Most people make New Years resolutions, but it's been a tradition of mine for... all my life?... to spend January doing as little as possible. But now it's the heady days of Febuary. I'm going back to TAFE next week and essentially, for me, the year is actually starting. And now there are a few resolutions springing to mind.
*Finish the Prince of Persia as soon as possible - this may not seem like the peak of achievement, really. Especially not for a game that's about five years old. But, really, it's vital that I do this. Why? VIDEO GAME ADDICTION! Arrgh! I can't stand it. I don't actually spend too much time playing games - usually my time on computers is spent doing a) work, b) writing, c) watching slightly-illicit recordings of TV shows, d) bitching online about the latest sockful of miscellany. Sometimes I put in a game and play it for a little while just to kill time - like playing half-an-hour of Deus Ex so I can laugh at the exploding Men-In-Black and see what happens when I shoot Manderley in the head the first time I meet them.
BUT, every now and again, comes a game that is absolutely addictive and I can't stop playing. One of the classics was Knights of the Old Republic - maaan, the hours I wasted on that bastard. Which was impressive, considering how incredibly buggy my copy was. The final levels where every room you walk into contains 25 heavily-armed blokes who want to kill you became entirely stressful when my party members decided to instantly teleport to the other side of the room and refuse to run where I told them to. The computer copped quite a yelling-at that week...
PoP is the latest. There's something addictive about playing a guy who talks just like Cary Elwes in Princess Bride while running along walls and jumping over pitfalls, etc. The game is charming, its fun, and its incredibly difficult. So I want to finish it as quickly as possible so I can just delete it.
But Jared, isn't that feeding the addiction rather than controlling it?
Probably. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do with a real addiction because cocaine and heroin aren't things that just get boring after you've 'done them', but the simple truth is that a game is linear: once you've played it, you've played it. So, my aim is specifically: to finish PoP before the weekend is out. That means I won't have that awful distraction at the back of mind when I'm at TAFE.
Current status? 65%. According to the game itself. And who would know better, really?
*Write for no-one but myself - again, this could sound a bit strange. But here's what happened - Big Finish had a Doctor Who short story contest. I psyched myself up aaaaand... missed the deadline. I had been deluded into thinking my timezone was GMT+20 for some strange reason, so figured I could get away with having only half done on the actual night it was due and... look it's too stupid even to iterate. Suffice it to say it's the umpteenth time I've fucked up by missing a deadline. Considering the winner would have gotten paid an authors fee and become a published author, not to mention get a foot in with BigFinish who are twelve billion times more open than the actual Doctor Who production office (who, no matter what they say, is where absolutely all DW fans want to work) and that the story I had in mind fit the criteria to a tee and was, IMHO, pretty good I'd call this a bigger than usual fuck-up.
I'm taking this as a lesson, though. I already know, speaking as modestly as I can here, that I am a good writer. (God, it's hard to say that without sounding like a wanker isn't it?) I work my dialogue and characters good and enjoy working out plots. My big problem is discipline as a writer, so I want to work on that. I want to set deadlines for myself to reach. As long as they're for myself it won't matter if I don't reach them for anyone but me, and I want to get into the habit of writing stuff daily. And I want to learn to write quickly at a good quality. This is something I should have been working on for a long time, frankly.
Oh, and the Big Finish story? I'm going to hold onto it for a while, sorry. I think it's got potential so I may end up using it again some day. (Could work as an audio adventure, in fact...)
Current status: Not looking good, but set to improve. Check when finished Prince of Persia.
*Send something in to Tony Martin/Get This - Get This is the best radio show I've ever heard... if you haven't heard it tune in to TripleM at sometime between 11-2. (Y'know, if you're Australian) I just love everything about it. And I've been toying about sending in something - possibly some sort of audio sketch - for ages. And really it would be cool if I could.
The fact was driven home to me today when one of their call-in topics was about weird e-mails that you've received. They had one caller (incredibly!) so I figured it could have been a chance to ring them myself... but (and this is the embarassing bit) I was too nervous to call. Don't know if anyone can understand that but, to me, Tony Martin is a legend of comedy and I was intimidated by the idea of sharing a minute or so of air-time with him. Honestly. Yeah, I should feel embarassed.
I have emailed them several times in the past. But possibly they didn't understand my sense of humour and thought I was just being insulting. (Like Dom Knight from The Chaser)
*Maybe get a job, some source of income - 'maybe' being the key word.
Well, there you go. Another exciting chapter in my life.