Text-only

I’m a great believer and encourager of minimalistic writing apps. Heck, I still have Baara’s Q10 on my PCs, even though it hasn’t been updated in years. because it simply works. I love these things because they remove all distractions and by extensions, excuses for not writing.

Where Q10 wins for me is in the Timer app. They have a nice timer add on that will show the number of words you’ve written after a set time, which is perfect for Nanowrimo word wars. It’s one of the best ways I find to get started when I have writer’s block.

The most gruesome version of this timer among writing apps, is WriteOrDie. It’s a little more extreme in the sense that if you started writing and stopped halfway, it would give you a grace period of up to a minute before it began deleting your words, one by one. This meant you needed to continue writing, but if you were stuck looking for a specific word or phrase, you wouldn’t be penalised too harshly.

Though seeing your words disappear one by one is a nightmare to any writer (which is why I don’t use it). :p

So imagine my surprise when I saw The Verge reviewing Flowstate as the writing app that will delete everything you’ve written if you leave your keyboard idle for more than a few seconds.

A few words is one thing, but imagine if it had been 200 words of prose? Dude, NOT COOL.

I think as a gimmick, it’s a horrendously bad idea. And yes, i think it is nothing more than a gimmick, really. There are far less painful and terrifying ways to get into the flow, and watching your entire page disappear because your cat startled you or your baby’s crying in the other room is a horrible way to get people to write. And at 10 USD for the app, I’d rather just get Write Or Die. It’s available on Mac, iOS, and PC, with Android coming soon.

I suppose if you are the kind of person who likes having to retype an entire assignment because you stopped for a snack or a toilet break, then yes, maybe Flowstate is for you. But seriously? Might as well spend that cash on the people who came out with the original concept, aka WriteOrDie.

Note to self: Make different choices

Tired of your life?
Make different choices.

Tired of feeling fat?
Make different choices.

Tired of not going anywhere?
Make different choices.

Had enough of being mediocre/angry/pitiful etc?
Make different choices.

Unhappy where you are?
Make. Different. Choices.

I’ve stagnated. De-evolving in some ways. It’s not just my personality and actions. It’s my skills and ability. Used to be that I’d take it as a personal affront if the client insists on bad copy. Now if it’s client-approved, can already la.

I can try to pinpoint when this happened and when I started allowing myself to do this, but that’s a futile task. You can’t change the past. I can’t change what I’ve done. What I can do is to ask the why and how. Those are factors I can control, no matter how much I want to deny it.

I can make different choices now and hope it’ll be enough for a better me in the future. That’s all I can do.

In case you’re wondering, I was horribly mortified at something that went through my hands that should not have gone out without me at least checking the quality. I did not. And now I want to bang my head against the wall because of that.

Working Styles

So it took me just over a few years to come to this point, but while I was in the shower today (and it would be in the shower, why are all the best ideas are while you are in the shower?) I finally realised what my working style is and why I am beginning to hate my job.

I work best when I can concentrate on projects. In other words, I work best when I have a single project/idea to focus on. Yesterday was a pretty good example of it; I found myself genuinely enjoying the projects I had to do and was very resentful when I had to switch from one task in a project to another on short notice. However, I couldn’t submit the project copy completely error-free; too much switching meant that my attention span was pretty bad and I actually made a very glaring grammatical error that my Project Manager caught it.

Coming back to the point, did I mention that I hate social media? Managing it at least. My current workflow is now:

  • Check FB pages for clients in the morning
    1. Write responses to users if necessary
    2. Post updates manually if no updates were scheduled previously/ alternatively monitor contests we are running
    3. Compile and send back to the client if there are issues (most of my clients are in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods business, aka foodstuff and cosmetics, so we do get enquiries fairly often)
  • Work on copy for other projects
  • Create messaging calendar for clients
  • Research trends
  • See what the competitor is doing

I know my other colleagues have way more stuff to handle than I do, but I am feeling very overwhelmed at works. It’s death by a thousand cuts, because most of the time I am in the middle of writing or conceptualising something and then I get called/asked to check the FB page or I check the FB page before I start on my task and then I get distracted because I have to reply to the user or email comes in and I want to strangle the client who has no respect for other people’s time stuff gets pinged to me and I just lose focus.

It’s that breaking of the flow that often causes my distress, and I suspect, the reason why both my attitude and drive to create has plummeted. The stop and go style of driving often kills your car’s fuel consumption and brakes faster than a smooth, long drive, and I think that is what is happening to me.

Goddess, grant me the strength and wisdom I need to overcome this.

Stopping the panic

I was talking to my Project Manager today and I realise just how much I’m handling and it all kinda fell apart on me. I will be honest and admit that I have been procrastinating on the things I should be doing at work and it’s not like I don’t like what I’m doing.

It’s that I feel like I am doing too much.

I know of a lot of people who are envious of me and my job description. After all, my job is to basically stay on social media. It’s not that glamourous nor easy of a job. A social media person needs to do quite a lot of things, which on the surface may seem like something that doesn’t take up too much time:

  • Doing messaging calendars which mean scheduling messages in advance and/or getting client’s approval
  • Getting other people to do your graphics
  • Responding to users about your client’s brand
  • Thinking up of ideas to get people to buy into your client’s message and branding
  • Play/do things on FB like check out links etc

I am going to whine here, so stop reading if you don’t want to read anything depressing or self-entitled. Yes I am aware I am being an attention whore, but this is my own blog after all and I think I should be able to whine. Continue reading

Bitterness

Bitterness is a mixture of emotions. It’s one part anger, three parts regret. The anger is fed by the helplessness regret entails. I often feel regret for the things I cannot change, and thus it makes me feel helpless. That leads to rage, which is a self destructive cycle because there is no way to vent that anger, to direct it into an action that will take away the regret.

Channeling emotions from one state to another is not something I can do easily. It’ll spill over from one situation to another, but I can’t exactly channel the energy itself from a situation into another. I can’t turn that energy into something positive unless it’s closely related to the trigger of the emotion.

Which is why it’s just so much easier for me to bitch about how the Government is royally fucking us up without being able to do anything more than retweet.

I’m listening to rainy mood now. It’s calming for me. The noise of the rain with occasional thunder is soothing. It soothes my heart. Makes me remember of times spent in my grandmother’s house, sitting by the door, a cup of milo in my hands, looking outside. Reminds me of cool days with the wind blowing into the house. When coming out after the rain is like literally looking at the world through new eyes. Through a clean glass. Through a world made anew.

I miss the physical sensation of putting my head on my mama’s lap. Or even her shoulder. I miss her hand tapping my thigh to make a point. I miss her smile. I miss her leaning on my arm.

I miss mama.