I thought that October was going to be busy, that there were a lot of things that would get in the way of my creative goals.
It turned out to be even busier than I expected: I’ve only had one full week without interruptions (even today they’re testing the fire alarms in my building, which is always a joy—that’s why I’m working on this blog post instead of fiction), I’ve had inconvenient (but not serious) health issues crop up, and it’s just been generally difficult to stay motivated.
But I did it.
I’ll start with Violet Lane. I wanted to reach the midpoint by the end of the month. I’m not quite there, but I’m close. It’s on the horizon. And I like the story. It’s really good (considering it’s still very much a first draft, and ‘really good’ in this context means disjointed and messy and kind of terrible in some places), and more importantly, I’m having fun with it. It’s still not easy to write, and I’ve definitely had days when it just wasn’t working, but overall, writing it is a good experience this time around.
Also, I mentioned it on Twitter, but getting back into a proper mid-writing-session coffee break has done wonders for my writing routine. The caffeine helps, obviously, but mostly it’s the process of actually grinding the beans and heating the water. It gets me away from the work for a few minutes, but in a way that focusses, rather than distracts. It’s fantastic, and I love it.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in October: stories that are neither character- nor plot-driven, the good guy/bad guy myth, thoughts on digital privacy, the history of women’s restroom lounges, and more.
Less than one hundred days left to go in this particular project, and I’m starting to wonder what comes next.
I know that this sort of daily project does wonders for my photography. I’m proud of some of the photos I’ve taken over the last ten months, and I know that they wouldn’t have happened without the commitment I made to post something new every single day. I wouldn’t have gotten into the habit of carrying a real camera so often, and probably would gone days or weeks without taking a photo. (Just look at 2018.)
1. putting… off the upgrade to Catalina; it’s going to break too many applications I rely on.
2. reaching… the point where I have to decide whether I’m going to try (again) to grow out my hair, or if I’m going to chop it all off.
3. falling… down a rabbit hole entirely composed of Japanese stationery supplies. I might have a new obsession.
4. planning… the final (for now) round of edits on The Black Sun.
5. emptying… another one of those boxes I’ve been hauling (unopened) from apartment to apartment since at least 2008. The decluttering process is slow, but it’s still moving along.
6. thinking… about making some changes to the newsletter. Is there anything you’d like to see? Writers or photographers who do it particularly well? If you don’t subscribe, is there something in particular that would change your mind? Let me know in the comments, or via the contact form if you’d rather get in touch that way.
7. starting… my Christmas shopping. In early October. There were specific budget-related reasons, but I’m still pretty sure that’s a new record for me.
8. feeling… relieved. I took care of a few chores that were really stressing me out—nothing serious, I’m just terrible at adulting—and I’m so glad to be done with them.
9. realizing… that I’m a little bit out of practice when it comes to grinding coffee by hand. I had a good routine down in the spring, but I’ve been drinking cold brew in the office all summer. It might take a week or two to get the muscle memory back.
10. finding… my way back into a good writing routine.
It’s funny, how quickly autumn has snuck up on me. It’s not just the way I’ve suddenly (finally!) got to shift away from all-flowers-all-the-time—the light is changing (or disappearing entirely), my routines are changing, all of it.
I love it.
1. thinking… about what comes next.
2. baking… a batch of doughnuts, mostly to test the pan I bought a while ago. They were so easy (and good), I have a feeling this is going to turn into a regular thing.
3. reminding… myself that I spent a long time debating the merits of different WordPress themes before switching to this one, and I really don’t need to move to a new one already. Even if I’m really tempted.
4. daydreaming… about opening a bookstore/cafe. I actually wish the thought hadn’t popped into my head, because it’s definitely not feasible and it’s still all I can think about right now.
5. digging… out the scarves and fingerless gloves. It’s time!
6. wishing… the WordPress block editor cooperated with Markdown. And proper HTML, honestly. (The dedicated Markdown blocks don’t cut it, and I hate the extra steps needed to manually add alt tags to links—enough that regularly skip that step, and then feel guilty about it.)
7. making… up my mind.
8. abandoning… Pinterest. Now if I can just wean myself off Twitter and Instagram, everything will be perfect.
9. trying… not to let anxiety get the better of me. (Not just the stuff I was talking about the other day. Everything is difficult right now.)
10. running… late.
I’ve stopped worrying about all the flower photos. They’re pretty enough, and very soon I won’t have a choice; I’ll have to branch out. The flowers aren’t going to last much longer. Even the ones in this batch are starting to feel very autumnal to me.
But if I do another daily photo project next year (which is an internal debate for another time), I’m going to have to come up with a better plan, or at least find different gardens to visit.