Most of the people reading this already know about my illness last year, and how it basically screwed up my entire year. So, it’s probably no surprise that I got little to no writing down all last year.
Right now, I’m not planning to return to writing immediately. It wasn’t just the illness that kept me from writing last year, as it didn’t even hit until summer. The problem really is, I can’t get into the flow. Dictating is how I have to write now, but that means always having to say ‘correct that’ on a regular basis.
I’d learned to write my first drafts on instinct. Leave the typos and grammar mistakes until later. But sometimes, often in fact, the mistakes Dragon makes are so outrageous that if I leave them for later, I likely won’t have a clue what the heck I meant in the first place. For example, in one of my online role-playing games,
I almost posed giving someone ‘theme porn’. I don’t member what I said, but it certainly wasn’t that.
So, for the time being I’m taking a break from writing. I want to get used to Dragon a little more, used to correcting mistakes as I go without losing the flow.
Instead, I’m pursuing other interests for the time being. There’s my photography, though I can’t do that as often as I would like. It is also my 3-D art, which I love doing. Most recently, is programming.
When I was a teenager, in the days of MS-DOS, I loved computers. There was nothing I enjoyed more. I’m a problem solver by nature, and in those days using a computer involved a lot of problem-solving. As things got easier, I lost the love. Computers became a tool, a way to access the Internet and play games. I honestly didn’t even realize it was happening. I thought I was just growing up.
I thought a few times in my life about learning programming. I did take some classes in high school and college, and had enjoyed it, but I never really dove in. So, late last year, after my near-death experience that pneumonia brought me so close to, I decided I needed to do something, to learn something more and do something more with my life. (The same feeling that led me to writing after the last time I was incredibly sick.)
So, I decided to sign up for a computer science course online on EdX. CS50, a famous course from Harvard (and recently, Yale) seemed to be just what I was looking for. I knew I would enjoy it, but I had not expected that would bring back that feeling. That joy of using a computer that I felt so often in high school. I find myself, every day, eagerly looking forward to the next lecture or the next problem set.
I have to dictate character by character, so I don’t foresee this turning into a job. I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with a professional schedule. But, that doesn’t stop me from working on my own projects. And continuing to learn. I’ve already signed up for my next class, a course in C# and Unity. It will still be a few weeks before I’m done this one, but it was on sale so I snatched it up. There is no time limit, so I can take it whenever I want.
I pay a lot for my web hosting, as when I originally signed up I expected to be producing a lot more fiction and thought I would need top-of-the-line features (or, at least, top-of-the-line in shared hosting). That turned out not to be the case. Worse, the Canadian dollar has gone down the drain, making the expensive hosting even more expensive. Heck, I can get a VPS for cheaper than what I’m paying for now. I would just downgrade my service, but I’m not happy with my host lately and want to switch providers.
So, I’ll be looking for new hosting soon. I hope to have a new site up by March 1. Of course, it will likely take longer than that to build. I’m not doing a transfer, as my theme has updated with a new page builder that requires rebuilding my pages if I want to use it. So, if I’m going to have to rebuild anyway, I might as well save myself the work of transferring the database and start from scratch. This will allow me to update my design anyway, and maybe start with a better organizational structure.