NaNoWriMo 2017 | Participant

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Prep Week 1

Writing

Last year, I approached NaNoWriMo as an experiment.

I won’t go into detail (I’ve done that already), but the short version is: it worked. I discovered that I can still write, and I can finish a draft without hating both it and the world in general. Yay!

But then I stalled. Without the momentum and deadline of NaNo, I have genuinely struggled to edit (or, let’s be honest, rewrite) the story I wrote last year. I’ve spent most days since then spinning my wheels: outlining draft two, then scrapping it. Starting an outline of a new story. Writing a few scenes that might be another story, or might just be a few random scenes.

I haven’t stopped working on writing projects, but I haven’t really been writing, either.

So… yeah. I’m really looking forward to November.

This year’s NaNo attempt is another experiment: I know that I can make it through the month, now it’s time to build on that. This year, I’ve got two goals. First, I want to focus on building the daily writing routine that I really want, and that I really can sustain after November is over.

Second, I want to work on writing a first draft that really works. It won’t be perfect (obviously) but… I would really like to have a draft that requires editing, rather than a full, page-one rewrite. Which means a better outline—not necessarily more thorough (my outline last year was incredibly detailed… except for that one missing chapter in the middle…), just more thoughtful, I guess.

It’s a difficult thing to define. Everyone’s got a different method, anyway—this is about trying to refine my own method so it works better for me.

So that’s where I stand right now: I know what story I’m going to write. (I briefly considered being a rebel and rewriting last year’s story, but I came to my senses. I’m going with the new thing that I started to outline earlier in the year.) I’ve got the broad strokes of an outline, and I’ve started developing the characters and story world. I got lost in the inevitable Wikipedia rabbit hole. This weekend I’m replenishing my supply of index cards.

One month to go. I’m not freaking out at all.

Sketchbook #27

Photography, Writing

Well. I did say that September was going to be a busy month, didn’t I?

First off: I’ve made up my mind on my NaNoWriMo project. I’m going to stick with my original plan (a new story that I’m really excited about), and leave the rewrite until later.

I’m still really anxious to get to that rewrite, but I’m also thinking about the writing routine I ultimately want to build. Ideally, I want to have three projects in various stages of development at any given time: one in the planning stages, one actually being written, and one in edits. My current plan is to spend the next month-and-a-bit getting the outline for the NaNo story finished, and then, during November, start working out the details of the rewrite. (I do have another potential story that I might try to start outlining. We’ll see.)

I might end up regretting these plans when NaNo actually rolls around, but for now, this feels right.

Related to that, this month I’ve been refining my daily freewriting, mostly trying to get a feel for the characters. I haven’t quite managed to do as much planning/outlining work as I’d hoped, but I’m not panicking. (Yet. Ask me in a month. Or tomorrow.)

As for photography… I’m still, always, a little bit behind on the 365 project. But I’m almost caught up (again), and I’m not feeling too horrible about it. I’m happy with the photos I’ve been taking, which is more important than staying 100% on top of the project.

(I’ll just keep telling myself that.)

And I’m just about finished editing all the photos I took in August, which is a relief. I’ve been dragging my feet, and I just want to get it done.

Finally: the site redesign. I think I’ve settled on something that I like, and I’m pretty sure I’ve sorted out all of the little issues I was having. There are still a few things I want to do, but in general, I think I’m done.

I realize that I haven’t explained why I needed to move the site, especially since I’d been with my previous host for… fourteen years? Something like that. The short version is: the previous web hosting company had been going downhill for years: support was slow and not-particularly-helpful, there was random downtime that never got explained, and it was just generally… not the company I’d signed on with. (Literally. They’d been bought out by another company.) Still, I might have been able to deal with that for another year or two, because it was a really good deal, better than most of the alternatives…. And then I got this year’s invoice, and the price was 72% higher than it was last year. Don’t get me wrong—it was still a good deal, and that increase was bringing me in line with the current pricing structure. The price itself wasn’t unreasonable. But that’s a significant jump, and there had been no advance warning. In the end, I couldn’t justify staying with a company that would treat long-term customers that way.

