When it comes to creativity, January and December are never great months for me. I spend December—what little isn’t taken up by holiday prep and recovery—in full planning mode, which is good, but it does turn into an excuse not to do the actual work. And January… despite my enthusiasm going in, it always takes me a bit of time to find my rhythms again. Add to that the one-two hit of the new year and my birthday, and I’m suddenly questioning everything.
That’s actually why I’m working on this post right now, when I’d already blocked out this time for writing fiction. I need to step back and take an objective look at some of this stuff, and talking it out here always seems to help me clarify my thoughts. (If you’re not here for my creative-process rambling, consider that your warning. I won’t feel bad if you skip this post.)
It’s been a week since NaNoWriMo ended, and I haven’t looked at - haven’t even thought about - my draft since then.
That’s a good thing.
A quick recap: a little over a week ago, I decided that I needed to get out of the creative and productive rut I’ve fallen into over the past few months. And it would be good if I could prevent myself from going down a similar path in the future.
So I’ve set some goals for the rest of the year, to build a solid foundation for myself and my long-term goals going into 2019.
I’m going to check in with these goals every week. I still haven’t quite decided what form these check-ins are going to take (and they’re not all going to be on Thursdays, mostly because a lot of my regular posts tend to fall around the weekend). But for now, one week in, I’m just going to look at each of those goals, and the progress I’m making (or not).
It’s been a long, hot summer, and in the past few months I have fallen out of every good habit I’d managed to establish in the first half of the year.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here's what caught my attention in August.
Most months, I take this post as an opportunity to reflect on the creative goals I’d set, and decide what I want to try to do in the coming month. Sometimes, taking that time to reflect leads me in a direction that doesn’t really fit into the standard format I’ve established for these ‘sketchbooks.’
Which is a roundabout way of saying this might be long, and it might ramble a bit. I’m trying to figure out some stuff, here, and if this isn’t the best way for me to do it, at least it’s been effective in the past.
Ok? Let’s go.
The way I’ve been managing my creative life - the things I’m working on, my creative energy, my time - isn’t working.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here's what caught my attention in July.
I still don’t know what possessed me to try a 365 project in 2017. When I started, I was pretty sure it would turn out like the attempts I’d made before: three months in, I’d be taking the most boring snapshots in the world, simply to fulfil the obligation. I didn’t think that I’d make it through the year without getting bored or resentful, and I definitely didn’t think that the project would do as much for my photography in general as it did.
I keep sitting down to write this post, and it keeps not happening. There’s part of me that feels like it’s not time, yet: I haven’t finished writing the story, so how can I possibly think about any of this objectively? I didn’t write the postmortem for last year’s project until I’d finished the draft, and that worked out well enough. But this isn’t about the story, it’s about the experience.
And this year was a very different experience from last year.
I went in confident that I could do it. Last year was... I won’t say “easy,” but it was fairly straightforward. I wrote nearly every day, and I stayed pretty much on-target as far as word-count went, and then I crashed as soon as I hit 50K, because I’d had a cold for the last few days of the month and the only thing that kept me going was stubbornness.
This year wasn’t like that. At all.
I find it a little hard to believe, but the last two weeks haven't been entirely devoted to NaNoWriMo. Only mostly. I've been: feeling | writing | realizing | solving | starting | finalizing | thinking | wishing | digging | drinking