A Crafty Failed Journalist is Crafty

Monday 27 February, 2012

When I was in Secondary School, I developed this thing I called The Procrastination Hierarchy. It’s where you start with what you need to be doing, and then start doing something else, and then you get bored with that, so then you do something else instead, and then when that gets frustrating or the horror of three commitments going on at once gets too much for your mind to handle, you do something completely different. It achieves many goals at once:

1) Working on those (many) other things you hadn’t yet got around to doing
2) Avoiding the work that needs to be done most urgently

This carries on until, eventually, you’ve wasted so much time that you have no choice but to get back to your original piece of work and finish it.

The lesser procrastinators will finish and hand in what would have ended up looking like the half-arsed, late-started product of an allnighter it actually was. Those of us who perfected this method would know that a deadline is the kick we need and the closer it approaches, the more intelligent we sound, the easier it is to make a load of bumph sound interesting and relevant, and the easier it is for our imagination to run wild with us, so the work doesn’t end up looking like a carbon copy of the research papers we’ve taken the information from originally.

It’s a side effect of the sleep deprivation.

I perfected this method in 6th Form. I, The Queen of Procrastination, didn’t just go further and further up my tasks list and tackle them one by one to avoid the previous task until I was so far from the original task my mind was refreshed. Oh no. I multi-tasked.

I had, and still have, a lot of ADHD-like tendencies when I was younger, and working on school work and course work was no different. So I would get all the work I needed to do, all of my unimportant things I needed to do and I would flit from one thing to the next until I’d whittle down the tasks. That way, I wasn’t completely avoiding the original urgently done piece, I was adding bits to it as I went between everything, meaning I had less to do when it came to the deadline of the other pieces of work.

It was all a double, if not triple, whammy.

From what I experienced, it also worked well for University too. But I can’t endorse this particular method, as I dropped out before I could draw any conclusions. Any problems I had with seeing to my work had more do with the failure of the course, the lack of provisions available to me, and my declining physical health.

And so, finally why am I mentioning this, you’re wondering…

Well, here’s the funny thing. I have things I really, really, really need to do. Like quite a few things, actually. I have a list of it all. And to stop myself from whiling the day away over on Livejournal, like I usually do, I’ve announced a Hiatus there. And because I’m looking for a distraction from the other things I’m doing whilst I’m not working on them, and because I can’t go back to Livejournal without declaring myself a failure, I thought I’d pop over here and work my way up to announcing a hiatus here as well.

And, well, now I have. And it comes with the gift of letting everyone in to my little secret! Well, it wasn’t really a secret. People knew about my Procrastination Skillz and Methodz, they just didn’t appreciate them.

I’ve learnt to accept that, though. They say genius is never really appreciated. Just look at poor Sherlock Holmes.

So, here I go, to work on my Very Important Projects. I’d like to thank the person who inspired me to kick my backside back in to gear, but I don’t want to name him by name. He doesn’t know me, it’d just be weird and I wouldn’t like to risk an awkward atmosphere should we ever meet.

We probably won’t, but it’s better safe than sorry.

So instead I’ll say this:

Watch This Space!

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I Was Once A Twenty-Something Journalism Student Wordle

Friday 25 November, 2011

You know, I blogged about Asexuality a total of three times. How has that taken over a wordle representation of the whole blog?

I am confused.


As serious as my trade…

Sunday 3 April, 2011

One of the reasons why I ended up going into journalism, apart from the whole “My course actually dissolved into two other courses and I didn’t like the other option” thing, was that I like to write.

I also planned to be working in the media in some way, just not as a journalist. Still, foot in the door and all that.

Then I left, and I took my foot with me. But still, I like the idea of writing something. So, I try and I try and, although I have blogging down to an art form (Modern art, mostly. I blog too much to be compared to something with class), writing something is hard for me to grasp. I start off okay, I have these ideas Shakespeare would have been envious of, but after the first 500 words things start to go downhill.

It’s the characters, mostly. I have a hard time sticking to a character characteristics when it’s a character i’ve invented. I’ve also tried turning one of my more successful Ye Olde Fanfictions into an original fiction, but, well, it didn’t work.

