Kenophobia

is starting fresh in 2009



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Write every day (read all 2 entries…)
Not too bad, I suppose

I started this goal this week, with every intention of writing something every day. Sadly, that didn’t happen. But, I have written for 4 out of 7 days this week, which is a heck of a lot better than the 0 words of writing I’d been doing before that.

Word count for this week is roughly 4,000 words. While a lot of that is journal entries, about half is actual story writing, some of which I’m quite proud of. I also hope to write a bit more this evening after I’ve finished off some Uni work I have to do.

So, I would consider that progress. I hope to build up to writing every day, and making it a habit so that I do it automatically.

A little disappointed right now by my lack of willpower, but pleased that I managed to stick with it for 4 days. Aiming for 5 next week. :)



write a novel (read all 2 entries…)
Update

I figured it was probably time for an update, because it’s been a few weeks since I posted my first entry for this goal.

So, the planning for my novel is going quite well. The story I’m developing is a constant suprise, and it makes me think, if I hadn’t started planning this novel and stuck to it regularly, I could’ve missed out on all these ideas.

I’m a very thorough planner, which works out well because of the novel course I’m taking part in. It’ll be a while until I start writing the whole story, but I have done a few scenes already to get a feel for the novel. I’m also pleased with how they came out.

I’ve also been keeping a binder full of all my development work and research to keep track of, which I update as regularly as I can.

So, the goal is going well so far, and I look forward to how advanced my planning will be in a few weeks, and can’t wait to find out more about what is going to happen in my story.



Keep a journal (read all 4 entries…)
Habit

I think this has finally become a habit for me, after about three-four weeks of regular journalling. When I first started doing it again I was enthusiastic, I always am when I start something new. Then I started to lag a little, and some days I had to force myself to sit and write something. Once I got going I was fine, and had plenty to write about, but I’m a procrastinator so often had to push myself to open livejournal.

Now though, after several weeks of writing at least two or three entries a week, I think it’s become ingrained into my routine enough that journal automatically. I try and write three entries a week, which is a nice number for me. Any more and each entry would be a load of rubbish because I wouldn’t know what to write, and any less I’m sure I’d forget stuff.

I’ve written between 10-15,000 words in the past month, which is probably not a lot compared to other people, but I still find the whole process very theraputic.

I’m not going to count this goal as done yet. It’s only been about a month (maybe less, I forget) since I started journalling regularly and I could start to slip again. I think I’ll give it another month or two before I count this as a finished goal, because I think by then they’ll be much less of a chance that I’ll just stop one day and not pick it up again.



become ambidextrous (read all 2 entries…)
Progress?

I’ve been practising a little this week with this goal. Writing up some notes with my left hand. Looking back through the week, there doesn’t seem to be any real change. My handwriting is as awful as it was when I started, but I’ve only been working on this for a week, so I’m not too bothered.

I have noticed, however, that the pen feels a lot less uncomfortable in my left hand as it did at the start of the week. So that’s good. I also want to start using the computer mouse with my left hand, and brushing my teeth with my left. I figured doing tasks other than writing would help me get used to using my non dominant hand.

Anyway, I know this task is gonna take a while, because of the practise needed for it. Hopefully consistent practise will show some positive results.



stop procrastinating (read all 6 entries…)
The Downfall

My downfall is the internet, there’s no point denying it. I turn the computer on and waste hours sitting in front of it. Then I look back and realise I did absolutely nothing productive, read a few blogs, watched youtube for goodness knows how long, etc.

I think I’m one of those people that could seriously become addicted to the internet, which is sad really, because it’s completely crippling my productivity.

I tried a little experiment on Thursday. After my lecture I had the whole afternoon to catch up on some work. As soon as I got in I packed up the laptop and put it away in a box in the corner of my room. I told myself I wouldn’t be allowed to use it unless it was for research purposes, or unless I’d done at least two or three hours work.

And it actually worked. Once I started getting some work done I wasn’t even thinking about putting it off or doing something else. So the new plan starting tomorrow is to put the laptop away at 9 in the morning, and not get it out again until several hours work have been done.

Let’s hope I can persevere with it.



become ambidextrous (read all 2 entries…)
Just Started

I really want to be able to do things equally well with both hands, although mostly I just want to be able to write with both, and I finally made a start on this goal today after having it on my list for two months. (There’s a reason stop procrastinating is my main goal).

Anyway, I decided to practise by going through a book of Uni notes from last semester. I left a lot of blank pages in odd places, so I started on the earliest blank page and copied down whatever happened to be on the page next to it. This way I get to practise and refresh my memory about all the stuff I did last semester at the same time.

