Social Media Cleanse – Days 2 & 3

Three days are down, and things are getting a little bit easier.

Number of Attempts:

On Thursday I only tried to log into social media a total of eight times.  I credit that in part to having a very busy day and night.  During the course of today’s less busy day, I tried to log in a total of ten times.

Reasons for Attempts:

Unlike Wednesday, where I was trying to avoid my preparation for my inservice presentation, I was pretty much busy actually giving the presentation (which went rather well!).  My first attempt were in the morning, which is normally my ritual time to wake up and check what everyone else was up to while I was asleep.

Aside from that, during lunch at the inservice I nervously kept somewhat to my phone, and my attempts to log into Facebook obviously led me instead to making awkward small talk.

Thursday night I went out on a date to the movies, and since we got there early, I once again fell prey to immediately going to my phone.

Today was a bit different.  I decided on a whim that I’ll be heading to Gen Con once again, which is in a short five days, so instead of social media, I spent most of today on the website picking out my activities.

Productivity:

I think I’m starting to realize I can’t log in to my Facebook right now, so I’m making fewer attempts at wasting my time there.  Instead today I managed to finish writing a podcast episode, beat a video game, and finish one of the five books I’m concurrently reading at the moment.  The presentation itself went well, and I think the extra time I put into the presentation combined with getting a decent amount of sleep by keeping on task really helped out.

Conclusion:

I feel a little bit better about this not having constant access to social media.  That being said, there are still so many things I want to post and talk about.  It does make me wonder, though, why myself and others are so concerned with telling the rest of the world what we’re doing.  It’s as if we need others to know that we’re busy, that we’re accomplishing things, that we’re still alive.  Perhaps that’s what keeps us going back to our feeds, or maybe it’s just a really bad habit that our society just can’t break.

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Social Media Cleanse – Day 1

Well, I went a full day without losing my mind, and I am pretty floored by the number of times my addled brain tried to log into my deactivated Facebook account.

Number of Attempts:

Over the course of the entire day, I tried to log into Facebook/Twitter a total of 30 times.  Yes, that’s 3-0.

Reasons for Attempts:

Every time I attempted to waste some time on Facebook yesterday, I tried to pay attention to just what I was doing when it happened.  Since I still had a lot of work to do for the inservice I’m leading today, I spent from 9 am to about 11 pm working on putting the presentation together.  I noticed most of the attempts were when I got discouraged with the project.  My brain apparently is used to using Facebook or Twitter as a way to procrastinate and not do the difficult work that I needed to get done.

I also tried jumping into Facebook or Twitter whenever I had an interesting idea or wanted to share my progress on my lengthy process.  I actually felt rather discouraged when I couldn’t post something.  It’s like I had suddenly lost my voice.

There were a few other times that I attempted to get at my social media sites.  When I took a few mental breaks, my fingers tried loading the apps on my phone in order to waste a bit of time.

The most surprising thing of all was that of the 30 times, my brain opened a new tab and tried to load Facebook 5 times without me even realizing it.  It was like it tried to operate on auto-pilot, and I would be suddenly staring at the log-in screen wondering just how the hell I even got there.

Productivity:

Had I not disabled my Facebook, I’m not sure I would have managed to finish my work on this presentation by a decent time.  Thinking about the number of times I tried to get at my social media alone, I probably would have been up until at least 1 am working on this presentation.  Thank goodness I didn’t, or else this presentation today probably would have been more of a disaster.

Aside from the work that I needed to do, my brain began to move toward other projects.  I’m not sure if that was because I didn’t want to do 14 hours of work on the presentation or not, but I wanted to work on podcasting and even a few new project ideas.

Conclusion:

Well, day one is officially over, and I’m on to a very busy day.  I’ll be out at the R.O.E. until about 3 today, and then I have dinner plans tonight, so I’m thinking my number will drop significantly for today.

I did try to log into FB/Twitter twice already today, though.

Projects, Planning, and Surviving Burn Out

It’s been quite some time since my last post.  My apologies for neglecting my blog, folks.  As I’m sure all teachers end up saying each year, this year has been even busier than any other year.  Since I have a moment to breathe, I figured I’d talk education and writing for a little bit.

