Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A little bit of a let down

Since Sunday, the day of the very optimistic blog post I seem to have broken. The sun decided it wanted to come out, and come out in style. For the last three days it’s been too hot to do much more than sit down and read. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been reading like a crazy person. I haven’t got much else, if anything done, simply because it’s been too hot to sit down and draw or write, even in the evenings.

I have however been planning a new novel, linked slightly to DW but still somewhat separate. I’ve been world building around it and also figuring other stuff out about DW itself in my head. It makes me happy though. Thinking about this stuff has helped me to realise things about the world of DW that need more work or parts of the novel itself that need to be changed or removed. The editing process is a long one and it seems like there’s rarely an end in sight. Really though I enjoy it. I’m getting to make what I’ve written look more like I imagined it in my head and that is always a good thing... well almost always.

So... to summarise my progress on my goals so far (from Monday to the time of writing this;
  • Draw something each day – 0/2
  • Write something none-NaNo/blog/DW related everyday – 1/2- world building and mild planning for the newest idea.
  • Spend ½ hour on oSaM a day – 0/2
  • Edit 1,500 words of D.W. daily - 0/2
  • Plan for NaNoWriMo – 0/2 (does thinking about it count?)

I honestly feel like I’ve let myself down by how much I’ve not done.? I know in my mind I could have found some way to make it comfortable enough for me to work on something at least but I didn’t. I ask myself why? Am I just being lazy... AGAIN? Or is it something else? From Friday and all through the weekend I had not touched a single cigarette. Come Monday, when I start to avoid doing anything I was smoking again. This has got me wondering... are cigerettes affecting how much I’m getting written or drawn. Are they really that much of a drain on my creativity? Or am I just finding more excuses for not doing what I know I should?

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Revelations and Alterations

It’s been an odd week. After all the excitement of the weekend I seemed to get stuck in a slight rut. I was barely drawing, barely writing and if I’m honest getting a little depressed about my life. Then I had two girls and a baby hiding in my bedroom for an hour. While they were hiding we got chatting and they both said things that made me think. They have both worked to get what they want and they seem relatively happy with what they have. I haven’t.

I coasted through school and university doing the bare minimum and I got by fairly well. Every year after university was done and I returned home for the summer I’d kick myself for not applying myself and yet when I went back I’d just fall into the same habits and coast along. I’ve started to do that again now, now I’m graduated and trying to join the real world. I’m sitting around, doing the bare minimum to reach my goals and for some reason feeling proud of this. Well... not anymore.

After a couple of weeks easily managing to attain the majority of the goals I realised that they need reworking, they’re too attainable. I’m reaching them easily and it’s not actually pushing me to grow as an artist/writer. So from my own thoughts and the feedback of other people participating in RoW80 I’ve edited them.

  • Edit 100 words of DW daily.
This was both too easy and too difficult. On a bad day I would generally get over 1000 words editted, working on entire scenes rather than brief chunks. I tried to edit in small 100 word bursts but it just didn't work. The blocks didn't really connect and everything felt discombobulated. With that in mind I came up with a new one goal based off the original idea that pushes me to my limits and makes me work harder to attain my goal;
    • Edit 1 chapter (2,500 words) of DW a day.

  • Draw one full art piece a week
With sketching thumbnails, writing and all the planning I'm doing I just don't have time for even more art on top of it. Full-time artists and writers have told me that they even struggle to achieve this goal so I don't feel too bad about altering it. So, with that in mind I tweaked the goal, keeping the general idea but changing the time-frame for it;
    • Create on full art piece a month.

  •   Write everyday
    This was too easy. I included any form of writing I did, whether editing, planning for NaNoWriMo or even a blog post. I needed to write something that wasn’t included in the other goals, that I couldn’t use as an easy out for completing that goal and so I tweaked it, edited it and came up with;
      • Write something non-NaNo, DW, or blog related each day.

 And so, with my goals and targets reworked I set to work again, with the hope that I will start taking my work more seriously than I already am and actually succeed in achieving not just my RoW80 goals but my life goals as well.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Dancing on tabletops

Last night I danced on a table top dressed as a punk.
 Yes, I’m serious.
 No, that’s not the opening line of a new novel. It could be though.
Writers and writing advice often tell us to write what we know and to live life in order to find new things to write about. Well after last night I have a whole list of things I can write about.

But that’s not really what I’m talking about today. I’m going to catch you up on how well I’m reaching my goals, two weeks into Round Three. I’ve been doing surprisingly well actually. Writing a little every day, drawing a little every day, editing a little every day. Even when I’ve not been physically editing DW, the work in progress, I’ve been thinking about how I would change certain parts or how I could get it to more resemble what I’d first envisioned when I started writing it last November. Most of my other goals have been completed as well. I’ve been writing everyday by working on my Camp NaNo planning and that’s also coming along swimmingly. I’ve also been drawing everyday by sketching page thumbnails for oSaM. It’s helping me figure out character designs and how the characters hold themselves at the same time. Slowly but surely I’m getting more and more ready to actually start drawing that monster. I still haven’t decided on an art style or how I’m going to produce the actual pages yet but it’s on my list of things to do.

