Mini Series

Mid-Week Mini: NaNoWriMo 2018 Conclusion.

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I have been taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I took the opportunity of the month to edit the story I wrote by hand last year. This year wasn’t about taking part fully, working towards a 50,000 word goal because frankly I don’t have another story idea and I hadn’t quite managed to do anything with last years NaNoWriMo attempt.

My aim this month was simple. Get the analogue version into a markdown editor, which I have achieved, and secondly to edit.

I have been making good progress on the editing. I haven’t managed to edit everyday. Some days I ran out of time, or steam, and on other days I just didn’t have the motivation.

But then in amongst that there were those magical moments when everything just seemed to work and flow well. I managed to edit a lot of content, or really make some big improvements to plot, or dialogue.

The end of the month is coming to a close and I still haven’t finished with this story. There is more editing required and additional content to bring everything together. There is something that keeps bringing me back to this story and when I am immersed in it I enjoy it. I’m taking that as a good sign and a reason to commit to finishing this story.

I think in some ways NaNoWriMo can look pressurised and competitive. But if you take a small step back from the madness I have found that this month has given me something to focus on, a little encouragement when I chose to find it and the time to write…or in my case edit.

I hope for those who took part in NaNoWriMo this year you’ve all had fun with it and perhaps there are some wonderful stories out there in the making.

NaNoWriMo: My plans this year.

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Last year I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was drawn to this challenge after completing a Creative Writing course and I had an idea floating around in my head that I wanted to explore. I took the decision to write by hand, believing this would slow down my thoughts, allow my mind to digest the ideas and also not increase my screen time any more than I needed to. It was a great way to use my fountain pens and notebooks - I went through the full set of Baron Fig School Set three pack of Vanguards during the month. I wasn’t successful in completing the challenge but I did come out with a story more developed that I ever thought I could.

One year on, this half completed rough, first draft sits partially in my markdown editor, partly still in notebooks, completely unedited. I already feel a large amount of guilt because I’ve done nothing with this over the course of a year and I don’t want it to continue to sit there.

For this years NaNoWriMo I am going to get my first draft into my markdown tool - edit it, spot the gaps, see where extra content is needed, re-write sections, add to it, plus a whole lot of other things I am blind to at the moment. This year NaNoWriMo is a chance for me to focus and figure out whether my story is any good. Honestly I am a bit nervous about re-reading it, but that’s my inner critic and that person is completely unhelpful. It’s a start point and something to work on and improve.

The back end of the year always feels like challenge central and after just completing my first Inktober it does feel like I am flitting from one creative pursuit to another. I do find these collective challenges helpful to focus and in giving me a degree of accountability and that is how I will approach NaNoWriMo this month. No 50,000 word goal, no new story, I’m just using the month to work on the foundation I created last year and perhaps find a way to develop my story.

The tools.

Now this is a stationery blog, not a blog about writing, so I will be using some tools to try and complete NaNoWriMo this month. As one of my goals is digitising my draft I will be using my laptop or iPad to digitise everything, Ulysses is my markdown editor of choice.

However for the things that come up and that I spot for development I will use the Baron Fig Strategist notecards. I plan on putting one point on each card in order to keep everything very simply and so I can move things around if I need to. For anything that needs more thought and brainstorming I will venture into a Confidant notebook.

Overall thoughts.

I will of course share my learnings from my second NaNoWriMo and anything that I accomplish during the month. As always I enjoy hearing of other peoples experiences and pursuits too so please share and good luck to anyone who is taking part.

Mid-Week Mini: My First Inktober Completed.

Today is the last day of Inktober and I have drawn everyday this month. I am really pleased with what I have produced, that I was able to stay focused and to complete a drawing each day.

In this post I have included each drawing I completed, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My Inktober drawings.

Things I have learnt from Inktober.

I have enjoyed drawing with a Tombow brush pen. I like the line width variation from using one pen. It’s handy to just have one pen to use, rather than several drawing pens with different nib sizes. I had never considered using a brush pen to draw with but it works really well.