Holding the pen in my left hand felt very awkward. Both of the pages I copied look like a complete mess, but it’s not like I was expecting miracles on my first try. Hopefully I can keep practising and start seeing some improvement as the weeks go by.



send a postsecret (read all 2 entries…)
I actually did it.

I’ve just got back from posting my secret. I’ve been meaning to make it for a few weeks and kept not getting around to it, and then finally this morning I just sat down and did it. I knew what I wanted on the card, so it didn’t take that long to make.

I decided to put it in an envelope to send it off, because I felt really shy and embarassed posting it on its own, where other people could see.

I feel really proud of myself for sending it. It’s not like my secret was huge and heartbreaking, in fact it was kind of silly, but actually, writing it down, knowing that someone else is going to read it…I don’t know, I feel excited and nervous at the same time.

This is the first goal on my list I can count as done!



Keep a journal (read all 4 entries…)
Still going well

I just looked at my journal archive and found that I’ve written 13 entries since January 1st, which is pretty damn fantastic for me. And then I got curious, and checked my word count for all of those entries, and it came to a total of 9,345 words. While this goal is still far from complete (I haven’t been writing regularly for very long) I’m very pleased with how it’s going.

And more importantly, I’m enjoying writing in it. Because there’s no point in keeping something like this up if you dread doing it. But I enjoy journalling, I’ve found. It can be quite theraputic, and I always seem to find tonnes to write about. It’s a good job I have it set to private, because I’m sure no one else would care about my ramblings, but it’s good for me, and that’s what matters.

Still feeling entirely positive about this goal.



Write every day (read all 2 entries…)
Determined

I want to be a published writer more than anything, but so far, I’m not doing much to get there. I’m working on a novel, but it’s a slow process (I’m doing it as part of a two year novel course), and it really doesn’t seem like enough. I used to write at least 3-4000 words a week, and aside from livejournal entries, and entries on here, I don’t write nearly enough.

So, that’s why I’ve added this goal today. How am I supposed to improve if I don’t practise? Even if it’s just 100 words a day, even if it’s just a journal entry. It’s better than nothing. And I’m fed up with doing nothing.

The plan is to write something every day until it becomes a habit, something so ingrained that I do it automatically. Then I’ll think about considering this goal finished.



exercise regularly (read all 2 entries…)
Oops?

I’ve completely fallen off the exercising bandwagon. Haven’t done so much as one sit up in two weeks.

I’m pathetic.

I don’t know what happened, I just lost the drive. But, as tomorrow is Monday, I’m starting up with my exercise videos again. Twice a week until I’m fit enough to manage more, that’s the plan. And I really, really want to stick to it this time.

Damn procrastination. I loathe thee.



stop procrastinating (read all 6 entries…)
Sigh

I still seem to be making little progress with this, and it’s my own fault, because I put things off, and that’s obviously what I’m trying to overcome.
In general I’ve had a bad week. The guy who lives next door to me…I swear he is the devil. Loud music and parties every night this week, it’s like he’s nocturnal. I find it very hard to concentrate in the evenings with all that noise.

But still, it’s hardly an excuse because I’ve had all weekend to get caught up and seem to lose hours of time without really knowing what I did with them. For example, it’s 4pm right now, and all I’ve done today is laundry, food shopping, some cleaning, about an hour of Uni work and a livejournal entry. I feel like I could’ve accomplished so much more in that time.

But, I think it’s important to be positive. I write lists obsessively about what I have to do. My list for this week has 16 things on it, and I’ve managed to cross off 10 of them. I hope to be able to cross off 3 more by the end of the day, and compared to what I used to be like, I say that’s something to be proud of.

So, I’m taking small steps, and am going to be pleased with myself for the little things, until I can tackle that big monster of procrastination itself.



send a postsecret (read all 2 entries…)
So...

I’ve been meaning to start on this goal for a couple of weeks now, but wasn’t comfortable doing it until I’d bought myself a printer. I don’t want to handwrite my secret because I’m paranoid as all hell, and printing it out in the public Uni library is way too risky for my tastes.

I actually have two or three secrets I could use. I’ve been considering making them all but decided to just start with one and see how it goes. I’m not sure how exactly to word it yet, but I know what the card is going to look like. I’m going to make it within the next week or so, I think, when I’ve got some free time.

I’m feeling a little nervous and excited to get my secret out of my head and onto something tangible.



Keep a journal (read all 4 entries…)
On Track

This goal still seems to be going well. Granted, I have my moments where I just can’t be bothered to write, and keep putting it off, but in the end I push through. This goes back to my procrastination problem more than anything else, I think. Once I’m actually writing an entry, I always think of loads of stuff to write about. It’s just opening livejournal and sitting down to write that takes the willpower.

