well this has been a constructive use of my time


Project Shed Update

My self build Shed project is coming along really well. The bonus of designing everything out in 3D beforehand has meant that it’s been just like putting a kit together really. It’s taken a day to cut and sort the base, I avoided spending too much back breaking time trying to fully level the area out by simply using off cuts to make sure all of the base was touching the concrete blocks. The garden is on a bit of tilt there but I’m not fussed about a few wonky angles, lol.

Last bank holiday weekend I has a little time to take all the frame pieces I’d cut out a few weeks back and finally get them all put together. There weren’t really any big issues, the beauty of using screws for everything is that if something ends up not fitting properly you can just unscrew it and move it. I even had time to cut and put together the roofing supports as well. 

Now I’ve just got to wait till next bank holiday at the end of the month (and next payday) to get the cladding ordered. I do have the floor and roof OSB boards but I’m not doing the roof till it’s all cladded, I don’t want it all blowing away on a windy day. Plus the marine grade 18mm OSB I’ve chosen for the roof is bloody heavy. Not sure how I’m going to get it up there and fixed, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

In the meantime I may get the opportunity at some point this month to fit the flooring in, which will take some jigsaw ingenuity, but before that it’s Brewday next weekend.

anonymous asked:

If you want to just write without receiving critique you shouldn't publish.

I’m going to apologize in advance for the length of this response because there are a couple of points I want to make.

The first is really a question: do you want a fandom where no one shares creative work unless they want unsolicited critique?  Because that’s what you’re saying.  No one who doesn’t want critique should be sharing their work, and that would be a pretty barren fandom.  You wouldn’t have my work.  You wouldn’t have @shayalonnie’s work.  You wouldn’t have @ibuzoo’s work.  You wouldn’t have @dulce-de-leche-go’s work.  I could go on and list person after person after person after person.  There are a lot of people writing and drawing in the Harry Potter fandom (and many other fandoms) who want to participate in this sandbox where we all play without being told by strangers that they’re doing it wrong.

Cause that’s pretty harsh, really.  To be told by someone who, supposedly, shares your love for this thing that your work isn’t good enough, isn’t what they want, isn’t the way writing or drawing or whatever should be done.

A lot of times people will hedge comments like yours with the admission that flames aren’t okay, only constructive critique.  And that leads to my next question:  who determines what’s constructive?  Is ‘Its jewellery not jewlry you stupid idiot’ constructive?  I had actually spelled jewelry correctly using the American English spelling, but this review alerted me to the British spelling, of which I had been unaware.  I now use the British spelling.  Constructive, or flat out mean?  How about, 'This has really turned into an idiotic story. It all started well, now you’re just throwing stuff out there and people are eating it up for some reason. You’ve written better stories than this. You should have ended it at graduation. I’m not wasting any more time on this.’  Constructive?  The reviewer suggested the story had gone on for too long, which may well be useful and valid feedback, and indicated they’d liked other things I’d written.  Still, would you like to get that message in your email?  Probably not.  I certainly didn’t.   Let’s do one more:  'Some your fanfiction I like, and some of it I really don’t. It’s surprising how well you can capture certain aspects in a story, while completely failing in others. I felt this especially strongly in Lady of the Lake; by the way my overall impression impression of that story is very positive. It’s phenomenal epic vibe is strong enough to outweigh it’s cringe-worthy failings.’  The person who left that did it from a logged in account.  She probably wouldn’t have done that if she felt she was being a troll or leaving flames.  I’m sure, if asked, she would say that was constructive critique. I didn’t think it was.  

Your idea of constructive may be someone else’s idea of vicious.

It’s not that I’m not interested in critique.  I think the critique I have gotten over the two years I’ve been writing and sharing fanfiction has helped my writing immensely.  If you go look at The Die, and then at A Constellation Name, I think you’ll see a huge jump in the quality.   What I don’t want, and what a lot of writers don’t want, is unsolicited critique.  

