February update

I have started moving in the right direction. But, not as fast as I expected. Not just because of laziness this time though. My mother in law was in the hospital for a few weeks and then the daughter was having a baby, they have been with us for a couple of weeks so this has taken up quite a bit of time.

http://thinking.umwblogs.org/2019/02/27/the-psychology-of-forming-habits/

But, I am still planning on starting this properly I should be able to get back into a routine as life has returned to relative normality and I will have more time. I will need to tack my time outside of work to see what I am doing and how long it is taking. This is because I want to plan in my goals and time to complete them but to do that I think I need to try and get some structure in there. So I can form new habits that will carry me on through the year.

http://solopracticeuniversity.com/2016/07/28/why-you-need-an-accountability-partner/

As part of my journey, I asked a friend to help me by being an accountability partner and although this is a good idea and has been documented to work I don’t seem to be keeping it up. I set up a system to use WhatsApp with a weekly message but we are just not doing it properly. I may need to look at this and see if I can improve something to work better. I need to keep my journal with me and use it more, otherwise whats the point.

The other problem I have is that I’m easily distracted, I pick up a tech magazine or have a conversation with a friend and then all I’m thinking about is that I want to relearn how to code as that is something I used to really enjoy (and hate sometimes) but again when I have too many goals on the go at once I tend to get none of them done.

I’m not sure what the answer is for me, I’m a work in progress. Let’s hope the next update I have a more positive message to give.

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Update and beyond 2020

It’s been a while since I have given an update and a bit has changed. This post is not going to be a new year new me post…. but it will share some similarities. 🙂

So NaNo was a bust for me, I just didn’t plan enough and like I have most years I got about half way through and then came to a halt. Lack of planning tends to do this to me. The way I write is to have an outline and then for each chapter I start as I have planned and then “pants” it through to the end and the next chapter, this works most of the time although I have to add a bit in. So I didn’t plan and didn’t end up completing it because of this. There was quite a bit of personal stuff that happened which also contributed.

So.. before new year, beginning of December I started thinking about my life and my goals. Mainly that I have had them for a long long time. Being a writer has been a thing since I was a child although I have tried for over a decade now and not got very far. I do plenty of world building and come up with basic ideas that I never flesh out. My writing output ends up being very low. the other if my health and fitness, not only for my kids and grandkids but for myself as well. I am 42 now and although I am getting older I am tired of the feeling and being tired all of the time. I have a hernia and it seems to be getting more and more uncomfortable, I have been trying to lose weight for years so that I can get the op to get rid of it. I seem to lack motivation. So that is the other goal.

To try and help with achieving these goals I started to write down what I wanted to achieve and what I thought I would need to do to help achieve this. I am not going to go into detail in this post but I may in a further update one. Suffice to say I have a few goals to achieve from now (2020) and beyond. I am hoping the things I have out in place this time that I have never done before will help me to achieve these goals.

The goals I have been planning for are:

  • Losing at least 4 stone so that I can have my hernia op. (This will also I create health and wellbeing)
  • Achieve my writing dream. This means being published and also down the road writing a series that people cannot wait to get the next chapter in. Seeing my books in Waterstones in my town would just be fantastic.
  • That’s the basic of it. To help with these goals I have planned out some things that can help me achieve. Exercise plans, Journaling, time planning and one of the things I believe will help me more this time is the accountability. I have written this all down and I have read that writing for increases the chance of achieving goals to about 36% the other thing is I have asked a friend of mine to help me by being an accountability partner. Following an article I read we are setting goals on a Sunday night and then updating each other. Explaining why we haven’t met a goal or completing them and then setting new goals. Each goal needs to further one of the targets I have set for myself.
  • So.. here I am in the hospital (my eldest daughter is in labour) it’s nearly 23:00 and I am getting psyched with my progress.

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Procrastination and NaNo

“Anyone who procrastinates will find it difficult to get published. You have to work, every day, on improving your craft. Otherwise, you won’t improve”

This quote was in Writing Magazine on October 19 by Vaseem Khan. It struck a chord with me as I am one of these people. I do the odd post on here and I do plenty of world-building. But, my writing output is low and I don’t seem to put in the work that I would need in order to achieve my dream. I have made many sweeping statements on this blog about my ambitions and what I am going to do and not managed to follow any of them!

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Wow, over three months

Well…. Over 3 months since the last update and given the last one was NaNo related I find it bizarre that this one is coming close to the end of October, which means Pumpkin carving time.. oh, and NaNo!!

So i have been off work for a week and I have one more day (Sunday) and then I am back until my birthday weekend. I was planning to use some of this time to plan for nano but had a busy holiday with the wife and other stuff. So it’s Sunday tomorrow, the last day of the hol and the only thing I have planned is F1 at 19:00. So the rest of the day is going to be planning and writing-related. I really would like to write something this time that I can actually do something with post NaNo.

I have my idea, and because it is something I have attempted this one before I have a lot of the world-building done as well. I do and have been going back through it as I think I have built my perfect fantasy world with all of the tropes and cliches in it and I need to tone it down. I also need to have a good hard look at the magic system and make this solid before I start writing. Today should be a busy day. Should!

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NaNo Update

Well… I am sure it’s a shock but I haven’t been doing too much writing in the last week, Although I have done more than I would have if it wasn’t nano. I have around 3 short stories at first draft. and a couple more that I am on with. So I have some progress.

Onward as I am now at a writing meet-up so I will go and do some writing.

