LPEU4: Let’s Get Absolute

So, let’s recap. I have vassalized Castille and Portugal, mostly wiped Aragon away, finally wiped out the Mamluks, begun expansion into India… So yeah, lots of progress.

But now it’s 1601, and Absolutism is about to appear. Time to start thinking in terms of conquering everything.

Here’s what I want to do: I’m going to trigger a Golden Age just before the Age of Reformation ends. I’ll try to do an Absolutism boost right from the start of the age, by capitulating to the demands of particularists rebels and then redropping my autonomy, and then firing Court and Country immediately. This means, unfortunately, tanking my unrest a few years before the age hits.

Particularists appear, then I grant them their wish of increased autonomy (only to immediately lower it across the board, boosting my Absolutism.) And then it’s time to endure the Court and Country disaster (which, as disasters go, isn’t too bad.) I even manage some conquests during that time, and then it ends and I have lots of absolutism and everything is perfect forever.

Until I fall into the Diplomatic Power trap. See, with that much administrative efficiency, I can afford to take enormous peace deals and not worry too much about overextension. But those are all Unjustified Demands, meaning they cost me diplo points. To mitigate that, I need to complete the Influence idea group… and I forgot about it. So I end up in a cycle where I spend all my diplo points in peace deals, and fail to fulfill my ideas or advance my diplo tech. Which could potentially delay me getting to tech level 23 and the glorious Advanced Casus Belli.

I catch myself just in time. Seriously, I put my campaigns on hold, I spend a fortune on diplo advisors, I set my national focus to Diplomatic… and wait until I complete the Idea group. Then I start warring again, but slowly enough that my tech manages to catch up just in time.

Then I start reducing enemies to nothingness.

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Weekly Report

I’ve been struggling with my schedule lately.

Let’s call a spade a spade: part of that is allowing myself more gaming time. But I’ve also been reading a lot. And I’ve been focusing a lot on my life projects too.

Still, I’m on top of my editing tasks, and I’ve really only dropped the ball on writing new words, and that only a little.

I really hope to hit some of my targets soon, however. I’d like to prune my recurring to-do list a bit, and I could use the stabler schedule that would entail. We’ll just have to cross our fingers on that.

On editing Book the First, I’m not quite at the “One Final Push” mark. Editing a page or two a day is slow, but at least it’s progress and doing more than that would just lead to me phoning the editing in. I think in a week or two I’ll reach that Final Push point and take the remaining thirty or so pages down in a few days. But we’ll see.

(Then it’s punch in the corrections, rewrite a couple scenes, and then ten final queries for that project before self-publishing it.)

So that’s it for my week.

Work/Life/Writing Balance

Once in a while, life gets in the way of my writing. This week was one such case: between work, the classes I’ve begun to take, and some medical checkups, there wasn’t enough free time for me to give this blog any attention.

It did give me an idea for a post, though.

Whenever I talk about my writing project with my family and friends, someone will mention that I’m lucky to have the time to do it. Which invariably makes me slightly snippy, because luck has nothing to do with it.

It’s just a matter of priorities.

It’s entirely possible to write a book while working full time, having a girlfriend, running a (possibly overambitious) D&D campaign and taking classes at the same time. (Although adding more to my plate at the moment would be problematic, I will admit.)

But that means making some sacrifices: my job is not one of those high-powered, 90-hours-a-week grind. The D&D campaign runs on a monthly, not weekly, basis. And I didn’t play whatever videogame you want to talk about.

Some weeks, it means that the book doesn’t move forward as much as I want it to, because I have to be in court and that generally means being prepared.And sometimes, it means going out with the girlfriend instead of staying home.

More prosaically, it also means that I lead a really well-organized life. I edit my book on the bus. I have a daily to-do list, and I check items off it near-compulsively. The time I waste being inefficient is, ultimately, time I could be using to write, and so I try not to waste any.

But the point is – if you want to write, you can do it. There’s probably some free minutes or hours you can reclaim from the daily routine, just by getting organized. And if getting 103% completion in the latest Madden’s Shoot Guy Auto 6  isn’t as satisfying a life goal as it once was, well, that’s just extra scribbling time.