In Search of a Title

https://www.pexels.com/photo/view-ape-thinking-primate-33535/

It is funny to me that the first thing that I am expected to write for a blog post is the title. Shouldn’t a title come at the end? The beginning for the reader but the end for the writer. As I write this I have no idea where it is going. And that is scary and exciting all at the same time.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/choices-decision-doors-doorway-277615/

While looking for inspiration I found this picture. Maybe it is just me but it feels like a good representation of my mind a lot of the time. The paralysis of indecision. What do I do? Which thing on my list?

A person’s life, their future, hinges on each of a thousand choices. Living is making choices!

Captain Picard (TNG: A Matter of Time)

On waking we have to decide if we are going to get out of bed or doze until we end up getting ready for work in a great rush! And when it comes to creativity we have to decide which project to work on.

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

I remember seeing an interview with Christopher Judge where he talked about writing. He said that the only way he could get his scripts written was to lock himself in a room until it was done.

Photo by Maria Pop from Pexels

And you can’t argue with the results. The SG-1 episode “The Warrior“, that Judge wrote, is an excellent story.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

I have spoken quite a bit about productivity on this blog. I have used paper, various apps, and a spreadsheet and all of them have flaws. In the final analysis maybe the thing to to is to just sit down and do it. Which is true but not very helpful.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bookcase-chair-computer-contemporary-263209/

In other news I have just come to the end of a week off work. The flat is still a bit of a mess but I have got ride of a small army of plastic bags. So progress is being made. I hope that all your endeavours are going well.

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Time

https://www.pexels.com/photo/clear-glass-with-red-sand-grainer-39396/

We all know the phrase: ‘Not enough hours in the day.’ I feel like that a lot of the time. And time management is one of the biggest challenges I think we face day-to-day.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/citrus-citrus-fruits-close-up-delicious-266346/

They also say: ‘When life gives you lemons…’ The lemons I have is not having written this before this morning. You are reading this sometime after 1800 hours on 2019-02-10 and I am writing it at 0947 on that day.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

I was once asked at a job interview what my greatest weakness was – and the answer to that question is being a slave to the plan. I am not good with spontaneity in any area. I will sometimes have this thought: ‘I really want to do some writing today but it hasn’t come up on the plan.’ So yes I will follow a plan even if it is proven to have holes in it.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-dice-37524/

The plan does include randomisation. Every day I do house work, reading, meditation, Duolingo, and write Morning Pages. I change the order everyday because for some of those tasks there is no end.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/yellow-dead-end-sign-during-day-time-163728/

I can’t, for example, sit and finish an entire book in one sitting. So randomisation coupled with a timer is the only way I know to define an end. Sometimes I will read for half an hour and other times it might only be a few pages. Some days I will meditate for 13 minutes and others it might only be 3.

Photo by icon0.com from Pexels

Then there is the blog and a slew of other tasks I set myself. Some are quick and some take a long time. I have come to realise that I will never completely figure out managing my time. It is a challenge especially considering the weird place that is my brain with its contradictions and its fixation on patterns and doing things the established way – even if that way isn’t completely satisfactory. How do you deal with these challenges?

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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The Plan Before the Plan

https://www.pexels.com/photo/hand-pen-writing-plant-58457/

Did you ever have a revision timetable in school? I think I did but that was a long time ago and I have trouble remembering what happened yesterday. The cliche surrounding such a timetable is that you spend so much time making them look pretty that there isn’t enough time left to revise!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/board-chalk-chalkboard-exam-459793/

I actually did a lot of revision. So much that my parents had to actually tell me that I had done enough – and I think suggested I drink something. Maybe that is a false memory – like I said it was a long time ago.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Today there are approximately 1,771,561 apps that help with time management and productivity. Sorry that’s how many Tribbles there were. Anyway there are a lot of apps and you can spend hours planning, finding that the app doesn’t quite do what you want, and planning some more. A wonderful endless cycle of getting absolutely nothing done!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

…or like me you can flip-flop between various apps and paper! I have realised that I will never be completely happy with any productivity set up. That is okay and yesterday (Thursday) I was actually productive! I finished one big tasks which was a great thing to get done and had the great moment of marking something done on Habitbull.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-bull-on-green-glass-field-under-grey-and-blue-cloudy-sky-139399/

Habitbull is a nice looking app with pretty colours all built in! I am back to using it again. The problem before was me. I try to do too much! So fingers crossed I have got it right. It is the start of a new month after all. The other app I am using is Any.do as that is more of a day-to-day thing rather than for longer term goals. What apps do you find useful?

