NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Prep Week 4

Writing

I’ve written my synopsis!

I still don’t have a working title, and I keep wavering between whether my story counts as sci-fi or fantasy (I mean… everything in it is based on “science,” but none of it is remotely realistic, and in the end it comes down to “I dunno… maybe aliens? Magic?”), but I have a synopsis, and I really like it.

Last year was the first time I bothered writing a synopsis for NaNo. I’d just never seen the point before—I knew what my story was, I had a full outline, so a synopsis felt like another variation on the theme. And… yeah. It kind of is. But it’s still really helpful.

To be clear, I haven’t written what I’d consider a “proper” synopsis. This isn’t how I’d describe the story in a query letter. This is just for myself and the NaNo site, so I’ve written something closer to back-cover copy. It’s not about selling the story to an agent or publisher, it’s about selling the story to myself, convincing myself that this is something that could work as a novel.

In that context, writing a synopsis has turned out to be really valuable.

It’s forced me to think about my story in a different way. When I write the synopsis, it’s less about the plot or the characters—though they both come into play—and more about establishing the story world and the overall tone of the story. It’s a way to draw the reader in, and to tell them what they can expect from the story without giving too much away. It’s a way to draw myself in, and to keep myself focussed on how I want the story to feel, even when I’m struggling with what happens next.

And both last year and this year, writing the synopsis has clarified bits of the story that I hadn’t quite figured out or didn’t understand. Last year, the synopsis helped me figure out the antagonist’s motivation, and the conspiracy that was lurking under the whole story. This year, it’s made me realize that, whether the story is sci-fi or fantasy, at it’s heart, it’s a relatively straightforward thriller. I know more about my main character’s backstory. And, suddenly, I know exactly how it feels to live in the story world: how it looks, how it sounds, and the vague unease that comes with just stepping out onto the street in this world.

It’s so cool.

I’m still working on the scene breakdown, though I’m feeling better about that than I was before. I’m making progress, though I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’m still taking some time to study craft, but I’m being a little more discerning about it—right now, I don’t care at all how other writers structure their stories. I know how I’m structuring this story, and that’s enough.

I’m starting to feel like I might actually be ready when November 1 rolls around.

If you’re a NaNo-er interested in reading my synopsis, I’ve added it to my profile. (Though, naturally, it’s still subject to change.) As always, I’m thrilled to get new writing buddies, so feel free to add me—and if you need some cheerleading or commiseration, say ‘hello’ via NaNo mail! As an experiment, I’m also going to start opening up comments on these diary posts… I’m not sure if it’ll last (I’m not a fan of comments in general), but we’ll see how it goes.

(Also: this week I discovered that the index cards I bought in preparation for outlining are unlined, which is annoying, but I’ll make do. And I’ve been struggling with another cold, but at least I’m not trying to prepare for Thanksgiving on top of everything else, so I’ve been able to dedicate my limited energy to NaNo prep. I guess that’s something.)

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Prep Week 3

Writing

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.

Still, I’m starting to feel the pressure. There’s only about two and a half weeks left until NaNo kicks off, and I’m not ready. At all.

Deep breaths.

The really good news is that, barring unforeseen circumstances, I don’t have anything else that’s going to interfere with my prep time for the rest of the month. If I’m smart, and I don’t let myself get too distracted, I can absolutely finish my outline in time.

(By the way: I’m always looking for new NaNo buddies! My username on the NaNoWriMo site is indecorous—feel free to add me. If you need a cheerleader, or someone to bounce ideas off of, drop me a note via NaNo mail.)

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Prep Week 2

Writing

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.

I’m not going to say the advice I was reading this week was bad. Some of it was, but most of it was… perfectly reasonable. I know that it works for some people, even if it’s not going to work for me. The problem is the sheer amount of advice out there, and the way it gets repeated. Someone writes a book on how to write a best-selling novel, someone else blogs about it, someone else blogs about it but doesn’t mention where they got the idea, and so on, and pretty soon it’s being treated as received wisdom, instead of a formula some random guy came up with sometime in the last ten years.