And then I lost my spark for that particular fanfiction.

I fear i’m a lost cause. And yet I can successfully blag my way out of a parking, should it happen. I think i’m an actor at heart, if I could lie and pretend to be a character, I should be able to lie about some poeple who didn’t actually exist, all the while documenting their hapless actions in life. Right? Right??

Well, it’s a start. But then, so is everything else i’ve written. Just a start, stuck somewhere between 500 and 20 thousand words. I’m very proud of the latter novel, but unfortunately I realised a plot hole and my fix up made things worse. I don’t have the heart to go back to it…

But anyway, I need to get to my point. I’m writing something. I don’t really know what, I don’t know what it’ll become, but it’s started. And to get somewhere, I need to get over a little bump I’ve found myself stuck on.

And that’s where I need anyone’s help who may be reading this, anyone who might have stumbled upon this and is reading this right now. Even if they (you) don’t know, but might know where or how to get this information.

If you have a village field that is bogland (Not bog as in swamp, but previously ruined and waterlogged ground that has remained ruined) and is unsuitable to build on, is there any way to fix it to make it suitable to build on?

I used to live in a house that was built on marsh land. The first house I remember living in was built on bogland, specifically bombed-enforced bogland and a totally different situation and experience. The marsh land the house was build on was sinking, taking the houses with it. We all joked that one day, we’d all wake up and have to leave the house via the windows. They always said that they’d end up knocking down the whole street, that there was nothing else for it.

But then one very smart chap noted that Japanese houses were build mostly on marsh land and they do ok. So, unless he’s wrong, there must be a trick to it. Is it just our work men are too lazy or short of funding for the job? Both? Something completely different?

If money and labour wasn’t a question, would there be a way to fix bogland? Is bogland and marsh land all that different? I was lead to believe it isn’t, but what do I know? I just lived on them, I didn’t learn anything about it. And you’d be amazed how much little information there is about this.

So, I would appreciate some help. A finger to point me in the right direction, at least.

It would be most appreciated.


Blogging Woes

Friday 1 April, 2011

Have I ever mentioned that I have too much to say? Funnily enough, when I don’t have enough to say or can’t say what I want to say, I end up repeating myself an average of five times about things I’ll have already mentioned.

The reason why I bring this up is because I wanna blog about something that has bothered me all day, but I think I’ve already LJ’d enough for today (Yes, I know. It’s such a shock that I have a not-so-secret-but-kinda-sort-of-i-guess* Livejournal…) and will be abusing my Flist for the next month as it is. So here I am.

Everytime LJ is down, there’s talk of the LJColypse. And this is with every outage, server crash, DDoS attack, random down time, storm-related static interference, news that users don’t like, army of flying monkies, you name it, The Suspected Death of LJ comes up.

Now, I don’t think LJ is about to die sometime soon, but, as I said to one fellow LJ user today:

I’m sure this time won’t cause the end of LJ, but it will probably come at some point and I think with all the problems LJ’s been having, and the fact that so many users are leaving for not-so-greener-in-my-opinion pastures, we might see the end sooner than we expect it. So to play it safe, it’s best to back up in anticipation than have the rug pulled out from under our feet. I’m trying to decide whether doing it the way I linked to above, or Manually posting every single entry of mine into a new journal somewhere… because i’m THAT invested!

And the more we all got to talking about What We’d Do If LJ Was Taken Down Tomorrow, the more the more invested of us became paranoid. I ended up backing up my whole LJ using something called xjournal, and I have a lot of entries! I’m guessing the fellow I spoke to is also backing up his LJ. People joined the community-in-which-we-were-talking-about-this’s own facebook, and people were even talking about this facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=44348833446

It’s called “The Livejournal Lifeboat”. It’s quite ingenius, if not a little bit sad, that someone’s thought of making a facebook group based on what our parents tell us when we’re kids. When/If we get seperated, lets all meet at a place. There’s something sad, defeatest, Post-apocolyptic about that, isn’t there? Or is that just me?

