Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Writing in a Fishbowl v3 – Day One

Nifty logo of words in a fishbowl

3:07 AM: It’s time to begin anew my writing in a fishbowl project. The last time was a disaster. I simply couldn’t pack to move, deal with my daughter’s issues, deal with my own disabilities, and write. One aspect of these writing experiments is to set big goals to learn what my limits are. I shot for the stars and hit a ceiling just as I left the launchpad. Kinda discouraging. However, my first efforts to hold myself publicly accountable on this blog worked out so well. I truly believe lightning can strike twice.

Blog Milestone

My blog will cross over 500,000 unique visitors next month. This is an amazing milestone to reach. I have all of you to thank. Please keep sharing your favorite articles and spreading the word. In this day of Facebook and their filtering, the little guys need all the help they can get to be noticed.

Blog Comments

I disabled Disqus because people complained they couldn’t use it. Then I discovered that I couldn’t restore Blogger comments. I even reset my blog template to a Blogger default, but still couldn’t enable comments. I have no idea what is wrong. I’ve spent hours trying to fix it.

Then I decided to reenable the discus comments, but they wouldn’t turn back on. My blog database is apparently corrupted. This is yet another nail in the Blogger coffin for me. It might be easier to migrate to a new platform than to get Google to personally fix my blog database on their end.

Dang it!

Blogsy: Live Long & Prosper

I just discovered Blogsy is dead. What’s Blogsy? It was my favorite blogging app on the iPad. I’d link to their website, but apparently, they’ve taken it down. I discovered this week that Blogsy wasn’t authorized to post to Blogger anymore. Then I discovered that the devs posted a good-bye notice on their Facebook page last January. I’ve been using a dead app all year, and I had no idea.

I can’t imagine how I’ll get by without it. From its terribly clever icon (which I only today discovered had hidden messages) to its intuitive and iPad-savvy app with gesture controls, this blogging tool was not only the most cutting edge blogging tool for the iPad, it was the only one that worked reliably with Blogger. I just don’t know if the Byword plug-in for Blogger is up to the task. It requires so much post editing because markdown text doesn’t support target=“elsewhere”, but Blogger on Mobile Safari is a torturous experience. It barely functions. I loathe using Blogger now (and Google, you company-acquiring-addict-with-ADHD). All the stars tell me that I must migrate to a new platform, but moving almost 850 posts with images and tags is no easy task. And what shall I use instead? Wordpress? Its blog front end was designed by demonic, anal retentive CPAs hellbent on making blogging feel like filling out tax returns.

I’ve come up with a work around for the time being. I purchased the Blogger plug-in for the desktop version of Byword ages ago, so I’ll test it with this post. Basically, I write up my blog in markdown text in Byword, export as HTML code, then replace the markdown text with the HTML code. Then I can tweak the code with target=“elsewhere” wherever I need it, then publish to Blogger.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but it’s an extra step, and one that is momentarily destructive as I completely erase everything I’ve written with the HTML version. No biggie, right⸮

Book Two

On Friday, the next chapter in Pokémon begins, and my book that was for the previous two games hasn’t been released yet. I am frustrated, but this project has taught me so much about my limitations. Because of family drama, knee surgery, and my tic disorder, I have not made this project a priority. That’s not an excuse; it’s what happened. This project was back-burnered months ago. I allowed myself to get sidetracked. However, I am now determined to release the book by this Friday. I may have to give up on sleep to accomplish this.

What did I learn? Making edits is my kryptonite. I did the research and wrote the book so quickly, but when it came time to go over my editor’s notes, then make those edits to my manuscript, I died. Then, once that was done, I died again when it came time to lay out the book. To be fair, life truly has been chaotic. I haven’t even blogged here much. However, I clearly didn’t have a plan in place to prevent my ADHD from getting me off track. I’ve lost a lot of time. Even with all the chaos, if I had a plan in place to cope with my intolerance for boredom, I would have been a lot closer to being done by now—likely published by now, to be honest. Next time, I will plan on this wall. I won’t need a third failure to drive the importance of having a game plan in place after I finish the final draft. If I can get this book done before Friday, I still would have started and finished a book in under one year. Compared to my previous book, this is amazing progress, but I have to publish it first before I can pat myself on my back.

Book Three

Mothballed. This is a fiction middle grade book that I have wanted to bring to life for some time. My goal is to finish Trading Up to Legendaries: A Parent & Gamer’s Guide to Pokémon, then begin working on this MG book. I’d like to finish it before I turn fifty near Christmas. That’s an aggressive goal, especially since I have a hernia surgery around the corner.

Book Four

Also mothballed. My Fighting Depression book is still going to happen. I’d like to publish one first draft chapter a week here and finish by January. Then I can polish up the book and get it out the door. That’s the original goal, but I’ve had setbacks, so we’ll see how things go.

This was long, but now you’ve read all my plans. They are big. They are aggressive. They will make or break me. This should be fun.

7:22 PM: The day is going well. I've been highly motivated and focused for a change. Publicly posting my goals works wonders for my concentration. The Pokémon book is almost layed out. I'm assembling the book in Vellum, and despite its limitations (and kludgey workarounds), I am pleased with the look of the book. I thought for sure I'd come across some glaring omission, but I have surprised myself. However, now is time to make dinner and put the project aside. Ever get into that ADHD hyperfocus mode and not want to get out of it? I'm there now.

2:58 AM: No amount of EDM can keep my eyelids from drooping. I have put in a herculean effort to finish the book. I have come very close to making my goal. However, since my face almost collided with my keyboard a moment ago, I will leave the rest for the morning. The Appendix needs to be polished up, and the cover needs designing. Lastly, all the fiddly li'l details of submitting a book for publication will need to be done, but done they will be once I get some sleep. Fantastic day. No drama, full productivity, and I even got to watch some TV.

If you like reading books that are finished, you should read my first book. It’s finished.