It’s been a very long and exhausting weekend here, between the three days of Outside Lands (Friday through Sunday) as well as grocery shopping and laundry (today). This would of course explain the lateness of this post! Now that I have a minute, I have a few things on my mind.
For the most part I was extremely successful doing my daily sketch for Inktober! That’s a first in years, as I’d usually end up crashing and burning about halfway through. I only missed two days (one because the prompt was just too esoteric for me to think of anything decent, and one because I just plum forgot), so that’s a win for me. I did learn a few things: first, I’m still more of a doodler than an artist but I think with time and consistent practice, I could definitely get better at it. Second and semi-related, I finally figured out the ‘consistent practice’ part of it that always eluded me, and essentially that I just needed to find a good time to do it; in this case, it fit in perfectly with my morning journaling. Third, that I really do need to practice on keeping the overthinking to a minimum.
This third one’s the most important one for me, because that’s always been my biggest problem in writing, especially when I’m assigning myself things. I’ve said it before: you ask me to write a simple bit of microfiction about a goat in ten minutes, my brain will automatically try to extrapolate so many extraneous details — what kind of goat, where is the goat, why a goat, what weird plot can I come up with, and so on and so on — and it’s always driven me crazy. Maybe it’s undiagnosed ADHD or something else, I don’t know, but my brain’s always been that way, even when I want to do a simple and fun throwaway exercise.
So how did I work past it? Well, with Inktober, my initial plan was to make it simple: take the prompt and draw the first thing (or second if the first is too hard) that comes to mind, and running with it. Also, don’t take more than a minute or two on it. So in short: have fun and don’t think too hard about it!
And in the process, this has helped me learn how to work past writing blocks and Don’t Wanna/Distraction days — of which I had one not that long ago. I had to do a few needed errands and in the process my productivity just completely bottomed out that day. It got me thinking: why did something so simple as driving A to the BART station and some food shopping throw me so completely off my game? It’s not that I couldn’t find the inspiration…it’s just that I just could not get started. (Which really does make me wonder about that ADHD thing.) I was totally fine the next day, once I returned to my daily schedule. All I had to do is what I’d been doing over the last several months: compartmentalize these tasks. Write the journal. Do the daily Inktober sketch. Get my daily words for Project A. Get the daily words for Project B. Just one step at a time.
All of this is stuff I know I’ll need to adjust and readjust over time, depending on whatever life throws at me from here on in. But now that I know how to do it, I think it’ll be easier to handle.