NaNoWriMo 2017 | Winner

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Week 5

Writing

I’m done!

Or… I’ve reached 50,000 words, and have officially ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. The draft is only at the midpoint.

I’m going to take the rest of the week off (so… tomorrow, since the whole ‘writing on weekends’ thing didn’t work for me at all this month), and then get back to work on Monday. I’ll have a proper postmortem for you soon; this year’s project has taught me a lot, and I want to talk about it… just not today.

Today I need to stop thinking about the story for a few minutes.

2017 Project365 #319 | Reghan Skerry

Project365: #315-329

Photography

I didn’t get a chance to post my Project 365 photos last weekend, for a number of reasons. (And I’m probably going to be a day or two late on this month’s sketchbook post.) But that’s ok: I’m still staying on top of the project in general, and this particular group of photos feels like it works as a set.

Just over a month left to go in the year. I’ve got thoughts on this project (so many thoughts!), and I’ll go into them as the year winds down. Right now, I’m thinking about whether I’m going to try another 365 next year (probably), and how I’m going to approach it if I do (almost definitely differently).

I’m starting to come up with some of my own ideas, but nothing’s set in stone just yet. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Week 4

Writing

At the moment this post goes live, I am almost exactly one day behind schedule on my NaNoWriMo draft. I’m closing in on the midpoint of the story itself—it’s running a little long, but that’s ok. It’s a first draft, and they’re always a little unpredictable, no matter how much I plan.

I keep having these weird, panicky moments, where it feels like there’s no way I can possibly reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, and I have to remind myself that I’ve actually been doing well the last few days. I’m writing faster than I was at the beginning of the month, the words are flowing more smoothly, and, most importantly: I still love the story. It’s the first thing I’ve written in a very long time that (probably) doesn’t need an entire page-one rewrite to turn it into something good.

(As an aside: this week, I started trying to plan the rewrite of last year’s story. It’s… a thing. I know exactly what I want that story to be, I just can’t figure out how to make it happen.)

So! This is where I stand, going into the final stretch: the story is still good. I like it, and I like some of the things it’s teaching me as a writer. If I can write about 1500 words this weekend (weekends have been consistently terrible for me this month), I’ll be able to finish on time, and without pushing myself too hard.

When I put it like that, it seems entirely reasonable. Which makes me feel like I’m missing something.

Snapshot #90 | 10 Things for 19 November 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. feeling… like it’s time for a big decluttering session. I just wish I had the time right now… maybe after NaNo? But then I’ve got the holidays to think about….
2. writing… difficult scenes. But good scenes.
3. realizing… that I’ve got material for two or three decent blog posts. Hm….
4. solving… my bullet journal dilemma. Maybe. I’m making progress, at least. (More later, I hope.)
5. starting… to rebuild my running routine after the disaster that was October. At this point, I’m hoping to keep it up for another three weeks, and then I’ll happily set it aside until spring.
6. finalizing… my holiday baking plans. I think. (Definitely)
7. thinking… about my writing and creative process, and the changes I want to make going into 2018.
8. wishing… that Matcha‘s sync problems had been fixed in time for NaNoWriMo, but since that didn’t happen, I just really want them to be fixed ASAP. (If anyone can recommend another good iOS markdown editor that looks nice and has Dropbox sync, let me know.)
9. digging… out my sweaters. It’s time. Finally.
10. drinking… lots of coffee. ❤️

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Week 3

Writing

According to the official NaNoWriMo chart, I’m about two and a half days behind schedule. This is after taking four days off last weekend.

That’s not great. I’m not thrilled about it. But I’m not in panic mode, either. I can still make it through the month, and hit 50K—I could take weekends off, and my current pace would still carry me through.

So that’s kind of good.

The real challenge right now is maintaining perspective. I woke up yesterday morning, suddenly very worried about my main character: she’s passive, she’s been rescued twice so far, and she’s not really driving the story.

But here’s the thing: I’ve spent two weeks writing this story. (So far.) I spent months before that thinking about the story, including nearly a month of intense planning. I’ve been living with this story for a long time.

But the story itself has only just started. The scene I’ve been working on for the past few days (it’s a long, difficult scene, for me and for the characters) is the first act break, about 25% of the way through the story. (Obviously, when the dust settles, the story is going to be more than 50,000 words.) I mentioned before that I’m using the Hero’s Journey as a guide for this story… well, up until this exact point, my heroine has been actively resisting the call to adventure. Of course she’s not driving the story yet.

She hasn’t had a reason to. Not until this scene.

So, that’s where I stand right now, half-way through the month: I’m behind schedule, but that’s fine. My main character hasn’t been driving the story, but she’s about to start.

