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#SSSVeda Day 3: Where I go off topic already.

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Defining Your Process

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Today marks my 2 year anniversary at BTC Revolutions it’s been a life changing year for me and I’m looking forward to see how we will be changing the world in the next two!

I wrote this about two years ago, and never submitted it… I may be more Charlie than I expected.

Charlie-brown-1-sadI’m super excited to be a part of the #TeamBTC blog but as I stare into the emptiness of my Evernote page, I sigh… I need a topic. What better thing to write when you don’t know what to write but to examine how you write. My process has always been take the original topic given to me and completely change it as I go. I am an analogy writer through and through. I like to explain topics by looking at them from a different place.
Some people are procrastinators and work best when the pressure is on, some only like to hit bare minimum requirements counting each and every word as they go, and some tend to over-analyze things. There are many other ways people attack their particular to-dos but in the spirit of #JFDI, let’s just examine the four archetypes of process.
The song “Book Report” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a perfect, yet whimsical example of these four types. The four main characters lament about a recent homework assignment, each in different way.

Charlie Brown – Charlie Brown knows he needs to get his homework done, but he keeps putting it off. He is a classic procrastinator. I know I have a touch of classic Charlie Brown in my blogging style, I always think that I work better under pressure, this is not the case.
If you are a classic procrastinator, try and find ways to help yourself get out of the rut. Schedule a little time every day to get some writing done and just keep chugging along when you can. (I started this post yesterday when I had some downtime, and I’ll probably finish it tomorrow.)

Lucy VanPelt – (One of my life’s personal heroes by the way) wants nothing to do with writing her book report. She counts every word to hit the bare minimum and most of her words were very, very, very ,very ,very – unhelpful. What Lucy could do, is find a way to express herself in a format she enjoys. If you are a classic “Lucy” and do not enjoy blogging or writing but still want to get your message out, look for a different way to do it. A visual person might want to start making infographics. Are you a talker? Express yourself with video blogging.

Linus VanPelt – Linus is a very conscientious researcher but he lets his research take over and go off into tangents and analogies that don’t quite make sense. Don’t let your research take over your theme. If you start out with a topic that gets lost once you start putting words to paper (as it were) maybe the initial topic is not what you want to write about. Keep going into the direction of the research and make changes and tweaks accordingly.

 

Schroeder – Schroeder takes the subject and tries to find a way to explain it in a way that he finds the most entertaining. Using an analogy is a great way to explain things to people in a way that helps them understand new ideas in a familiar way. I am a classic Schroeder, some of my most popular posts have used this method to compare social media and blogging to pop culture. Shoot – that is the basis of this post itself!


While I am sure there are 100 different variations of each style listed above, every author is different. The point of this post is to get you to try to define your process. Once you define it, learn the best way to work with your type to best accentuate your writing.

Where do you fall into this scale? What is your Peanuts process?

*Apparently, I am also “A Lucy” as I just checked my word count and felt an immediate need to add more.

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Geeks, Rosewater & Finding Your Passion

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11821176_1057843920895149_500233631_nLast week, I attended my first ever, GenCon in Indianapolis. I had no idea what to expect, except for a lot of people, a lot of gaming and a lot of heat. What I was hoping to get out of my week was some inspiration. I have maybe only written one or two blog posts in the last year, when I used to write 2 or 3 a month and I have been trying to get ‘unstuck’. I went and signed up for a long list of writing seminars in hopes of triggering something to get me back at the keyboard. Wait…. There are words on a screen right here… you are reading them, so obviously, those worked. Right? Wrong.

My inspiration did not come from the writing seminars, don’t get me wrong, they were all useful for people wanting to write a novel, or a story, or a screen play… but not for me. For me, they were a bit disheartening when I didn’t get that spark that I had my hopes set up for. What did inspire me to get back to my writing was discovering the passion the people at GenCon have. Seeing how much time and effort that people put into intricate cosplay outfits, to recreate favorite charachters (not to mention suffering through 90 degree heat in them). Or people that sat playing their favorite games for so long, they have to pack breakfast, lunch and dinner, to eat at the tables. Now, while I consider myself a proud geek and I love what I love, I did not understand the intense passion that some people have for a game, a world or a particular character… or in the case of my main inspiration, a very specific topic in a very specific time frame.

My boyfriend, Jon, and I as well as the friends we went to the con with, spent most of our time going in four different directions. Jon and I decided we wanted to attend at least one event together. We read through the website and found one seminar that we both said. “Hey, that’s weird. Let’s go to that one!” So we both signed up for Creating Medieval and Fantasy Cuisines… because, why wouldn’t you?! Not knowing even a glimmer of what to expect, we took our seats… and were immediately called out for sitting in back, I knew then, this was going to be good! The room filled up quickly and the speaker, Daniel Myers, started in. He covered all sorts of things you would need to know when creating a universe and the foods and methodology of how that food would be prepared down to the last detail (Knowing the available heat sources are a must when considering how people in your world eat and live.)

The now practically full room, was buzzing. Comments, questions, side conversations.., the place was full of energy. At one point, Daniel stopped following his outline and the second hour just became an open discussion. This is when pulled out my phone and put the title of this blog into Evernote. Then, he started to talk about Rosewater. I don’t think I can even put into words how Daniel talked about rosewater, but I made me want some. Listening to him describe his complete joy in making a dish that was similar to meringue but featured rosewater… you could see multiple people pulling out phones to Google it for making it at home.

Thanks to Daniel, and all the other 61K people at GenCon (and my yearly participating in GISHWHES), I’ve been able to reignite my passion, not only for writing but embracing all the weird and wonderful things I love.

