The 2018 Reboot | Week 5 Check-In

It’s been a while since I checked in on this little project of mine (here’s the explanation for my absence, if you missed it), but I’m happy to say that it’s only the check-ins that I’ve missed. I haven’t been neglecting the reboot itself, and I’m actually kind of impressed with the progress I’ve made in the past few weeks, despite everything.

Let’s get to the individual goals, shall we?

Improve the quality of the art I’m consuming, in order to improve the quality of the art I’m creating.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect this to go very well the last few weeks. When I’m sick or on vacation, I tend to go straight for lighter fare, the kinds of things that don’t require a lot of mental energy. And I did that this time, too… except the books I chose turned out to be really good. Still light, low-consequence YA, but the kind of stuff that both held my attention as a reader, and impressed me as a writer.

On the other hand, I haven’t watched a single movie in two weeks. So, you know… win some, lose some. (I’ll be rectifying that today.)

Find a way to structure my time in order to support my bigger goals (creative and otherwise).
This was a massive failure during my time off, but I’m not going to feel too bad about that. I knew going in that my structure was going to fall apart in those two weeks.

But I came back feeling really motivated, and with a list of projects that I wanted to dive into this week. (I was actually kind of scared that I was trying to pack too much into my schedule, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue.) It’s only been three days, but it seems to be going well so far.

However, I’m still not quite where I want to be, and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to maintain the current standard when this initial rush of energy fades. I’ve got to do more work on this.

Develop workflows for writing and photography. And blogging.
The last time I checked in, I said that this was going to be one of my primary goals in the coming week. Researching it, at least—I knew I wasn’t quite ready to dive into the actual work.

I have been researching it. And I’ve been learning a lot.

First off, I’m still happy with the fiction-writing workflow I’ve been developing. I want to fine-tune it a bit, but it really does seem to work for me.

Photography… I’m still not sure. I need to clarify my goals a little better on this front before I can move forward. And that’s ok.

Blogging… meh. Mostly what I’ve learned there is that a lot of the information that’s out there doesn’t really apply to me. I’m not looking to turn this blog into a career, or blog just for the sake of blogging. (I have to stop typing the word ‘blog’ soon, before it starts to look like utter nonsense.) Honestly, most of the advice about ‘blogging workflows’ that I’ve seen is just advice on how to churn out content day after day, and that’s never been my goal here.

This is going to be something I have to figure out entirely on my own. (Fun!) So… again, I have to clarify what I’m trying to accomplish, and figure out how best to do that.

Experiment with productivity and journalling systems, and find something that works for me.
Real progress!

I mean… things kind of slowed down when I took time off. (I didn’t use a planner much while I was sitting around hoping the rain would stop.) But I did spend a lot of time reading up on different systems, and thinking about what might actually work for me. And I have been experimenting with a few systems—and if I don’t know yet what does work for me, I’m getting better at figuring out what doesn’t. (So far: I’m definitely better off keeping my calendar digital. To-do lists and trackers are still a toss-up. I am finding some DIY planner/journalling ideas that seem to click for me, but most of the typical ‘bullet journal’ stuff still doesn’t.)

I’m moving in the right direction with this one, and I’m fully confident that I’ll settle into something that works in time for the new year.

Finish the work on the office.
My progress here is kind of slow, but it is progress. I’m still working on decluttering (though that’s shaping up to be a bigger job than I’d planned), and things are starting to come together. And now that it’s mostly a matter of figuring out the fine details, and now that I have reasons to want to be in the office for longer periods of time, I’m finding out just how well everything is working in practice, rather than just theory.

It’s mostly good. Like I said: there are still some details to work out, but… it’s good.

In all: it’s been a good few weeks. Not as much active change as I’d like, but it was a good opportunity to catch up on some of the research I wanted to do for the reboot, and put myself in a position where I could tackle the real work when my schedule evened out again. That’s where I am now, and I feel really good about how things are looking for the next week or so.