Still, in the twoish weeks I’ve been trying to journal regularly, I’ve actually found myself enjoying it. It’s nice for me just to ramble on about what I’m thinking or what’s been happening, without having to worry about boring anyone to death. I’m not really a talkative person anyway, and I keep a lot to myself. I don’t really volunteer information unless someone asks for it, so I’ve been finding it strangely calming to babble on in my journal, where I’m the only one who can see what’s been written.

It’s still early days yet. When I’ve tried regular journalling before I usually kept it up for a few weeks and then gradually lost interest. I’m trying not to let that happen this time. Still, I’m not counting this goal as finished until I don’t really need to push myself to write in my journal, and it just sort of comes naturally.



stop procrastinating (read all 6 entries…)
Um?

I’m not entirely sure if this is going well or not. I seem to be having bad days and good days. Take Wednesday for example. It was a rare day off from Uni for me, and I’d decided the night before to take the opportunity to work on my novel, update my livejournal, and get up to date on some Uni work. And what did I do? Almost nothing. For no apparent reason.

But then again, I’ve had a very productive day today. I think the main problem for me is that I need to find the motivation to actually start things. Once I’m working on something, I’m usually concentrating on it so hard that I don’t think about procrastinating, or wishing I was doing something else. But finding the motivation to actually start on something is so much harder, I find.

I guess I just have to take small steps with this goal, or work myself into the habit of not sitting around and doing nothing. I find that a habit needs at least a month or two to actually stick, so that it becomes a part of your routine. So I guess now I just have to concentrate on working hard for the next few months, and hope it’ll be so ingrained into me that I don’t think about procrastinating as much anymore.

Sigh. This goal is as hard as I thought it would be.



write a novel (read all 2 entries…)
Getting Started

I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. I’ve written novels before though, and never been completely satisfied with them when they were done.

Up until about a year and a half ago, I used to write regularly. I know it’s not a lot by professional standards, but I used to knock out 3-4000 words each week quite comfortably. I saw a great improvement in my writing as well, as the weeks went on.

Now, I write on and off, when the mood takes me, but that’s it. And I feel like I’m in the same place skill wise as I was when I stopped writing regularly all that time ago. Which bothers me, because it’s really something I enjoy doing, and one of my dreams is to be published one day.

So, at the beginning of this year I signed up to a Two Year Novel Course at a writers community on the internet. The course is free, taught by an experienced writer, and I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s broken down into weekly assignments and goes through planning, writing, and editing a novel. The fifth assignment went up yesterday, but before I start it I want to work a little more on brainstorming my idea so I have more of an idea of what I’m doing in my head. I’m looking forward to learning more about writing and seeing where the course takes me.

Also, I started a novel last October and didn’t finish it because I didn’t do enough research and planning before I began writing it. So, I’m using one idea for the course, and then this one I started last year is an unofficial second idea that I’m working on as well.

So hopefully, in two years time, I’ll have two completed novels to be proud of, and anything else I can work on during my spare time.

I’m feeling really good about this goal. =)



Keep a journal (read all 4 entries…)
Keeping it up seems to be the problem...

Ever since I was old enough to hold a pen I’ve had a number of diaries and journals (writing seems to be something I can’t escape from). When I was very young I wrote in them religiously, even though it was all complete nonsense. But as I grew up I stopped using them. Now every so often I have the urge to start one, and keep it up for a few weeks while the idea is new and exciting, but then forget about it after that.

I’ve had a livejournal since last October. I don’t use it often, but I want to. I like to write, mainly fiction, but I think it can be very therapeutic to write about your life and how you’re feeling sometimes. I’ve been using it more regularly these past two weeks.
I thought about getting a paper journal but decided against it. It just proves that I really am a child of the 21st century when I prefer using a computer to pen and paper. It just seems like there’s less chance of other people reading it (I have each entry set to private), and I’m less worried about how it looks because I don’t have to work at being neat or orderly, the computer does that for me.

I’ve also been using my journal to write about my progress with my goals this year, which seems to be really helpful to me. The more I write about them, the more I feel like I should be doing something about them.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty positive about this goal. =)



stop procrastinating (read all 6 entries…)
Day 23

I’m at home from Uni for the next two and a half weeks while my coursework is marked. I had nothing left to do while I was there apart from one little mini project one of tutors gave me. And considering the guy who lives next door to me is the loudest, most obnoxious git I’ve ever known, spending two weeks listening to his sorry excuse for music and trying to ignore the fact that it makes my desk vibrate didn’t seem like much fun.