Photo by Plush Design Studio from Pexels

So it is February. I feel like I should review January. This month has been okay. I have had the usual roller coaster of emotions – feeling weird and smiley one day and really unhappy the next. I think though I am starting to get a handle on the clutter and I am feeling a bit more satisfied about life. See you next time!

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Write the Words, Brother Benny!

A picture of a neat desk with a typewriter.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/ballpoint-pen-classic-coffee-composition-261510/

How many of you, I wonder, got the reference in the title? If you did kudos. Yes I want to talk about writing today – or lack of same. At the moment my writing is inching froward like a snail.

A close up of a snail on a road.
Photo by invisiblepower from Pexels

I suppose it is all about perspective. If you want to walk the length of the UK then an hour won’t give you much head way. If you want to walk from one side of the room to the other you can do it many times in an hour. And a novel or a play is a very big thing indeed.

Actors preparing for a rehearsal of a play.
Photo by Ruca Souza from Pexels

I am working on a play. It is 33 pages long so far and my target is 50. I am enjoying the process. Hitting page 50 doesn’t mean it is done of course. In fact editing can take longer than the writing. There is just one problem…

It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.

Homer (The Simpsons: Blood Feud)

I can write the words and I can form a story but the message is taking its sweet time arriving. Maybe a message isn’t actually needed. There are things I want to say and I am not sure if I am saying them.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

The play is an expansion on a short story I wrote: The Sound of Silence. The theme I am aiming for is language and communication. Which sounds similar to two modules I did in university: Language and Society and Communication and Persuasion. The trick is to aim for the end. Which is what I am going to do. In between my posting here and my never ending novel – the novel is going well though. I attend Cardiff Writer’s Circle every Monday it gives me a degree of accountability. There are people who know if I haven’t written the next section. It helps.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/hands-coffee-cup-apple-5199/

So I will keep writing the play, the novel, and posting here. This year is going to be the year. (He said with cliched January optimism.)

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Stuff

So, do you like stuff?

Ralph Wiggum (The Simpsons – I Love Lisa)

You may be picking up on a theme this year. The theme of stuff. And how we could all probably benefit from having less of it. I have been looking lately at a lot of YouTube videos on the subject of minimalism and getting rid of stuff. As discussed last week it is difficult – I can’t exactly say I enjoy a challenge but I am going to go at this one.

Which of these methods is your favourite?

I like the minimalist game but me being me I do it in a different way. I like the idea of doing this but randomly. I didn’t start on the 1st of January – but I have already done numbers: 1,2,3,4,5, and 15. So I have a long way to go. Since some of the items were things like receipts that have been kept for some reason – the signs of less have not yet appeared. Nevertheless there are 30 fewer items in my home now. So it is a start.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

This image is what people think of when they hear minimalism. That is not what I am going for. I don’t know what I am going for. I do know that my books will be staying. Even if many of them will never be read (because I keep getting more) they are important to be for themselves. I estimate I have over 350 books. Some of those are cook books – but I estimate that if I bought no more books it would take 13 years to read them all! And that is assuming that I do very little else.


Photo by Rahul from Pexels

I remember hearing about the concept of owning only 100 items. Although this had a few cheats in it. I like books and also CDs so the one item could be my library or my collection. Moving house really highlighted for me just how much rubbish I had. It would be nice if the next time all my stuff, with the exception of larger items of furniture, could fit into one car. That is the ultimate plan. I have some momentum built up and I want to continue with it. And one final thought. Perhaps the most straightforward method for decluttering is when you get something new get rid of at least one thing. It will take time but soon you will have much less stuff.

…No, Ralph, I don’t like stuff.

***
I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors. 

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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Set Fire to Your Flat

A tidy and uncluttered apartment with a nice airy feel.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-center-table-584399/

I hope you like the title and it is not completely click-batey. It goes without saying that I am not advocating arson. Let me explain…

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Inigo montoya (The Princess Bride)

I have stuff. So much stuff. I have books, I have clothes, I have a small army of plastic bags, and I have boxes and bags of random junk. They are things that have come off other things and I might need the thing when I figure out what thing they go with so I should keep it just in case I figure it out.

Move the thing. And that other thing.

Vizzini (The Princess Bride)

Some of the stuff in my tiny flat is under the bed. It was under the bed in the last flat too. So yes it has moved from under one bed to another bed and has not passed through a phase of being used.

