Sketchbook #17

I knew going in that October would be mostly taken over by NaNoWriMo prep—despite all my good intentions, I didn’t really start the actual outlining process until this month. I didn’t even really know how I wanted to outline the story until this month.

I’ll come back to that in a minute—because while writing was my primary focus this month, I did actually manage to think about some other creative projects.

First off, photography. I’m still terribly behind on my weekly project, though not as far behind as my blog posts would have you believe. I’m slowly chipping away at the prompts, and should have a few more ready to post sometime in the next week or so. So that’s good. I’ve also been working on some portraits—and I’m really happy with them, despite the less-than-ideal conditions on the day.

I still haven’t gotten around to updating my portfolio, which is really starting to annoy me, but my schedule this month hasn’t been great.

As far as drawing goes… it’s on hold for the moment. I did make some progress earlier in the month (switching back from hand-lettering for a while), but in the last week or so, I’ve started setting aside anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Which includes drawing. Although… I do have solid plans for that giant painting (finally!), and I’ve started picking up the materials I’ll need for it. With luck, I’ll actually have the thing finished and on the wall by the end of the year.

Now. Back to writing.

The outline is going well. I’m using index cards, which is kind of a new thing for me. (I tried them in the past, and they never quite clicked. But I’m starting to figure out that each story has its own process, and figuring out what that process is is half the battle.) I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the first act of the story, and the rest is coming together a little more every day. I know the shape of the story, as far as scenes and acts go. (I’m getting a little experimental there, and I keep worrying that I’m overcomplicating things, but I think it works.) I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be able to hit all my writing targets and finish 50,000 words on time.

But I’m still kind of scared.

My perfectionism is still a problem. I mean… obviously. It’s not like I expected it to magically go away by the time November rolled around. And the more this story takes shape, the more I worry about what’s going to happen when I finish. I like this story. A lot. And I really want to keep liking it after I’ve typed “The End.” It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even necessarily good, but I want to finish up the month (or finish up the story, since I’m pretty sure it’s going to run closer to 60-75K words, and that is not happening in November) with a draft that I like enough to revise.

I don’t know. I’ll worry about that later. For now, I need to focus on the next thirty days.

Clearly, NaNo is going to be my focus.

I don’t know exactly how long it’ll take me to hit my word-counts each day (my prep over the last few months suggests the best-case scenario is an hour and a half), but nothing else creative will happen until I do.

I’m still going to work on my photography. I want to catch up with the weekly project if I can; I really don’t want to fall even further behind going into December. I’m still determined to get through this thing by the end of the year—not least because I’ve already got a plan in place for 2017’s photo project, and… yeah. I get a little overwhelmed just thinking about trying to do both at once.

I’m not sure if I’ll get around to updating my portfolio in November. I’m not going to worry about it too much; if I can do it, I will. If not, I’ll have time to do it in December. (Really! I did all the 2015 work in around the holidays last year. I can do it again this year.)

Aside from that… we’ll see how it goes. I’ve still got a sewing project I want to finish, and I really do want to get that painting done. Though, really, I’ll consider it progress if I pick up more of the supplies I need. November is about writing, and finding a way to fit that into my schedule without burning out. It’s about prioritizing the work that I genuinely want to be doing.

And it starts tomorrow.

Bring it on.