Sharing work on fanfiction.net isn’t the same as sharing work in a writing class or with a writing circle.  Fanfiction.net, and other sites, are public spaces where likeminded people can share things they love.  Imagine it as being the equivalent of walking down the street.  Yes, you are in public, and, yes, you are (I assume) wearing clothing, but that doesn’t mean you want random strangers to offer comments on your fashion sense and whether what you have on makes you look hot or not. On the other hand, if you went shopping with a friend, you might ask her opinion on something you tried on and welcome the input that it was unflattering.  

Unsolicited versus solicited.  There’s a difference.

I have multiple people who I trust to give me unvarnished critique.  Many of them trust me in return to do the same for them.  We build our networks of friends and colleagues and support one another, which does include saying, 'The character is totally unsympathetic here and is just coming across as a snotty bitch.’  Yesterday I got an email from one of my beta readers who told me a character was being such a jerk she’d lost all sympathy for him, that another character was dominating the chapter, and that the pacing was sluggish.  And I said, 'thank you’ and meant it.  Her help means the next version of the story will be better.  It’s solicited critique.

Again, unsolicited versus solicited.  

The penultimate thing I want to touch on, and I think this may be the most important, is the post I’m going to guess you sent your ask in response to.

I’d asked people to please not send me negative comments on my stories because they were making the depression I was struggling with worse.

I’m pretty open on tumblr that I have depression and anxiety.  They’re pretty garden variety mental illnesses, about as interesting as a head cold.  Lots of people have worse, and many, many people don’t like to talk about the things they struggle with.  There’s a stigma, still.  Tell people you have a bum knee and they’re sympathetic and happy to make allowances for you.  They’ll walk slower, ask if you need a hand.  Which makes it kind of funny, and kind of sad, that when you tell people you have depression their response is often a varietal of 'suck it up’.  Oh, you use writing as a way to cope with anxiety and depression, and right now it’s really hard, and you’d appreciate some kindness?  What I was told by multiple people, including you, is that I should just withdraw from existing in public.

I’d like you to think very carefully about that response.  A person says to you, 'Please do not hurt me,’ and you say, 'No. Stop sharing your work if you’re that fragile.’

A lot of people are fragile.

Everyone appreciates kindness.

How about just treating everyone with kindness and consideration?

I’d like to leave you with another question:  what is your goal in leaving critique?  You, and many people, are eager to say if a writer or artist doesn’t want critique, they shouldn’t share their work.   When you leave critique, are you trying to encourage someone, or tear them down?  Are you trying to tell them what they are doing that works, or show off how smart you are by pointing out what they’ve done wrong?

Critique doesn’t have to be negative.  If you want to leave critique that much, find three things about a story you like and explain in detail why.  Does the writer have great descriptive phrases?  Tell her that, and use an example from the chapter.  Is the dialogue fantastic?  Quote an example in your review.  If you do that, you can make someone’s day and make them eager to keep working.  You can build them up.  You can inspire people to add to the wealth of creative work shared in our fandom instead of making people feel unwelcome.

things that are social constructs: gender, sex, virginity

things that are also social constructs: money, language

social construct ≠ unimportant, false

social construct are determined by society, are things that only exist because society agrees (or the majority agrees, or those in power agree) on standards for it, etc

what you should take from phrases like “_______ is a social construct” isn’t that it doesn’t matter or is all a load of crock, you should take from it that there is room to grow

gender as a construct means that we can shift the world’s societal concept of gender to include non-binary genders and eradicate prescribed gender roles and so-called facts

sex as a construct means  sex was “determined” by science but interpreted by society when it didn’t have to be, and we don’t have to place importance on the specific nature of anybody’s chromosomes

virginity as a construct means we can dismantle its worth, leaving it entirely up to the individual to define for themselves what sex means to them

language as a construct means we can take down or reclaim words we don’t want like slurs and add new words as we find need for them

money as a construct means we don’t have to define people’s value by their income or spending habits

there are more social constructs and there are more and more changes that could happen with of all of the above constructs as well, of course

“_______ is a social construct” reminds us that there’s hope, that even if it takes years, some day, we can make the world a better place, because the ideas that are harming us are also ideas we have power over, and the only way to take that power away from us would be to take away our voice

social constructs are things that we can change

we remind ourselves that these things are social constructs because it gives us the power to keep shouting no matter how many times others try to shut us up