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Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How to Keep Up: Fandoms & a Busy Life

It's no easy task being a fan girl. The lists of shows and movies I want to watch, as well as books that I want to read and games that I want to play, are near never-ending. With a full-time job, a relationship to maintain, and a cat that needs attention, how can I be expected to keep up with my fandoms?



With a little bit of planning.

penny arcade 'operation myriad' comic What my calendar currently looks like.

The first thing to do is figure out which title is at the top of each list. For instance, Game of Thrones and Star Trek: The Next Generation are at the top of my TV lists. The 'Outlander' book series is the top priority for reading, and Final Fantasy 8 along with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds are my gaming top picks.



So now you know what to focus your attention on, the next question is WHEN. This second step is to make categories and create a time for each one.



Books:

I've chosen to re-consume the 'Outlander' series in audio format and I listen almost exclusively in the car. My work commute immediately became more enjoyable and I have found that I no longer mind taking quick trips to the store because it means I get to progress in the story. If people have jobs that allow listening to music, or a commute that's at least ten minutes long, then I definitely recommend this route! It's quite nice killing two birds with one stone. Does anyone else feel like driving is a huge waste of time? I could be doing so many other things! But I digress. I've buzzed through three of the seven books in the series over the past two months and it leaves a lot of time open for the many other forms of media that I plan to consume.



The more common way to make sure a book gets read is to do so right before bed. That is my practice if I don't have access to an audio version! Obviously some people don't like audiobooks and in that case, this option isn't for you. Some of the ways I schedule TV shows and video games might be, though!

stayed up all night reading ecard 
The very real dangers of reading before bed.



TV Shows:

I'm currently watching both Game of Thrones and TNG with other people: TNG with my boyfriend, and Game of Thrones with two of our friends. This makes it a bit harder because it requires planning multiple schedules. In our instance, TNG can happen nearly every evening because both my boyfriend and I have evenings off. We watch probably three nights a week, usually one episode at a time. This is easy to work around dinnertime, too. As for Game of Thrones, we have Sunday nights specifically set aside to watch one episode. Juggling four different schedules means we all had to be willing to commit to the one evening that we *knew* we'd all be available. If all parties are in, then this is the best way to go. So far this has worked out quite nicely for us! It creates a lot of suspense for the show and has the added bonus of making sure we see our friends at least once a week. Pick at least one day and stick to it no matter what! Exceptional circumstances aside, that is.



This method can apply very nicely to movies, too. We were doing movie nights on Sundays but decided to switch to watching Game of Thrones!

daenerys targaryen game of thrones 
She doesn't want to hear about why you missed last week's episode. Just don't let it happen again.

Video Games:

Playing through Final Fantasy 8 has not been an easy task. I no longer have hours upon hours of free time to bury into an expansive RPG and as such this has proven to be the most challenging fandom/hobby to incorporate. I play it with my boyfriend, which means he watches me play and gets to re-live the story for the first time through my eyes and reactions. It's his favorite game of all time (evidence) and is a great bonding experience for the two of us. For me it's very nice that it's another thing that we can do together in spite of the fact that it's a single player game. For these extended play excursions I choose sleep-in days off when there aren't other plans. That doesn't happen often which is why this has proved to be the hardest to keep up with.



Tackling A Link Between World's is kind of easier and harder at the same time. It's for the 3DS which means portable, anywhere/anytime play, but it's also Zelda which means that once I start playing then I want to be able to get into the game! I keep my 3DS with me at all times and utilize lunch breaks at work, and more often, the half an hour or so before I fall asleep. Many people use the time before they fall asleep to read (see above), but since I'm going with the audio format I can use this time to save Hyrule yet again.

ocarina of time shadow temple dead hand enemy 
If you get too tired these things will be more than happy to wake you.

Many of my hobbies involve spending time with other people, but I do have interests that are singular (writing for this site and paper sculpting for starters) and I also have TV shows that I watch by myself. About once a week my boyfriend and I have "separate" time where he'll catch up on, say, Sons of Anarchy, and I'll watch New Girl! I'm fortunate to have a boyfriend and friends that I love spending time with above all else, and the "downside" is that I don't have much time leftover for 'me' activities. What a problem to have! ;)



The final step is to stick to your schedule! I'm a big fan of planning.



How do you keep up with your hobbies? Do you plan a lot, or go with whatever feels right at the moment?



-MJ



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7 comments:

Great ideas on how to incorporate your fandoms into a busy schedule! I finished TNG recently. Even with an open schedule it took me over 3 weeks to finish it. It looks like you have a lot to do, but also seems like you have a pretty good idea of how to balance it all out. It's very inspiring!

We've been watching TNG for months! Usually about 3 episodes a week. Even knowing they were 45 minutes per episode I still didn't expect it to take so long! Not that it's a problem, I'm super enjoying it :D We just started season 5 last week.

My diary is full of fandom related stuff... it even has it's own highlighter colour. But now that Elder Scrolls Online is out... it's going to go a little awry! Great post!!! <3 Molly

Thanks Molly! So far I still have a job, a relationship, and I'm making progress in my hobbies so I like to think my methods work XD My calendar is full of colors too, I don't know how other people (who don't use a color calendar) keep things straight!!

I definitely found that when we didn't have a set movie night, as parents who both work FT, it would be four months and we hadn't seen a movie. Say what?! We definitely have found it helps to find games he likes to play and I like to watch off and on while I'm working on a blog task on my laptop, etc. I hadn't really considered listening to audiobooks on the treadmill, I'd been focused on podcasts, but there may be some books I never get to it if I don't listen instead of reading so thanks for the idea!

Oh yeah, definitely! It's always nice to have advice end up being useful to someone else :D Audio books have saved my thirst for books and simultaneous lack of time to sit down and read!

[…] many dreams/interests and too little time. But I’m hoping to put some of the good tips from this post to use. Now I finally have the perfect way to use the daily schedule page in my blog […]

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