February 2018 Overview

This month was…a lot less eventful than January. Partially because it was short, but most of it was because of health problems – I had insomnia for almost two weeks straight, and after that stopped, I developed what I thought was a cold but actually ended up being a sinus infection. It lasted less than a week, but I’m still feeling the aftereffects of it now.

That sinus infection was the most exhausting thing I’ve experienced in years. Most days, I couldn’t concentrate on much other than my day job, so I didn’t write much. I’ve even been off of social media (most prominently Twitter) since it started because it was literally too exhausting to deal with.

Speaking of social media, I might actually just stay off Twitter from now on. Maybe I’ll check it every other day or so. But ever since I’ve stopped using it, I’ve realized that I have so much free time for other things. It’s a lot easier to concentrate when I’m not obsessively switching back to that browser tab.

Without further ado, let’s get to my goals.

Complete 52 drawings. I finished 3 comic pages, 1 concept art sketch, and have another comic page half-finished. That brings my total for the year to 13.

Read 52 pieces of fiction. I’ve actually read quite a lot this month, most of which was short fiction & essays! I’m up to 15/52.

Find an apartment and move out. I’ve expanded this to include condos and townhouses, since a lot of them are cheaper (or priced similarly, after fees & taxes) than apartments. That’s…ridiculous. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around?

Continue learning Swedish. I am continuing to expand my vocabulary. I have not started the Swedish journal, and I don’t think I’ll get around to it.

Continue learning Japanese. I’m better at reading than I was a month ago. I also have some verb forms memorized, which is nice.

What do I hope to achieve in March?

I’m going to finish the short comic and put it online. I’ll be working on the final page this weekend, so everything should be wrapped up a little bit after then. I’m looking to have it online by the weekend of the 10th of March.

I’m planning on writing 10,000 words of The Book of Immortality. I’m also trying something new in March – I’m taking the weekends off from writing. That leaves me with a goal of 455 words, 5 days a week. It’s plenty doable.

That’s it for this month! My next monthly update will be on March 31st. I’ll see you then!

January 2018 Overview

I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with blog posts this year, and the best thing I’ve come up with is to put up a post on the last day of each month. That post will detail what I’ve accomplished in that time period.

So what have I done in January?

Fortunately, I’ve made some progress on the goals outlined in my previous post.

Complete 52 drawings. I’ve completed nine pieces this month, of which 4 were concept art, 6 were comic thumbnails, and 1 was an comic pages. One of those pieces of concept art is a 3D model I did in Google Sketchup. I’m counting it as a “drawing” as I actually had to design & sculpt the thing.

Read 52 pieces of fiction. I’ve decided to expand this to include nonfiction, such as essays and research materials. That said, I’ve read three pieces this month and am continuing to read a book I started in December.

Find an apartment and move out. I have compiled a list of places that fit my criteria. I haven’t actually visited any of the places yet, but I did drive by a few to see if I liked the area.

Continue learning Swedish. I’m currently working on memorizing vocab through Memrise. Vocab is my main problem. Grammar hasn’t been a problem as Swedish is quite similar to English, but I still need a dictionary every time I want to write or read something. I have not started the Swedish journal. I should start the Swedish journal.

Continue learning basic Japanese. I have a much better grasp on hiragana than I did a month ago. I can read words in hiragana (and a few kanji!) without much difficulty now.

I’ve also started work on a short comic. If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my tweets about it. I’ve finished the script, concept art, thumbnails, and am currently working on drawing pages (1/6 completed!).

I’m still working on The Book of Immortality, though it’s basically been on hold since I started working on the short comic. I have plotted out the next few chapters, so it won’t be too difficult for me to pick up writing again.

One more thing I have to do now is look for a new laptop. My current one had a random boot failure on the 27th (I lost nothing, thankfully). It hasn’t experienced any problems since then, but I don’t trust it anymore.

What do I hope to achieve in February?

