Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A simple walkthrough of planing my posts

This month, I'm trying to set aside two hours to write everyday. Some people have mentioned that this exercise will help improve writing skills. I remember when I did A to Z in 2013, by the end of the month I was ready to go creatively.  I put together two posts that I was extremely proud of at the time. I haven't been able to put together that sort of writing for a while. And I'll tell you why.
Besides life getting in the way, big projects get thought of and get started, then all I can I do is look at them and feel overwhelmed. There are 3 projects I want to write about on this blog, but when I think of them and look at them I just feel overwhelmed. The best course of action is to bring them up, analyze and discuss them. When feeling overwhelmed by the size of a project, it's because it just looks big. By breaking in down into a small manageable goals it turns into a done project.
Project number one: Python Monty Carlo problems. I bought a book on solving statistical problems with programing. The dreamer in me sees the book, and realizes that it would help me improve my problem solving skills with python and programing. This in turn would help me with another book I'm reading on Knights Tours and the problems laid out in that book. These would both help me with my job, and then I could use the experience to bigger and better things! I would write a famous paper, then travel the world and become one of the great names that show up in history books! I'm getting ahead of myself, though. I still haven't made it past the introduction. What's the problem? The code in the book is written in a faux-MATLAB type code. So I'm trying to translate the answers into python.
Maybe I'm approaching the problem all wrong. Instead of taking the answer they give, try and understand the problem, and write the code accordingly. The problem I'm having at the moment is trying to figure out what they are trying to make their code do, and then I end up having to fix my code to cover those mistakes. His answers give me the output that I'm shooting for, so that tells me what my code should be saying. The first step is to re-read the problem, and try to understand it. Try to use that heuristics I've become so fond of. If reading doesn't work, then try explaining the problem here or to someone in the room. Then of course just try something.
Project number 2: Translating some of my old posts into Russian. I had an idea that I can simply run my old posts through a translator and then edit them in order to practice my grammar. After doing that and getting some pieces right, what I really want to do is sit on the couch and bitch about how hard it is. And now I realize that it does seem like a big task, and that with no scheduling it will be pushed back indefinitely until I delete next year. I don't want that. I've done some nice basic work on the project already. I think 30 minutes to an hour of my time is reasonable. Or maybe, 25 minutes uninterrupted, a 5 minute break to recharge my brain, then another 25 minutes. About an hour's worth of work, and it would keep me from feeling too overwhelmed. Hmm. Now to make that time. Today is the end of Wednesday. I want to finish it by Sunday. I will update my status at the end of blogposts for until Sunday. Let's see if that motivates me to find some time.
Project Number 3: Continue Animal Shelter. This is a constantly continuing project that always needs a new step to be working on. I've been wanting to write a new post about it for a month now, but have been putting it off for a while. I have a topic, animal rights, and I have the style, the link lists I've been doing recently. I just have no desire to do it right now. Those are best done early in the morning, or around 10 o'clock. Tomorrow or Friday is the best time. I think tomorrow morning, but the reality is that I have to wait to see what my schedule is tomorrow before I work on it. I have no plans yet, but something may come. Unlikely, but a possibility. Alright, I'll work on it tomorrow morning, the python problem needs to be re-read and understood, and  the Russian needs at least an hour worth of time to work on. It's a good plan, and I'll put it into motion tomorrow.
This post is really for my benefit, something to see if I can organize thoughts on paper, make a plan, and follow through. The follow through is the toughest part, but hopefully giving some status updates will give me a moment to realize what went wrong if anything happens. If you made to the end of this boring journal entry, congratulations. For now, I need a walk and shower before bed.

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