Category Archives: Procrastination Techniques

Exploring the Virtually Infinite Universe of No Man’s Sky


This once highly anticipated game has become a something one either loves or hates. I love it, because there are over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique planets to explore. Also, you can play it like real life, as in … there’s no actual point to the game. It’s like actual exploration, you do it simply for the joy and wonder of discovery.

It’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for someone who’s always daydreamed of exploring other worlds.

Here’s my problem: video games like this (and more are coming out this year) completely sate my imagination for exploring other worlds, and thus, I end up not feeling compelled to write space-faring science fiction.

But, really, I’ve been struggling with motivation to continue writing ever since I finished the as-yet-unpublished “Forever and For Always.” All my creative energy is being directed to other things. Like … video. About video games.

Monty Python Sketch: Novel Writing

It’s about time I shared this…

Personal Drones: A Clear and Present Danger?

This has little to do with writing, and more to do with human nature. I also find myself conflicted by my love of toys and fear of the misuse of technology.

I’ve gotten into flying remote control drones with video cameras on them. Example of one of my videos:

They are extremely fun to fly, and then you have the added bonus of being able to relive the adventure over and over again from the point of view of the drone’s camera.

Bear in mind I’m flying toys, not professional drones. But even as I was first flying them, and watching videos of the big professional models (some of which can carry many pounds of payload) it crossed my mind how easily it would be to weaponize these.

Then yesterday I was reading about how the Secret Service was freaked out because they found one on the White House grounds.

As I was telling some friends the other day, it’s only a matter of time before these are either going to be severely restricted or outlawed altogether. While I don’t really want it to happen, I feel it needs to happen. You can easily buy a drone that can be remotely piloted, or even have a course automatically set, and it can fly for miles — and carry pounds of anything, anywhere.

Explosives? Nerve gas? Biological agents?

Yes. All of the above. Easily.

Think you can protect yourself by jamming the remote control signal? Think again. They can be programmed with a destination and then guide itself there with onboard GPS. For the price of a good camera, you can have your own personal guided weapon.

Friends urged me to not say anything about this, as it will give bad people bad ideas — but I’m sorry, the bad people already have the bad ideas, and that’s why I must unhappily urge that these fun, awesome devices be locked down and regulated. Because if you don’t do it now, something bad will happen, and then they’ll be locked down and regulated anyway.

Doing it now will save lives, because I guarantee you deranged minds are already plotting evil.

This is not something I want to be able to point to and say, “I told you so.”

Still doubt it? Check out how far this readily available drone flew, and think what could have happened if the remote pilot was a terrorist:

 

Using the Pomodoro Technique to Battle ADD while Novel Writing

When my ADD is in full swing, like it has been over the past week, I fall back to using a method called the Pomodoro Technique. It really works for me if I can force myself to do it.

Original uploader was Erato at it.wikinews - Transferred from it.wikinews; transferred to Commons by User:Fale using CommonsHelper.The practice is very simple. Using a timer, you set it for 25 minutes and work on something (in my case, a novel) without allowing anything to interrupt. No email, no checking Ello, no texting my girlfriend — nothing in those 25 minutes but work on my novel. After the 25 minutes is done, I set the timer again to 5 minutes and can do whatever the hell I want. This is my payoff. Then it’s another 25 minutes followed by another 5, etc. After four periods of 25 minutes (these time periods are called pomodori) I give myself 30 minutes to do whatever I want.

The big payoff.

Somehow, knowing you’re getting these payoff time periods helps circumvent interrupting yourself to check email, etc., while trying to work on the thing your ADD is trying to keep you from working on.

I thought I’d share this in case anyone else has this problem, and hasn’t heard of the technique.

There’s a plethora of apps for it, by the way, many of them free. It helps automate the process.

Naming the Demon

Don’t you dare fucking write about me, he says. Don’t you dare. Don’t do it! Stop! STOP!

Fredricks the DemonThat’s what the demon is telling me right now. This demon, who fights harder to sabotage me the closer I get to success — he’s getting freakishly strong. He takes completely over and overindulges in food, liquor, and spending. He stops me from writing. He entices me with hours upon hours of televison.

I got the jump on him last night. I told him I would pour out the entire bottle of rum if he doesn’t stop, right now. I said, sternly, if you get me drunk tonight, AGAIN, tomorrow when you’re asleep I will fucking pour the entire 1.75 liter of rum down the goddamn sink.

The threat worked. He crawled back into his dark little hole.

Also — as I have just found out — he doesn’t like outside attention. This explains why I get reclusive and hide from people. Why I will actually wander past an open elevator door and wait for the next one, rather than get into an occupied one. I can’t tell if he’s shy or he just wants me all for himself, just him and I, so he can feed off me and keep me miserable.

I thought, if I’m going to start writing about this demon, I should give him a name — but he absolutely had a fit. He started squeezing my adrenal glands and punching me in the heart. People are going to think you’re crazy or gone schizophrenic. If you give me a name, he says, you’re going to make me real.

To which I say, you are obviously real already, and have been for most of — if not all — my life. And I know that I’m not the only one to have this demon. Thank you especially to Steven Pressfield for pointing this out. He’s given his demon the name, “Resistance.”

Mine, I’m going to call him … oh, he’s fighting right now, he’s furious … I’m going to call him, “Fredricks.” Even worse, I’m going to turn him into a cartoon figure.

Wow, he does not like that. But it’s perfect, as “Fredricks” is the name of the brothers who tormented me relentlessly when I was a kid. And by turning him into a cartoon, I’ve reduced him to something ridiculous.

Fredricks. The cartoon demon.

Perfect.

If you give something a name, you suddenly have power over it. I’m gaining some power over him now. But it’s not going to be easy.

This has always been war.

 

…and then the Short Story Fizzled

I was talking over the direction of the short story I mentioned in the previous post with my girlfriend, and that it seemed to be lacking something … and she pointed out it wasn’t much of a story. And it wasn’t.

I haven’t gone back to the novel yet. Instead I’ve been coming home, turning on Netflix, and watching all the odd Star Trek episodes I’ve never seen (Star Trek: Enterprise). Turns out when I first started watching it, then dismissed it, I hadn’t given it enough of a chance. Really getting into it now.

Not writing much, though.

Break from novel, writing short story

I guess I jinxed myself with that last post about crossing the 50,000 word line on the manuscript. I’ve suddenly lost interest in it — again.

Time for a break. This morning I’m working on something I haven’t worked on for a long, long time … a short story.

I’m wondering if I can remember how to do it. Short stories and novels are two entirely different types of writing.