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[Forcing] How to Use Hour Counts Safely and Effectively
#1
‘Hour counts’ refers to the practise of tracking the number of hours spent forcing. It was a common practise in the past because the oldest guides instructed the reader to use them. However, they have gotten a bad name over the years from people perpetuating the idea that they are detrimental to the tulpa creation process. These fears are not entirely unfounded, because with the wrong mindset they can be very detrimental. However, with the correct approach they can be a beneficial tool that gives you schedule and structure, especially if you struggle with laziness. The purpose of this guide is to alleviate those fears by clearing up the confusion about hour counts and giving you a list of dos and don’ts to consider while using them.


Dos and Don’ts of Using Hour Counts

DO use hour counts as a scheduling tool rather than as a progress tracker. – If you are someone who struggles with laziness, scheduling your forcing sessions in advance may increase your productivity by keeping you on track. Hour counts are an effective way to do this, e.g. “I’m going to spend 15 hours on vocality forcing, 1 hour per day Mon – Fri over 3 weeks.”

DO remember that your targets are flexible. – You can change your target number of hours at any time, whether you are increasing or decreasing your targets and/or the time period spent on them. It’s important to not use this as an excuse for laziness though, try your best to only adjust your schedule if you have legitimate reasons to do so e.g. change of shift pattern at work, unavoidable social engagements like weddings or funerals etc. If you can’t meet your targets all the time, that's no reason to worry! Maybe the targets you’ve set for yourself were too unrealistic, if so, reduce them. You shouldn’t feel guilty and beat yourself up if you fail to hit your targets all the time. Hitting your targets is desirable but not mandatory.

DO remember that your targets are arbitrary. – Unless you’re using one of the old guides’ recommended targets (which I wouldn’t recommend, you’ll see why later), your targets will be based on personal choice and therefore will have no bearing on the progress you make during the time spent. Even if you are using one of the old guides, those targets will have no effect on your progress either because it’s the process itself, not an arbitrary number, that matters. It’s also worth mentioning that progress isn’t necessarily linear, so there may or may not be much difference between two arbitrary targets. It doesn't matter exactly how many hours you spend forcing, just as long as you are doing it consistently and to the best of your ability.

DON’T take the hour counts from old guides as gospel. – Most of the authors of the old guides even said that you shouldn’t follow their guides exactly, referring to them as guidelines as opposed to rules. I would even go as far as to say to disregard any recommended hour counts from any guide entirely because it may only cause anxiety for the reasons listed below. Another thing to consider about the old guides is that not just the hour counts, but some of the other information found in them may or may not be considered obsolete now, so take them with a pinch of salt if you decide to read them.

DON’T worry if you don’t see results after a certain number of hours. – This can cause discouragement. Not seeing results after a while isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it could encourage you to analyse what you’re doing and try something else that works better for you. You shouldn’t be discouraged by not seeing results after a certain number of hours because your targets are arbitrary anyway.

DON’T worry if you do see results before a certain number of hours. – This can cause doubts that you’re doing it right and can even cause parrotnoia (the fear that you're parroting all of your tulpa's responses) if your tulpa becomes vocal before you anticipate. A tulpa isn’t going to wait for you to achieve your arbitrary hour target before they speak to you because progress is determined by effort, not by arbitrary numbers.

DON’T compare your progress to others. – This is the main reason why people have had bad experiences with hour counts. People progress at different rates. When someone who's put in more hours finds that someone who has put in less hours has progressed further, they may become discouraged or think that they are doing something wrong. Conversely, when someone who's put in less hours finds that someone who has put in more hours has had less progress, they could develop doubts of their tulpa’s sentience/sapience or could develop parrotnoia.

DON’T think that you need to do a certain number of hours minimum per session. – This can easily cause fatigue, which could make your forcing sessions less effective. For me, 30 – 60 minute forcing sessions were optimal, however everyone is different in this regard and many people can force for longer periods with ease. Consistency is key in tulpamancy, doing a forcing session for 30 minutes every day for a week is better than doing a forcing session that lasts for 3.5 hours only 1 day a week.
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#2
Overall, I really like this submission. Your offer good advice, your ideas are well organized, and you get straight to the point. The only glaring flaw is in some places you contradict yourself.

I listed those instances here:

AZ Wrote:DO remember that your targets are flexible. – You can change your target number of hours at any time for any reason, whether you are increasing or decreasing your targets and/or the time period spent on them for reasons related to tulpamancy or not.

While I agree with your point, it is somewhat contradictory to your previous point that hour counts should be used as a tool to fight laziness. A lazy person may adjust their hours to accommodate the fact they don't feel like forcing. Elaborating more to your point would probably fix it.

AZ Wrote:I would even go as far as to say to disregard any recommended hour counts from any guide entirely because it may only cause anxiety for the reasons listed below.