And if I read enough of these things in a short enough span of time, it starts to feel like if I don’t follow the template exactly, then I’m doing something wrong.

Which is absurd, of course.

There are patterns in stories, common rhythms, but a novel is not a formula; it’s not a bunch of variables that you can plug into an equation and get a consistent answer. (Or… you can. But you’ll end up with a formulaic novel.) I love the Hero’s Journey (and I’ve been using it as a guide for my broad outline, because the symbolism of it works for this particular story), but it can be problematic… and it’s far from universal. It’s a guide, rather than the guide. Even the three-act structure—as close to a ‘universal’ as we can get, in that most stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end (though not necessarily in that order, to quote Jean-Luc Godard)—only applies to most stories, not all of them.

Anyway.

There’s value in looking at the writing process, but I have to remember to be critical about it. I’m better off listening to what the writers I genuinely admire have to say, instead of the rules that the self-proclaimed “experts” insist we have to follow. I have to remember to focus on the art of writing, as much as the craft—and art cannot exist if I’m hung up on formulas. (Formulae?) I have to remember to abandon the maps when they point me in the wrong directions.

I have to trust myself a little more. I’ve done this before, I can do it again.

NaNoWriMo 2017 | Participant

NaNoWriMo 2017 Diary | Prep Week 1

Writing

Last year, I approached NaNoWriMo as an experiment.

I won’t go into detail (I’ve done that already), but the short version is: it worked. I discovered that I can still write, and I can finish a draft without hating both it and the world in general. Yay!

But then I stalled. Without the momentum and deadline of NaNo, I have genuinely struggled to edit (or, let’s be honest, rewrite) the story I wrote last year. I’ve spent most days since then spinning my wheels: outlining draft two, then scrapping it. Starting an outline of a new story. Writing a few scenes that might be another story, or might just be a few random scenes.

I haven’t stopped working on writing projects, but I haven’t really been writing, either.

So… yeah. I’m really looking forward to November.

This year’s NaNo attempt is another experiment: I know that I can make it through the month, now it’s time to build on that. This year, I’ve got two goals. First, I want to focus on building the daily writing routine that I really want, and that I really can sustain after November is over.

Second, I want to work on writing a first draft that really works. It won’t be perfect (obviously) but… I would really like to have a draft that requires editing, rather than a full, page-one rewrite. Which means a better outline—not necessarily more thorough (my outline last year was incredibly detailed… except for that one missing chapter in the middle…), just more thoughtful, I guess.

It’s a difficult thing to define. Everyone’s got a different method, anyway—this is about trying to refine my own method so it works better for me.

So that’s where I stand right now: I know what story I’m going to write. (I briefly considered being a rebel and rewriting last year’s story, but I came to my senses. I’m going with the new thing that I started to outline earlier in the year.) I’ve got the broad strokes of an outline, and I’ve started developing the characters and story world. I got lost in the inevitable Wikipedia rabbit hole. This weekend I’m replenishing my supply of index cards.

One month to go. I’m not freaking out at all.

Sketchbook #22

Art + Craft, Photography, Writing

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.

Anyway. Photography!

I’m actually really happy with how that’s going this month. The 365 project is still my main focus (though that’s going to start to change, now that the weather is improving) and I don’t think I’ve used a real camera for any of this month’s photos, but I am genuinely proud of some of the photos I’ve taken this month.

In some ways, I kind of like the limitations imposed by using my phone for so many of the pictures. On good days, I start off with an image in my head that I want to create, but I’m still kind of lazy about the whole thing. I could pull out the DSLR and tripod and choose the perfect lens and wait for the perfect lighting. And I’d be pretty much guaranteed to get the shot I’m imagining.

But most of the time, I can’t be bothered. This is supposed to be a quick-and-easy project, and most of the time, I just want to grab my phone and take the picture. Which actually makes me work harder to get the photo I want, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all and I have to come up with an entirely new plan, or I end up with a happy accident that’s so much better than the photo I’d planned.

