more on this in another post), and reading for tomorrow’s class.  I almost decided not to write a post today, but decided that a short, “behind the scenes” post wouldn’t take too long.

4 or 5 Posts this Weekend

So, I’m going to strive to do my best this next week to do 4-5 posts over the weekend.  This seems to be the only way that I can keep this blog going on a regular and consistent manner (which is fun) as well as keeping up with my schoolwork (which is also fun, but in a different way, but which eats up a ton of time).  This is why this blog entry is so short–I didn’t get all my posts written over the weekend and that is really a drag.  Anyway, I still have more reading to do, so I’ll cut this entry short.

Have a great day!

Sidney




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