Writing, Reading, Podcast, and Editing

I finished reading I Am Legend and I’m 150 pages into Red Dragon. I enjoyed the former and I’m enjoying the later so far. I will be writing reviews on the books for my main site, which I hope to get back to sometime in August, as that’s when I plan to start up stuff.

I’ve been recording podcasts and gameplay with my friend and I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, more so with the podcasts. I think we’ve got a good thing going and everyone who’s listened to it so far has said it’s funny and informative without theories and predictions. You know what friends say, though, they usually say it’s good as not to hurt your feelings. I think it’s good, though, but that is me.

I’ll be doing video editing and updating everyone with my progress on everything. We hope to make the podcast a weekday one, which seems good from what we’ve done. We’re making a backlog so we don’t have to worry so much about uploads, if we do really well then we’ll upload one every day or maybe make it so every Monday and Friday we’ll upload two episodes.

I have a lot I want to work on but sadly there is only so much you can do, there isn’t enough time to work on everything, at least not right now. I think one of my problems when writing is that I have too many ideas and when I come up with a new one, I start to write that and stop my current story for a while.

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Learn with me – Learning to speed-read #3

You have no idea how many bad speed-reading apps there are. I searched for a while, found quite a bit, then when I tried them out, only one of them was worth it and it was free.

Most of them are the same, which is choose your Words Per Minute then tap the screen and it will show you the text one word at a time at the speed you selected. All of them can let you select an ePub file, which is a nice feature, the only problem is some of them have a large amount of text at the start, telling you information about the author, their other works, all the copyright and publishing details, etc. Which can be annoying when there is a lot of it. Reedy is the only app which allows you to select where the text begins. Is that not an obvious feature, to select where to begin? Not just for text you might want to skip at the start, what if something went wrong like a crash? I would have to start at the beginning, what if I got halfway through the book? What if I read part of the book before and want to start at chapter 7? Why is something so obvious only available on one app? This is ridiculous.

I have digital books and I have selected The Great Gatsby for the first book to try. I have selected the speed of 325 Words Per Minute. If it’s too much and I can’t read or retain what was said then I’ll go back and try it at a slower speed. I do not want to miss things in the book, so it’s understandable to worry about missing things when reading at a higher speed than used to. I think a few people might be worried they might miss a few things when speed-reading for the first time, this is a book I want to read so I want to enjoy it, the simple solution is just to go back and re-read if I feel I’ve missed something.

I’ll be speed-reading the first chapter tomorrow at least.

I will let you know how it goes. Keep well everyone.

So much choice

When focused on everything I have it becomes hard to pick one to read, especially when I want to read so many books. I decided to read in the order of number of pages, the lower ones I can get through faster so it means I can get through them and then sell them or something, plus it feels good to get through stuff.

If I had one or two books at a time I might finish books faster. I read something called the paradox of choice. People like to have choice, of course we do, who wants the same thing over and over, we all like to choose a different thing every so often. However too much choice can be bad, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed, it can feel like that sometimes, I know I do. The effect for me is I end up doing nothing. This happens with books, movies, and games. I noticed this more with games. When I feel like playing I see all the games and end up either playing nothing or going on the same thing as usual. This doesn’t get me through my games, though, do I need more motivation or a greater will?

Maybe I need to just throw a pen at a game and play whatever it hits, no excuses. Or maybe a random number generator, then pick whatever game correlates to the number in the order of my games. Or maybe just close my eyes and pick a game randomly. I feel like I’ll never play half the games I have and complete even less. Sell them would feel like a waste of money until I’ve at least given them a fair play through.

Have any of you been overwhelmed with choice before? If so, let know if and how you overcame it. I’m sure it’ll be of help to me.

Learn with me – Learning to speed-read #2

Current reading speed results

Readingsoft.com – 176 Words Per Minute. It said that you’d be 25% slower due to reading on a screen. It’s had its own text to read.

Freereadingtest.com – 284 Words Per Minute with 100% comprehension. It gave me some text about tornados, which was under the Earth and Science section, I chose Level 07 as the reading level as it was the middle one (hopefully the average level text) and chose Story 01. It had 4 questions at the end which I got all right.

Myreadspeed.com – 221 Words Per Minute. The text was the first part of Alice in Wonderland.

Well, 3 different results. This makes it hard to get an accurate result for my reading speed. Well, adding them all gives me 681, divided by 3 gives me 227, so, for now, I’ll stick with 227 as it seems a fair enough judgement of my reading speed. So 227 Words Per Minute it is.

I heard that just reading a lot can help as you’ll slowly get faster at reading naturally. I’ve also heard that this is too slow a method and you need training.