That’s the good stuff.

I’m struggling with drawing lately. Or… not struggling, exactly. I’m just not feeling it lately. Part of the problem is that I don’t feel like I’ve got a goal to work towards, or at least not one that I can define. ‘Get better at drawing’ (or even ‘get better at drawing people’) is ok, but… it’s kind of vague. I don’t have a specific project to work on, or a reason to want to improve.

At the same time, I’ve been thinking about how I spend my time. Lately, it feels like I’m being “productive”—I’m checking everything off my to-do list—but I’m not actually doing the things I want to be doing. Some of it is kind of obvious (I’m really hating the entire concept of grocery shopping right now), but some of it is just a matter of focussing on the wrong things. And drawing might fall into that category. I’m not sure if all this practice is because I want to draw, or because I kind of want to be someone who can draw. (If that makes sense? I don’t know if it does.)

I need to think about it some more.

And the sewing project that’s been on my list since last fall, and that I’ve been working on since sometime near the beginning of this year… hasn’t gone well. It seemed like it was going well. I was all ready to finish up the assembly. And then it just… didn’t work.

It’s entirely my fault. It’s weirdly complicated for what amounts to a tote bag, and I’ve been improvising the whole thing. In the end, the pieces just didn’t come together the way I’d been picturing.

I’m not sure if I can salvage it, or if I can even make the project work at all the way I’d been planning. I do know that I can make a simpler version of the bag, but… meh. I’ve set the whole thing aside for a while, but I’ll probably come back to it eventually.

So… yeah.

The things that went well in April went really well, and the things that didn’t go well… I’d rather just forget about entirely.

The good thing is, May isn’t nearly the scheduling disaster that April was. I’ve got time. I fully expect to start writing the next draft of the NaNoWriMo novel, and I feel like it’ll move fairly quickly once I start. (I probably just jinxed it, didn’t I?) I’ll be able to really dig into the outline and research for the next story. I’m ready to start work on the painting that’s been kinda-sorta in the works for a couple of years, and I’ve been thinking about a couple others. I’m finally starting to feel inspired photographically, and excuses to get out and take pictures.

And I’ve got some time to think, and to play with my daily schedule a bit. There are things I want to do, with both writing and photography, and I need to figure out how to make them happen.

Snapshot #74 | 10 Things for 9 April 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. fixing… a weird problem with the site. (Basically, if you looked at the site a little more than an hour before this post went live… there was nothing here. At all.) I’ve got the issue itself sorted, but there might still be a few little problems. Trust that I’ll have it cleaned up in a day or so.
2. working… on two different story outlines (one new, one for draft 2 of the NaNoWriMo novel). I’m having way more fun than I expected.
3. having… one of my occasional creative/existential freak-outs. It only lasted two days! This is progress!
4. running… into problems with the tote bag I’ve been making. (This is why I shouldn’t improvise this kind of thing.) The project’s on hold while I sort out the logistics.
5. re-watching… Prison Break. Not the whole thing… just enough to remind myself where we left off before I start watching the new season.
6. finalizing… plans for the huge painting that I’ve kinda-sorta been planning for a few years now. I will get it done within the next few weeks. (… and I’ve already started planning a second painting. So.)
7. doing… a little research. I have plans.
8. looking… for a good casual game for iOS. (Since I started limiting my news & Twitter browsing, I’ve got weird little empty blocks of time that I don’t know what to do with.)
9. playing… with HeroMachine. I suppose it’s technically procrastination, but I have my reasons, and it’s not a complete waste of time.
10. making… deep dish pizza, for the first time in ages. So good!

Sketchbook #21

Photography, Writing

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.

