Captain’s Log LA•Q3: One Thing At A Time

Let’s review — shall we?– the plans for some previous months.

July

August

  • Continue making comics for Bunny Trail Junction. Hit Inktober in the last week.

September

  • Finish Inktober as comics for Bunny Trail Junction, and continue making comics.
  • Start working on the first minigame in a series of progressively larger games.

October

  • Continue making comics for Bunny Trail Junction.
  • Finish the minigame
  • Kickstart Awesome Moments
  • Prepare some YouTube stories for launch in November.
  • BONUS ROUND: Grow my Twitter Reach!
  • SECOND BONUS ROUND: Start making a wearable computer for myself!

Can we see the issue?

I went from doing one thing a month to doing two things a month to doing four things a month. And then to make matters worse, I lost last weekend to hyperfocusing on a project that I should rather have noted and moved on from.

Smart Notes work well with ADHD because impulses can be boiled to a note. The Chaos Elf can then discard the impulse and re-center on what he’s supposed to be doing, as a normal person would, confident that his shiny notion will be saved and grow over time. The Smart Trees that grow also play into his strengths, as his random explorations eventually ripen into large projects that nevertheless, can be completed with minimal work and, therefore, discipline.

LA•Q•1•2 Smart Notes and ADHD

It’s no good. I can’t maintain it. I haven’t maintained it. Neither of the things I did in September received half the attention it deserved, let alone October.

In October, I tried to do four things at once. Instead, I did one thing at once. I spent a week working almost solely on the Kickstarter. I spent a week working almost solely on the game. And I spent a week working on various other projects of varying importance and unimportance. Some days, I spent endlessly scrolling Twitter in an attempt to say something good and link it back to my work. And that publicity work did pay off with steady Twitter growth… but steady Twitter growth was not on my priority list!

It seems that even when I’m doing two things at once, I’m really only doing one thing at once.

If I do two things at once, I will accomplish neither. I must do one thing at a time.

LA•Q•3•1 Single Project Principle

The thing is, I thought I’d be more effective once medicated for ADHD. And I am. But my increased effectiveness isn’t the ability to do twice as many things (or worse: five times as many things).

My increased effectiveness is the same amount of productivity over the same amount of time, but I can choose where it goes.

And by choosing 6 things, I am throwing that away.

The Dark Moment

Every story has a dark moment before the climax. For me, I became obsessed with the idea of assembling a wearable computer using a Raspberry Pi. One that would put data on a display over my eye. I could look through the ocular window and see the world. But also see what time it is. See what project is scheduled for this particular moment. Press a button and run a Pomodoro timer.

My first prototype is useless as a display, but it will serve nicely when I take my kid trick-or-treating.

Of course, with the shipping crisis ongoing right now (October 2021), the soonest I can have a Pi is November or December. I have built a working mockup of the display out of sculpey and junk I have floating around. But the parts to make a good eyepiece won’t arrive ’til November or December.

But the real irony is that a thing invented to keep me on task took me off task. For three days straight.

Sunday night, as I put down the third eyepiece prototype, with 4 projects on deck only two of which had received appreciable work, and they only a week apiece, and a bunch of money poured into eyepiece parts in the mail, I realized I’d screwed up big time.

I also realized that losing only three days and a hundred dollars or so was a grace.

I will do this again any time if I do not take steps to prevent it.

The Break in the Clouds

Sunday Night I did some quick research into choosing tasks and staying on task for Chaos Elves[1]. I resolved by the time I went to sleep to begin the next morning two short-term correctives, and a long term corrective.

The short term correctives are as follows:

  • Schedule each day out in advance and keep the schedule before my eyes. This would be done with Google Calendar and an app that reduces Google Calendar to a friendly clock face with wedges for the scheduled events. For this, I chose Sectograph.
  • Begin to assemble a digital ZettelKasten with checklists that can be synced between my phone and computer. Transfer my work into the ZettelKasten. This will empower the long-term corrective..

The Long Term Corrective

I am dedicated to creating a fountain of entertainment for children. Stories you will not regret giving your kids. Books, comics, videos, and games. I am dedicated to finishing the story of Hat Trick. To creating Awesome Moments. To releasing more Jump the Shark.

I need to consider how I am going to fulfill that goal. To create a system that will pay for itself and continuously get my stories out. Bunny Trail Junction was a fantastic first draft of that system. But it does not pay for itself, it does not find the fans, it spends too much time indulging in navel gazing (which should instead be reserved for my blog), and not enough time telling stories. I need more stories, better stories, faster stories, but!

Most of all, I need to do only one thing at a time.

If I do two things at once, I will accomplish neither. I must do one thing at a time.

LA•Q•3•1 Single Project Principle

I do not know how I am going to accomplish this. And so, for the rest of this month, barring a day or two to upload November’s comics to the site, I am going to hammer that out. I am willing to even go a week or two into November to do this. Options on the table include:

  • Reducing Bunny Trail Junction the Comic to 2 or 3 episodes a week, starting January
  • Making January a Hiatus for the Comic
  • Devising actual Sprite Comic Stories so that more story can be produced more quickly
  • Canceling the Awesome Moments Kickstarter and redoing it when I can devote a whole month to nothing else.
  • Making everything into vidya so I can build a profitable business, then extracting comics and videos and storybooks from games.

By working in the ZettelKasten, and by loading my story ideas into the ZettelKasten, I am confident that eventually, I will have the operation I need to succeed.

Denoument

Right now, everything is up in the air.

I haven’t been on Twitter except for one or two brief posts since Thursday. Several Inktobers haven’t been posted to Twitter (they have gone up automatically on the comic site, of course) as I’ve been A) building eye pieces and B) wrestling with the fallout of my bad choices.

This blog post was built in the ZettelKasten as well, and if it copies into WordPress reasonably well, future blog entries will as well. Ideally, one day, I’d publish the ZettelKasten as my blog, with the personal bits redacted, so that readers would get the full connectivity.

But I’ve spent the last two days going over my business and plans, and I don’t like what I see. I need to make something new.

I need to make a system I can promise to follow.


  1. LA•Q•2•1•1 Chaos Elf: A Chaos Elf is a man with ADHD. The name was chosen to reflect the stunted self-control more accurately called Executive Function Retardation that typifies the disorder. Since nobody but me is willing to call me and those like me Executive Retards, a different rectification of names was selected.

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