The 2018 Reboot | Week 11 Check-In

Personal, Productivity

I fell into a bit of a trap this week. It’s a familiar one for me, one I seem to stumble into every time I want to make a big change, whether it’s with writing, or photography, or getting organized, or (this time) setting goals.

I start to think that other people have the answers, and that if I just read enough books or articles or blog posts, I’ll eventually stumble onto the right one, the one that brings everything into focus.

It never happens.

Don’t get me wrong: advice is good. Learning from those who’ve gone before? Awesome. And if I’m dealing with a specific technical issue, like how to edit infrared photos or how to incorporate backstory in a way that doesn’t drag a story down… the research is worth it. But in general? There’s too much noise, too much useless information to wade through. (And, because it’s the internet, let’s be honest: too many people who call themselves experts without bringing any new insights.)

I don’t need to read another article on S.M.A.R.T. goals, or whether it’s more valuable to build habits than to set goals.

I just need to do the work and find my own path. I’ll get there eventually.

Snapshot #107 | 10 Things for 12 August 2018

Personal

Currently…

1. reaching… my limit with the heat wave. It’s officially making me miserable, and I want it to be over. (The humidity’s been a little less oppressive this weekend, so I’m hoping things’ll start to improve.)
2. feeling… anxious. It’s fine. It’s all fine.
3. sitting… outside and eating ice cream by candlelight. (See #1. It’s the one nice thing about the weather lately.)
4. organizing… ten years’ worth of old analogue photos. It’s not too bad (they’re mostly in order already, I’m just culling the duplicates and genuinely bad photos and moving the rest from envelopes into proper boxes), but… it’s a weird experience.
5. watching… all the shows I didn’t get to during the regular season. So many series finales are making me cry—in the best way—this year.
6. thinking… of new ideas.
7. getting… ready to send The Black Sun off to my beta readers. 😳
8. falling… behind on my podcasts. Let’s be honest: it was only a matter of time.
9. finding… the last few (big) pieces for the office redo. It’s all details from here.
10. missing… the merlins. Now that the little ones have left the nest, the original pair has moved on. Hopefully, they’ll be back next year.

P.S.: Don’t forget—I’ve started a newsletter! If you want a deeper look into what I’m working on, that’s the place to get it. I’d love to see you there.

Inspired | January 2018

Links

I thought that this was going to be a new monthly feature for the blog, but it’s really just a revamp of one that I let slide two years ago. This time, instead of sharing one cool thing every week, I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of all the things (articles, videos, et cetera) that I can’t stop thinking about. Enjoy!

Learning to Write Fluffy, Glittery Violence from My Little Pony by Seanan McGuire

You could get away with anything, if you made it fluffy and pink enough. You could destroy the whole world, as long as you were willing to cover it in glitter first.

Oh, this was going to be fun.

How Comic Book Storytelling is Changing Movies by Patrick (H) Willems (via TMS)

Do You Want to Be Known For Your Writing, or For Your Swift Email Responses? by Melissa Febos: How Patriarchy Has Fucked Up Your Priorities

The Organized Writer by Antony Johnston

Meet the original single lady, who wrote the book on living alone by Laura Smith: Marjorie Hillis was the “spinster-in-chief” who showed women that they could make it on their own

Frances Glessner Lee revolutionized forensic science by building mini crime scenes an excerpt from ‘BRAZEN: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World’ by Pénélope Bagieu

I Choose My Pearls: On Feminism, Fashion, and Disneyland by Tabitha Blankenbiller

Women don’t need laws to repress their fashion, comfort, identity, or preference. Our society’s deft ability to shame does all the heavy lifting. Frontierland Feminist didn’t dismantle a patriarchal demand to regulate clothing; she picked up the baton.

Losing its sparkle: the dark side of glitter by Ellie Violet Bramley

Twitter’s Great Depression by Mike Monteiro

The Incredible Possibility of a Year by Paul Jun

You’re Most Likely to Do Something Extreme Right Before You Turn 30 by Daniel H. Pink (via The Art of Non-Conformity)

Growing apart and losing touch is human and healthy by DHH

What allowed me to change and prosper was the freedom to grow apart and lose touch with people. It’s hard to change yourself if you’re stuck in the same social orbit. There’s a gravitational force that pulls you into repeating the same circular pattern over and over again. Breaking out of that takes tremendous force.

• My inner 15-year-old just found her new favourite band:

Snapshot #58 | 10 Things for 28 August 2016

Personal

Currently…

1. getting… used to the new computer. ♥ ♥ ♥
2. clearing… the DVR backlog. Finally.
3. loving… that the mornings are starting to feel a little cooler. I’m starting to daydream about autumn.
4. making… plans for the office. The new computer has started a bit of a chain reaction, and I’m freshly inspired to turn this space into a place I like to work.
5. looking… for the perfect desktop wallpaper. I don’t know if I’m just pickier than I used to be, but I’m not finding anything I like. At all. Anywhere.
6. trying… to stay motivated. It hasn’t been easy lately.
7. enduring… construction right outside the window.
8. falling… down the bullet journal rabbit hole. I think that my own version (when I settle on it…I’m still in the experimentation stage of things) will be heavily modified—I still prefer keeping my calendar and day-to-day to-do list digital—but I’m a little bit in love. (Seriously: search Pinterest or Instagram. If you’re a stationery geek like me, it’s a dream.)
9. hoping… to get back to real work soon.
10. wondering… why the baristas keep getting my order wrong lately. It’s not complicated. 😦

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "07. Black & White" | Reghan Skerry

Weekly Photo Challenge 2016 | Week #07: ‘Black & White’

Photography

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "07. Black & White" | Reghan Skerry

In some ways, this weekly photo project is becoming a bit of a photo diary. I don’t mind.

