Prioritizing & Organizing My Life

I have always been super organized. If anyone has anything positive to say about me, it’s that’s I’m organized. However, being organized doesn’t necessarily mean you prioritize what you need to work on. Or what you want to work on. Or what needs to be done first.

If anyone has anything else to say about me, it’ll probably be that I watch a lot of YouTube as well. I don’t find this to be a bad thing. In fact, I watched something the other day that I really took a liking to.

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My sister and I watch a lot of gaming channels and even run one ourselves. There’s someone we used to watch off and on named Satchell Drakes. He stopped posting content on his YouTube channel a while ago and has, since then, posted just here and there. He’s been active on his social media and with his group of gaming friends (more people we watch on YouTube), but he’s finally started posting on his own channel again.

He started a new series called Damn Good Habits. At the time of my writing this post, there are only two videos posted for this new series. He’s got such a smooth voice and he really conveys his message in such a way that gets people listening.

The first video was all about getting started with new ideas and getting into these good habits. The second video is what really caught my attention.

Satch talked about letting your brain dump information out allowing your mind to be clear. Write everything down so that you don’t forget your ideas. Then you can sort those ideas, label them, and decide what needs to get done first.

Technically, I already do all this.

I’m no stranger to the “to-do list.” However, when ever I scratch one item off the list, three more seem to appear.

My to do lists are also very organized. They’re sorted by categories, like Satch suggests. I do so much and have a lot of work that I need to sort everything out. I run two blogs, contribute to two other websites (three of these four websites being about video games, so yeah – I need to sort them out and remember which topic goes to which website). Then of course there’s real life stuff – birthdays, cleaning, the pets, and so much more.

However, while I can sort them all and give each a label, I’ve always had trouble with deadlines.

I used to never give myself deadlines and I would get the items done whenever they got done. But then I would sometimes get things done that didn’t need to get done right away. The things I needed to do by the following day were left until the last minute.

I’ve never viewed myself as a procrastinator, but I guess in a way I am.

I got everything done on my to do list and then some. But the things I needed to get done first were always done last and then I’d be scrambling. Why? Why do I do things this way?

It’s because I do whatever I’m in the mood for. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People always tell you to just get it done. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Well, I don’t want my ending result to see forced either. So, I look at my list and pick out what seems most appealing to me.

I also get overwhelmed by my list, if I’m going to be straightforward. I have so much do between work and real life that my to do list is a few pages long. This includes what I need to get done – it doesn’t include other things I want to get done or want to start. I have too many ideas and projects in my head that I want to start and finish. But once I start something, I don’t finish it… something else comes along and that seems more appealing.

That’s where the Damn Good Habits come in.

After I watched the second video of the series, Take A Brain Dump, something clicked in my head. Yes, I already do what Satch says to do. I’m organized, but I don’t prioritize.

This is where I’m lacking and this is why some of my work suffers. Go figure.

Satch suggests taking a notebook and using it as a “brain dump.” No matter where you are, what you’re doing, the time of day, whatever, stop and write down anything that comes to your mind. This can be a new project idea, an errand you have to run, anything.

I have a small notebook that I used to carry around with me so I grabbed that again and have been taking it with me where ever I go. I’ve been writing down things I need to do, new ideas, and any last minute thoughts for pretty much anything and everything.

Again, this is all something I usually do, but I tend to make it look neat and organized. This is messy and, I’ll admit, bothers me because it’s a mess. Yet, my mind feels so much better.

Prioritizing my work.

One thing I’ve learned about my brain dump notebook is that everything I’ve written down are things I already knew I needed to do. However, I didn’t write everything down on my to do list. Everything written in this notebook are things that are on my mind right now and that need to get done now. My brain already knew this but because I make super long lists and look at everything as a whole, I often confused myself.

I use Asana to keep track of my projects and work and real life happenings. After going through my brain dump notebook, I went through my entire Asana (which has 16 projects on there, by the way… that’s 16 different to do lists for 16 different categories!) and I broke up each list into sections. I gave every task an appropriate deadline.

I looked at anything that needed to get done before something else got done. For example, I can’t edit my next Patron story unless I have it written first. I prioritized what needs to get done and which projects should have more focus than the others.

I’ve been at this for a week and I already feel so much better.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if this is something I’ll stick with. But it’s been working great for me so far. It’s really helped me out and made me evaluate what I already do. It’s made me change the way I view my work. It’s made me keep up the same habits but slightly change them to be more efficient and better for my mind.

I hear it takes about two weeks to get into a habit. Hopefully this is a damn good habit I’ll stick with.

Are you organized? Do you prioritize your work or just take it day by day? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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I’m On Patreon!

So I’ve been working on a thing lately. That thing is called Patreon.

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time now. I finally decided to take that leap and just do it.

I work hard and create a lot each and every day. Unfortunately, it’s not a paying job. That’s what Patreon is for.

