Sketchbook #28


It turns out that getting three colds in the span of a month—and dropping Thanksgiving in the middle of that—doesn’t exactly do wonders for my creativity or productivity.

Who knew?

So… yeah. October wasn’t a fantastic month.

Really, I’m fine with it. It wasn’t great, but in general, I’m happy with what I have been getting done under the circumstances.

Of course, my highest priority this month has been writing—or, rather, outlining. NaNoWriMo starts in two days (!!!), and… I’m ready. My outline might not be as complete as I’d hoped it’d be (it’s definitely not as complete as I’d hoped it’d be), but it’s solid. I’ve got a good grasp of my characters, and my scene breakdown is done, and my worldbuilding is as good as it needs to be right now.

As for photography: I’m back on schedule with my Project 365 photos! I really don’t know how I did it, or how I’ve stayed on top of things, but I’m back on track, and I intend to stay there for the rest of the year.

It’s only two months. I can do that.

Aside from that project, I haven’t been able to take very many photos this month. The inspiration and motivation just haven’t been there, and, let’s be honest: one of my 365 photos was literally a blank wall. (Well. The corner where two blank walls meet, because I had to include some kind of visual interest.)

… and that’s about it. That’s all the creative work I’ve done this month.

That part annoys me. I mean, I can give myself a pass for this month. I had valid reasons for not doing much in October. But in general, I haven’t been happy with my creative output lately: I haven’t done any sewing in months (my half-finished bag is hanging in the closet, waiting for troubleshooting), I haven’t drawn anything in ages, and aside from my NaNo prep and a bit of freewriting, I haven’t been spending nearly as much time writing as I’d like to be.

We’re also getting close enough to the end of the year that I’ve started thinking ahead to 2018… and evaluating what I’ve done in 2017.

I know that my goalsetting/productivity habits aren’t cutting it right now. I know that the bullet journal system—as much as I like it in theory—doesn’t quite work for me in practice. I’ve started experimenting with some modifications that I hope will work for me (or at least lead me in the right direction), but I’m still trying to figure out what I actually need, let alone how to get there.

Maybe November isn’t the time to be thinking about this, but maybe it is. One of my NaNo goals is to firmly establish a creative habit that genuinely works for me, and that I won’t abandon as soon as the draft is finished. And, like I said: there’s only two months left in the year. I’d like to get myself back on track in time for the new year.

So. That’s the plan for November: make it through NaNo, ideally with a nearly-finished draft. (I’m still not 100% certain how long my story is going to be, but I know that it’s more than 50,000 words.) Try to do it in a way that doesn’t throw everything else into disarray, and that I can sustain through the holidays, and into the new year. (While I’m at it: reread last year’s story and start outlining the rewrite.) Continue to stay on top of the 365 project, and try to take pictures that aren’t just for that particular thing.

In general, just find my focus, and figure out how to do the work I want to be doing.

Snapshot #88 | 10 Things for 22 October 2017



1. loving… Barbara Kean’s hair on the current season of Gotham. (In the first season, I kept getting distracted by architecture. This season, it’s her hair.)
2. looking… at new productivity systems. (Always.) As much as I love the bullet journal concept, I have to admit that it doesn’t quite work for me as well as digital, and I haven’t found a workflow that clicks for me. I’d like to experiment a little bit, and maybe come up with something that does work in time for the new year. (Plus, the last few weeks have been a mess, and I need to get some order into my days again.)
3. making… friends with kittens. It’s a compulsion.
4. enduring… another cold. This is getting annoying.
5. starting… to narrow down my recipe ideas for the holiday baking marathon. Sort of.
6. staying… on top of my Project 365 photos! Even with this stupid cold!
7. daydreaming… about ditching all my NaNoWriMo plans and writing horror instead. I’m not going to—I still love my story, and I don’t have time to plan something new—but I’m a little bit tempted.
8. hoping… that I won’t have to cancel plans again this week. (Stupid colds.)
9. thinking… about switching back to Moleskines as my notebook of choice. I love the Leuchtturm1917 paper and general organization, but the way the spine cracks makes me sad; Moleskines seem to be more durable. I’ve already got a Leuchtturm1917 waiting in the wings, but after that… I might go back. (And, yes, I spend far too much time thinking about notebooks.)
10. exploring… the new Ikea, and counting the days until my bookshelves are back in stock.