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Camp NaNo

It’s July and that means that at the end of June someone reminded me that it was nano and I declared I was going to do it again this year. Then I didn’t do much for a few days.

I decided that this year instead of focusing on one project I was going to try and move forward with short story writing, so I have set myself a goal of 10 short stories to write in the month. To be fair I am not sure if that is achievable but as always with things like this just having that goal seems to focus me more than not having a goal at all. So here’s hoping this keeps me writing for a month at least. I will try and put more updates on here as well.

Anyway, back to writing, or planning.

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Social media = Procrastination

I have been thinking for a while now what it would be like to not be on social media, how much more could I get done with my time. But.. I am suffering from the “fear of missing out” how much would I really miss if I took the plunge and deleted the apps from my phone and limited my time when I am on my computer when at home. This is one of the things that I am considering to achieve my goals. But can I really take the plunge to remove Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter from my phone? A friend pointed out the youtube channel of Matt D’Avella and so I have been watching some of his videos. Allot of them hit home with things I have wanted to try to improve my life and to help me reach my potential. I’m 41 now, how much longer can I put this off and continue to procrastinate before I just give up altogether.

I have suggested with a friend to do “something” in June, to improve our lives and document it on the way, we are yet to decide if this is something we can do together or if he can’t something I need to do on my own.

I want to move forward, not stay the way I am plodding along until I croak!

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The decline in Computing in schools

I was reading the news today on the BBC and noticed their article about the falling numbers in students completing the Computing qualification. It seems that in the last few years there has been a steady decline in the numbers of students completing this course.

It’s strange to think that when the Computing course was announced I was really pleased as there was nothing like that when I was a child. But try as I may I never managed to get either of my younger children interested in the subject. I managed to talk my older son into trying it but he was unprepared as it was the first year of the subject and he doesn’t have the background or aptitude to do a subject like this. I was secretly hoping my daughter would be interested but that didn’t happen either. 5 kids, I have raised and none of them has shown an interest growing up in ICT. Strange given growing up around it for so long.

Part of the problem was the phasing out of ICT to replace with Computing, this never made sense to me and although I argued it at my daughters’ school they are only following government syllabus. ICT and Computing are different parts of the same subject so it doesn’t make sense to be merging them. Kids need to know how to use general ICT but may not have any interest in media or programming. daft to force them down one route for this. The Computing qualification was put into place to try and help with the skills gap that was found in children, instead, we may end up with more kids only able to do the basics. Being able to play games and check email is not something that will allow them to step into the work environment and be able to function without investment in training. It seems like a step back for me…

Maybe it’s something that just needs some time to bed in, as the schools start introducing kids to programming earlier with things like scratch and the use of Raspberry Pi‘s this will be a course that is desirable once the kids are old enough to do options. The spread of code clubs and government investment in teaching the teachers about Computer Science may help.

We can only hope, otherwise, we will end up with a bigger skills gap than the Computing course was meant to help relieve.

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It’s the Endgame

No Spoilers!

It’s been a long hard slog, since 2008 when Iron Man was released to last night when I attended the double bill of Infinity War and then Endgame, the final film in Marvels phase 3. People have complained before even seeing the film that at 3 hours it’s too long. But for me, any Marvel fan shouldn’t mind a long runtime as it gives them the time to do what they need to do to give the story an ending worthy of that time we have all invested in our heroes.

They certainly did that, it was an amazing journey that had me on the edge of my seat, it was a journey of growth as characters that tied together with the long journey from the first film to the end. It’s nice to see a film get the ending it deserves. I also thought that this film had a lot more comedy in it than I thought it would have, I laughed out loud many times in the cinema, there were also a couple of times when I was feeling a bit emotional 🙂

It’s going to be interesting to see where Marvel goes from here, now that phase 3 is done and allot of the contracts are up. I hope it’s something good as aI have loved the journey of watching all of these films.

If you haven’t booked tickets yet, get it done.

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No plan B

I was sent a video from a friend, this particular friend is always trying to help me achieve my dreams by pushing me. Quite a difficult job as I am very demotivated allot of the time but he keeps trying. This morning he sent me this video.

I sat here and watched it and felt like he was talking to me, achieve your dreams, make time. Have a goal and then strive to reach it. I don’t have any young children now, my youngest is 15, I currently work office hours so I am home by half 5 and then I have the weekends off. So I have no real excuse for not achieving my goals, I just procrastinate allot!

I am looking for another job at the moment but cannot get back into what I enjoyed, not that I hate my job as I don’t, but it isn’t what I would prefer to be doing with my time. So for the last couple of weeks I have started myself on the path to bringing my tech knowledge back up to a level where I can get back into the field. If only at a management level. But this will take time. Planning in some time to re-learn at a constant pace is what I need as at the moment its piecemeal. At the same time I do not want to let go of my dream of being a published writer, so I have two goals that I would like to achieve:

  • Get into a routine of writing, short stories only for a while so that I can bring my writing skills up and start entering them in competitions.
  • Upskill my tech knnowlege
    • SQL
    • Web Coding
    • C#

From today I am not going to turn on the TV in my office if I am supposed to be working on achieving my goals unless it is to watch something that will help me further my goals. This should be a big help as I waste a lot of time watching TV in there, it’s my biggest form of procrastination. April can be my trial month, focus on my goals and see what I can achieve, as long as I can stick to a goal, a plan A and not have a plan B I will achieve!

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