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What Is Patreon?

Patreon is similar to Kickstarter. The difference being that Kickstarter focuses on one large project whereas Patreon allows your favorite creators to be “tipped” for their work.

Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid.

For example, I create blog posts and fiction for my audience all the while teaching myself photography to better my blog graphics and writing prompts. I’m also in the process of starting a YouTube channel to go along with this blog. Patreon will make it easier for me to get the equipment I need to create bigger and better content for all of you.

Why Did I Choose Patreon?

I chose to join Patreon so it will be easier for me to create content. I can create more and it will be better quality when I can get the tools I need.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know I quit my job almost a year ago. I’ve come so far between then and now with my writing and blogging. So much has improved and grown. I’ve been able to give this blog so much more love and attention now that I have 8 hours added to my day. I would like to keep it this way.

My babysitting money can only get me so far, especially when I have bills to pay. Getting another job – full-time or part-time – is not out of the question (unfortunately, it is 2018 and we all need money in order to survive), but if I could stay home and continue working toward my dream, that would be ideal.

That’s where Patreon comes in.

Where Does Your Money Go?

I’m not asking anyone to pay my bills – though if you want to, who am I to stop you?

Seriously, your money would go toward this blog, my YouTube channel, and my writing. I would love to upgrade to the WordPress business plan, I need some equipment for YouTube, and I want to better my skills with photography and Photoshop, etc.

If you check out my Patreon page you’ll notice a list of “Goals” on the left hand side. They start off small but, as you can imagine, it adds up. I budgeted everything out and came up with those numbers as the bare minimum. Again, your money will go toward exactly what I say it’ll go toward on my Patreon page.

Are You Obligated To Pledge?

No. You are not obligated to give me any money.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, that amazes me and I am so grateful. I never imagined how large this blog would grow when I first started almost 6 years ago. However, that’s why it’s getting harder to keep up with the blog because it’s grown so much and I’m running out of resources and tools to continue creating great content.

So, no. You do not need to give me any money. I thank you for reading my blog and commenting and sharing my posts. That makes me warm and fuzzy!

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How Much Money Can You Pledge?

As much or as little as you want. I have my Patreon set up as monthly payments so you can pledge as little as $1 a month.

What I love about Patreon is that the control is completely up to you. You can pledge as much as you want, whether it’s an amount I set up as a reward tier or not. You can stop the payments whenever you want, you’re not locked into supporting my work for a year or anything like that.

What’s A Reward Tier And What Do You Get Out Of This?

Reward tiers are what they sound like. I set up rewards for certain amounts that are pledged to me. For example, if you pledge $1 a month to me, you’ll get access to the Patron-only feed on my Patreon page. This means I can interact with each and every one of you, get to know each other better, and you’d have exclusive access to what I’m currently working on, sneak peeks, and a lot more. If you pledge $25 a month, you’ll get your name on a special thank you page on this blog and my video credits on YouTube. You’ll also have access to exclusive monthly Q&A videos from me.

Needless to say, you get a lot of out supporting me and my work. If you enjoy my content, you’ll get bigger and better creative works from me. You’ll get certain rewards depending on how much you pledge, and we can keep in touch on a closer level through the Patron-only feed.

Anything Else?

I think I’ve covered everything. If you have any questions about it, don’t hesitate to comment below. Or just check out my Patreon page and see if your question is answered on there.

If you’ve read through this whole post, I commend you. Thank you so much. If you follow my blog, share my posts, comment, or just read a post here and there, thank you so much.

If you check out my Patreon page, thank you so much. If you decide to pledge any amount to my work, thank you so much!

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I seriously wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of you reading and supporting this blog and my writing. I am truly grateful and just know that I appreciate each and every one of you. Patreon will not only allow you to support me further, but it will allow me to give back to all of you. Thanks.

Thanks again for reading this post! Whether you pledge or not, if you enjoy my content, please share this post around. It will help me out a lot. Also, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to chat!

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6 Of My Favorite YouTube Channels For Writers

I watch a lot of YouTube. Maybe a little too much. I watch more YouTube than I watch TV.

Most of the channels I watch are video game related, but I do watch some writing related content here and there. Sometimes, watching YouTube videos are the best research and it’s the easiest to find.

1. The Creative Penn

This channel is run by best-selling author, Joanna Penn. She talks a lot about publishing, marketing, and writing in general. Other writers are on some of the videos talking about their own journeys. The Creative Penn is Joanna sharing her own journey and sharing what she’s learned. It’s a lot of great information.

2. Ellen Brock

Ellen Brock is a freelance editor and her channel is all about answering common writing questions. She talks about writing in general, editing, and has Q&As. Her videos are short and sweet and definitely worth taking a look at.

3. Chris Fox

Chris is a best-selling author and discusses mostly marketing and business of publishing. If you’re at that stage in your writing, he’s a good resource.