And the move seemed like as good an excuse as any to tackle a redesign. I’m really happy with the way things look (I’ll be happier when I’ve actually finished, I’m sure), and the new setup feels a little more versatile going into the future.

So, yeah: September was a busy month. October’s going to be even more intense.

My priority, of course, is NaNo prep. I’m already having days where I really don’t feel ready. I keep telling myself that I’ve got plenty of time, but… I want to go into November with a solid plan. (Last year wasn’t terrible, but looking back, I wish I’d been more prepared. The rewrite process would be easier. I want to do better this year.)

Aside from that, it’s all maintenance: I want to try to stay on top of the 365 project, and ideally keep moving forward with my photography in general. (I do have specific plans, which keep getting set aside while I focus on other things, but the new site design—the increased emphasis on photography, and just the newness of everything—has me feeling inspired again.)

So, yeah: I’ve got another busy month, but… I think I can deal with it. At least I’m not looking at a sudden website migration.

Snapshot #86 | 10 Things for 24 September 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. realizing… that I really need to organize my notes in Evernote. It’s kind of a mess right now.
2. finishing… the edits on all the photos I took in August.
3. thinking… about the next painting. I have ideas. I’m going to have to do a few experiments.
4. reaching… 5K in my (no-longer-C25K) running plan! Of course, on the run that immediately followed that one, I managed to do something to my ankle, but… whatever. It’s a setback, but nothing I can’t handle.
5. discovering… a local grocery delivery service! I’ve wanted one for ages. (Putting the link here so I remember it in the future.)
6. learning… that the cat that’s always hanging around the parking lot seems to have people. Which means I’m not going to attempt a rescue mission, because I don’t want to steal someone’s cat.
7. looking… for the perfect shimmery/metallic grey nail polish. (I don’t want silver, or glitter, and I’ve got five or six different shades of black. But I really want something in the pewter-gunmetal range.)
8. studying… character development in preparation for NaNoWriMo. (And generally starting to get serious about my NaNo plans.)
9. starting… to think ahead to fall. (Fall-that-feels-like-fall, not this late-summer thing we’ve got going right now.) I want to start baking again, and wearing scarves, and… yeah.
10. cleaning… up the archives. I think I’m just about finished the new design. I’ve still got a few little details to take care of (obviously), but… I’m getting there.

2017 Project365 #245 | Reghan Skerry

Project365: #232-252

Photography

I’m still trying to catch up with my Project 365 posts. I really don’t know why it’s such a struggle—I’m not behind in the pictures themselves, not really. I’m just behind on actually doing anything with them: editing them, posting them on Instagram, posting them here.

Still. I’m just about caught up, and, even though I’ve still got a lot going on, I’m pretty confident that I should be entirely up-to-date by next week. No promises, but… here’s hoping.

 

Snapshot #85 | 10 Things for 10 September 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. finishing… up the move to the new webhost. The big things are done, now I’ve just got to find + fix all the little problems.
2. wondering… whether the new cat in the neighbourhood is a stray, or just an outdoor cat who likes to hang around the parking lot. She’s the friendliest little thing.
3. starting… a different running program. The C25K plan I’d been following wasn’t working for me. (I hit a plateau, and then I got bored, and then… yeah.) The new plan is more challenging, more interesting, and seems to be working better for me.
4. baking… bread again. It’s finally cool enough to think about turning the oven on. (I might actually be making cookies sometime soon.)
5. looking… forward to the new IKEA store. Like… I’m really excited. (Bookshelves!)
6. making… up my mind. I know what I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo. Now the planning starts.
7. editing… photos.
8. losing… my love for Pinterest. It’s been awful lately: so many ads, the new algorithm makes my carefully-curated feed absolutely useless, and their stats don’t make any sense.
9. trying… about a hundred different productivity systems, and finally (hopefully) starting to find something that works for me.
10. watching… The Defenders. (And catching up on Ripper Street.)