The bad news is, I didn’t get a lot of prep work done this week. The good news is, I knew that was going to happen - my schedule’s been… weird this week.
I got a little bit off-track this week.
I’ve been trying to expand my one-page outline, figuring out my scenes and subplots and character moments and, you know, all the things that turn an outline into an actual story. And, because I’m still tweaking my outlining method, I’ve been looking at what other people say about their processes, reading about outlining techniques, that sort of thing.
(Also: by Tuesday afternoon, I had to accept that I was coming down with a cold. Studying craft was a way to feel like I was being at least a little bit productive, even when I didn’t have the attention span to be working. On the bright side, I’d rather get a cold now than in the last week of November.)
It was probably a mistake.
Well. I did say that September was going to be a busy month, didn’t I?
First off: I’ve made up my mind on my NaNoWriMo project. I’m going to stick with my original plan (a new story that I’m really excited about), and leave the rewrite until later.
Looking back, I can split August into two distinct creative phases: for the first couple of weeks, everything was... slow. I was getting some work done, but not as much as I wanted, and I wasn't really into any of it.
Mostly, it was because I had a week's vacation scheduled for the middle of the month, and I didn't want to get too deep into anything, only to lose my momentum. It wasn't a conscious thing, but... I know that it was there. (It's kind of a habit for me, and not one I'm happy with.)
That said: the vacation was actually helpful.
July has actually been a really good month for me, from a creative standpoint.
I know. I’m surprised, too. Lately, I’ve started every one of these check-ins with a sigh about how weird things have been, but July… actually went well. Mostly. I mean, it didn’t start well, but the last few weeks… I’m really happy with the work I’ve been doing.
This hasn’t been a great month.
I’ll just get that out of the way to start: I haven’t done nearly as much writing as I’d hoped, and photography has been a bit of a struggle, and I still haven’t started my painting.
But weirdly, I’m ok with that. I’m realizing that this is completely normal for me, and I’m learning how to work with it.
This has been such a weird month, creatively.
It seems like I say that - or some variation on that - every month (which should probably tell me something), but… yeah.
First off: my schedule. I’ve changed my workout routine, which has had an impact on everything else I do through the day. And the impact has (mostly) been good: I can start writing a little bit earlier in the day, which fits my natural creative cycles better, and which means I meet my targets a little bit earlier, freeing up time for other things.
So that’s good.
I knew going in that April wasn’t going to be a very productive month. There were a million little disruptions to my schedule (this is actually the first full, uninterrupted week I’ve had this month), but I’d planned for them, and I’ve (mostly) been able to work around them.
The story outlines are progressing nicely; I still really love having two different projects on the go. It slows both of them down, of course, but it’s fantastic being able to switch from one to the other when inspiration starts to flag. (And inspiration always starts to flag at some point. It’s inevitable.) For now, I’ve pretty much abandoned the daily freewriting that I was trying - I still haven’t found a way to make it work.
And I’m still looking for another writing project, something low-pressure to work on in my downtime, and that doesn’t require months of world building and outlining. It’s… surprisingly difficult. I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing that’s quite clicked for me yet.
But, yeah: it’s been a pretty good month, despite everything.
This has been a strange month. (Another one.) Not bad, just… strange. In a number of ways.
I’m currently planning the second draft of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year, and I’m in the earliest stages of planning a different novel. I’d worried that it would be confusing, trying to work on two different stories, but it’s not; they complement one another, but they don’t get tangled up together.
It does mean that I’m working on two different stories, but not actually writing either of them right now. I’m not putting words on the page. And the writing routine I built over the last five months doesn’t quite work when I’m outlining, or researching, or trying to make sense of the notes I made last November. I’ve been trying to do some free writing, but… meh. I don’t quite have the hang of that - I always reach a point where it feels like I’m just typing, rather than writing.
So, keeping myself on track - and feeling like I’m actually being productive - has been a bit of a struggle.