I want to finish drawing the short comic and post it online – I’ll most likely post it on Tumblr and link it here, or just upload the pages here as well. I haven’t made my decision yet.

Start writing a short story I’ve been plotting out. It’s a fairly simple story that likely won’t be too long or take too long to write. I’d also like to continue the trend (if I can even call it a trend, since I’ve only done it for one month) of writing one piece of short fiction each month and posting it online.

Continue writing The Book of Immortality. I’ve fallen behind quite a bit on my writing goals due to the short comic. Unless my laptop fails spectacularly and I can’t get access to another one in a few days, I don’t see this being much of a problem.

And that’s all I’ve got for January! My next post, if it isn’t the update about the short comic, will be on February 28th. See you then!

A Year in Review & Looking Forward into 2018

What happened this year?

I stopped being able to follow the news on a day-to-day basis (maybe an hourly basis?). I got a job in April. I worked on The Gate at the End of the World, and I decided to set it aside. I bought a car! I won NaNoWriMo 30 minutes before November ended! I got a new job, which starts on January 2nd, and quit my old job the week before Christmas. I went to see The Last Jedi (twice!), and I really, really liked it.

That’s really all the significant things I did this year. When it put it in a paragraph like that, it doesn’t seem like very much, but since I’ve gone through several milestones in my life this year, I’m going to say that it is, indeed, a lot.

Without any further delay, let’s go into my goals for 2018.

2018 Goals

  • Complete 1 drawing per week for a total of 52. I want to work on things I don’t usually draw – like landscapes and buildings.
  • Read 1 piece of fiction per week for a total of 52. Again, the majority of this will be short fiction, not novels.
  • Post 1 blog post per month. I had serious problems with blogging in 2017. I’d like for it to not happen again.
  • Find an apartment and move out. This should be feasible after a couple of months.
  • Continue working on learning Swedish. I have a good understanding of basic grammar, but I don’t know that many words and have to keep referring to a dictionary a lot of the time. Also, I find it harder to write than read, so I’m hoping to keep a daily Swedish journal.
  • Continue learning basic Japanese. I started learning hiragana in early December and I’d like to continue. I don’t actually plan on becoming proficient (at least not to the level I am with Swedish) but I’d still like to learn a language completely different from one I already know.

Like in previous years, I’ll probably end up adding more goals to my list.

One thing to do before the year ends

Back up your work! Make multiple backups! Flash drives, external hard drives, cloud backups – do it all. Make sure that you’ll never lose your work if one method fails you.

A very late December post

Hello everyone! It’s been about a month since I made my last post. I’ve been busy for the past month with work, but now that my contract’s ended, I have a little bit of free time before I start looking for my next job. I have quite a few things to cover in this post, but let’s start off with this:

wordpress-anniversary

My five-year WordPress anniversary was on the 16th of December. I’ve had this blog for five years! Since 2011! It doesn’t feel that long at all.

Now, I’m going to jump straight to next year’s goals, because why not.

2016 Goals

  • Complete 1 drawing per week for a total of 52. “Complete” in this case means “not a sketch”, and so can vary from a painting like this to a simple character lineup like this.
  • Read 1 piece of fiction per week for a total of 52. This is “piece of fiction” instead of “book” because I ended up reading a lot of short fiction in 2016.
  • Finish scripting The Gate at the End of the World. I finished scripting the first chapter a few days ago, and I’ve got a good idea of how long it’s going to be – 15-20 chapters of at least 20 (comic) pages each. I haven’t finished plotting out how the story is going to go, but I doubt it’ll too long.
  • Similarly, draw at least 50 pages of The Gate at the End of the World. Also, actually start posting it online somewhere. It’s not very useful if I draw a comic and then never show it to anyone.
  • Optimize my Github website for mobile devices. I’ve viewed it on my phone, and it really was not easy to navigate or read anything. That needs to be fixed.
  • Find a stable full-time job. I am unemployed again and I do not like it. I don’t particularly like working – and I’m not sure anyone does – but I like having a source of income and I like having a schedule.

