bdwilson: (Blank Page)

A few months ago, on a whim, I looked up the 3-Day Novel Contest.

It was something I had heard of a long time ago, looked at briefly, and then decided that was a bit too short a time frame. However, since hearing about it that first time, I’ve done quite a few NaNos, some of them in much shorter than a month, and while looking for a new challenge, I remembered the one for a novel in three days.

When I reached the site, I found I’d missed the Early-bird Registration by only a few days, and was disappointed. I considered just giving it a pass this year as a result of poor timing, and then I saw on their Twitter stream that they’d extended the deadline and I hadn’t missed it after all. That, I decided, was a sign I should join up this year for certain. So I did.

It starts tomorrow. Or, more like in fifteen minutes now, because I left this blog post very later.

I have actually outlined a project for a change. I have arranged food for the weekend and stocked snacks. I have made certain I will not be disturbed, and I am going to throw myself into writing and pretty much nothing else for the next three days.

I am as excited about this as I was about my first NaNo oh-so-many years ago. It is a lot of fun. Whatever happens, however it goes, I am glad I took the plunge and signed up.

Here’s to a great weekend writing marathon!

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HabitRPG

Jan. 29th, 2015 09:00 am
bdwilson: (On the Web)

Last year, a friend showed me HabitRPG, which for me was another in a long string of to-do list and productivity apps that I’d tried. I expected it to have a similar usage pattern to the rest of them: I would use it without fail for a few weeks, if I was lucky a couple of months, and then I’d lose interest. I have abandoned accounts on more apps than I remember exist. HabitRPG however, appears to be sticking.

It’s a gamification app, so I’m willing to try it right out of the gate, of course. I’ve seen a lot of posts out there going over the basics, and there’s an overview video, so I’m not going to go into everything it does.

HabitRPG Tutorial #1: Tasks from Tyler Renelle on Vimeo.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this one’s working for me, but I think in large part it comes down to two things: quests and pets.

There are two types of quests, boss quests and drop quests, but they both use the party system. I was lucky, as I had a party right out of the gate, and that means I’m kinda held accountable. In the drop quests, I’m a rogue, which means I have a good drop rate, so it means my contribution is useful. In the boss quests, I don’t have great damage (I still need to find out if I can improve it), but the boss quests have the added accountability factor of group damage.\

Usually, if I don’t complete tasks, I take damage. If we’re fighting a boss and I don’t complete a task, the whole group takes damage. That is remarkably motivating to me. (I haven’t wiped the group yet, fortunately, but I came darn close on a night I got distracted and forgot to check things off.) It helps keep me engaged. So, no pressure guys!

The other motivating factor, is somewhat related, in that many of the quests reward pet eggs that can be hatched with potions. There’s also 90 base pets that are acquired through regular drops, and all of them can be grown into mounts (which means you then collect the pets over again). That means my collector nature goes right into “gotta get them all” mode. Getting them all means getting things done.

I’ll admit that the XP gains don’t mean as much after it stops opening up new features, and being a rogue means gold isn’t usually an issue. (I’ve heard they’re going to change one of my spells to decrease that, though. I have to use it while I can!) However, with the features that do catch me, it means I’m still using the app and I’m still getting some things done. It’s also helping me keep organized, which I really appreciate.

This is working for me, and I’m having fun with it. Now I just have to tackle more those glaring deep red tasks. Damage and drops await!

So much to do!

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bdwilson: (Balance)

I didn’t do my W1S1 update at the end of November, because I’d spent most of my time on NaNo. Then in December, I spent it on other things (holidays are inherently distracting), or on trying to sort through the manuscript as it sat after Camp NaNo and NaNo. There doesn’t seem to be much point in putting up a pretty graphic, given how little progress I made on the short story revisions.

I’d made up my mind not to do W1S1 this year, but then I got an invite to the new Google+ community and accepted, so on that I’m easy to sway, apparently. I expect to follow along quietly, though, as I’m not exactly going to be following the rules. I want to get through my revisions at this point more than I want to be adding to the to-do list. We’ll see how that goes for the next few months :)

Other than that, I will continue to sort through the NaNo draft, and figure out which parts of this story I’m keeping. I’ve been telling people it will be interesting to see what the word count is once I’m done hacking out all the things I changed my mind on.

While I don’t talk about it much here, I have a novel draft that I keep going back to, yet never finishing. It’s been rewritten at least four times; characters have been added, deleted, renamed, merged, split; the setting has been changed; and the world revised and sharpened.

And it’s still not right.

I expect this will be the story that sits at the back of my mind until I figure out how I really want to tell it, but for now I’ve decided to let it rest. I’ve learned a lot from working on it, but I think it’s time it earned me my Drawer Novel merit badge.

Drawer Novel Merit Badge

I’ve made this decision before, and then pulled it out only a few months later. This time I’m putting at least a year ban on it. We’ll see if I can stick to that for a change :)

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bdwilson: (Old Books)

I was able to get some revision time in last month, though I also had another project that then took over. Still, progress is good.

Now I just have to get those revised stories submitted :P

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bdwilson: (NaNoWriMo 2012)

One thing about doing Camp NaNowriMo in August: it means November creeps up and surprises me!

But I am set to go again this November. I’ll be rebelling, working on getting 50,000 more words at least on my August project. With luck, I’ll finish it this time, but I won’t really know that until the end.

So, here we go again!

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bdwilson: (Dark and Light)

Another small update, I’m afraid.

Still, I have my first S for my W1S1 pieces!

