I think of fall as being a creative time of year. I do not know if it is because I had some measure of success with creative projects during the fall, or if it is that cooling weather makes me want to focus on making things. Possibly it is the whole idea of dressing up and planning costumes for Halloween. No matter what the reason, I am preparing to take on what have become two of my favorite challenges. Nanowrimo, (National Novel Writing Month) and The Create Every Day Challenge. These both take place in November.
Several of the authors whose blogs, twitter or facebook that I follow have different opinions on Nanowrimo. Anton Strout hates it and enjoys mocking the participants every year. Others support and encourage it. For me, it provides a focal point. A month that I know that I am going to commit to setting a goal and working daily towards it.
I know that last year, I wrote daily, I blogged daily, created daily, participated in several online communities daily and then when I came out of it I signed up for the year long create everyday. I discovered that trying to do all of it everyday all year was too much.
This year, I am going to try and set up patterns that are productive and sustainable. Creating something everyday is a must, be that writing, or artwork or making of some other kind. everyday are two that I mean to keep up with. Participating in communities is great as long as you are getting as much out of it as you are putting into it. When you are putting more energy into something than you are getting benefit out of it, it is not sustainable, and it is a drain.
One of the reasons that Anton gives for hating Nanowrimo is that it fosters bad habits, such as putting off writing. That is one of the balance things that I am going to use this November to address. I am currently setting aside a certain amount of time to do the prep work to get me ready to write in November.
I choose this painting on which I am currently working as my picture for today to remind me, that the only way to get to a finished product is to keep working on it. I keep getting stalled on this painting thinking it is this or it isn’t that, and then suddenly I know what needs to be done next, and progress is made. It does not have to be everything all at once, the important part is keeping the work in progress, that will lead you to your goal.