So I’ve joined. And I’ve been agonising all night what site I should go to in the event that LJ dies. Now, for the moment, I don’t have to go to Any site. I’m not looking to relocate any time soon, you know? But if the rug is pulled out from under me, I want to be prepared.

I’ve got it narrowed down to three places:
InsaneJournal
Dreamwidth
Wordpress (If I can understand it)

I’d also willingly consider DeadJournal as a joke…

I wouldn’t consider here, it hasn’t exactly got the security settings I’d want.
I wouldn’t consider Tumblr for two reasons. The first is for the same reason as above, and also, it isn’t exactly the best place to blog. It’s more of a sharing-awesome-stuff kind of blogging place, not really a place to “Blog” in the good ole fashioned definition of a term.

But wherever I go, would anyone else follow me? Am I the only one This invested into my Journal? Well, going from my post earlier on the subject, No. But for those of us who are that invested in our journals, we’re in the minority. Which is, again, kind of sad.

So this has been on my mind for the majority of the day. Will we all shrug off our LJ families and communities, and history on there, and move on to greener pastures, whatever they may be? Or will we meet up at the carousel and work it all out from there?

Or, I suppose this might be a novel idea, give up the life of an internet blogger and go back out into the real world?

The real world… with real people and shops. I don’t think it’s for me. After all, if I was, would I be this concerned about LJ dying in the first place?

*It’s secret in the sense that I don’t want too many people connecting this account with my LJ, nor many people connecting my LJ with here.


Shameless Advertising for a Self-Publisher

Thursday 17 February, 2011

So, I shall tell you all a story, with a twist that’s in its tail
Or maybe with a moral, if you will…

Those words in italic above me is an excerpt from Mike Miller: Son of Pendragon, written by John Haines (Pseudonym Josh Rogan). He is an author who has been trying to break into the industry for nearly 10 years (or maybe only 2 years but it Feels like 10? hmm…)

He’s written more books than I can remember, but Mike Miller: Son of Pendragon was his first proper novel that he tried to get published officially, but it’s been to no avail. To do that, you kind of need a good budget to send big packets of excerpts to places, maybe even tracked which can cost a bit more, then there’s the extra demands some publishing houses have like needing a box-folder, a 4 rung lever-arched file, every excerpt back-paged with coloured paper…

Those costs can add up, especially if you’ve hardly got any money to spend in the first place. So John Haines/Josh Rogan did the next best thing. He self published. He did well, ish, for a while, but not as well as he’d hoped.

So that’s why I’m making this entry today. I know for a fact that he is a Very good Author and I’d like for as many people to see for themselves, whether they believe me or not.

So, for your convenience, I have a list of ways people can download his books. He has more than just these two, but so far these are the only downloadable ones:

Mike Miller, Son of Pendragon Revised 2011 Edition
On Kindle US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004KZQMTO
On Kindle UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004KZQMTO
On Skoobe Books UK (print copy) http://www.skoobebooks.co.uk/books/mike-miller-son-of-pendragon

The Ballad of Old Windrush Cave

On Kindle US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004G091KA
On Kindle UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004G091KA

If you appreciate writing, and self publishing, and how difficult it can be for good authors to be published (and have an insurmountable rage that someone like Stephanie Meyer *can* be published and no understanding of how) then please, reblog this post and download the books, even if it’s just one of them.

This will be greatly appreciated.


Sorkin Speculation

Monday 24 January, 2011

On the BBC news the other day, Aaron Sorkin was saying that, as much as he loved doing The Social Network, he’s going to be doing another show. He’s written the pilot and now he’s casting.

I am Very excited with this news. It’s going to be a mishmash of Sports Night meets The West Wing meets Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It’s going to be another show within a show, about people working within a news network. He said it’s based on CNN, but he replied a little bit too quickly for me to really believe that.

The thing is, I really hope he casts his so called Favourite Three.

These are Joshua Malina, who was in the movie adaption of Sorkin’s play “A Few Good Men”. Yeah, the YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH film. He was also Jeremy in Sports Night and Will Bailey in The West Wing.