I found it weird that you mentioned this after your previous point. In the previous point, you said that the reader may be using hour counts from other guides as if it were a legitimate option where here you highly recommend against it.

I don't believe moving that sentence to the previous section would be the best solution because it would conflict with your Do/Don't theme. You may be better off cutting down or leaving out what you say in your previous point so this makes more sense.


AZ Wrote:Consistency is key in tulpamancy, doing a forcing session for 30 minutes a day for a week is better than doing a forcing session that lasts for 3.5 hours only 1 day a week.

This contradicts your last DON'T where you say you should avoid daily minimums. I think you were trying to say it's okay if your actual forcing times vary, but I'm not sure. Worst case scenario, you may need to clean up that last point and create another DO.

I also found a few grammar errors and a diction error:


AZ Wrote:[...]because the oldest guides instructed the reader to use them. However, they have been given a bad name [...]
AZ Wrote:[...] wrong mindset they can be very detrimental. However, with the correct approach they can be a beneficial tool [...]

Replace the comma with a period and add another comma after "However"

AZ Wrote:[...] to analyse what you’re doing and try something else that works better for you. but You shouldn’t be discouraged by not seeing results after [...]

Replace the comma with a period and remove "but"


AZ Wrote:If you are someone who suffers from laziness [...]

"Suffers" may not be the right wording here because laziness is not an official medical disease or causes excruciating pain. Something like "struggles" would work better.


After you resolve those major issues and run-off sentences, I will approve this for tips and tricks.
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#3
Quote:While I agree with your point, it is somewhat contradictory to your previous point that hour counts should be used as a tool to fight laziness.

Not necessarily, I stated “for any reason” which includes many reasons that don’t pertain to laziness, e.g. change of shift pattern at work or something else that is unavoidable and may get in the way of your schedule.

Quote:I found it weird that you mentioned this after your previous point. In the previous point, you said that the reader may be using hour counts from other guides as if it were a legitimate option where here you highly recommend against it.
I don't believe moving that sentence to the previous section would be the best solution because it would conflict with your Do/Don't theme. You may be better off cutting down or leaving out what you say in your previous point so this makes more sense.

You have a valid point here, I’ve added “(which I wouldn’t recommend, you’ll see why later)” to that paragraph to avoid any confusion.

Quote:This contradicts your last DON'T where you say you should avoid daily minimums.

I disagree. I don’t think that contradicts what I said at all because I never advised to do a daily minimum, I was merely giving an example about consistency.

Quote:Replace the comma with a period and add another comma after "However"

Fixed

Quote:Replace the comma with a period and remove "but"

Fixed

Quote:"Suffers" may not be the right wording here because laziness is not an official medical disease or causes excruciating pain. Something like "struggles" would work better.

Good point, changed from "suffers from" to "struggles with".
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#4
(07-27-2019, 08:00 PM)AZ Wrote: DO use hour counts as a scheduling tool rather than as a progress tracker. – If you are someone who struggles with laziness, scheduling your forcing sessions in advance may increase your productivity by keeping you on track. Hour counts are an effective way to do this, e.g. “I’m going to spend 15 hours on vocality forcing, 1 hour per day Mon – Fri over 3 weeks.”

DO remember that your targets are flexible. – You can change your target number of hours at any time for any reason, whether you are increasing or decreasing your targets and/or the time period spent on them for reasons related to tulpamancy or not.

telling people that they can change their schedule for any reason kind of undermines the point that it helps fight against laziness because a schedule isn't helpful at all if you never stick to it and it can be very easy to just keep putting off something until you're too tired to do it and never get it done that day (and then you do the same thing the next day, and the day after that...). I have found that the only way I am able to get past this sort of thing is if I strictly stick to a schedule and only break from it when I have legitimate reason to (such as if I have some other social engagement that I must attend to at that time or I have some deadline on a project that I need to meet). saying that you can change the schedule for any reason seems very unhelpful

Quote:DON’T take the hour counts from old guides as gospel. – The authors of the old guides even said that you shouldn’t follow their guides exactly, referring to them as guidelines as opposed to rules. I would even go as far as to say to disregard any recommended hour counts from any guide entirely because it may only cause anxiety for the reasons listed below.

I don't like sweeping statements such as "the authors of the old guides even said that you shouldn't follow their guides exactly" because, since it's referring a class of things and those things don't have to follow that rule by definition, it is possible that there are guides that do treat their hour counts as rules, and it is impossible to verify that there isn't a guide like that because it may not be publicly available, therefore this statement is not necessarily true and is actually probably not true due the the amount of creation guides out there. this could easily be fixed by replacing "the authors" with "most of the authors" (this is a bit of a nit pick though).