I restricted myself to using pen and pencil only. I didn’t want to distract myself with anything else. This has made me start venturing into line work but I really have no idea what I am doing. I have looked at a lot of other sketchers trying to see where and how they use their line work to guide my own drawings.

During this challenge I have found that I have no imagination and need to copy or follow something. Finding the time to sketch is tricky and means I am mostly drawing in the evenings. I have found Instagram and Pinterest the best tools and I have been drawing things that I find interesting. I make a note of where the drawing has come from and found this really helpful in developing my skills. Getting my perspectives right is still a major challenge and I just can't seem to wrap my head around this.

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Overall thoughts.

I am really pleased to have taken part in Inktober. I have found drawing extremely calming and a good way to keep myself occupied especially at times where I normally waste time. In some instances my daily drawings have linked back to my day and my Inktober sketchbook has almost become a mini journal. I didn't plan that but I have drawn about things I have on my mind and things I have done. As always the test now is whether I can continue to draw regularly. Every day may be tricky, but finding a balance and routine is where I need to be.

Plus I already have my next sketchbook lined up, so I need to make sure I carry it with my and sketch whenever I can.

Mid-Week Mini: Inktober Progress so far...

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In my previous post I gave a brief sketching update and committed to taking part in Inktober this year. Sketching is something I have flirted with since the beginning of this year and I haven’t really found my groove. So the hope is that Inktober will help make my drawing aspirations a routine and eventually improve my ability. Basically I just want to get better.

My initial thoughts was that I would just draw the everyday and with this I expected to draw physical things around me, but this hasn’t quite panned out that way.

The good news is I have kept to drawing each day. I have enjoyed being limited in my tools and not having distractions. I know what I am using and I just get on with it. Finding things to draw has been the challenge. My thoughts beforehand haven’t panned out because I have to want to draw a thing, there has to be a level of interest there. I have also relied on the work of others and worked towards mimicking and trying to use this as a way to better understand proportions, line work and how to get the pen to move of the page. I have lots of thoughts on this and will share more on this in a future post.

Anyway below are each of my photos with a brief description of each…in case you find that sort of additional information interesting.

Day 1.

I drew the exterior of a new cafe that opened up near me. I am always drawn to buildings but I really don’t think I am very good at drawing them. This would benefit not only from improvement but also from some colour as the exterior is a wonderful bright pink.

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Day 2.

I was in the office, around actual people, and so drew a colleague who I don’t really know very well (slightly awkward) but I just felt compelled to draw him. The other face was taken from instagram by @ojhaderashish.

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Day 3.

I drew over two pages on this day. The first was a lotus flower and the second was a train platform because I was listening to Freya Ridings album and her song Lost Without You was going round and round in my head.

Day 4.

My thoughts on this day were around my body and so I ended up doodling body parts. Sounds a little odd when you write it down. The two head images were mimicked (poorly) from @todoxerrado.

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Day 5.

I drew a few pencil sketches again of a body image, a few flowers but the main one was a chicken, again taken from someone on Instagram @drawings.s.p. The chicken is hilarious and I had a lot of fun with this one.

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Day 6.

I was rushed on day 6 and ended up drawing pylons. I’d spent a lot of time in the car and it was the first thing that came into my head. Not my best day.

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Day 7.

I like drawing little houses. Simple. I found this one through Pinterest by an artist called Chris Lee, who’s work looks wonderful.

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Day 8.

I drew my living room. I was watching TV and hadn’t found anything else to draw. Again not my best.

Day 9.

This is a sketch in progress and I did manage to do another. I found this again through Instagram (@jessicalewerin) and I found it very funny. It seemed to reflect how I was feeling.

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And so we are up to date. Today is day 10. I have no idea what I am drawing but I am sure I will find something. I hope you have enjoyed todays post. I will aim to do another in a week or so sharing the next batch of questionable drawings.

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