What I really want is something like my daily photo project, but for writing: a low-pressure way to give myself a little bit of structure and a reason to actually do the work. I’ve been really happy with the 365 project so far: not every photo is great (or even particularly good), but I’ve produced a few that I really like, and I’ve seen an improvement in my work in general, just in the last three months. Even posting the pictures to Instagram is part of it—I’m not chasing likes, but I’m not going to deny that the only reason the project hasn’t stalled out already is because I’ve got people who notice when I post, and who comment when I post a particularly good shot.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of weeks trying to come up with a way to do something similar with writing, without much luck. I did have one idea that ticked all of the boxes, but… it’s not something I want to do. (And I realize I’m being vague. But. It’s not a good idea, and I’m just going to leave it at that.)

(I also realize that I’m saying this on a blog, and that a pretty good solution would be to just post more often. And that might be what I end up doing, but I’d rather focus on writing fiction.)

On a brighter note, this whole thing inspired me to dig out the unfinished drafts I was working on a couple of years ago, when I made my first attempt to ease myself back into writing. My goal at the time was to write 500 words of fiction a day, with no real plan or outline, just to see if I still could (and get some of the ideas out of my head). The attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, but… a couple of those drafts are actually really good. The stories themselves aren’t going to go anywhere (I abandoned them for a good reason), but… I think I came closer to “finding my voice”—or just finding a prose style that really works for me—in those stories than I have before or since. It’s a good time to remind myself of that, right when I’m about to start the rewriting process.

So! What’s coming next?

April’s going to be a busy month for me, which… isn’t great, but it’ll be a good time to think about my options and try to figure out how to bring some structure to my writing time. And, now that I’ve started, I want to get the outline for draft 2 of the NaNoWriMo novel done ASAP; if at all possible, I’d like to start the writing process sometime in May.

I’m taking my time with the outline for the next story. I rushed the process for the NaNoWriMo outline (trying to get a plan in place for 1 November), and I regret it now. But I’m still working on it, and I want to see real progress by the end of the month.

I’m also hoping to get out and take some proper photos sometime soon. But, really, I’m pleased with how my photography is going. If I can keep it up, I’ll be happy.

Snapshot #73 | 10 Things for 26 March 2017

Personal

Currently…

1. wishing… that grocery delivery was an option in my area. It would be so helpful.
2. having… kind of a weird week. Nothing major, just… random daydreams and a lot of internal debates that don’t actually go anywhere. 😐
3. loving… this TED Talk. (This one was good too, but in a slightly-depressing kind of way.)
4. thinking… about alternatives to Evernote. I’ve loved the app since 2009, but… ugh. I hate the most recent iOS version. I’ve accepted a few minor annoyances over the last little while, but it might be time to switch.
5. wanting… a change of scene. I keep finding myself browsing airfares. And apartment listings in cities I’ve never visited. Or just wondering how practical it would be to swap my bedroom for the office. (Not very.)
6. starting… to outline the second draft of the NaNoWriMo story. (Have I mentioned that I’m basically rewriting the entire thing from scratch? Because I’m basically rewriting the entire thing from scratch.)
7. buying… the supplies I need to finish up that bag I’ve been making. Finally!
8. getting… annoyed. I’m looking at non-specific schedule disruptions for the next week and a half, and it’s throwing me off my game.
9. trying… to get focussed. (See numbers 2, 5, and 8.)
10. hoping… that the weather evens out soon. I am ready for spring. (I probably said the same thing last week, didn’t I?)

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Winner

NaNoWriMo 2016: Postmortem

Writing

It’s been just over two months since NaNoWriMo 2016 ended. It’s been ten months since I first started thinking about maybe trying my hand at it. It’s been exactly a week since I typed “the end” on the story I started back in November.

It feels like a good time to look back and think about how the whole thing went.

I’ll start with some backstory. (If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might know some of this already.) I used to write. A lot. At least 2000 words a day, four days a week, without fail. I did NaNoWriMo a few times, years ago… until I realized that it wasn’t really a challenge anymore, and that starting a new project in November would mean putting any current projects on hold for a month. I considered myself a writer before anything else.