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The Almost Gamer Girl

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I’m a geek. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. A card carrying, Star Wars loving, Bad Wolf ring wearing, GISHWHES participating (certified) weirdo. I get it, I’m proud of it, I celebrate it. I am always down for learning  something new, fun and geeky.
That said.
About a year ago, I started playing Shadowrun with my boyfriend and another couple, but I’ve been hesitant to refer to myself as a ‘gamer’ or a ‘gamer girl’. I don’t really know why I don’t. While I can easily slide into most “geek” oriented situations, I’m still unsure about the world of Shadowrun and gaming, at least as far as the world of RPG’s anyway, outside of my immediate group. I’m sure that will come in time and be built within circumstance and education. I still feel a bit like Bambi on ice when I sit down to play every Wednesday.
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I’m still very much learning the ins and outs of gaming and picking up the skills I need to master to become comfortable playing. Quite honestly, I’d be pretty excited to get comfortable enough with my small list of spells to know specifically what they do without checking my flash cards for how they work. (Puddle of Goo anyone? I mean, really)
My introduction into the world of the shadows is about to go full speed ahead. I’m about to become immersed into the world of gaming. Tonight, we registered for GenCon.
We’re heading down with the con with the couple we play with in our home game. Did I mention that the couple we play with have one of the most popular Shadowrun podcasts out there? And that one of them is a writer for one of the Shadowrun sourcebooks? So, year. These cats are hard core. These guys are gamers with a capital G. The three of them have been so very helpful with me and allowing me a curve to learn the game and blessing me with a heft dose of patience.
The four of us are heading down for the week of the con and will be attending various events thoughout. Tonight, I sat down to see what I wanted to sign up for.  While I didn’t sign up to play, I’ve allowed myself plenty of free time to learn and explore the exhibit hall and just absorb it all. Taking in my first con, as well as trying to pick up tips and tricks on playing (as well as working while I’m there) may just be on the line between being whelmed and possibly over.
I did want to block some time to sign up for some things while we are there. The one I’m most excited for is the talk on “Women and Gaming”. I find the topic obviously, extremely relevant to me and I want to listen and learn from people who are far more deep into this world then me.
This topic has been know to be a relativity hot one in the recent past. From Gamergate to the Denver ComicCon “Women in Comics” panel that was made of all men. I’ve had some conversations about this topic with a friend of mine and I’m intrigued about what they will be saying.
This post is going to be the first in a series where I further explore the world of gaming and my place in it. I’ll be exploring what it’s like to jump full bore into this world and what it’s like playing as a beginner with people who have been doing it for years, and are even turning it into their profession.
I don’t know yet why I can’t refer to myself as a gamer, I somehow feel like I need to graduate into that roll. In the meanwhile, I’m just a French, Fairy Mage with a vendetta against the Undead.
But, that’s a story for another day…
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Being the Change. My #BTCLife

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Be the change.

What did those words mean to me a year ago? Well, I knew it was part of a quote and I got the basicis of the mood of it all. What I didn’t know, was those 3 words were about to change my life.

Be the Change

A year ago at this time, I was working in social for a local company in my home town. Looking back on that time, quite honestly, being paid to learn how to be a community manager. Good thing too. Little did I know, that one day when I got a random ping from my friend Brew, my life was about to go from zero to 60.

I did phone interviews while dressing my car for prom (as a part of my first GISHWHES) and post fluke summer storm that knocked the power out in my house for a week and the next thing I knew, I was setting up an office in my dining room.

To be honest, the first month or two was a complete blur. I went from an account that saw possibly 3 replies a day on Twitter to one that if I didn’t hit Twitter limit once per shift, I would be shocked. Learning new accounts, new procedures, just exactly who the members of One Direction were, and possibly the biggest thing…. learning how to work virtually. Driving to work, sitting at a deck, worrying about what to wear, these were now things of the past. Now I had to worry about internet connections, doing my own taxes and fixing my own tech if something went wrong.

After a while, I found my groove and I discovered that I flourished in this work style. I liked being able to focus on the work and not the goings about in a traditional office environment. And I worked. I worked a lot. I worked long hours and I worked every day. And I loved it. There was blood, there was sweat and there were tears.

I have never worked harder or been more proud of myself then I have been this past year.

I’ve learned some things about myself, some good and some things that I need to work on. I know what it is like to embrace change and ask for way to make myself improve. I’ve toughened up a lot, I can not not only articulate what I want, I can map out the plan to achieve it. I still can’t take a compliment (don’t ever let that stop you) but I can handle them with more grace. I’ve learned how to celebrate my wins as well as the wins of those around me. I have seen what working as a true team can do and that the results are astounding and limitless. I’ve found my drive and my hustle. I’ve learned the importance of stopping to breathe and most of all, to give focus where it is important. I’ve reached into a place within myself and how I look at my life that I never would have even begun to process without working for BTC. The people that I work with (no matter how far apart we are from one another) are NOT my coworkers, they are my family.

I’ve discovered passions for what I do and WHY I do it. I’ve become part of the team that is working to end childhood hunger in America. Not only are we changing the model for what it means to be a digital agency, we’re changing the world! This is more then just tweets. This is life. The #BTCLife.

I’ve been able to do some things I never thought I’d be able to do. I can make it from one end of the MSP airport to another in 9 minutes. #FloJo. I was able to take my mother on a vacation to see some of her family she hadn’t seen in years. Despite my insane schedule, I even took the time to fall in love with a great guy. I have still yet to master the elusive work/life balance… but I know I’m on the path to getting there.

So, back to those three little words… Not only do I work for Be The Change, they have been the change for me.

http://btcrevolutions.com/ 

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