4. ShaelinWrites

Shaelin is a young author who discusses all things writing and editing as well as reading. She is also a good resource as she talks a lot about her own experiences and novels. Plus she does fun tags and such.

5. Jenna Moreci

Another author and her videos are mostly “how to” videos about writing advice for other writers. She’s definitely got a sense of humor so her videos are entertaining as they are informative.

6. Jorden Roper

Jorden is a successful freelance writer. Her videos are all about making it as a freelancer and a blogger. Whether you plan on writing novels are not, her tips are pretty useful, especially from a blogger’s standpoint.

Do you watch any of these channels? Are they channels you watch that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!

Username: Evie by Joe Sugg

2015-09-19 08.54.31

Title: Username: Evie
Author: Joe Sugg
Genre: Science fiction | Graphic novel
How I got it: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

The first book by YouTube star Joe Sugg tells the story of Evie, a socially-isolated teenage girl who struggles to fit in at high school. Always looking for a way to escape, she spends her nights supporting her terminally-ill father, who is tirelessly working on a computer program. When her father passes away, Evie is forced to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin—Mallory—who is the most popular girl in school and the bane of Evie’s existence.

One night, as she’s going through her father’s computer, Evie stumbles on a strange file that sucks her into a virtual world. As Evie explores this strange, new land, she learns it was the project her father was working so tirelessly on: a virtual Eden where Evie can get away and be herself. However, Evie is not alone; Mallory also discovers the world and her presence causes the idyll to descend into chaos. Now Evie must save the virtual world or lose her last connection to her father.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This graphic novel was amazing.

I’ve read some video game-based stories before and they all have one thing in common: virtual reality. That was nothing new here, but the premise of the virtual world was unique.

Evie enters a world called E.Scape created by her father as a way for her to literally escape reality for a bit. The population of E.Scape all knew she was coming and were as happy as can be, as they are easily influenced by her positive attitude.

So when Mallory, Evie’s cousin who she does not get along with, enters E.Scape the world is turned upside down and grows chaotic with Mallory’s negativity.

Evie, with the help of a mysterious man, has to stop Mallory before the world becomes a mess of corrupted coding.

All the characters were likeable–even Mallory as she became a villain accidentally.

I read this graphic novel within a half hour. My only complaint was that I wish it were longer so I could make the enjoyment last.

Username: Evie by Joe Sugg gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“If my journey into the city was a dream, the route out was a nightmare. One that grew darker by the mile.” –Joe Sugg, Username: Evie

How Not To Write

I came across this the other day and thought I needed to share it with you guys.

This is a video of George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) attempting to sit down and get a writing session in before the end of the day.

Just like every other writer who is a human being, he gets easily distracted.

This is how not to write, but it’s how we all write. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because in the end, we all have written.

I got a good kick out of the video because I do the same thing when I try to write. I surf the Internet, watch an episode or three of my favorite show, play video games, sing way too loud to the music that’s supposed to be helping me focus… I could go on.

I originally found the video on Buzzfeed, so you can check it out for yourself.

Happy Tuesday and may you all get distracted in your writing endeavors today!

May: Playlist

Music
Via Pinterest

 

The #YearOfHappy challenge for the month of May is to have a dance party by yourself or with others and then share your playlist.

My playlist is far too long. I listen to a lot of music and it’s a wide variety of genres, too. So I’m just going to share with what I’ve been into recently.

I’ve never been one for music; I’ve always enjoyed it, but I never fully understood it. I’ve been listening to a lot more instrumental music lately and because of that I’ve been getting a whole new appreciation for it; especially the instruments.

I’ve always wanted to play an instrument and now I want to more than ever because of people I’ve discovered on YouTube.

I’m not sure how long ago it was, but I found a guy named Smooth McGroove on YouTube. He does a cappella covers of video game music.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I do enjoy his cover of Cornered from the Ace Attorney games.

Through him I found a lot of other YouTubers who focus on video games (not necessarily singing) and it’s become a hobby of mine and Kris to watch check for new videos every day. We’re a little late, but we’re finally addicted to YouTube.

Then Kris discovered Taylor Davis. She’s a violinist who does covers of movies, tv shows, video games, you name it. She also has original songs which are fantastic.

Again, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but one song I absolutely love by her is Gerudo Valley from the Legend of Zelda video games.

Most recently, through Taylor Davis, Kris and I discovered a man named Peter Hollens. He also does a cappella. He does covers from pretty much anything; especially from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. He also does a lot of collabs with his wife, who is also a fabulous a cappella singer.

One of my favorites from Peter is his cover of I See Fire (originally by Ed Sheeran) from The Hobbit movie.

So, there you have it. My top three favorite singers at the moment. Sorry to throw so many links at you guys, but I thought that would be better than throwing a bunch of videos at you. This way you can go on YouTube and explore their channels yourself.

I highly encourage you to do so because they’re all so wonderful. You might discover something new, too. I certainly did.