A purple-haired man in his mid-twenties holds up a sign that reads 'Update: 1-3 January 2021 Social Media, Writing, Updates and Life'

Update: 1-3 January 2021 – Social Media, Writing, Updates and Life

Yes I know it’s only the last 3 days of the week.  It’s a new year, so I’m disregarding the previous half of the week.  We’ll just… pretend it didn’t happen or something. Like I think a large chunk of the population are planning on doing with 2020 in general.

These were supposed to be goals for the week, but seem to have turned into goals for the year.  Not a problem.  I’m not sure I’m quite yet ready for goals for the week again…  Maybe I’ll be able to muster goals for the month in the future.  Maybe.

So without further ado…

Social Media

I’m stepping off it.  It’s not good for my mental health and as I know I won’t be missed I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down.  I don’t think I’ll save much time or get any writing done by not doomscrolling, but hopefully it’ll help me start to focus on other things.

…And it never made a difference to my nonexistent sales, so there’s nothing to lose there either!

Goal for 2021: None.

 

Writing

I seriously considered jacking it all in.  (Again.)  I don’t get much time to write between work and the looking after my mother thing — mostly because whenever I try to write, it becomes the Bat Signal for her to start reading the US news at me.  Why the US news?  Hell if I know, we live in the UK, but it doesn’t stop her from telling me everything Trumplethinskin and his ilk are doing.  She doesn’t like him (as an understatement) but she’s better informed about the Orange Shitgibbon than most Americans and instead of doing something she enjoys… she just reads the news at me.  Loudly.  Without stopping, even when I ask her to.  Sometimes while I’m trying to do the day job (which isn’t writing, but is tiring and consuming) — and despite the fact that when she did the same day job, if I so much as breathed in her direction she shouted at me.

As a result, it gets very hard to write.  It’s difficult to keep yourself focused on the story when one ear gets an incessant stream of the Daily Mail poured into it (if you live in the UK, you know just how awful this actually is).  I only survived NaNo by hitting Fuck It and heading off upstairs every night.  As a result, Yve’s story is disjointed and more than a little wordy — and, as ever, unfinished — but I enjoyed writing it and I’d like to write more, to see where it goes and what actually happens (what is going on with cybernetics and White Pearl, and exactly who paid for Yve’s costly surgery?).  So that’s pretty much the goal for this year.

Also, another character made it known that a short story I wrote about him Needs Work, Thank You and has, to that end, been supplying me with information about it.  And I do like Caeso, a lot, but I suspect he could be a very difficult character to explain without having finished his NaNo story either.  But I’d like to finish his short story too — well, rework it, as technically this one is finished — because his story needs fleshing out beyond the 8k words it currently is.

Goal for 2021: Rework Unpleasant Jobs (yeah, working title) first, then finish Yve’s Story (also working title — did I mention I hate titles?)

 

Life

Learning

I am on day 118 of my Duolingo Welsh streak!  I’m pretty sure I won’t be writing anything in Welsh, since the horrific Y Babi Sinsir book is maybe my level right now — but only kind of, because while I can talk about coming and going in past tense, at no point in the last hundred days have we touched on basic phrases like “what’s wrong?” (and yet I can say that Owen’s club sells parsnips and that he eats them in the rain… go figure, Duolingo) — but it’s nice to be achieving something and keeping it up.  So obviously I’d like to continue achieving it and keeping it up.

Goal for 2021: Keep plugging on with the Welsh (and maybe start a little Latin)

Work

Work tends to get… all-consuming.  I’m available for 9 hours each day (it used to be 10), and sometimes they get a bit carried away with filling in my schedule.  Sometimes, after my schedule for the week has been posted, they decide to fill in the gaps, which is how before Christmas I ended up working a 54-hour week.  Interestingly, I can’t choose to work a 54-hour week, but I can have one chosen for me.  I work on three different projects.  One is very passive, one involves no interaction but is packed with unpleasant people, and the third is… well, basically US customer service, so I get screamed at through social media every day for things I have zero control over because we only work for the client and can’t do anything about their policies.  And while I don’t like the term ‘Karen,’ some of them really do fit that meme like a glove.

That third one is, incidentally, my most common project now.

I know the hours won’t stay horrific forever and I’ll probably be desperate for work come April, but for the start of this year I’ve adjusted my schedule so I’m only available 8 hours a day.  The little extra time asleep will probably help.  I hope.

Goal for 2021: …I dunno.  Not die from it?

Other Creative Stuff

(Descriptive heading, no?)

3D

I keep meaning to pick up 3D modelling again, this time in Blender rather than a glitchy proprietary software (so no more Hexagon for me).  Fingers crossed they don’t change the interface again…  I also need to keep working on the 3D renders in DAZ Studio, in a desperate attempt to get better at lighting… then maybe progress to doing those in Blender too, since I always did like Cycles better as a render engine.  (Many a happy hour was spent transferring Blender Cycles shader recipes into Poser’s Cycles-based Superfly engine and getting creative with the nodes Superfly didn’t have.  You’d be amazed at how versatile a gradient node can be.)

Reading

Yes I definitely class reading as creative — you have to use your imagination for it — and I really want to do more of it this year.  I’m not going to use Goodreads (for many, many reasons) but if I can manage 10 books this year I’ll be happy.  Only ten?  Yes.  Because 40-50 hour working weeks + cooking + cleaning + bins / recycling + laundry + pets + misc. other chores + Bat Signal means I don’t actually get to read much and, when I do try, often means I can’t concentrate.

Ball-Jointed Dolls

My poor dolls have been neglected this last year (or two…).  This year it’d be great to give some of them faces (it really is almost as bad as it sounds, but nothing about BJDs doesn’t make you sound a bit like a serial killer), some hair and maybe some clothes (see?)…  Most of them are based on characters too, which just makes it feel a little worse.

Gaming

Also creative!  At least, for me it is.  Playing Far Cry 5 gave me a whole back story and plot for my main character, all while playing the game.  (I felt really bad for the poor bastard after I was done too.  Had to replay it from the beginning, just to do one thing differently and save the rest of his otherwise-ruined life.)  I have a slowly-growing stack of videogames that thanks to work and life I’ve been neglecting, and I probably ought to do something about them.  In a couple of cases, installing the damn things would be a start.

Goals for 2021: …Actually Do Stuff.

 

There we go.  That wasn’t as painful as you all expected, right?

Right?

*crickets*

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