The problem is, I’ve got a perfectionist streak, especially when it comes to writing.

I was writing a lot, but nothing ever came of it. I’d finish a draft and… I really couldn’t bear to look at it again. All I could ever see were the flaws: formulaic plots and boring characters. And while I know that all first drafts are terrible, mine felt particularly terrible, like trying to revise them into something readable would just be a waste of time. It got to the point where I wasn’t even happy to reach the end of a draft—just faintly relieved that I didn’t have to think about that story anymore, and angry with myself for spending so much time on something so awful, and for my refusal to try to turn it into something not-awful.

I had to stop. Writing was making me too miserable. That was about five years ago now, I think.

But I never really stopped thinking about writing. Story ideas never stopped coming, and I kept studying technique. It always felt like something I’d come back to. Eventually. Once or twice, the urge got too strong, and I tried to ease myself back into it, but it was never the right time. I produced some amazing prose, but always started to hate the process again before finishing anything.

And so, last spring, I started thinking about NaNoWriMo again, and how maybe easing myself in wasn’t the solution—maybe I needed to make a big scary commitment and just see if I could still write at all. By the time November rolled around, I’d (mostly) figured out my story, and got my typing speed back up, and was feeling… weirdly good about the whole thing.

I spent the whole month expecting an existential crisis that never came. Instead, I managed to make it through, writing nearly every day and hitting 50,000 words a day before schedule.

Now, remember: I only typed “the end” last week. The draft is not 50K words long—it’s just over 90K.

And… yeah. It’s terrible. One entire chapter is missing (it was a big empty hole in my outline, and I just skipped it rather than lose momentum). The plot is a little formulaic (though less than previous stories I’ve written… more on that in a minute), some of my characters are boring. But I don’t feel like I’ve wasted the past three months. I’m actually looking forward to rereading it and starting the revision (or rewriting, more likely). I’m starting to put serious thought into my next story.

I’m really glad I decided to tackle this thing.

So, looking back, what did I learn?

I am still capable of writing, and not making myself miserable.

I was genuinely starting to wonder. But I made it through the entire month of November, and the months after, and I never once doubted what I was doing, and I never hated the process. That said: I knew going in that the 1666 words/day every day that NaNo requires isn’t sustainable for me. But it was a good kickstart for that one month, and in the weeks since, I’ve established a good writing routine that feels both productive and sustainable.

I need other writers and creative types in my life.

I kind of knew this, but NaNoWriMo really did confirm it for me. In retrospect, one of the things (and there were several, not all of which are worth going into here) that contributed to my burnout was that my longtime beta reader (the person I regularly bounced ideas off of and trusted to read my earliest drafts) went AWOL, just at the moment I was starting to get serious about my writing. Without that feedback, I had nothing to balance out my perfectionism. So… yeah. That sucked.

But I made a genuine attempt to interact on the NaNoWriMo forums, and find some other people for mutual cheerleading and advice, and it helped so much. Just knowing that there were people out there going through the same thing, and who were genuinely interested in my story (and helping people through their own struggles)… it’s made a huge difference.

The only thing that really motivates me is doing the work.

Over the past year or so—not just on this project—I’ve been trying a few different methods to get myself motivated to do the work that I want to be doing. And, in the end, I’ve learned that the only thing that really works for me is seeing the progress I’m making (however I choose to measure that), and focussing on my big goals. All the tricks and lifehacks in the world are meaningless.

An outline doesn’t have to lead to a formulaic story.

I struggled with this a lot in the weeks leading up to November. I knew going in that I needed an outline, but I also knew that part of the reason that my earlier stories felt so formulaic was because my outlining process was too strict. But I managed to find an outline technique (scene-based, on index cards) and story structure (um… it’s complicated) that worked for me: it gave me the structure I needed to stay on track, and the freedom to discover the story as I went along.

I also learned that every story has it’s own process, and that discovering what that process is is half the battle. I already know that the story I’m thinking about right now is going to need a different approach, but I’m pretty sure I know what it’s going to look like.


