Sketchbook #57

A blue-grey dragonfly perched on the stem of a leaf. Photo by Reghan Skerry.

Welcome to September. A few days late, but time is still weird so I’m not going to worry about it too much.

(This is actually my second attempt at writing this post. I made it about half-way through the first version—talking about changes and strategies and how to think about the future when the world is shifting—before I realized that wasn’t actually this post. It’s something else entirely, and will probably go in the newsletter if I finish it before Monday (if you want to subscribe, and yes, that’s a hint) or it’ll be it’s own thing here in a week or two. Maybe both!)

August was… about what I expected. I’ve started to find my footing in the story now known as Birthday Girl. I didn’t reach the end of act one (let alone the midpoint), but I’m having more good writing days than bad ones, and my daily word count is starting to reach something that I consider acceptable. There’s a bit of a motivation learning curve, too—pandemic aside, this is the first time since I started writing again that I’ve tried a first draft without NaNoWriMo to keep me going. (Not that I’ve ever finished a first draft during NaNo, but that’s because the target for the month is 50,000 words, which is only just long enough to be called a novel.) I’m still trying to learn how to write every day without the fear of falling behind looming over me.

I’m making progress, and that’s the part that matters. I’m still pretty sure I’ll finish the draft by the end of the year, and if I’m very lucky, the work I put into the outline and the time I’m taking with the actual writing will mean that I won’t have to completely rewrite the thing starting in January.

Writing was good in August. Photography was just weird

I came thisclose to ordering a new camera. I do want need to upgrade soon, and I do know that a new camera would give me a temporary burst of motivation (new toys always do!), but I talked myself out of it. It wasn’t the right time, and it definitely wasn’t the right camera. Instead, I spent a fraction of the money on some accessories that are compatible with my current setup, and that will help me learn some skills that I need. Which is great! Same burst of motivation! 

Except times being what they are, I’m still waiting for the shipment to arrive. Part of it, at least. 

The most important part.


But it’s fine. I’m willing to wait, and I’ve been taking some photos in the meantime. Nothing spectacular, but I’ve been having fun with a camera again, and I’m really looking forward to the next few months. I’m finally ready to start doing things again. And, in retrospect, waiting on the new camera was the right move—I would’ve regretted it already. In a few months, I’ll be able to upgrade properly, and in the meantime I can work on improving my craft.

I’ve been talking a lot about the next few months, rather than just focussing on September, but that’s the timeframe I’m thinking in right now—the next few months, the rest of the year, starting to think ahead to next year. 

For September, I want to just keep building on this momentum, and keep making progress I can be happy with. Anything more than that is a bonus.