not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake


So it dawned on me as I was walking home from work today, pondering perhaps working on this IF conversation library project I've been meaning to work on, that my lack of accomplishment in my 'hobby' projects actually forms a pattern going all the way back to when I moved to the west coast.

I very literally have gotten almost nothing done on any of my side projects since I moved out here. Right after I moved out, I spent the first month working full time on Heroes, an IF game I released in Oct 2001. But since then, I've done no IF (except speedIFs), I haven't written any songs (in the sense of no lyrics); I started the audio sketchbook project in large part to force me to spend some time on music regularly. I did do NaNoWriMo, but I did it poorly, falling way-behind and having to work insanely-more-than-full-time to finish; and I haven't managed to sustain any other writing projects since. I have a pseudo-webcomic project I want to do, and I haven't managed to put any time into it, despite the tens of thousands of photos I took in 2001 for use in it.

If I examine how I spend my time, I see three possible factors. One factor is that, unlike the year and a half I spent in Boston after LGS went under, I actually have a place I go to "do work". I'm fairly good about only doing work there, and not goofing off or surfing the web. So, it may be that, having disciplined myself to do work there, the opposite discipline applies at home; I'm just not mentally prepared to work.

Another possible factor is that this directly relates to moving: perhaps my current apartment's setup isn't conducive to me really concentrating and doing work. For example, I currently do all my computing at my laptop in my bedroom, because the person downstairs complained about hearing noise when I used to do it in the other room (which was above her bed). But, my stereo system is in the other room, so I never get to listen to the stereo when I'm at the computer now.

A third possible factor is that ifMUD is to blame. I joined ifmud just after I finished Heroes. It's not the first mud or IRC chat I've hung out on, but it does seem to be the one most filled with my peers, and perhaps I spend more time there than I have on others. (It's also got a larger population and is less often idle, especially with the late hours I sometimes keep.) In fact, I am almost always on ifmud when I am home, it seems like. But that's certainly no smoking gun; the fact that I'd rather sit around on ifmud than work on a project could still primarily owe to my lack-of-desire-to-work being one of the other factors.

A fourth possible factor (you were expecting the spanish inquisition, right?) is that I've been watching too many movies, and those eat up a lot of my spare time at two hours a day. I actually only managed more like 150 movies my first year of netflix, but that's still something like an hour a day. However, while that's a lot of time, to be fair I only tend to work six hours a day, plus an hour total commute time, plus an hour of movies a day still leaves another eight hours every day.

Where does it all go?

I think I'm going to start operating on the assumption that it's how the space is setup, and try rearanging my apartment. This could be problematic, though; if I want to move my stereo and a non-laptop computer into the bedroom, it's going to cause problems with transferring music from my recorder to the computer for uploading; and it's going to prevent me from using the stereo to audition music (which is mostly okay, since I have another set of speakers for music anyway).

I don't really have high hopes, but I might as well try it.
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