I will approve once you change it clear what sort of reasons you should change schedule for, and which ones you shouldn't
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#5
Quote:telling people that they can change their schedule for any reason kind of undermines the point that it helps fight against laziness because a schedule isn't helpful at all if you never stick to it and it can be very easy to just keep putting off something until you're too tired to do it and never get it done that day (and then you do the same thing the next day, and the day after that...). I have found that the only way I am able to get past this sort of thing is if I strictly stick to a schedule and only break from it when I have legitimate reason to (such as if I have some other social engagement that I must attend to at that time or I have some deadline on a project that I need to meet). saying that you can change the schedule for any reason seems very unhelpful

I already went over this with Ranger, “for any reason includes many reasons that don’t pertain to laziness, e.g. change of shift pattern at work or something else that is unavoidable and may get in the way of your schedule.” There are hundreds of legitimate reasons why someone may need to change their schedule to fit into their life as you pointed out yourself, it’s not an excuse to be lazy. However, on second thought I don’t think I was clear enough here and I think I can edit the guide to clarify this and hopefully satisfy both of your concerns.
 
Removed “for any reason” and “for reasons related to tulpamancy or not.”

Added “It’s important to not use this as an excuse for laziness though, only adjust your schedule if you have legitimate reasons to do so e.g. change of shift pattern at work, unavoidable social engagements like weddings or funerals etc, not because you can’t be bothered or you feel like a break.”

Quote:this could easily be fixed by replacing "the authors" with "most of the authors" (this is a bit of a nit pick though).

Valid point, fixed.

Quote:I will approve once you change it clear what sort of reasons you should change schedule for, and which ones you shouldn't

Fixed, see above.
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#6
The guide is pretty well written and I can see it helping newcomers greatly. Though there are some points worth addressing.


Do 3 Wrote:DO remember that hour counts are entirely arbitrary. [...]
I think you could mention that progress isn't a linear thing here. It would add to this point well.


Dont 1 Wrote:DON’T take the hour counts from old guides as gospel. [...]
Honestly, the old guides were written in a time period where nobody had any idea what was going on. I would suggest to the reader to not expect getting anything useful out of reading them.



Dont 2 Wrote:DON’T worry if you don’t see results after a certain number of hours. [...]
This seems to be echoing what you said already in the 3rd "DO". I would expand on one of those and remove the other.



Dont 3 Wrote:DON’T worry if you do see results before a certain number of hours. [...]
The last point is very similar to this point. They're two sides of the same coin. I suggest they be combined.


The format of the guide is easy to parse, easy to read and very straightforward. Overall the guide is very well written, but I'm undecided as to if I'd approve it in its current state. It's useful on its own, but it could be better. Read through my comments and respond to each. After I see your replies and edits, I will review this again and will probably approve it. Don't get me wrong. It's a great guide, just needs a few tweaks.

-Nat
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#7
Quote:Do 3 Wrote:
DO remember that hour counts are entirely arbitrary. [...]
I think you could mention that progress isn't a linear thing here. It would add to this point well.

I agree, added: “It’s also worth mentioning that progress isn’t necessarily linear, so there may or may not be much difference between two arbitrary hour targets.”

Quote:Honestly, the old guides were written in a time period where nobody had any idea what was going on. I would suggest to the reader to not expect getting anything useful out of reading them.

I’m hesitant to suggest to the reader to not expect getting anything useful out of reading the old guides because I know tulpas who were created using them. I do see your point though and think I can add it in without deviating from the subject of hour counts too much. Added: “Another thing to take into consideration about the old guides is that not just the hour counts, but some of the other information found in them may or may not be considered obsolete now, so take them with a pinch of salt if you decide to read them.”

Quote:Dont 2 Wrote:
DON’T worry if you don’t see results after a certain number of hours. [...]
This seems to be echoing what you said already in the 3rd "DO". I would expand on one of those and remove the other.

I must disagree here, I believe that the two points are unrelated enough to warrant being separate, the 3rd do is about the arbitrary nature of hour counts and the 2nd don’t is about worrying about progress. It’s possible to understand that hour counts are arbitrary while worrying or not worrying about your progress and it’s also possible to not understand that hour counts are arbitrary while worrying or not worrying about your progress. I’m also unable to expand on one of those and remove the other, because in order to do that I’d have to combine the two in some way. The problem with that is that I can’t because one is a ‘do’ and the other is explicitly a ‘don’t’, and I think it would look silly to tell the reader to not do something in a ‘do’ or to do something in a ‘don’t’.

Quote:Dont 3 Wrote:
DON’T worry if you do see results before a certain number of hours. [...]
The last point is very similar to this point. They're two sides of the same coin. I suggest they be combined.

These 2 points were originally combined when I wrote my first draft, I decided that it would be best to separate them to highlight the 2 extremes. I could merge them again, but I don’t think it would add any additional quality and would also just blur the two extremes that I wanted to highlight. I would rather leave them as they are.

