Operation Achieve Anything: Day Thirty-Three, Dateline 2-2-2018

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My first notebook was a Big Five tablet, given to me [at age five] by my mother with the sensible suggestions that I stop whining and learn to amuse myself by writing down my thoughts.
— Joan Didion

Howdy Crickets… hm… I kind of like this intro even though I don’t think that I’ve ever used the word “Howdy” in my entire life. Either way, I’m going to stick with it as today’s Operation Achieve Anything greeting. Today makes day number thirty-three and once again I have to admit that I’m a bit underwhelmed by both of the assignments that I’m here to report on.

First, yesterday’s assignment was simply to continue using the journal that I bought on day one, which I’ve already been doing as an effort to follow the Achieve Anything… book’s gameplan, making it technically not really an assignment at all. Then we have today’s assignment which is to continue using the notebook, as already assigned, only today I’m supposed to make it fun with humorous ramblings and doodles.

I might not take issue with these two, almost identical, assignments if they were dished out, literally, back to back, but as it is, the author's decision to do so makes both tasks feel even more like filler. Again, I feel bad for being so critical because, if I wasn’t reporting on my results through this blog, I’d be perfectly happy with these back to back days off from having to really push myself.

Since I’ve been so rough on the book over the past couple days, I will now take this extra time now that the assignments are out of the way to share a positive outcome that’s come from this book that will make this whole challenge a success whether or not I achieve my ultimate goal.

One of the early assignments was to try something new where I technically cheated by revisiting my efforts to learn to play bass, which I’ve attempted in the past only to give up before I could legitimately consider my attempt to be valid. The new aspect that I used to justify this loop-hole was that this time I would stick to it.

Years ago, I bought the game Rocksmith, which is a Guitar Heroes style game that uses actual instruments. I also bought a guitar only to quickly determine that I was too old of a dog to learn this new trick. This is why I then bought a bass, figuring it would be easier to navigate four strings, instead of six, with my fat old fingers.

Back when I bought the bass, I tried the game once or twice but gave right away because I had the same issue of not being able to figure out the finger coordination needed to get the job done. At the time, I made it through a couple of the intro lesson where I only used one or two chords to play a tune. Once all the strings were involved my efforts spun out of control to the point where I thought I was hopeless.

At the time I only stuck to these first few lessons, thinking that I was nowhere near skilled enough to explore other areas of the game. This go-round, since it was an assignment from the book, I committed to trying for at least an hour a day. At first, I got hung up on the exact same spot in the lessons which got me thinking that it might just be too late for me to learn.

Thankfully, I wasn’t willing to give up that easy this time, due to my stubborn drive to fulfill the Achieve Anything… book’s assignment. After being stuck for a couple of days, I figured why not try the game’s feature that challenges you to play along with popular songs.

As I said, I used to be afraid of this section of the game because of how little I thought that I was taking away from the lessons. The cool thing about this game is that it keeps track of your progress and only deals out notes that it thinks that you can play adding more and more notes as you improve your accuracy and score. Not only does the game add more notes as you get better, it will also take them away when you hit a point when you’re no longer able to keep up.

The flexibility of this aspect of the game made it so that I was able to practice from the lessons that I’ve learned instead of continually moving on to more and more advanced techniques when I have yet to nail down the basics. Right now, I’m still stuck in the same spot as far as the lessons go but I recently earned a 108% score for the Def Lepard song  Pour Some Sugar On Me since it doesn’t use any advanced techniques that I can’t do.

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Not only do I now feel more comfortable with the basics of playing the bass, I also revisited the playing the game with my trusty guitar and quickly picked up on the basics of that as well. Though I’ve still got a long way to go before I can play a song without referencing the game's cues, I’ve made an amazing amount of progress in just a little over a week and the Achieve Anything… book deserves all of the credit.

So, even though I might complain from time to time, I still see value in this effort an will stick with it until the end of the year. Hopefully, this week's assignments aren’t all notebook themed, but we’ll have to wait for tomorrow’s update to see if this trend continues on. Until then, it’s now that time for me to say, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.

Talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Wicker Breaker

P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.