What I’m having serious trouble with is the middle goal; completing one full art piece every week. Both weeks something’s come up just as I’ve been settling down to work on a full piece of art and I’ve just not gotten around to sitting down to work again. I’m starting to think that I may have to remove that particular goal from my goal lists. I don’t really want to though as that would be admitting defeat and I don’t like to do that. I hate the feeling of failure and I’m determined to treat that goal as a challenge.
I can never resist a challenge.

And maybe next time I’ll tell you how I wound up on top of the table.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Mini-whine on motivation

Although I insisted that I would stick to my RoW goals on Sunday that has now gone completely wrong.
I’m desperately hoping that I can get back on track with a couple of days of putting my head down properly and powering through it all. It’s not that I don’t want to do it all, that I’m reluctantly to try and reach my goals. It’s that I’m really really lazy right now. I’m not sure why but it’s just happened. I’m sat there, looking at the computer screen, thinking to myself ‘You need to draw something’ or ‘you need to edit that novel’ and yet i continue just staring at the computer screen and clicking things. I have things I want to do, things I need to do and yet I can make myself do them.

It kind of goes against my idea of treating my art and writing like a job when I’m not actually doing anything with my day. It gets me down really. It is a very new thing, only happened in the last few days. I’m hoping that pushing myself to actually do something in my goals list will get me back on the road and I’ll start making the progress I made last week.

So... as soon as I’ve finished this blog I’m going to begin work on my targets, particularly the one that seems to slow me down so much, the editing. Hmmm, maybe I’ll do a post on editing next time.

Does anyone else ever hit those lazy days where productivity just vanishes?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A little something-something

So, not one day after I post about my RoW80 goals and seem so optimistic I fall from the wagon. Yesterday, despite fully intending to work on my targets I failed to do a single thing. I don’t know whether it was because it was the weekend and my brain didn’t want to work or I was simply being lazy. I’m not too bothered though, considering how much I’ve managed to get done since the start Round Three. I know it won’t be the last day off I have either. As long as the number of productive days outweigh the days where I do nothing I shall be happy.

I remembered yesterday that NaNoWriMo runs a mini-NaNo type thing in June and August. I signed up immediately and plan to use one of my story plans for it. The reasoning behind this is two-fold.
a) I don’t think I’ll be able to manage to write or complete three separate novels in one month.
b) I wanted to start releasing parts of the one I’m working on come August part way through December which doesn’t leave much time for editing and what-not.

I’m looking forward to it though; the excitement of kick-off, the thrill of reaching each 1,000 word mark, seeing the graph creep higher and higher with every passing day. I’m a little odd in that I find visual confirmation of my progress as a great motivational tool. Or, in simple English; seeing my little line go up makes me write more. Sometimes I worry I get carried away with the long words and forget I’m not at uni any more... it’s a flaw.

I’m also working hard on the thumbnails for oSaM. I set myself the challenge of doing 60 whole thumb-nailed pages by the end of July. So far I have one. I think I made a mistake. But, in all seriousness, if I get a move on, sit down, and really get into it there’s a good chance I’ll be able to make it. Or at least make a pretty decent dent in the number of pages I need to thumbnail.

Oh and I quit smoking.... wish me extra luck with that one....

Friday, 6 July 2012

RoW80: Round Three Goals

So after 5 days of a family holiday and isolation from the internet I have finally returned home and can, at last, tell you all about my RoW80, Round Three goals. I have started working on all of them already and hopefully I can keep working on them for the next 80 days. I’ve come up with at least 6 and may or may not add a seventh.

First up are the big two:
1) Draw everyday
Even if it’s just a 5 minute doodle I need to do a little bit of drawing every day. So far that’s going well.
2) Write everyday
I plan to write something non-forum related. Whether it’s 100 words of world building, 500 of story planning or even 2,500 words of actual writing, I want to get something written every day.
These two are designed to encourage me to treat writing and drawing as my job, just like I want it to be. Hopefully if I can get into it enough it will become a habit and no longer will I feel as though I’m wasting my time every day.

3) Finish one art piece a week
So often I start to draw something big and never actually get it finished or it takes months to finish. I’m hoping that pushing myself to do this will encourage me to actually finishing things. Plus it’s a great incentive once I start actually drawing the pages of my web-comic. Which leads on to....
4) Work on oSaM daily.
As long as I do 30 minutes of work, at least, on oSaM every day I will be happy. It could be character designs or page thumbnails or anything else related to it. I’m going to make sure that the 30 minutes is uninterrupted and gets something productive out of it. Just thinking about it doesn’t count.
5) Edit 100 words of D.W. daily.
I’ve been putting off editing it and it’s really beginning to annoy me. I know what I need to do and I’ve already thought about things I need to fix/remove.
And finally;
6) Plan for NaNoWriMo
I’ve not got a set amount, time, words or otherwise for this one as it’s sort of an open book. I’ve already got the ideas brewing and a few notes made so from now until November it’s just going to slowly build and build. I’m hoping to work on 3 or 4 novels or short stories throughout NaNo so there are lots of things that I can flick between.

So for now, that’s it on the RoW80 front. I’m hoping that this time I’ll be able to stick to them much better than with Round 1 and who knows, I might actually enjoy it.