Sketchbook #24

Photography, Writing

This hasn’t been a great month.

I’ll just get that out of the way to start: I haven’t done nearly as much writing as I’d hoped, and photography has been a bit of a struggle, and I still haven’t started my painting.

But weirdly, I’m ok with that. I’m realizing that this is completely normal for me, and I’m learning how to work with it.

When I set my goals at the beginning of the year, I made plans to come back and revisit them every few months: to make sure my goals haven’t changed, to think about whether or not I’m on track, and to decide on my next steps. I didn’t really think too much about it at the time—it was just something I picked up from a productivity article—but it’s turning out to be an essential part of my creative process.

I never noticed it before this year, but my attention and motivation both start to flag after three months of work. That’s all I’ve got before everything starts to suck and I start thinking about moving onto something new.

June was month three in this particular cycle.

Noticing this pattern has been incredibly helpful: in the past, I would have gotten frustrated with myself, and probably scrapped some of these projects entirely. This time, I knew that it was time to set everything aside for a while and reevaluate everything—including my goals themselves.

The good news is, my goals haven’t changed. (Though one or two of them are going to take longer than I’d planned back in December.) I’m still committed to the two writing projects I’ve got in progress, and the various photography plans that have been kinda-sorta in motion over the last little while. [1. Speaking of photography: I am still on track with my 365 project! Really. I just fell behind in posting photos to Instagram, and so I’ve held off on posting them here. But I’ll catch up by the end of this week. Promise.]

The bad news is: I’ve decided that I need to go back to the drawing board on the second draft of the NaNoWriMo story. I’d made one really huge change to the opening scene in order to fix some issues with my main character, but… it’s introduced some new ones, which are just as bad. And I’ve got to fix some structural issues. Big structural issues.

But I’ve got a plan. I know what my next steps are.

As for the next story: I’ve got my basic outline done. Now it’s onto world building and fleshing out my characters, and I know that this part isn’t going to be easy. (I have a very bad habit of slacking off when I get to this stage of things, which is why I abandon so many first drafts… and partly why I’m having trouble with the second draft of the NaNo story. I’m trying to avoid that this time around.)

The next few months are going to be… interesting. Probably not great. My routine always suffers in the summer, for various reasons, and I know that that’s going to be a challenge again this year. And I still haven’t quite figured out how to structure my writing time when I’m in the planning stage of a story – it’s so much easier for me when I’m writing. But that’s ok: it’s going to be difficult, but… I know what I need to do, and I’m ready to get back to work.

(I’m also ready to start that stupid painting.)

Snapshot #79 | 10 Things for 18 June 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. going… to see Wonder Woman. Twice. (It’s so good! I assume at some point I’ll stop tearing up at the end of the No Man’s Land scene? Eventually?)
2. feeling… lazy and unmotivated. It’s time for a reboot.
3. planning… my first batch of ice cream for the year. I don’t care if it’s rainy and gloomy and not particularly warm. It was stupidly hot earlier in the week, and I have made up my mind. (The base is mixed, and ready for freezing later today. I can’t wait.)
4. watching… the Black Panther teaser trailer. Maybe more than twice.
5. starting… to do some planting, but now the rest of it is on hold (for very stupid reasons).
6. having… a really busy week. I’m not sure what I was thinking.
7. remembering… how to format a screenplay. It took a day or so to find the rhythm, but then I fell back in love with the form.
8. making… it through two whole weeks without having to adjust my C25K schedule because of rain. This is A Big Deal.
9. thinking… about which comics I want to start next.
10. buying… pens.

2017 Project365 #159 | Reghan Skerry

Project365: #155-161

Photography

I’m still at a creative low. It’s not just photography—I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about writing this week, either, and a lot of my other projects sort of stalled on me.

Some of it is just a cycle I go through, I think. There’s a pattern to my motivation and creative impulses, and I think I need to reboot every three months or so. And that’s fine—it’s time to sit down, evaluate, and refocus, that’s all.

(… not that I’ve got time to do that this week. I like to have a few hours to dedicate to that reevaluation, and, for some reason I’ve got a lot of stuff going on this week. Still. Soon.)

Project365: #148-154

Photography

Ok, so I might be taking too many pictures of flowers lately.

The novelty is starting to wear off, which is probably a good thing. (If I’m getting bored with pictures of flowers, I can’t imagine how everyone else feels.) But… I’m still feeling a little low on both motivation and inspiration, and flowers are a good subject when I don’t have anything better to take a picture of.

Hopefully, I can break out of the cycle sometime soon and find something else to take pictures of. In the meantime, I’ll at least try to find new and interesting ways to photograph flowers.

Snapshot #78 | 10 Things for 4 June 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. wondering… when the weather is going to cooperate with my C25K schedule. (I could run on my rest days, but I’ve got other workouts scheduled then, and… yeah.)
2. loving… this amazing Wonder Woman tribute. (Have I mentioned how excited I am for the Wonder Woman movie? Because I’m really excited.)
3. looking… for a new bread recipe. It’s been a while since I tried something new.
4. trying… to actually post to Twitter occasionally.
5. thinking… about story: the stories I’m trying to tell, and the stories I’m consuming, and the stories that genuinely speak to me.
6. remembering… that there’s ice cream in the freezer. (Not homemade. Still. Ice cream.)
7. feeling… ambitious. My to-do list for June is… quite a bit longer than my lists for the last few months have been.
8. signing… up for the Seven Swanky Scenes Challenge. It’s been ages since I wrote anything in script format, and I miss it.
9. getting… a little bored with taking photos of flowers. And yet I can’t seem to stop.
10. planning… a few food-related projects for the summer. I’ve got too many recipes I’ve been meaning to try.