If my goal is to double my reading speed it will have to be 454 Words Per Minute. That seems to be too much according to some sites, OK, small steps then. My goal right now is to add an extra 100 Words Per Minute to my score, so I’m going for 327 for now, depending on how that goes, I’ll aim to add another.

So far, at a quick overview of the apps, they are just trying to make me faster by making me read faster. Is the goal to just force me to read at 300 Words Per Minute and I’ll get used to it? Well if you keep doing something over and over, you will get better at it, so maybe that will work.

Learn with me – Learning to speed-read

Join me, in my quest to speed-read… or just you know… not.

So, how does someone get through their books quickly? Read quickly. I’ve stated before I have too many books. Why not speed-read? It’ll be a cool skill to have.

I’ve found a few apps that are meant to help improve your reading speed. I’m going to measure my current reading speed over the weekend and try out the different apps and approaches to learning how to speed-read.

I’ll be letting you guys know how I’m getting on and telling you what apps and such seem to be working the most.

I have no idea what these apps will be like, are they training, tests, tips? I know soon enough, let’s get to it then, first to find some place to measure my current reading speed so I can compare before and after, maybe every week or two weeks I can see how far I’ve come.

I don’t expect to be reading 300 page books in an hour, but I am trying to read 20 pages a day, so I can get through a 300 page book in 15 days, so two weeks and one day; if I can double my reading speed I can go for 40 pages a day I can finish a 300 page book in about eight days, so a week and one day.

Doubling my reading speed is my goal for now. If this works I’ll let you know what worked for me. Hope you guys are having a good day wherever you are.

A clean up

So, I went through all my clothes and tried on all of them. Some didn’t fit me anymore, so it’s easy to give them to my brothers or the charity shop. The hard part was picking my favourites of the ones that fit. I’m very practical, I don’t care what style of T-shirt I’m wearing; I’ve plain ones, ones with patterns and ones with icons and characters on them. So to make some space I had to get rid of some, they all fit, they’re all comfortable, so which ones do I get rid of? It’s hard when you like them all, so I didn’t get rid of much of the ones that fit, I have made it so I can easily get at my favourite T-shirts, they all fit in my drawer which they didn’t before and it was a mess. I got rid of 6 jeans and now I have 8, I got rid of about 17 socks, why do I have so many socks?

I know some people who only have 3 jeans and 7 T-shirts, they wear them for about 3 days before washing them and then they just wear their favourite ones. I don’t know if I can do that, pick like 10 of my favourite T-shirts and 3 jeans and just wash them every week or so, it makes sense, don’t know if I can do it, though. I’m taking things slowly first, the result is fewer clothes, all ones that didn’t fit, were uncomfortable, or I didn’t like are gone, I can close my drawers easily and pick the ones I like best easily.

When it comes to my entertainment it can be a little tricky. I’d like to use the things I bought before I sell them. So I’ll be trying to go through all my games and such, it’s why I’m doing let’s plays, to motivate me to play them. Same with my podcasts and this blog.

My point is, I’ve sorted out my clothes and did a massive clean of my room. Everything is organised and clean. When I start on my entertainment I will keep the ones I really like. Some of them I know are rare and hard to find, so I’ll be keeping them anyway.

It feels nice to know that when I go to pick out clothes I know the clothes will fit, be comfortable and be something I like. Also that everything is in its place so if I need something I can find it and not have to search ages for a wire or battery or pen.

So far it’s going well.

My new minimalism

I’ve got too many things. My games sit on my shelf at a nice number of 277, and that just physical copies, on my Steam I have 444 games, so I have a total of 721, not including the downloaded ones on my PS4. How many have I played? 263. How many have I completed? 63. That’s right, I have around 721 games, out of those I’ve played 263, out of those 263 I’ve completed 63. Around 64% of my games haven’t been played and around 91% of my games aren’t completed. My books are at around 150. My movies sit at 500. How did my collection get so big? How much money was spent? I have a lot of things which I haven’t used, but I mean to.

My thought process goes one of three ways.

1: I want this thing, but it’s too expensive now, I’ll wait a while. *A few months pass*. Oh, look, it was £50, but now it’s £10, I better get it while it’s still cheap.

2: I want this thing and it’s on sale, better get it now.

3: I want this thing, but it’s too expensive now, I’ll wait a while. *A few forevers pass*. Oh, look, it was £50, but it’s now £1 and it’s been a while, better get it before they run out.

You see my problem. One is that it’s cheap so I should get it, two is that it’s on sale, so it’s cheap so I should get it, and three is that it’s been so long I think they’ll stop making it.

