Sketchbook #27

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.