Also, there are a few things I’m going to try doing next year that I haven’t before.

The first of these is: write scripts only, not novels. I have a much easier time scripting than writing prose, and I’ve been wondering what I could accomplish if I only did scripts. If it turns out to not be as successful as I think it might be, there’s no harm in it. I’ll just have figured out it doesn’t work.

The second: have a monthly word/page goal instead of a yearly one. I’ve never had a problem reaching my yearly word goal, but I just want to try something different.

And now, an important reminder.

Have you backed up your computer recently? Flash drives, external hard drives, cloud storage – whatever you prefer, make a backup of all your important files, and make sure you make more than one! I had a problem earlier in the year where one of my flash drives stopped working, and although I was able to recover most things, it wasn’t everything, which in my opinion is not good enough.

And onward to 2017.

Good luck to everyone working toward achieving their goals!

2016 Goals

It’s time for me to come up with next year’s goals! I have to admit, I haven’t really thought much about what I’m going to do next year other than graduate and get a job. I may add more to this list in the next couple of days, or throughout the year.

  • Graduate and get an engineering-related job. This is the one thing that could potentially screw up my other goals. At the moment, I’m applying for jobs and don’t know which state I am going to end up living in.
  • Write at least 183,000 words. That’s 500 words per day, which is easily doable. I usually end up exceeding it because of NaNoWriMo, no matter how behind I am before then.
  • Start posting writing on my blog again. I haven’t done this for a very long time (since early 2014?!). I want to start writing short fiction again, anyway.
  • Participate in at least one Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo in November. That’s the same goal I had in 2015, and it worked out pretty well. Also, I tend to feel really terrible if I don’t participate in NaNoWriMo.
  • Read at least 50 new books. I haven’t been reading very much over the past few years. I can blame my engineering coursework all I like, but the real reason is that I’m wasting too much time browsing websites like TVTropes. If I spend that time reading instead, I can get a lot of reading done. Also, I have a bunch of Project Gutenburg books that have been sitting in a folder on my desktop for months. For this, I’m counting novels, short story collections, comic books/manga, and web serials.
  • Participate in Lexember. I’ve been doing Lexember this year, and I like it a lot. It actually makes me think about the etymologies of the words I create.
  • Be more social and interact with the communities I’m a part of. I have a problem with not commenting on things I read. This is something I’d really like to change.

Also, I may change my blog theme (I’ve had this one for a few years already), and I will change my blog url soon. I’ll make another post when that happens.

It’s almost 2015…

This is the time that everyone makes new years resolutions, right? To be honest, I’m not that big a fan of them, if only because I create goals for myself all throughout the year, and there’s no use waiting for a new year to start in order to do something…

But having a list of things to get done during a certain time frame isn’t too bad of an idea, so here are a couple of the challenges I’ve set for myself to get done in 2015 (this will go on my challenges page later):

Write 500 words per day for a total of 182,500. I had the same goal in 2014, which I didn’t think I was going to meet but did because of NaNoWriMo. Unless something terrible happens, I should be able to do this.

Make a font from my handwriting. This is one of those things that I’ve been telling myself I am going to do, only to put it off for forever. It isn’t even particularly difficult, either.

Read a book per month. I’ve been slacking on reading and I want to fix this.

Script, draw, and upload a short comic. Again, this is another thing I’ve been wanting to do for a while and just haven’t.

Continue working on my existing conlangs. Visanan needs another overhaul. Fèdzéyí needs to be fleshed out more because I’ve been neglecting it. Zaryaheul needs more words.

Participate in (at least) one Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo in November. Doing NaNoWriMo this past November has made me realize just how much I like writing. I can’t believe I wanted to give it up before.

Additionally, I’ve decided to scrap having a set schedule for blogging. At the moment, posts will go up when I actually have something to say.