Bradley Whitford, who, if I remember correctly, was in the actual theatre production of “A Few Good Men”. He was also Josh in The West Wing (DUH) and Danny in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

The last of The (speculated) Favourite Three is Matthew Perry. He went from Friends to The West Wing, playing Republican Joe Quincy, and then to Matt Albie in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Him and Aaron have a LOT in Common, and I believe he’d understand the more grittier of the things Sorkin can write.

These are all three people that aren’t working on anything else right now, or at least not anything big. Joshua Malina is in a very strange webseries called Backwash that isn’t available to watch outside of America.

He’s already tweeted a very strange tweet about trying to stop Bradley Whitford from getting a part in the new series. They’re friends so I’m taking that to mean that they’re actually going for the same part.

The thing is, I would love all these three people to be in this new series. I would also love more people from Sports Night and The West Wing to be in it too. Specifically Sabrina Lloyd and Allison Janney.

… The only person I wouldn’t be happy with getting a part in this new series would be Janel Moloney. Now don’t get me wrong, she’s a brilliant actress. She was fantastic as Donna. I LOVED Donna in The West Wing! And she was great as the Costume Assistant in Sports Night who gave Casey an ear full for taking credit for the clothes he wears. But if she does, I think it’ll shape a lot of what we expect to see from the characters if both her and Bradley Whitford are working together.

We’ve been there and we’ve done that, and some even bought the Tshirts. I know i’m getting ahead of myself, I’m getting ahead of Sorkin, too. But with every show, he brings something new. Something as fantastic as before but better, brighter. He one upped Sports Night with Studio 60. He’ll do it again with this, I know it.

I just hope he proves me wrong if Janel gets a part, even if I would prefer her to not.

Also a great person to have on this new show? Nathan Cordry. I say this purely because he was brilliant in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Very good at the comedy and the emotional. And very good looking.


Communication is the Key

Thursday 20 January, 2011

I’ve been incommunicado recently because i’ve had issue after issue with the internet and my computer and it made me restless. Then it made me think of how we communicate these days.

I know everyone and their dog past the age of 25 says the art of letter writing has died, and it has. If you write to someone, it’s either novelty or desperate necessity. I’ve got penpals of my own that I love writing letters to, but I wouldn’t mind if we changed it for something more instant. Some say it’s therapeutic, some other people say it’s nothing but a task that needs to be done. We all must communicate in some way.

There’s also something very… nice, about letter writing. I think even the grubbiest person could write a letter and it would still be these nice formed letters, even if they’re illegible, on a nice piece of paper, even if it’s crumpled. It all gives the letter character, it’s all giving this letter a piece of the writer. Like an unsigned signature.

How very Sherlock Holmes.

But today, in this day and age, we don’t just have letters and emails and phones to talk on, we have texting and Computer IM programmes, and purpose-made Video IM programmes like Skype. Beepers have come and they’ve gone, they couldn’t stand up to the ever-improving, evolving technology of this modern age. We’re not even satisfied with texts on phones anymore, no! We have IM programmes built into them. Pocket PCs, Netbooks, the iPad (which I personally find to be pointless, but that’s not the point here)!

Communication is important, but is it that important? (Says the writer with a smart phone and an addiction to blogging and twitter)

Phones are now becoming commonly capable of video calls. And talking of calls, Star Trek called, they want their breakthrough technology back.

Is this because we’re impatient? Do we like to be able to contact people whenever and wherever and however we like, or do we need the replies back so quickly? Is it that we just now have so much to say that it can’t wait, otherwise we’ll forget it and miss our Nobel Price moment? Or do we just like the metaphorical sound of our actually absent voices?

What has changed to make us need to microblog, or just regularly blog, or update our facebook, or chat over facebook with our friends on facebook who we’d ideally see and contact otherwise frequently outside facebook, who can see our facebook statuses and wall and our “message me” buttons; instead of sitting down at a desk set, getting out a nice letter set and getting our best pens, thinking over everything we say carefully, calmly? And feeling satisfied that the reader will get this letter eventually, that we will hear from this reader eventually and until then, life can go on, giving us more to write about the next time?

I sit on both sides of these fences, and I don’t know the answers.