Sketchbook #38

… well, that was a month, wasn’t it?

Leaving aside NaNoWriMo for now (since I’ve been talking about it all month, and I’ll be talking about it even more on Friday; but if you do want a recap: the story has been fighting me, but I made it through), it… wasn’t too bad.

Not great, obviously. I didn’t get to work on a lot of things that I’d hoped to spend time on in November, like the next round of revisions on The Black Sun. Or photography.

But last month, I said that my mission for November was to sit down and think about what I really want to accomplish, in both writing and photography. Everything else aside, if I did that—or if I made significant progress with that—the month would be a good one. If you’ve been reading my reboot updates, you know by now that it hasn’t been easy; I haven’t really been in the mood for the necessary self-reflection, and I’ve been second-guessing myself a lot.

But I’m on the right track.

I know what I want to do as a writer, both next year, and long-term, and I’ve started coming up with a plan to achieve those goals. (I touched on some of this in the writing issue of the newsletter last month. And, since I never bother to promote it, this might be the first time you’re hearing about that. I have a newsletter! If you want to subscribe, here you go!)

Photography is more of a challenge, but I think I’m zeroing in on some goals, if not my big long-term goals. I have some ideas for next year—which I hope will help me clarify some of this for me—and a few (vague) ideas for the next few years, but beyond that… I’m working on it.

From that perspective, the month wasn’t too terrible after all. Progress was made.

So. What’s the plan for December?

Figuring out my plans for 2019, mostly. I’ve got two weeks before the holiday panic really takes over, which isn’t nearly enough time to either finish the first draft of Violet Lane or revise The Black Sun, but I’m going to work on both of them. For Violet Lane, I’m going to go back and patch up the biggest holes in the first half of the story before I go any further, so I’ve got a clear path going into the second half. (As opposed to my current path, which is trying to write the second half of a story when the first half exists partly on the page, and partly in my head, and there are bits where both of those parts contradict each other.)

For The Black Sun, my primary goal for the month is to put together a clear roadmap for the revision process: clarify what changes need to be made, and (where I can) figure out the best way to make each of those changes.

In both cases, if everything goes the way I’m planning, I’ll be able to jump right back into the work in January (either the 2nd or the 7th, depending on how much time I feel like I need to decompress after the holidays).

As for photography, again: I’m in full planning mode. I’m figuring out a couple of projects (or one big project?) to tackle next year, and I’m figuring out what my big goals are going into 2019 (and maybe beyond, but I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself).

December is about recovering from November, and preparing for January, and I’m really looking forward to it.