Anything in yellow is marked up on paper, which means getting the changes and rewrites into the computer. It’s not as fast as I was hoping for when I started posting these, but I’ve still chugged through a decent amount. Enough that I’ve decided to snag another merit badge: Editing! ^_~

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bdwilson: (Grey Sky Reflection)

As a month, August got away from me. I spent the first half wondering how it was only that far in, and then the last half wondering where it went.

I finished Camp NaNoWriMo on the last day, but I didn’t get much else done as far as writing goals. I do have a small update, though.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (Reflection)

I have to admit, I avoid revision far more than I should. It’s harder to get over than I thought it would be. I don’t even have a NaNo to blame this time around.

My “accomplishment” this month was a quick run through to correct Echo Pen transcription. Somehow I’d forgotten I hadn’t moved most of these stories onto the computer yet >_<

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (Sundial)

I managed the story and submission for this month, so that’s a good thing.

However, it occurred to me part way through that perhaps a month where most of my time would be spent grinding out a novel draft was perhaps not the best one to be setting an additional revision goal.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (Never Give Up)

I’ve been meaning to do a W1S1 check-in post for a while now, but I keep putting it off. Some of that comes from wanting to do it at the end of the month, when I’m least likely to be pleased with what I’ve done, but some of it comes from missing the mark in the goals I added to the main concept.

When I signed up for W1S1, I had two primary goals in addition to the general writing and submitting: make sure I was turning around the stories I have on submission at a decent rate, and bulk that list up.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (Weapon of Choice)

“I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true — hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” 

— Ray Bradbury

I’ve decided to join the fun at Write 1 Sub 1 for 2012. It’s a writing experiment following Ray Bradbury, is reported to have finished a story each week, mailed it out to a magazine, then started working on the next one. To start off, I’m not going to be jumping in at one story a week (I’ll reserve that for a future challenge), but I am going to join in the Write1Sub1 Monthly. I hope that will get me back to looking at short fiction, which I sorely neglected last year.

It seems like it will be crazy productive fun! :)

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bdwilson: (Attitude)

Writing Every Day

The first time period I set for my BiCHoK goal was thirty days. I’ve hit the first thirty and have been successful so far. I’ve also discovered that I’m less likely to blow off a day if I’ve given myself permission to do so. I’m not sure how that particular personality quirk works, but oh well.

That means I haven’t tracked obstacles much, though it is harder for me to write on Wednesday nights due to other commitments. My word count is also increasing, and I think I might have to start writing at various times during the day. At the moment, I am writing right before bed, which is my favourite time, but meeting my goal means I’m tempted to stay up far too late. Since I’m a night owl by nature, I don’t notice that’s a bad plan until I have to wake up. If I could get at least half done earlier, that wouldn’t be such a tempting prospect.

I’ve reset my counter and started another thirty days. Whoot!

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bdwilson: (Umbrella Storm)

Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard

I set goals this week! This is not entirely new, but I’ve decided to be a little more realistic about how I handle them. In the past when deciding to start a daily routine, I have also place a long length of time to maintain it. An entire year, for example. Given how I focus on numbers like that, it is hard to maintain motivation if I happen to miss a day for whatever reason. One miss and the habit is broken.

So I’ve decided to take it in smaller chunks, and track myself. My goal is to write every day, with an increasing daily word count. (I’m starting fairly low to get back into the swing of things and building it up.) But as part of this, I’m going to track my counts the way I do during NaNo. Well, almost the way I do during NaNo; I won’t be posting them :)

The secondary goal is to find out if there’s a pattern to days that I miss. My hope is that working the possibility in from the start will help carry me over any stumbles. If there is a pattern, then next month I can take that into account when I’m setting the next goal.

Ultimately, this is a Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard :)

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bdwilson: (Scribblings)

I’ve been somewhat ambivalent toward goal-setting ever since they introduced it as a requirement in school. It’s something that had never meshed well with my personality. If I decided to do something, I’ll do it without having to call the shot first. Even if I do write it down as a goal, and then I don’t meet it, my response is “oh well”. Other than having another list to cross it off of (I do like to-do lists), I don’t get anything out of it.

No payoff. No punishment. No point.

I have the same opinion of New Year’s Resolutions, which means I tend to look at other people making these lists at the start of the year and consider joining in, usually before going off to do something else.

This year, I’ve decided to make try it anyway, and make a list of things I’d like to accomplish. I’m still skeptical, but who knows? If I get more out of it than I expect, I might even do it again next year :)

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (Scribblings)

For the last couple of years, the way I talk about NaNoWriMo has shifted tense and tone. “I love NaNo” has become “I loved NaNo” and I haven’t really been able to recapture the joy and excitement I took in it at the start.

Therefore, I haven’t really been looking forward to this November. It’d be easy to just not participate this year, but I’m mildly (and here those who know me laugh) obsessive in certain ways. I started NaNo in 2005, and there is a part of my brain that refuses to stop until I’ve done 2010 to round that out. It’s just one of those things, so I’ve accepted that I’ll be participating again this year.

But I want it to be fun again.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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bdwilson: (An App For That)

I haven’t had this app long, but I like it. On the list of things that motivate me, being able to mark a day off when I’ve done what I’ve supposed to is pretty high up. Silly, but true. Unfortunately, all my calendars are now digital, and that doesn’t seem to be a typical design feature.

A little while ago I went looking for an app for that, and found Streaks (cost: $1.99). It lets you create multiple calenders, and then you can mark the days off as you complete your goal. At the bottom of the calendar, it keeps track of your streaks, both the current and longest ones. If you have days that you take off (for example, weekends) then you can set the particular calendar to skip them.

There are four different default themes available. I wish you could set a different theme for each calendar, but that’s about the only thing I can think of that I’d like to see added. It’s simple, and exactly what I was looking for.

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BD Wilson

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