Tuesday, 30 May 2017


Every year I write a post about the various non-work creative things I've done to fill my time making stuff and learning new skills. I started doing this because I needed to remind myself I actually do this, and I have a tendency to forget quite how much. However, there are definitely times when the opposite is true and I spend a week or longer fixing broken things and watching videos on YouTube and after a stint of that it can get quite hard to motivate myself back into some kind of creative action.

It doesn't help that, according to the Belbin personality tests, I'm a "completer-finisher" which means I like to fix errors, polish products and - most significantly - actually finish things. I have noticed a tendency both at home and at work to leave a package of work unstarted in favour of completing something in progress which, while often a good thing, sometimes means something which is easy to put off is left alone for quite some time before I feel I've got the time to "do it properly". At work this is usually broken by some kind of deadline. At home, where there are very few deadlines, this is a great way of saying that I can be really bad at starting things. This has all been exacerbated in the last six months or so due to being generally exhausted because of moving jobs and cities.

This very post is a great example. I've been putting off writing it all weekend and here I find myself writing on a train - something I usually avoid like the plague as I jealously guard this time for reading. Yet, I have promised myself that I will write at least one blog post per month and I've very aware that if I don't get this one done today I will likely miss May.

So, some kind of deadline (even a self-imposed one) clearly works for me so I'm going to state some projects with deadlines in the hope it will kick my motivation back to life. I generally need something technology-based and something writing-based on the go at once so I can pick and choose as the mood takes me. Here we go:

University RPG

This is a comedy RPG, being written from the ground up and full of HE in-jokes. I'd like to have something ready for playtesting by the end of June and ideally have run a first session by the end of July.

Players Without Number RPG

A solution to the impossibility of organising five players to a regular game when two have children, one lives in another city and another has an international sword-fighting career to juggle. Have lots of players and swap them in as needed. I'm going to write a post about this my other blog (which is also a good excuse to kick it off again). I'd like a session and a post done by the end of August.

Year in Pictures on AWS

Every month I have to mark up fifteen blocks of YAML and crop their corresponding pictures for my Year in Pictures site. It would be nice if I could automate as much of this as possible and I may as well gain some hands-on AWS experience along the way. I'm going to aim to collect the July pictures using the first version of the new thing.

I think that'll do for the moment. One thing I've learnt about time management is to make sure there aren't too many things in progress at once else nothing gets done. Let's see if making a proper decision to do these things to a deadline makes me get on with them. Now I'm going to read for the rest of this train journey and not think about giving myself SMART objectives for my spare time...