So, I decided to come home to spend some time with my family, but the only problem with this is that I tend to slip right back into the habit of doing absoluetly nothing while I’m here. Part of the problem is that a lot of the things I want to do (write a novel, send a postsecret, etc) are things I don’t want my parents to know about, because I’m just really private about stuff like this. But, I’m determined not to waste these two weeks doing nothing, so I’ve made a small list of things I want to work on until my second semester starts.

1) Work on the planning for my novel
2) Start to journal regularly
3) Finish Uni project
4) Read frequently

It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to be getting on with for now.



exercise regularly (read all 2 entries…)
I've made a start.

Well, I hate the gym. Not only is it way too expensive for a lowly student like me, but I get incredibly self concious working out in front of other people. For some baffling reason sweating and going red in face in front of a room full of fit and healthy gym staff and equally fit regular people doesn’t appeal to me.

So, I’ve bought two exercise videos. One is the newest Davina one, which looks very promising. A super fit and super sculpt section, both of which have extra exercise add ons if you want them. I’ve used it twice so far, and find it sufficiently exhausting.
The other one is a yoga video. I haven’t tried that one yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be good for toning up my body.

At the moment I’m starting with exercising twice a week, because I really am very unfit and think that doing too much to start with is going to put me off completely, as well as knock me out. As I get better, I’ll probably increase it to two or three times a week.



Do the A-Z author challenge
The List

My main goal was actually just to read more books, but I think doing this A-Z challenge would make the experience more fun, and it’ll force me to read the books I’ve been meaning to for a while. So instead of just having one book for each letter of the alphabet, I’m going to read as many as I can think of.

So, here’s the list so far:

A: Douglas Adams – Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

B: Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

C: Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
John Connolly – The Book of Lost Things
Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game

D: Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

E: Kate Elliot – Spirit Gate

F: Cornelia Funke – Inkheart Series
Anne Frank – The Diary of Anne Frank

G: Brother’s Grimm – The Complete Fairytales
Neil Gaiman – Fragile Things, Coraline, Odd and the Frost Giants
Glen David Gold – Carter Beats the Devil

H: Frank Herbert – Dune
Mark Haddon – A Spot of Bother
Joanne Harris – Chocolat

I: Ian Irvine – Geomancer

J: Diana Wynne Jones – Charmed Life

K: Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon
Stephen King – Dark Tower Series, On Writing

L: C. S Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia
Scott Lynch – The Lies of Locke Lamora, Red Seas and Red Skies
Sergei Lukyanenko – The Night Watch Trilogy

M: Martin Miller – The Good Fairies of New York
China Mieville – Un Lun Dun, Perdido Street Station
Stephanie Meyer – Twilight
Gregory Maguire – Wicked
Walter Moers – The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear

N: Naomi Novik – Temeraire Series

O: George Orwell – 1984, Animal Farm

P: Terry Pratchett – Anything
Marisha Pessl – Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Chris Priestley – Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

Q: Karen Quinn – The Ivy Chronicles

R: J.K Rowling – Harry Potter Books
Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged

S: Brandon Sanderson – Elantris
Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus Trilogy
Patrick Suskind – Perfume
Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle

T: J.R.R Tolkien – The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings

U: ?

V: Kurt Vonnegut – The Sirens of Titan

W: T. H. White – The Once and Future King
Oscar Wilde – Complete Works
Gene Wolfe – The Knight, The Wizard
Tony White – The Animators Workbook (Uni Reading)
Richard Williams – The Animators Survival Kit (Uni Reading)

X: ?

Y: ?

Z: Roger Zelazny – This Immortal
Markus Zusak – The Book Theif

If anyone has any ideas or recommendations for the ones I’m missing, please let me know. =)



have clear skin
Making Steps

Ever since I was about 12 or 13 I’ve had skin problems. Just your regular spots and blemishes, but I’m 19 years old now and thoroughly fed up with looking in the mirror and not liking my skin.

I admit that I treat my skin badly. I don’t keep up a regular skin care regime, because if I’m tired before going to bed then I won’t bother with using the products I have to sort out my skin.

I’d really like this to change. I should probably just accept the fact that I’m never going to have flawless skin, but I just want to see some improvements on what it’s like now.

So, I’ve been doing some research, and based on that and my previous experience with skin care products, I went out today and bought a number of items to use on a regular basis.

I have a neutrogina face wash, moisturiser and blackhead cleanser, because this particular brand has always made noticeable improvements to my skin in the past. I also have a tea tree toner, some anti bacterial face wipes, and extra bits for using once a week, like a mud face pack tube and some pore strips. I’m going to split using these into day and night routines, and hope that I’ll see and improvement. I think the important thing for me is remembering to use them regularly.

So, here goes…



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