Here’s a set of interesting questions that Lynn posted, and as usual, I cannot resist!
Q: If something is forbidden, do you want it less or more?
I think that one thing that differentiates ‘adulthood’, or ‘maturity’, or whatever you want to call it, is the ability to understand why things are sometimes forbidden. Forbidden things tend to have less of the quality of, say, me at six years old being ‘forbidden’ to go into my sister’s room — you bet your ass that made me want to go in there at every opportunity!
But nowadays, when I’m told “You are forbidden to attempt to fix this piece of equipment!” (just to make up an example), I know that it’s generally because (a) I’m not qualified and (b) there’s a million volts going through it.
Q: Is there an area of your life where you feel out of control? Especially in control?
I have control of my writing. I don’t have control over whether it goes anywhere, but the words themselves, the ones that I choose to depict what happens to my characters? That’s all me!
As for being out of control? The economy at large, I suppose. The environment. The state of the world. I have precious little control over any of that, so I try not to worry about it.
Q: If you unexpectedly had a completely free afternoon, what would you do with that time?
When’s the afternoon? Mid-summer? Fall? Winter? Is there a movie just out that I want to see? Or do I want to get some coffee and do some writing? Or go walk in the woods and take pictures?
Q: Are you comfortable or uncomfortable in a disorderly environment?
A mix of both, I suppose. I know, weak answer…but I think that order is generally agreeable because it makes life easier. I get uncomfortable when order becomes a goal in itself, though.
Q: How much time do you spend looking for things you can’t find?
Again, depends on what it is. Wallet? Car keys? Glasses? Those I look for a lot. A certain book that I know I own? I’ll look a bit, and then figure it’ll turn up later on. (Or I’ll remember that I don’t even own it. Yes, that’s happened.)
Q: Are you motivated by competition?
Not that much, except for playing games or whatnot. Competition in life annoys me, and I hate approaching life that way or assuming that I need to. Again it goes back to things I can control, and really, the only thing I can control is my own efforts. I tend to think that the only competition I’m generally in is with myself.
Q: Do you find it easier to do things for other people than to do things for yourself?
Oh, yes. Yes indeed.
Q: Do you work constantly? or think you should be working?
Yes to the second. I live in constant fear that I’m not getting enough done. I look at my writing-tracking spreadsheet and I see that I’m consistently clearing my own quota, and I wonder if I shouldn’t double it. But I don’t want to set the goal so high that I’m spending time worrying about making that goal and not about other goals, like spending time interacting with the Family Unit.
Q: Do you embrace rules or flout rules?
It goes back to my answer to the ‘forbidden things’ question: if I know why the rule exists, I’m much more likely to follow it than if it just seems to be a rule created because that’s the way someone at a desk decided that things should be done.
But what about ‘writing’ rules? Most of those tend to be guidelines more than rules, but some that I think are really important to my personal productivity: Show, don’t tell; only rarely use anything other than ‘said’ as my verb of dialog attribution; adverbs are The Devil; and most importantly, Nulla dies sine linea: “Never a day without lines”.
Q: Do you work well under pressure?
Sometimes. Once I get the job going, I’m fine…but I do have a tendency to start trying to work a little too fast and then bad things happen. If I force myself to take my time and do the job I know how to do, I’m fine.
Q: What would your perfect day look like?
I’d get some writing done. I’d go for a walk. I’d drink some coffee in the morning and some rum in the evening. I’d talk to The Wife. I’d read. I’d wear overalls and I’d take a brief nap at some point.
Q: How much TV do you watch in a week (include computer time spent watching videos, movies, YouTube)?
Three hours a day? Maybe? It varies, and I tend to do some stuff while those shows are on, anyway. And you know what? I’m fine with that. I pick good stuff to watch, and there’s a LOT of good stuff to watch these days. I don’t feel that the time I do spend watching something is time I’m wasting.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Heh! My standard answer here is that I’m by temperament a night person who has been forced by certain aspects of life (such as the day job’s start time) to become a morning person. I tend to not get enough sleep during the week because of this. That may be my most unhealthy habit, actually.
Q: What’s more satisfying to you: saving time or saving money?
Again, it depends! But I tend to bias toward time. I know folks who rigorously sift through coupons and grocery store ads to determine which local store is cheapest any given week on various items they plan to buy, and then they’ll spend a day going to three or more stores to buy it all. That would drive me crazy. I’d much rather shop in one place, maybe spend ten more bucks than I would otherwise, and have my shopping done in an hour.
Q: Do you like to be in the spotlight?
I do, but I don’t like to seek it much. This blog (and other social networking mechanisms) are as extroverted as I tend to get. Now, if someone shines a spotlight on me, I’m not recoiling in horror. But I don’t knock myself out to get it.
Q: Is your life “on hold” in any aspect? Until you finish your thesis, get married, lose weight?
Not ‘on hold’, but…well, let’s just say that apartment living is losing its cachet….
Q: What would you do if you had more energy?
More of what I already do. In fact, my main hang-up isn’t energy; for me, it’s time. I don’t feel I have enough to devote to the things I truly love doing already!
Q: If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it?
Fill it with books? Or set up a woodworking/carpentry shop? Hmmmm….
Q: What people and activities energize you? Make you feel depleted?
Going to new places, new cities; walking museums and used bookstores. Walking outside. Depleted? I hate it when I’m forced into social situations where I’m ‘required’ to get to know people. I’m not terribly extroverted, until I get to know people.
Q: Is it hard for you to get rid of things that you no longer need or want?
Sometimes, if I can come up with a sentimental reason for it. But I’m gradually becoming more hard-nosed about stuff like this. My problem is getting motivated to go through and get rid of stuff to begin with.
(The exception here, of course, is books. I have the hardest time getting rid of books!)
Q: Do you get frustrated easily?
Yeah, I do. Not something I like about myself! I hate it when I know I’m doing something right and it’s still not coming out right.
Q: On a typical night, what time do you go to bed? How many hours of sleep do you get?
Usually midnight or so. Weekdays I’m up at 6:00 am, unless I’m not working, in which case I’m either sleeping in or I’m up when The Daughter gets up (not much later than that, sad to say). If I have an early morning job to do, I’ll get up shortly before 4:00 am. Currently I use the 6:00 to 7:00 hour to do a little online reading and such and then for writing. Writing every day really keeps the pump primed, and having a dedicated time each day when I write is really a good idea.
Q: If at the end of the year, you had accomplished one thing, what is the one accomplishment that would make the biggest difference to your happiness?
I’d love to sell a manuscript! But as I’m going to be starting editing this week, I’d like to at least have it submitted somewhere by year’s end. I’d also like to have the first draft done on Lighthouse Boy (not the actual title), but I’m not sure I’ll make it, as I’m not entirely sure how long this one’s going to be. I’m not sure if I should try to stick to my 180000 word goal, or allow myself more than that. As I currently have no idea where the story is going…I’m leaving this up in the air.
Q: And here’s another question for you. What questions would you add to this list, to help other people know themselves better? It’s so important, and so elusive.
Like Lynn: no book questions! I’m a firm believer that looking at someone’s bookshelf tells me a great deal about them. And maybe questions about vocations and the choosing thereof…not all of us get to choose our vocations, but are chosen for them, and of the latter group, a lucky bunch do find some value in them after all. If that makes sense.
Anyway…there’s the quiz!
I'm doing this quiz on Saturday – already wrote the post yesterday.