This month was unusual on multiple levels. For starters, I went on a writer’s retreat to catch a break, and I decided to pledge for CampNaNoWriMo. Then, life happened and all the things I didn’t plan for that were above and beyond the norm. Travel. 99+ Notifications. Emotional upheaval. Problem-solving. Friends and family. And then, the little things started to slip, because deadlines don’t stop for anybody. I did make art, and I had a lot of fun painting, lettering, and diving into my original stories. It remained a priority for me, but I wound up making up for lost time. This, to me, was a sign that Make Art Not War was working, because I treated it like a commitment that I couldn’t ignore.
Now, on the other side of this, I just want to make art and get myself sorted. In May, I am taking a break from Facebook and Twitter. Work-related announcements and posts will still go live, but I’m not and can’t check in for personal use. I really need the silence right now, and am looking forward to diving into the pile.
With that in mind, here’s how I did:
My Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge pledge:
- I pledge to devote one hour a day to my original art.
- If I don’t feel motivated, I pledge to write down the reasons why I wanted to take this challenge for fifteen minutes or one-to-three pages whichever comes first.
- I pledge to mark down on the calendar whenever I complete a day’s efforts.
- As the challenge creator, I pledge to create a weekly accountability post every Wednesday beginning on January 9th. Comments will be open. Hashtag #makeartnotwar2017 #manw2017
- I pledge to check into social media twice a week for personal use, and once a month with my local community of artists and writers.
April 2017 Challenge Recap
- Due to unforeseen events, making art every day was a challenge. I did add extra hours on a couple of Saturdays, but there were a few points when I didn’t feel like making art at all.
- Motivation was a problem for part of this month. I was willing, but that wasn’t enough to close the loop between “Here’s an idea!” and “Here’s all this shit going on!” So, I treated myself to one or two days off where I did nothing but play Pokemon Go and wander around. Following those short breaks, that drastically helped my motivation. Self-care is crucial to
- Tracking didn’t happen. In fact, I’m realizing this is the first thing to go.
- Social media time wasn’t managed, but I don’t feel that impacted my motivation or my mood. Monitoring it was a distraction, tapped into my need to remain informed, and an emotional release when the ending was in sight.
I did feel another shift when I started working out more, and that helped to turn things around as well. I don’t feel this month was a loss, and I do think I did just about as well as I could have.
SPEED Theme Recap
April’s theme was SPEED. As an optional theme, I thought this was fun when I needed a boost. Where the theme didn’t work, however, is when I was unfocused or didn’t have a clear image of what I was making in my mind. The increased rates of production worked out great for me when I knew what I was doing, and I feel this is something to keep in mind for the future. While word sprints can help get past writer’s block, the main issue with them is that, for me, a clear lack of direction results in wasted words.
That’s it for April. May starts tomorrow, and I’ll reveal the new theme then. Thanks for reading!
- Mood: Overtired
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: More coffee than water, that’s for sure.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Walking
In My Ears: Rogue One
Game Last Played: Pokemon Go
Book Last Read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Rogue One
Latest Artistic Project: Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge and Rules
Latest Releases: In Volo’s Wake for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Unknown Armies Books 1-3, and Kobold Guide to Gamemastering. Read my end-of-the-year list of releases for an overview of what I’ve put out for 2016.
Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update. New project update coming in May.