I always get sentimental about my projects and my progress with them around the new year. For the last few years, I would spend the last week of December writing up a Google Doc with a long analysis of how my year went, how I did in terms of accomplishing the goals I set for myself the prior year (which I usually failed to reach), and setting new goals for the next year (which, again, I would usually fail to reach).
Instead of doing that again this year, I’d like to put into practice some of that author transparency I’m always raving about, and share my year in review thoughts publicly, in blog post form.
So. What have I been up to for the last year?
I’ve never been drunk before.
I’m a big fan of the Pokémon franchise.
When it first came to the US, I was at just the right age of childhood for its megalithic multimedia-ness to consume me. I sunk hundreds of hours into each of the games, I collected the cards, I watched the cartoon—I even had a Pokémon fansite on Maxpages.com! (If you’ve never heard of Maxpages, imagine Geocities, but even less professional and even more overrun by little kids.)
At one point, my obsession was so great that I wanted to make a Pokédex website—a site that would list all 150 Pokémon and all of their Pokédex entries from each of the games. I even went as far as borrowing an “HTML For Dummies” book from one of my parents’ friends, so I could do it all myself the right and proper way.
… But I was just a dumb ten year old with better things to do (like playing Pokémon games for another billion hours, probably), so I didn’t get very far. Making a Pokédex website would stay a childhood dream in the back of my mind for the rest of my life.
Some time in early 2011, I discovered Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality—a Harry Potter fanfiction in which Harry is a child genius in math and physics and psychology and probability, and he gets his Hogwarts acceptance letter and finds out magic is real, and then he vows to use Science to learn how “magic” really works—among other ambitious goals, like wanting to reveal magic to the entire world, and end death forever by making everyone immortal.
It was unlike anything I had read before, and as a casual fan of both Harry Potter and nerdy things in general, I was hooked.
Like many creative people, I struggle with getting things done. Motivating myself to actually sit down and write the next page of my novel, or work on the outline, or read the next chapter of that book I said I was going to read… Somehow, despite having all these “things” I “want” to “do,” when the moment comes, it’s always easier to keep browsing the web for just a few more
minutes hours days, or to suddenly realize I need to reorganize my entire hard drive.
This post isn’t to teach you how to overcome your own procrastination. There are countless self-help books for those things. This post is just about the strategies I’ve used over the years to track my own productivity—the successes, the failures, and everything in between.
(If you are looking for some self-help advice, I’ve read and recommend each of those articles/books linked above. They’re all great and full of great advice.)
(I don’t follow any of their advice, though, because I’m dense and stubborn and bad with change.)
Anyway, here’s a brief history of my productivity tracking methods.
Thanks for reading Uhh, Reincarnation Goddess? You Forgot to Give Me the System, my semi-satirical, semi-serious LitRPG web serial that ran for the last half-year. I hope you enjoyed it! Or, if you didn’t enjoy it (or if you didn’t even read it), then I hope you enjoy this systematic project breakdown/beatdown in which I reveal that I didn’t enjoy it.
I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I should have.
This is a blog post. I blog now, apparently.
Tomorrow I’m going to launch my first web serial: Uhh, Reincarnation Goddess? You Forgot to Give Me the System – a LitRPG isekai progression fantasy story that draws heavily on my love for the Cradle series and my desire to see more “rational fiction” that doesn’t ultimately end in disappointment.