Tag - Career

School, Hawaii, and the A to Z Challenge

I’ve finished school!

Fifty-two straight weeks of learning about graphic design and now I’ve graduated. I even graduated with presidential honours!

For completing school, my mom took me on an 11 day trip to Hawaii. Maui was absolutely amazing! We drove the road to Hana, went in a lava tube, hung out on a beach with black sand, went to a luau, snorkelled in a crater, watched the surfers, saw lots of turtles, went to the ocean centre, and more!

  • Waterfall
  • Laua Sunset
  • Turtles!
  • Tiger Shark

We got home yesterday after a red-eye flight which I did NOT sleep a wink on and I forced myself to stay up so I would sleep at night. Now that I am rested, I decided that I would participate in the A to Z Challenge again this year! I didn’t participate last year because I was in school, but I did the year before and I loved it.

A to Z Challenge

This year I am going to have a very relevant topic to my life… Graphic Design!

So get prepared for regular posts because starting Saturday I will be posting every day but Sundays for the whole month of April!

How I Form Habits and Avoid Procrastination

I am amazing at procrastinating. Seriously, I think it is my greatest talent. The dishes need doing? But boooooks! I should be writing? But Twitterrrrr! I haven’t eaten anything today and it’s almost 6PM? But video gaaaaames!

Since I now work at home, and I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder, I have had to find a way to get past my procrastinating ways. This whole writing for a living thing won’t happen if I cannot focus and get my work done!

First I tried tracking my hours. I made a spreadsheet on Google Drive (I still want to call it Google Docs) and I had different categories (Writing, editing, research, social media, etc…) and I would track how much time I spent each day doing each item on the list. This worked for a while but I began getting lazy with it and my whole system fell apart. Next I tried putting stickers on a calendar for every hour I spent writing. And just like before, it worked at first and then gradually I stopped putting stickers on the calendar and – poof!- this stopped working too.

The next thing I tried was actually something that my husband came across. He showed me and I have been in love with it ever since. It is an app called HabitRPG. Basically I input habits, “dailies”, and to-dos. As I check off the things I have completed, I gain money and experience. If I miss a daily or do one of my negative habits, I lose hit points. It makes daily life seem like an adventure! Okay, slightly exaggerated, but it does make me feel like I am quantifiably completing tasks.

  • HabitRPG
  • Dailies
  • To-Dos
  • Rewards
  • Habits

The experience is then used to level up (and apparently you can go on quests on the web application but I haven’t tried that yet) and the gold is used to buy weapons and armour. You can also buy health potions for if you have been slacking lately. If weapons and armour aren’t your thing, you can create your own rewards that you can use gold to purchase. For example, you could have “watch an episode of Doctor Who” as a reward, or “eat a chocolate bar”.

I love RPG’s, so this has turned out to be the best habit producing and procrastinating killing app for me!

Oh, and it’s free!

What are some of your techniques for avoiding procrastination and forming good habits?

My Books Need Your Help on Patreon!

Patreon Page

As you may know from my Facebook or Twitter, I created a Patreon page! Basically, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, except that instead of it being a campaign for one project it is for aaaaaall the projects.

Eventually I am going to need to pay editors, cover artists, and formatters to pick at my writing, design my covers, and make the final package look awesome! And for that, I need money. Which is something I have a certain lack of.

At the moment, I have a 6000 word short story that is almost ready to be sent to a professional editor and many half way completed first drafts of novels. I have made it my goal this year to get one of those first drafts not only complete but published! And for that, I will need the professionals mentioned above.

That’s where Patreon comes in.

I have set up my account in such a way that it is easily affordable for just about anyone. Each and every patron, no matter how much they pledge per month, gets access to my creations section on Patreon. I will be posting at least once a week with short story drafts, drafts of chapters, or completed drafts of what I have been working on recently. And not only that, they also receive PDF copies of each and every final product. Whether that is a short story, a novella, or even a full length novel! To access this, you only need to pledge at least $1 per month! (Just some measly pocket change!)

There are also more levels ($5, $10, and $50) which get some more stuff (pictures of my cute dog, the ability to tell me what I have to Tweet, or even signed copies of my paperback novels once they are published!).

I also plan to surprise my patrons once in a while with exclusive content and sneak peeks of cover art, etc.

The great thing about Patreon is that it’s on-going. I never plan on using any of the money earned from Patreon for anything other than producing the best books possible. None of it will be used for groceries or clothes or dog food. That is a promise!

Thank you so much for spending your time reading about my crowdsourcing project. Even if you are unable to contribute monetarily at this time, please consider sharing this blog post or the link to my Patreon page. Word-of-mouth is often the best marketing there is! Again, thank you!

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