And it’s going to be so cool.

2017 Project365 #310 | Reghan Skerry

Project365: #309-315

Photography

I’m getting back into my groove with this project, just in time for the short, grey, dreary days of November. Awesome.

Seriously, though. I’m feeling pretty good about my photos lately. I’m finding a good middle ground between writing and photography, which is something I’ve been trying to do… since last November, actually. And, because we’re so close to the end of the year and suddenly all I can think about is setting goals and making plans, I’m really happy with that.

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Week 2

Writing

This time last week, I thought I was starting to find the rhythm of the story.

I was wrong.

The first few days of this week were really difficult. I barely got anything written on the weekend, and it took until yesterday to actually get myself back up to par. I still felt good about the story, but the actual writing of it was… ugh.

But then something shifted, and now I have found my footing with this story. I’m writing a bit faster, and the story is moving a bit more smoothly, and… it’s starting to feel like this might actually work. And I’m starting to get other stuff done, too—I can hit my word count, and then not need to spend the rest of the day mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. I can start working on some other outlines, or I can read an actual book with, like, a plot and stuff. I can even play a video game without zoning out after a few minutes.

It’s nice.

Now. This weekend (today and Monday included) is going to be kind of awful for my writing. I’m going to try not to fall too far behind, but who knows?

The important thing is that I still really love this story; the characters and world work in a way that I haven’t really been able to manage recently. And somehow, I’m not destroying that in my rush to hit 50,000 words.

I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

2017 Project365 #307 | Reghan Skerry

Project365: #302-308

Photography

National Novel Writing Month is an intense experience, creatively. And I love it for that. I love that it forces me to sit down and write—which is something I want to be doing anyway, but never seem to make the time for.

The downside? It’s an intense experience, creatively. Especially at the beginning, when I’m still finding my way into the story, it uses up pretty much all of my creative energy.

It’s getting easier, now. A full week in, and I’m getting to a point where I can spend a few hours a day writing, and not need to spend the rest of the day decompressing. I can think about the other stories I’m working on, and I can think about photography again.

Which is really just a long-winded way of saying some of these pictures are a bit boring, and I’m sorry for that. (That’s the other thing about NaNo: it gets really tempting to use more words than strictly necessary.)

Snapshot #89 | 10 Things for 5 November 2017… or, rather, 7 November 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. digging… out my scarves and fingerless gloves. Finally. It’s not consistently cool, yet, but it’s finally starting to feel like fall.
2. getting… over the flu. Here’s hoping that I manage to stay healthy for at least a few weeks this time.
3. struggling… with my schedule, just a bit. My NaNo project isn’t flowing quite as smoothly as I’d like, and it’s slowing me down on other things.
4. wondering… why, every single time I genuinely love something (a particular food, a shade of makeup), it gets discontinued immediately. (I had to find a replacement for my foundation this week. After some back-and-forth with the woman at the makeup counter, we found something that (probably) works. When I got home, I looked the new stuff up online… and found out that it’s about to be discontinued.)
5. hoping… that I’ll be able to get back into a good running and workout routine sometime soon… October was a bit of a setback.
6. thinking… about new projects and plans. It’s good.
7. starting… to get nervous about how close the holidays are. I don’t have any of my baking planned.
8. trying… to break some habits and establish new ones… with mixed success.
9. knowing… that I’m way behind on posting. Sorry.
10. feeling… determined to not only catch up on my NaNo word count, but to build up a bit of a buffer this week. Let’s do this.

2017 Project365 #305 | Reghan Skerry

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Week 1

Writing

Three days into NaNoWriMo, and I have a title!

I mean, I’ve also got a little more than 5000 words, but I’m really most excited about the title. And the fact that a few of my characters actually have last names now. That’s nice, too.

The thing is, the first 5000 words or so (sometimes a little less, sometimes a lot more) of a new story is always pretty close to impossible. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve prepared or how enthusiastic I am, it always takes a few days to find my way into a story.

But I think I’m getting there. Today’s words flowed more easily than yesterday’s, and tomorrow’s will probably be easier still. (Maybe. Weekends are always terrible for my writing.)

That said: I’ve realized that one of my secondary characters doesn’t really have an arc. He did, when I was originally figuring out the story, but it sort of disappeared when I developed his character more. (Which… isn’t the way it usually happens, but whatever.) And my outline still isn’t quite finished.

But it’s fine. I’m genuinely happy with the way the story’s progressing so far. And I’ve still got plenty of time—and words—to fill in the bits that are missing.

Current Word Count (3 November 2017): 5263