Sketchbook #44

“Maybe I’ll have some answers by the end of June,” I said

Why do I set myself up like that? 

I’m being a little overdramatic. The first two weeks of the month were good. Really good. It took a few days to figure out what I was doing with Violet Lane, but I’m well into the second draft now, and it feels like the big changes (cutting down the number of point-of-view characters, eliminating one character entirely, et cetera) are the right ones. I’m still wavering a bit on the tone (I want to make it darker, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I might have to rework the main character again), but in general, I’m happy with it.

My progress with photography is… ok. I’m in a bit of a rut—so many flowers—and I’m trying to figure out how to push myself out of my comfort zone with that. Part of the problem, I think, is that I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to my routine in general—I do the same things and go to the same places, travelling the same routes, at roughly the same time every week—so I’m not seeing anything new. Nothing is feeling fresh or interesting. (I haven’t gone on as much as a day trip in over a year. The logistics for that kind of thing get tricky when you don’t drive.) Plenty of photographers have found inspiration in mundane environments, but I’m dealing with a general sense of frustration that’s just feeding on itself right now, and I need to figure out how to break myself out of it.

That said, the flower photos are ok—some of them have been quite good—they’re just boring.

Other than that things have been pretty much progressing as expected: I’m having fun with the website redesign, I’ve been making some real progress when it comes to figuring out my long-term plans (which… yeah, I kind of worked on that a few months ago, but I’ve been refining the ideas and framing them in a way that means I can work toward them rather than just dream about them), and I took a few small steps toward that big project that I’m still not announcing, even though I fully intended to do so this month. (More on that in a minute.)

… and then I came down with a cold. Nothing much has happened since last Wednesday. At all.

I’m past the sleeping-all-day stage of things, and the sinus headache has finally eased up, and I’m very hopeful that my focus will have recovered enough that I’ll be able to start writing again tomorrow. (I’m almost there, but it’s taken me two hours to get this far writing this post. So.) But it completely derailed the plans I had to finally make my muslin, and the next significant step in that big project (which not only involves going out in public, but a particularly tedious bus ride).

I should say that that general sense of frustration I mentioned? Being ill didn’t create it, but it certainly hasn’t helped—except in that I’ve been so bored and annoyed the past few days that I’m feeling particularly motivated to get out of this rut.

So, that was June: two good weeks, two terrible weeks.

July is going to be about getting back on my feet, first of all—building my writing routine back up to where it was two weeks ago, getting back into a routine of watching movies and reading books that require actual thought, taking photos of something outside the apartment. 

But after that, it’s going to be about moving forward. The big scary project is going to be my number one priority for July: not only that next step, but I want to make as much progress as I can… maybe to the point of actually launching. (No promises.) I’m going to keep going with the website redesign; I’m pretty much finished the heavy lifting, but I want to update the photography portfolio, and I’ve got some content ideas I’m still playing with. And I want to keep refining those long-term plans: scheduling what I can and fine-tuning what I need to.

And I’m going to make that muslin. For real this time.

It’s time to get to work.