So… what comes next?

I’m setting this draft aside for another week or two, just so I can find the distance I need to look at it objectively. Then I’ll read it over, make some notes, and start planning the next draft. (It’s going to need a complete rewrite, and probably a new outline. So it’s going to be a long process.)

In the meantime, I’ve started thinking about the next project, trying to expand the concept into something like an actual story. I’ll probably start outlining it before the end of the month. I’m still writing every day; even if it’s just vague freewriting, it’s still helping me maintain that routine.

I think the experiment was a success.

Sketchbook #17 | Reghan Skerry

Sketchbook #17

Art + Craft, Writing

I knew going in that October would be mostly taken over by NaNoWriMo prep—despite all my good intentions, I didn’t really start the actual outlining process until this month. I didn’t even really know how I wanted to outline the story until this month.

I’ll come back to that in a minute—because while writing was my primary focus this month, I did actually manage to think about some other creative projects.

First off, photography. I’m still terribly behind on my weekly project, though not as far behind as my blog posts would have you believe. I’m slowly chipping away at the prompts, and should have a few more ready to post sometime in the next week or so. So that’s good. I’ve also been working on some portraits—and I’m really happy with them, despite the less-than-ideal conditions on the day.

I still haven’t gotten around to updating my portfolio, which is really starting to annoy me, but my schedule this month hasn’t been great.

As far as drawing goes… it’s on hold for the moment. I did make some progress earlier in the month (switching back from hand-lettering for a while), but in the last week or so, I’ve started setting aside anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Which includes drawing. Although… I do have solid plans for that giant painting (finally!), and I’ve started picking up the materials I’ll need for it. With luck, I’ll actually have the thing finished and on the wall by the end of the year.

Now. Back to writing.

The outline is going well. I’m using index cards, which is kind of a new thing for me. (I tried them in the past, and they never quite clicked. But I’m starting to figure out that each story has its own process, and figuring out what that process is is half the battle.) I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the first act of the story, and the rest is coming together a little more every day. I know the shape of the story, as far as scenes and acts go. (I’m getting a little experimental there, and I keep worrying that I’m overcomplicating things, but I think it works.) I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be able to hit all my writing targets and finish 50,000 words on time.

But I’m still kind of scared.

My perfectionism is still a problem. I mean… obviously. It’s not like I expected it to magically go away by the time November rolled around. And the more this story takes shape, the more I worry about what’s going to happen when I finish. I like this story. A lot. And I really want to keep liking it after I’ve typed “The End.” It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even necessarily good, but I want to finish up the month (or finish up the story, since I’m pretty sure it’s going to run closer to 60-75K words, and that is not happening in November) with a draft that I like enough to revise.

I don’t know. I’ll worry about that later. For now, I need to focus on the next thirty days.

Clearly, NaNo is going to be my focus.

I don’t know exactly how long it’ll take me to hit my word-counts each day (my prep over the last few months suggests the best-case scenario is an hour and a half), but nothing else creative will happen until I do.

I’m still going to work on my photography. I want to catch up with the weekly project if I can; I really don’t want to fall even further behind going into December. I’m still determined to get through this thing by the end of the year—not least because I’ve already got a plan in place for 2017’s photo project, and… yeah. I get a little overwhelmed just thinking about trying to do both at once.

I’m not sure if I’ll get around to updating my portfolio in November. I’m not going to worry about it too much; if I can do it, I will. If not, I’ll have time to do it in December. (Really! I did all the 2015 work in around the holidays last year. I can do it again this year.)

Aside from that… we’ll see how it goes. I’ve still got a sewing project I want to finish, and I really do want to get that painting done. Though, really, I’ll consider it progress if I pick up more of the supplies I need. November is about writing, and finding a way to fit that into my schedule without burning out. It’s about prioritizing the work that I genuinely want to be doing.

And it starts tomorrow.

Bring it on.