black_sluggard: (spider)
So, NaNo is now officially over. This year I managed a total of 20,177 words...which really isn't bad considering my past attempts never eclipsed the 5k mark. While I didn't have the computer issues I did last year, there were a few sleepovers at my grandmother's and some personal upheaval that disrupted my workflow, so I'm actually rather proud of what I did accomplish. I've got a good six chapter lead on a story I plan to (hope to) finish and clean up for the Hobbit Big Bang. My previous attempts at a big bang were less than fruitful, but I'll be going into this with a significant outline and at least one cheerleader, so... *crossyfingers*

Some other things...

I'm trying to motivate myself to get more done in general. I succeeded (partially) on NaNo, and now I'm hoping I can inject some momentum into other projects. Toward that end, I've been doing some idle looking into a few lifehacking methods...most of them rather silly, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose.

I'm still using Habitica (formerly HabitRPG), though I've lost a little momentum with that. This is, I believe, primarily due to two factors:

First, which I actually consider a positive, is that my mother started using Habitica also to keep track of her pill taking and doctor's appointments. But she's also taken on a lot of the household stuff I was doing before to pad her list for XP...which is great, she just beats me to it, and that kind of tanked my enthusiasm for a bit. lol

Second, I've wound up spending a lot of time spent sleeping in, which has killed my energy a little. I think the main culprit is the change in the weather, as I tend to get up at a reasonable hour more easily if the sun is up, but the cold has forced me to keep heavy curtains closed over my window, so I don't get that boost in the morning anymore.

There's not much I can do about the weather besides just try to do more.

But since I do consider Habitica a tentative success, I've looked into a few other tricks and apps to try and inject a little productivity into my life.

Zombies, Run! - I'm really not active. Like, at all. But "Zombies, Run!" has at least given some gamerish motivation to walk my dog more often and made treks to the doctor's office less boring. It's a sort of odd hybrid of podcast, step-counter, and management game designed to motivate joggers and fitness runners, but it's good for walking, biking, or gym time as well. You take the role of a scavenger for a zombie survivor community, evading zombies as you make runs for supplies. The story unfolds through broadcast style episodes that inject themselves between the songs on your playlist. And the supplies you earn on these runs can be used to fortify the little virtual town where the survivors live in order to give you a sense of achievement. Sort of cheesy, but the story is interesting and the voice acting is pretty good.

Ideally I want to take more walks just for the sake of walking...it's just hard for me to feel up to walking "for no reason" when my dog somehow sucks the fun out of walking, and acts like it's the end of the world every time I leave the house without her.

Pomodoro Challenge - The Pomodoro technique is a workflow/focus method where you use a timer to regulate periods of intense work interspersed with short breaks. I'd only briefly considered trying to apply this method to my writing when I happened upon a pomodoro app by accident (the programmers, AXFN, also make an awkwardly named but enjoyable roguelike game for mobile called "Adventurer League 2D Retro RPG"). I think the thing that decided it was the lack of the usually obligatory tomato imagery... I only started using it a couple days ago, but it did manage to net me a brief spike in NaNo progress over the last days of the event. So, we'll see in future how useful it is.

Pacemaker - Since tracking my words per day through NaNo got more writing out of me in a month than I've probably managed on a single project in far too long, I figured continuing the practice with another app might help. I didn't find anything that was quite what I was hoping for, but I did find Pacemaker. It doesn't have a good "just track my writing" setting, you have to come up with some sort of page or wordcount goal, but it will calculate over flexible timelines and settings, so it's better than nothing. Going to see how well it works now that NaNo is over.

WorkFlowy - Found this one just tonight through an unrelated search. While Habitica is great for keeping on top of daily habits and chores, and for rewarding yourself for completing items on your To Do List, but when it comes to keeping track of long-term goals and tasks in an organized fashion it is somewhat lacking. WorkFlowy seems to be a simple bullet list system. Taggable, collapseable. Nice and tidy. We'll see how it works for prioritizing my WIP fic projects and keeping track of other things in general.


There are probably other things I would talk about if I remembered them, but I don't.

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