Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Day 31: A new plan, again, again

Well I feel pretty gunky for sharing all that personal stuff yesterday, but what can you do? You have to do it. There's no point writing if you're not going to be honest.

Got an abomination of a headache chiseling into my cranium, and work at 5, have to go be a Mr Manager and make someone who ain't me a whole load of money. But there are a few hours now that, providing Mike doesn't message asking me to play Diablo, which'll obviously take priority, but otherwise there are a few hours now in which to do nothing but sit here and write.

Ah, hey, you know what? Feel grateful for the little things, and a little thing I feel grateful for right now is being able to type on this keyboard. Have I told you about this keyboard? Oh, boy.

It's a mechanical keyboard, which means... I can't remember what it means. Something about how each key has its own mechanism underneath it, rather than most keyboards these days which only have a... umm... there's a word for it. Uhh. Not "film". Like... viscous? Plant matter? Membrane! Yes. Regular keyboards have a rubber membrane under the keys that registers... I don't know how it works. I have no idea what I'm talking about. But mechanical keyboards are all clacky and clunky and solid and just utterly gorgeous to type on.

And this one here has got... Right, a lot of mechanical keyboards are marketed to gamers, because they register more simultaneous key presses and you can multi-tap keys quicker, vital in fast-paced shooters or strategy games... So most mechanical keyboards cost upwards of £100 and have LED lights underneath the keys that can be programmed to flash in a multitude of colours in garish, gauche displays, because obviously that'll bring the ladies flocking, Kevin, sat alone in your bedroom pumping an 80s disco out of your computer peripheral as you fight teenagers over the internet in Fortnite.

Dunno why I'm nerd-shaming, actually. Whatever makes Kev happy. But my keyboard has none of that. It cost £38 and is a sophisticated black number, with a luxurious red metal plate under the keys that you can only see when you're directly above the board (people who are into keyboards call them "boards", because they think it sounds cooler. It doesn't. But I'm in too deep now).

There's a classy Rosewill cursive logo in the corner, in glossy black against the matt of the rest of the board, and under it sit three elegant blue LEDs used to highlight the toggling of the num-, caps- and scroll-lock keys.

The keys themselves sit on Cherry MX Brown switches -- there's a whole world of switch mechanisms out there with differing rebound rates and actuation forces and whatnot, and the Cherry MX brand is to keyboard enthusiasts what Patron is to American hip-hop artists; if you're anybody who has the slightest sense of taste or discernment you use Cherry MXs -- and the Brown varieties are a nice mid-point between the Reds favoured by gamers and the Blues preferred by office typists, and when you type on my keyboard it sounds really sexy like you're in a crumbling newsroom in Havana with the sun filtering in the blinds and a smudged glass of rum by your hand and a rolled cigarette wedged in the corner of your mouth and you're typing about youth protests and government corruption and everything is dusty, everything has to be dusty, but also you can play a bit of Diablo if you get bored, because that's important too.

So that's the story of my keyboard, I hoped you liked it. I was feeling on edge after yesterday, but I now feel sufficiently warmed up to talk about what I'm going to do with my blog.

I'm going to still write it. Every day. I'm nowhere ready to stop this. Eventually I'd like to move to more controlled pieces, researched and measured (and, crucially, edited), but for now I can just tell that I have to keep going like this until I've fully ingrained the habit, got over the perfectionism that has choked the breath out of so many of my pieces before.

If I started allowing myself to post once a week I know I'd write loads the first day, get distracted the second day, rush the post on the sixth day, feel rubbish about it and leave it two weeks, start trying to do a big post explaining why I missed the last one, not be able to finish that, fall into self-loathing, never write again.

So currently it's about keeping on keeping on. A day at a time. Not over-pressuring myself, not allowing myself to falter, just putting one foot in front of the other over and over and not stopping.

And no booze or anything yet either. In the future, who knows? For now: nope nope nope.

90 days is the new target, which is to say 60 more days; I'm a third of the way to that goal already.

Something I am going to change is posting links to this on my personal Facebook page. It was necessary at first to create accountability, to use the fact that I felt many eyes on me to make it too shameful to not put up a post. But I hope I'm confident enough now to do it regardless, and I don't want to drown everyone I know in updates. I'll share to my Scouring of Saucepans Facebook page, and anyone who isn't interested can not follow or mute that or whatever.

I also want to keep the format loose enough to encompass smaller challenges I might set for myself. Maybe one week I'll blog about getting up at 6am every day. Maybe the next week about cooking a new meal each night. Then a diary about my efforts to play through one of the many videogames currently sat on my shelves and digital Steam library gathering dust and whatever the digital equivalent of dust is -- memory fragmentation, I guess -- making me feel sicky and bad for all the money I've spent on these virtual worlds I've run around in for 20 minutes and thrown aside when they got difficult.

There are still loads of ways I'm lazy, uncertain, totally fucked up, and loads of styles and tones and voices I want to play around with, and daily blogging feels like the best tool to use for all that.

So I'm going to be here, day after day, doing my thing. Drop in if you fancy. You'll be most welcome.

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