Quote:Don't get me wrong. It's a great guide, just needs a few tweaks.

I have made a couple of tweaks that you suggested, but not all. I hope you can see my reasoning behind not tweaking everything you suggested.
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#8
I approve of your edits. The guide looks polished enough for approval.

Approved for Tips & Tricks.

-Nat
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#9
Quote:It’s important to not use this as an excuse for laziness though, only adjust your schedule if you have legitimate reasons to do so e.g. change of shift pattern at work, unavoidable social engagements like weddings or funerals etc, not because you can’t be bothered or you feel like a break.
When I read this I think, "Who are you, my boss?" I'm not allowed to change my hour targets unless I have a reason that's considered legitimate? I know this change was requested by other reviewers, but tulpamancy is very, very self-directed. Of course it's good to keep to the targets you set, but there's no rule about being perfect with your schedule. It's perfectly fine to just stop using hour counts altogether. I think it's enough to encourage the reader to consider their goals and schedule when they want to change their hour targets. There's no need to make them feel guilty for decreasing their target. Missing a day or falling short of your target, won't actually keep someone from succeeding in creating a tulpa. 

My suggestion would be to just leave out references to laziness. A lot of people struggle with depression and/or executive dysfunction, and they blame themselves for being lazy when they can't get things done. Working towards structure and better time management in forcing is great and a worthy goal. It feels less helpful and more counterproductive to guilt the reader if they fail at some point with the hour counts. When people say "hour counts are bad," one of the reasons is because it's easy to beat yourself up over not doing the  "correct" number of hours. 

Quote:your hour counts will be based on random choice or personal whim and therefore will have no bearing on the progress you make during the time spent. Even if you are using one of the old guides, those hour counts will have no effect on your progress either because it’s the process itself, not an arbitrary number, that matters.
Hm, it's not that the number of hours spent or the regularity has nothing to do with progress. It really does. Forcing on a regular basis is better than spending less time/being very irregular. It's that there's no telling how many hours a particular person needs to achieve a certain amount of progress. The number should be something reasonable (not random) to keep you working steadily toward your goal.


Other than these two issues, the guide looks good. I'm not a fan of blanket statements like "hour counts are bad," and this guide helps give people a better perspective on how hours counts can be used productively. The "only adjust your schedule if" point needs to be changed before I can approve. Setting requirements for the reader's hour count schedule is the kind of thinking that makes hour counts a problem, in my opinion.
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#10
Quote:‘Hour counts’ refers to the practise of tracking the number of hours spent forcing. They were a common practise in the past because the oldest guides instructed the reader to use them. However, they have been given a bad name over the years with people perpetuating the idea that they are detrimental to the tulpa creation process. These fears are not entirely unfounded, because with the wrong mindset they can be very detrimental. However, with the correct approach they can be a beneficial tool that gives you schedule and structure, especially if you struggle with laziness. The purpose of this guide is to alleviate those fears by clearing up the confusion about them and giving you a list of dos and don’ts to consider while using them.

The wording here is kind of weird, using "they" instead of "it" when referring to a singular noun, "the practice of hour counts." 

Quote:not because you can’t be bothered or you feel like a break.

Well, I wouldn't scorn taking a break as long as they know it's temporary and they'll get back on track afterwards.

Quote:DO remember that hour counts are entirely arbitrary. – Unless you’re using one of the old guides’ recommended hour counts (which I wouldn’t recommend, you’ll see why later), your hour counts will be based on random choice or personal whim and therefore will have no bearing on the progress you make during the time spent. Even if you are using one of the old guides, those hour counts will have no effect on your progress either because it’s the process itself, not an arbitrary number, that matters. It’s also worth mentioning that progress isn’t necessarily linear, so there may or may not be much difference between two arbitrary hour targets.

I can see this paragraph being a little confusing to a newbie, they might not get why you're talking about hour counts if you think they're arbitrary, or think that they can set low hour counts and still make good progress, whatever. I think the focus should probably be on "it doesn't matter exactly how many hours you spend forcing, just as long as you are doing it consistently and to the best of your ability."

This tip has a lot of "what" and not a lot of "why." I think it would be good if there was a little more elaboration on some of your points to help newcomers who might be confused, like when you said "the tulpa isn't going to wait for you to hit your goal." Well why not? Why do you need a goal in the first place? Etc. Try looking through and seeing which points might benefit from some further elaboration.

It also might be nice to add some sort of concluding paragraph to wrap everything up, but that's a nitpick.

I'm approving this, but ofc there's still room for improvements :] think "how can I make this useful to a newcomer," rather than "how can I debate people not liking hour counts," which is kind of how it comes off in its current state.
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