The things I get myself into. Only a few days ago, Beth and Squid convinced me to have a crack at writing a 50,000-word story in one month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month, or something like that). Pretty big project. Therefore I need to be averaging about 1660 words a day. That is going to keep me very busy all month. I estimate that will mean 1 ½ hours of writing a day, as I can type two pages of story [a page being about 500 words] in one hour.  Of course, having an edited, polished end product isn’t the goal, the goal is to write, write, write!

The benefit of a project like this is that it’s a productive way to spend my time. Practising writing and stretching my creativity is a much better way to spend my time than playing games all afternoon.

I am also intending to pick up Lord Of The Rings again, I was reading it and jotting down some thoughts about it, and then for some reason, I gave it a rest. So I’ll be doing that this week as well.

Another ambitious plan I have in mind to keep myself from wasting my life is doing a bit of cleaning up (gulp!). I normally have a basket of ironing at the end of my bed, but over the last couple of days I’ve narrowed it down to a few shirts, which I hope to iron in a couple of days. I’m also slowly removing the mountain known as “Joshua’s School Tray” and filing all the stuff away. The trick is to do a little bit every day, instead of spending all afternoon at it; that way I’m not discouraged by always working, working, working. After my desk and my ironing are cleaned up, I’ve set my eyes on my cupboard of hobby materials, board games etc. It’s pretty full, and pretty messy. If I can give that a bit of attention every day, I can make the mess manageable.

Good grief, I’ll be sounding like my organized sister in a minute!

I’ve also become re-interested in Chess. Some time ago, I brought a book about 50 great chess games played by masters of the game. In between the actual moves the author has written down his analysis of the decisions, and explores the consequences of other moves. The idea is that you can study these chess masters, analysis their good moves and their mistakes, in the aim of improving your own game. I’m intending to do that, as well as play more chess against my handheld chess computer. This handheld chess computer has 73 levels (the difference between levels is how long it thinks for before selecting a move). On the 73rd level it has no time limit on how long it can think for. I am currently on level… 6. I’m flogged every time. Obviously I need some improvement. J

With all these projects, I have to eliminate a few time-wasters of mine. Primarily this means my computer time and my wargames [historical battle games played off the  computer]. Mum gives me ½ hour a day for computer games, and 1 hour on week-ends. With all these more constructive projects, computer time is going to become a lot less common for me. My wargames (think playing with toy soldiers, but with rules based on real history) are another thing I spend a lot of my time on, to the detriment of other activities.

When you are trying to establish new habits, I don’t think it’s a good idea to eradicate all of the bad habits, especially if they’re only bad when in excess. If I’m not desperately trying to catch up with my writing on Saturdays, I’ll play my wargames then. My computer games will probably become a “crash-time” activity, something I do when I just want to crash and relax.

At the moment, I’ve written 1,080 words in my NaNoWriMo story, and although I’m not satisified with all of it, the important thing is to keep writing. I hope to reach the 3,000 word mark tonight. Perhaps I could write for a while, give it a break, play a bit of chess, reading or cleaning, and then come back to writing. I’ll see how I go.

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