A picture of flames.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/fire-orange-emergency-burning-1749/

So why did I talk of fire? Because it has occurred to me that if something terrible happened there is so little that would need replacing. All my writing is backed up online. When my computer died a couple of years ago I just went down to Tesco and bought a new laptop. And my files were all on it within about half an hour. I would need new clothes and new kitchen equipment and not much else.

A well stocked book shelf.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/books-in-black-wooden-book-shelf-159711/

The books would be a sad loss – but its not like I have any first additions or anything. In fact the only irreplaceable stuff would be my diaries and some data on the Wii (Yes I still use the Wii – I am old you see.)

A beautifully tidy house.
https://www.pexels.com/photo/bed-bedroom-ceiling-fan-chair-280208/

When the dust settles and I am safely in a new place I could get new stuff and be sensible about it. For instance I have lots of mugs. So many in fact that if I invited that many people over we would hardly be able to move. So what is the practical solution to clutter?

Tiding up does feel like a military operation.
(Plus I always like to have a reason to share my love of this film.)

There are so many books on the subject of tiding up that if you got them all it would really clutter up a home. I have started by putting stuff into bags. Some of it will be kept, some of it will be binned, and some of it will go down the charity shop. In an ideal would I would shift every signal thing elsewhere and slowly bring it back so as to identify what I actually want. With only one room that is impossible – unless I used an expensive self-storage place.

To say I have a plan would be wrong. Even Baldrick had a plan! The only solution is one bag at a time. And maybe, just maybe, I can make a home that I don’t feel embarrassed to look at. It is so easy to accumulate stuff and so had to get rid of it. Like I said at the beginning though – if it was all gone so little of it would be missed. So I don’t understand why I can’t just get rid of the random stuff I have – even stuff I don’t immediately know what it is.

A tidy studio apartment.
Photo by Medhat Ayad from Pexels

Maybe you too are trying to have a clear out. In which case good luck. Maybe you’re a minimalist in which case I envy your ability to let go. Whatever space you’re living in I hope you are happy – now I am going to move on to the next task on my rather obsessive to-do list.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

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How has Your First Week Been?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/blackboard-business-chalkboard-concept-355988/

I can’t answer that question as I haven’t lived it yet. This is the problem with writing these things so far in advance. A week has happened though and hopefully it was a good week.

Additional: Although now the week has happened as apparently I am proficient at procrastination. Not that I haven’t been doing stuff I just haven’t been doing this!

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-flying-on-parachute-near-green-trees-67298/

The new year always feels like parachuting to me. The end of the year has happened. The celebrations have happened and suddenly it is just January. Which to me is a bit of a nothing month.

Suddenly I am in free fall into a new would of possibilities. And as the year goes on the ground gets closer and closer and I start to wonder if the parachute will open – will the end of the year make me feel I have achieved something?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/achievement-confident-free-freedom-6945/

Time ticks away and every year seems to go faster than the one that preceded it. We have so much time each year and yet so much of it is already allocated to work, cooking, cleaning, and other necessities. I know where I want to be in 365 days time – it has been the same for the last few years. The question is how do I get to the destination.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/backpack-commute-commuters-locomotive-1170184/

It is said metaphorically and literally that the journey is as important as the destination. I am not so sure that that is true. A train journey can be fun, especially if travelling through a picturesque part of the world, but wouldn’t you hate it if you never arrived? Sounds like a hell realm to me. Especially as over priced snacks would be all there was to eat.

…in many human cultures, the thirtieth birthday is considered a sort of milestone. It marks the end of youth and the beginning of the slow march into middle age.

Doctor Bashir (DS9: Distant Voices)

In September I will be 32 and that fact is somewhat scary. The plan for my life, such as it was, didn’t come to fruition. I feel like I am taking all my time just to stay afloat in life and not get anywhere. This year I need to get somewhere.

Photo by Anugrah Lohiya from Pexels

My passport is on the table in front of my now. And I need to use it. I have some savings and I think I need to plan a trip. Planning is difficult for me. My job requires booking leave a year in advance for one thing. For another I can’t book a flight and an Air b’n’b without work granting me leave and I can’t ask for leave before knowing the flights – Catch 22.

Maybe this sounds silly to you and maybe it is. This is something I need to work on.

One week into the year I am a bit shaky and not that happy. I am glad though that I have written this post and continued my unbroken chain on this blog. See you next week.

***

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog: https://www.patreon.com/unstableorbit

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, Productivity, travel, writing