Monthly Review — August 2016

Every month, I aim to be as productive as possible in multiple aspects of my life. Whether it be cooking or writing or learning Japanese, setting these targets that I strive to meet ensures that not a single day is wasted.

So, over on my Twitter, I make use of the nifty (does anyone still use that word?) “Pinned Tweet” feature and set myself 3–4 goals, or as many as I can fit in the space of 140 characters. Twitter is quickly becoming my most-used social platform; I check it multiple times a day and have plenty of people with whom I share common interests to interact with.

Due to how frequently I use the service, its serves as a much better post board for my goals than say, a memo on my phone or a physical note. With the introduction over, its time for my review of last month.

Goal: Read at least 2 Light Novel volumes

Status: Failed

As a result of my massive interest in Japanese culture, I have started to build up quite the collection of literature, specifically, manga and light novels. I usually collect multiple series at once, but of course, reading multiple series is a whole different matter. This usually results in more than a few volumes gathering dust. By setting a goal related to reading, it ensures that I’m taking enough time away from the multiple monitors in my life to sit down with a good book. Or so I should.

Since the majority of my literature is physical, it does mean that I can’t take it with me everywhere I go. This means that my reading time is drastically cut short whenever I’m out of my room or from the Newcastle area. That was the case this past month, since I was back home in London visiting family for the summer holidays. Hauling back all of the books I was reading was not an option, so I decided to try and make use of the digital library of light novels stored on my iPad.

Now obviously, its not as easy to use a tablet as it is a mobile phone, as one device is much more appealing to use. When this is the case, the other device usually sits on the wayside, disused. When it came to trying to read light novels on my iPad, either whilst I was cooking or before bed, I would rather use my phone for something else. There were some occasions where I actually did do some reading before bed, but otherwise, I didn’t come close to reading two entire volumes of the current series I’m reading, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. Especially when each volume is about 300–500 pages long.

Goal: Fully format the plans for my new project

Status: Achieved

Currently, I am aiming to start writing my own visual novel and I have the plans noted down on my phone, however they weren’t really suitable to expansion. Whilst thinking about how to make my notes more cohesive, I realised that this goal was effectively redundant.

No-one else but me is going to read these notes, so why do I need to make them all fancy if they’re doing just fine in their current state? As far as progress with the actual novel goes, there is still a lot of headway to be made. I have been focusing on my new YouTube channel for the past week or so, which means that I haven’t made time to knuckle down with some writing.

Goal: Tweet in Japanese at least once a day

Status: Achieved (more or less)

My active study of the Japanese language is one of the favourite things that I have been doing recently. It feels like every day is an adventure with what words I will see or kanji I will learn. In fact, just today, I realised that there are no kanji in the Pokemon games, which means that playing through those is the perfect way to expand my vocabulary whilst getting to enjoy a game I love to no end.

When I set the goal of wanting to tweet in Japanese once a day, it meant that I would be able to sit down and think in another language for just a few minutes whilst I tried to wrack my brain for what I could say. This goal stretched me to look up new vocabulary to describe things like the way people were speaking or the weather. It meant that I got to polish my steadily improving foreign language skills. It meant that I got to have fun with Japanese.

That’s pretty much it for my August review. I will be setting my new goals over on my Twitter, so if you’re interested in my personal progression, I encourage you to follow me on there.

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