Tuesday

Writing and running have this in common, and I'm not doing them

Running and writing have a few things in common

You have to do it to be it. It's really that simple. If you do it, you are one.

To be a writer, all you have to do (and this goes for bloggers, too) is write. It doesn't matter (unless you're trying to make a living with your writing) if you're a good writer or a not-so-good writer. Writing does matter. That is, you actually write.

The same theory applies to running.

To be a runner, all you have to do (and this goes for any exercise, too) is run. It doesn't matter (unless you're trying to make a living with your running) if you're a fast runner or a not-so-fast runner. Running does matter. That is, you actually have to run.

And that's where I've gone astray.

I've stopped doing both.

Regret is a powerful thing that you can't see sneaking up. Only when regret passes you do you take notice. All of a sudden you're not only behind but losing ground fast.

That's your wake-up call. That's your moment of clarity, you might say.

And that is exactly where I am now.

There is no one reason for me to stop running and stop writing. In fact, the stage has been set for more opportunity than ever to do both. Seldom have the resources in the form of time and access been more favorable for both.

I just didn't do it...in the most anti-Nike style.

Nearly ten months have passed without any serious training. Today I sit pecking away on the keys for the first time in that same period.

What do I have to show for it? Easy, short answer: worse then nothing. Fron the writing angle, I have nothing...not that anyone reads this blog...but no entry at all. Not even a journal entry. I've found writing as a creative outlet and recently dreamed of making a few bucks with it. Not working on the "craft" as real writers call it, has cost me a little bit of self-inflicted frustration. But in reality, not writing hasn't had any negatives.

And as for running, a different outcome. A lack of training that was, oddly, caused by over-training, has provided me with a few extra pound and a lot less aerobic capacity.

Thats what can be seen on the surface. It's what you can't see that poses the most impinging threat.

Enough of all that. This is a blog of gains, progression, attitude. It's time to get back on track.

Everyone has a period in life when you've needed to get back to it (whatever your it is). Now is my time. And as I'm finding, getting back in shape is proving harder than starting a fitness program in the first place. After several years of focusing on my fitness through planning and reviewing statistics, setting goals and meeting challenges, Im feeling bogged down by these things. The details and data that once drove my athletic program now keep the wheels spinning in a state of cyclical planning.  The same can be said for writing...or in my case, blogging.

Getting mired in the details of platform and techno-necessities breeds procrastination. They keep words from appearing on the page. They sap the creativity needed to follow the open-ended prompt, to embark on the next character arc.

Ive come to realize that running and writing do have much to talk about. Minimal equipment needed, they both require  regular practice (and you can practice if you let yourself). You need a plan, but not too much of a plan. You can go run and write long or short and take different routes.

There is no ending here. Just a beginning do-over.





Monday

The Game of Chromebook


Moving away from my Mac was hard but choosing Chromebook really didn't take a lot of brain-power. 

I've been in the market for a laptop for over two years since giving my adored MacBook to my wife. While I still had visitation use privileges on the weekend, not having my own laptop took a toll on my word count and productivity. But the sad reality remained that we simply could not afford another laptop, at least not another Mac. 
And that was the problem. I'm a die-hard Mac guy, so looking at a more affordable machine was out of the question. 

Enter the Chromebook

I'm not sure how I got turned onto the notion of a Chromebook but it may have been at a visit to our local Apple store, ironically, that put the idea in my head. The sales person at Apple compared a MacBook Air to Chromebook (I have no idea why he would do that). As he was reviewing the adorable features of the Air, I started to tic down a list of things I actually needed a laptop to do.

I do almost, if not all, email and social media on my phone and I don't do games. Video productions are created either on my phone or on my iMac in the office. So I don't need a blazing fast processor, a heap of memory, or warehouse-size hard drive.

I need a reliable, stable laptop for writing, publishing, researching...and what else? And I need to be able to do that anywhere from my comfy office to the front seat of my twelve year old Honda and a few places in between. That's about it.

The cursor of the mind blinked a few times...and I was off to explore Chromebooks.

I walked out of the Apple store and before hitting the parking lot I learned new terms, understood new device specs and looked at a few Chromebook reviews (all on my iPhone 7). The Mac OS has been my sole system for a long time, going back to system 6.5! Even looking at another system was akin to adultery, yet there I was.

Learning the new tech and terms that came with investigating a new piece of tech was interesting but it didn't distract from what seems to be a rather featureless machine. Still the attractive price of the Chromebooks that kept me from abandoning my investigation.

The final selling point (on deciding to purchase a Chromebook) came from digging a little deeper into the world of Google Docs. I found the platform could be manipulated to meet my needs and was the unending customization with the features I wanted (and only the ones I wanted). Honestly, I could care less about 99% of the features on most word processing programs. Added bonus, the Chrome OS follows the same customization plan.

So, in the end, price and manipulation brought me to the Chromebook. And since I'm (one of the few) blogging on Googles Blogger platform...we're going to give this Chromebook thing a try.

Straight out of the box

I was working on an article within 5 minutes of opening my new Chromebook for the first time. Having my Google accounts set up certainly helped speed things along, but there were no complexities to hold me back - I just got to writing.

That's my goal; just get to writing.

And this is where it all circles back around; I can just write my stuff. No distractions. Working on a system that caters to me - with only the features I want may speed my progress (and perhaps increased my daily word count).

Time will tell if this $300.00 trip down the Chromebook road will work out, but I'm certain we're off to a good start.