January | How It Went
So, it is officially February, y’all. Sometimes I am not sure how time works because it doesn’t feel like we should already be in February. But, as they (Ashley Johnson from Critical Role as Fearne Calloway) say, "time is a weird soup." Especially since early 2020. But I digress…
I wanted to do a check in, I’d stated my goals for the year and have made mention of the gentle nature of the schedule I’ve created for myself. (A Gentle Schedule) I’ve also been extremely vulnerable in sharing some concepts that have stood out to me as important parts of my creative journey of late. (Learning to Stand Alone and Befriending My Inner Child)
January was a success. I may not have done exactly what I set out to do some weeks, I’m looking at you staycation week, and I still came out having done exactly what I needed to.
On the novel front I’ve written more than I have in months, which is not hard given that my word count for most of the last 6 months of 2022 was next to nothing.
But beyond the word count I’ve been using an online world building platform called World Anvil to really nail down the details and intricacies of the world of Vraith. I’m still working my way though the World Meta info so it is a slower process.
I also have bought a Novel Planner Guide from a developmental editor I found on TikTok, Cee M. Taylor, her videos were making complex things feel far more manageable and understandable.
Lastly I’ve bought a couple of books I’ve seen recommended for novel writing: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (Jessica Brody) and Story Genius (Laura Cron). I’ve barely scratched the surface of Save the Cat! and feel excited for how it can improve my story craft.
Art-wise I set out to make one art piece a week, and have successfully done that. I’ve been branching out a bit and trying some new skills and techniques. There has also been an ongoing attempt to merge my realistic style with my line-heavy work, currently a work in progress and going well.
The connection to my inner child has been most seen here in the ability to loosen up and simply draw. I think the effect is trickling into my novel writing and has lived in my blog writing for a while now.
I cannot wait to share my latest art piece because I think it is my best work to date, so stay tuned!
Selling my art is still on the table but I think it is something that is a down the road, later this year step. I’m stepping into feeling more confident with my overall cohesion of style and skill level. And I’m wanting to have more of a series of work to offer before I move more intentionally in that direction.
Considering those plant monsters as an option to sell, I do have more plans for more plant monsters. The next one will probably be more cute and cuddly looking…just don’t make them angry, you wouldn’t like them when they are angry!
At the beginning of the year I wanted to have resurrecting and continuing my blog as a goal. I wasn’t sure what capacity I had and I knew that in the past I’d been very scattershot in posting anything since its genesis as Beautifully Functional.
So far, even with everything else on my plate, both chosen and obligatory, I’ve found a deeper need to post and make this thing go. It is a weird collection of me airing my inner thoughts to the greater world, advice, my creative and mental health journey. A lot of squishy vulnerability.
Nobody asked me to write it. I’d love to have fans, obvs, but nobody really needs to read this. I do hope that it helps someone out there to know that there are other creative weirdos in the universe.
Reading Books (AKA Buying ALL the Books)
The main goal in reading this year is to read more edifying books, like Save the Cat! and Story Genius. I also got my hands on some awesome Steampunk books that I’m excited to peer through for inspiration for the kind and level of tech I’m tinkering with for my novel. The Steampunk User’s Guide and The Steampunk Bible, both pulled together by Jeff VanderMeer, a favorite author of mine, and others. I will also probably take another journey through The Wonderbook, also VanderMeer and others, at some point.
I honestly did set out to read fewer books than last year. And I think that will end up being true by the end of the year. So far this year, though, I am miles ahead of schedule on my Goodreads goal. I cannot help myself. It is a compulsion to read all the books.
It is also a compulsion to buy more books. Mainly used books because we are trying to keep it on budget, but it is so hard to not keep buying all the books. I am as much of a book wyrm as I am a book dragon. I love to read the books I buy and am creating my own hoard of them.
I recently discovered the joy of making a spreadsheet to keep track of all the books we own. I'm working my way through the rest of my house but the ones living in my office are about 160 in number. The hubs likes the concept of the spreadsheet but gives me the weirdest looks because I actually want to spend my time tracking and cataloging our books. It is another way in which I’m letting my inner child lead the way.
That’s me, how are your goals, plans, resolutions, that off-hand promise you made to yourself that you just can’t shake going?