One of the best things about finally tackling the office is that it’s forced me to actually think about the things I keep in there. For nearly two years now, it’s just been a catch-all for everything that didn’t have another home somewhere else in the apartment, and even the things that belong in there haven’t really been in any sort of order.

But painting has made me think about everything that’s in there, whether it belongs there—or if I even need to keep it at all—and, if it’s worth keeping, whether it’s just going back into storage or if it needs to be accessible.

One thing I’m being absolutely ruthless with is my craft supplies. I have a bad habit (which I know a lot of people share) of collecting things that I might do something with someday. And then I either lose interest in the project or just never find the time to do it. (Or, worse, I don’t actually have a project in mind, I just really like this particular fabric, and I’m sure I’ll think of something to do with it someday.)

I don’t know yet whether or not I’m going to keep the buttons I’ve collected over the years, but I’m not quite ready to get rid of them. (Sewing is one of those things that, despite all my good intentions, I never get around to, but some of these are just so pretty.) For now, I’m just going to find a better way to store them.

First Snow of the Year | Reghan Skerry

Looking Back: My Goals & Plans for 2015

Personal

As the year winds down and I start to make my plans for 2016, it seems like a good time to look back at the goals I set for this year. (I did a quick assessment back in September, which goes into more detail on the creative goals.)

In 2015, I wanted to…

Find a New Workout
Done. I still haven’t started running (for a few reasons, some of which are good, some of which are just excuses), but I have found a new indoor workout that works for me. (I’ve been using the Sworkit app, and it’s exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to find: customizable, randomizable, and not annoying.) I did struggle a little with keeping up the habit in the summer and into the fall, but I’m back on track now, and not bored, which is all I really care about.

Focus on Photography
The year didn’t start out as well as I’d hoped it would, and the two major projects I’d been thinking of never materialized. But I threw myself back into it as the summer progressed, and the trip to Montréal really helped. I’m feeling good about this.

Do Something With the Office
Here’s the thing: the room I’m calling the office is terrible. It’s the biggest bedroom in the apartment, and I feel guilty for not really using it for anything right now. But it doesn’t work as a bedroom (the closet is too big for my minimalist wardrobe, and has huge sliding doors that are too heavy to deal with all the time, and it really makes more sense to use it as storage for things like the vacuum and mop and other things that don’t belong in the basement). I’m still not entirely how to make it work as an office, either—there’s only one wall that isn’t taken up by closet doors or baseboard heaters (so, only one wall where the bookshelves can go), I’m struggling to figure out how to best use the natural light, and I don’t know where to put the modem, router, and backup drive. (Because the cable outlet is on the wall opposite the wall where the bookshelves can go.) But! I did hang a ceiling lamp (since none of the bedrooms have built-in lighting, which is dumb but seems to be common in buildings from the 1960s-1980s, and I’d been relying on an LED camping lantern in there). So that’s something. (It’s really not.)

Get My Digital Life in Order
I… forgot that this was one of my goals for the year. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t made progress—I have—but not as much as I might’ve if I’d actually, you know, thought about it.

Read a Novel. In French.
Um… no. It’s not that I haven’t been meaning to, it’s just that it’s more difficult than it should be to find the sort of book I’m looking for. I did finally decide what to read (Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, which is on my list anyway, though I was originally planning to read a translation), but decided to put off ordering it until the new year. (Because it’s not actually in stock(!), and would have potentially delayed the rest of my order until after Christmas.) I’ll move this to next year’s list.

MAYBE Think About Writing That Thing
Well. I did think about it. And then I started writing something else. And then I decided that I’d been right the first time, and I’m really happier in general when I’m not writing fiction. Which is fine—that’s what I’d been wondering, and I like that it’s not pulling my attention away from other things anymore.

That said… ‘That Thing’ hasn’t really left me alone. I still feel like there’s something there, and I still keep feeling like I need to write it. I don’t know. I have to think about it some more. (ugh. I know.)


In general, I’m happy with how things went. I got distracted (by life and by other projects), and I didn’t manage to do as much as I’d hoped, but from where I am right now, at the end of 2015, I’m feeling good about things. I made progress where it mattered, and put myself in a position to make 2016 even better than I’d hoped 2015 would be.

It was a good year.

Snapshot | 10 Things for 20 July 2014

Personal

Shades of White

Currently…

1. exploring… famo.us.
2. writing… outlines, for two different projects. (Or maybe three…. Definitely three.)
3. loving… the sun. It’s been a gloomy, rainy week.
4. hating… the humidity.
5. filling… notebooks.
6. thinking… about finding a new workout. The current one’s great, but I’m starting to get bored.
7. cleaning… the computer. Files, bookmarks, Evernote notebooks, music, everything. It needs to be done.
8. finding… inspiration.
9. hoping… that the new basil plant survives. (The first attempt at growing it this year failed, and I don’t know whether it was a problem with the transplants, or if basil just doesn’t like this particular balcony. Everything else is thriving.)
10. feeling… determined.