This has happened before, I tried to find a game only for it to be not available anywhere; after last seeing it at £20, I waited a little longer for it to go down in price only for it to become a rare game while waiting. I’ve also wanted a game only for it to be not available anywhere, to then appear again a year later at like £90. Shouldn’t I buy it when it’s cheap? If I wait it might not be available. My thought is usually “Get it while it’s cheap and available”, because if I leave it too long, it’ll be either not available at all or too expensive later. This is a problem as things accumulate. Things pile up and I don’t get rid of them because I still haven’t used them. Am I hoarding? I mean, I don’t want to get rid of them because I still plan to play them, but WILL I actually play them? The question is, should I get rid of some?

Last week I bought 7 new books, and 1 of those “books” was a collection, the Game of Thrones box set. On Amazon Prime day I saw the collect for £22 when I saw it for £65 in Waterstones. It was cheap, how could I say no to that deal? I do mean to read them, but did I need to buy them now? I could have waited, but would I have found them cheaper in a few years? It wasn’t a waste of money, as I’m getting use out of it, I will read them, but when will I read them, though?

My games, I want to play them, but what about the games I’ve played? I can keep the ones I like and sell the ones I have completed but have no plans to go on again, the same with my books and movies… but now, what games DO I want to really play? What games do I know I WILL play on? I wanted to go on some games a few years ago, but do I now? Will I actually get around to playing it? I’ve kept games for up to 7 years, I have an unopened copy of Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360, it’s still in  its plastic wrapping that it got from Game when I picked it up in 2010… 6 years ago… not touched… never played… still in its plastic wrappings! My friends didn’t believe it until I showed them it… it’s still got its plastic wrappings! I don’t believe this and I own it.

So, was that game a waste of money? I didn’t play it, I still want to, but now Mass Effect 2 can be bought for about £3, I got it for £40; I can get the Mass Effect Trilogy for £15, so it can be seen as a waste of money, although since I’ve seen things I wanted stop being available or becoming expensive, I tend to get things when they are at a reasonable price, although sometimes like with Mass Effect, I get things when they first come out, I got Uncharted 4 when it first came out, I’ve completed it now, so should I get rid of it?

I’m asking myself, WILL I get around to actually playing a game, reading a book, watching a movie? I want to play this game, but when will I ever get around to it, realistically? When I look at it like that, sometimes I doubt I ever will get to play it. When faced with life, all the things I need to do and want to do more than play that game, I doubt I will ever have the time I need to play it. Have you ever had that? Wanting to play a game, read a book, watch a movie, bought it and then it has just sat in your house and you can’t find the time to use it? Then when you look at it realistically you come to think that you’ll never get around to using it? Do you keep it or get rid of it?

I’m thinking of taking up minimalism, but I won’t be reading a guide or following a plan I found. I’m a type of person who likes to figure things out for themselves. Instructions? Pfft, I’ll assemble this nuclear warhead by myself. Real men don’t need instructions, and I’m a real man… who looks like a twig and squeals at spiders. I like to figure things out myself because it helps me figure out what is right for me, plus it allows me to figure out things I might not learn in a guide. Everyone is different, from how they handle pain and depression, tackle problems, and plan their life. What is good about following a plan that doesn’t suit you? All I know is the basic idea of minimalism is to live with the things you need and live without the things you don’t. Using that basic idea, I’ll build up my own form of minimalism into something that works for me.

This is my minimalism. It’ll start slow but I’ll find what works for me. One thing I already learned about minimalism is that like me saying everyone handles things differently is that everyone has different needs, so you can’t just throw out everything, what one person might throw out because they don’t use it, might be needed by another. This means looking through everything I have and judging if I need it.

My first step is to sort out what I want to keep and what I want to get rid of. My minimalist adventure begins today!

Return and plans

I’m back from treacherous waters… seriously, those waters will backstab you like a bitch. If this analogy is in any way understood in the way I meant it too… congratulations you’re psychic as I have no idea what I just said. I was sick and have come back, ready to get back into whatever it is I was doing… what WAS I even doing?

I’ve been really busy with many things, recording gameplay and podcasts, writing, reading, lots of things. I have got a lot of things planned that I think you guys are really going to like. I’ve got a lot of video editing to do, but that doesn’t bother me. The recordings are going really well and they are fun.

I had a backlog of reviews to post in case I got sick, I was just sick longer than I thought. Now I am building a backlog much larger than what I had, of reviews, gameplay and podcasts.

I just thought I’d tell everyone that I’m back. I’ll be updating everyone on what is happening along with a couple other things. By the end of August is our planned release date for podcasts.

Hope everyone is feeling well.