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Creative Progress

Things have been going well here creatively over the last few weeks.  If only I could gather the mental strength to do the same in preparation of my 8th year of teaching high school and second year of college.

I’m currently drafting the third episode of what should hopefully be a 10-12 episode series for my upcoming podcast, Shadowvane.  If you want more information on the project or to be kept up to date, please visit Shadowvane.net and follow @Shadowvanecast on Twitter.

The goal is to have at least four or five episodes completed and edited by the middle of August.  From there, we’ll be starting the process of holding casting for the various roles.  As it stands right now, there are three recurring major characters in this story as well as several smaller parts.  We will be searching for reliable voice actors to send us high quality recordings throughout the next several months.  We cannot offer anything in the way of compensation since the project is free to the public, but if things go well, it can serve as a valuable production to add to any resume.

More information on the upcoming casting will be available later this month.

Aside from that, it’s that time of year when teachers all around the world are gearing up to go back to the profession that they have put their hearts and souls into.  Whether you are a novice or a long-time teacher, I offer nothing but encouragement.  Let’s make this the best year yet for our profession and our students.

And now I leave you all with a bit of wisdom:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi

New Writing Project – Short Story Collection

Long time no write!  This comes to you during one of the most taxing times in any teacher’s life–the days leading up to spring break.  This semester has been surprisingly very difficult for me, and I’ve felt far too much stress and doubt in my abilities.

So my mind has been pretty absorbed into grading essays, planning lessons, editing yearbook and newspaper pages, and trying to get students interested in just about anything over the last few weeks.  So that’s left my free time and creative life floundering somewhat.

I would say that the release of my chapbook, Chasing Distant Horizons (only $2.49 for the pdf), was somewhat of a success.  If anything, it gave me the confidence to achieve something as grand as self-publishing, if only on a small scale.  Add to that my recent flattering comments on my submission for the Dark Crystal Author Quest, and I’ve found some positivity with regards to my writing.

So I need a new project.  I need something to breath more life under my creative sails.  That’s when I went back to something I spent a very long time on.

As some of you may know, I wrote a complete fantasy novel and have spent a lot of time off and on editing that sucker.  There are still substantial things to be done, and one day I really do hope to see it find the light of day.  That being said, I thought about the editing process and how I haven’t revisited the world in some time.

That’s when the idea hit me.  What if I wrote a series of short stories that fleshed out elements of the world and characters.  The thread that holds all the stories together would ultimately be the world that I’ve crafted in my fantasy novel.

So I’m working on a rough (very rough) draft of a short story, which will be hopefully the first of many.  This story centers around one of the main characters from the novel, a half-elven lazy drunkard by the name of Isac.  In the novel, Isac has little desire to do much else than wallow in his home, waste away at the tavern, and ignore the rest of the world around him.  The story I’m drafting tells how he discovered he has special powers and how he loathes everything about it.

Here’s a small bit of the rough draft.  I hope you enjoy. [Click below to read it.  I don’t want to take over people’s feed.]

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Poetry, NaNo, and Mario Kart

Have you ever gotten to that point where you’ve done so much work that the thought of ending your day to go home and continue even more work until bed and then get up to do it all over again starts to wear at your sanity?  That’s how the last two and a half months have felt since starting my 7th year of teaching.

That being said, there are good things going on despite the struggle to keep my head above the water.

First, my Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming chapbook Chasing Distant Horizons has gone well beyond my original goal.  I’m currently only $47 away from hitting my last stretch goal.  If you want a collection of poetry for a low price of either $3 or $8, check it out.

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Fully Funded!

Great news!  Within four hours of launching my Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming chapbook Chasing Distant Horizons, I reached my $150 goal!  I’m even within a small amount of reaching my first stretch goal of $300!  If you want to help support a budding artist, please consider donating.  There are some good backer perks, and if I hit $300, I’ll provide a few more Guest Poet spots!  Those went super fast before, and I hope they do again!

Here I sit at parent/teacher conferences with a gap in my schedule.  I figured I’d write up a bit of an update and thank those out there that have been so generous and helpful.  There’s still a ton of time to go, and anything that can be donated will help the book be the best it can be.

Kickstarter Link:  Chasing Distant Horizons:  A Poetry Chapbook

I leave you with these words of wisdom:

“Do not be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.” -Arthur Miller