As September casually rolls around, there is a breath of crispness in the air. Even in the hot, humid area where I live, the nights have a touch of coolness. Autumn is definitely coming, and with it, several events that inspire both excitement and nervousness. Chugging along with my everyday work as I am, there is also a sense that this is the final calm before the craziness that will be Autumn 2017.
I am speaking, of course, of the no less than the three-plus events I have looked forward to all year: Sketchtember (this very month!), Inktober (which will also be my Plotober), and NaNoWriMo in November. Three events – plus prep for the third, which in itself may be its own event – and three months of intense creative effort. Am I crazy to try to tackle all this? Maybe so. Especially since I’m also juggling making the buffer for Upcoming Webcomic. We will just have to see. . . .
Sketchtember is by far the most low-key event. Every day for a month, artists sketch something every day and share their sketches with the hashtag #sketchtember. For me, September is a month to return to the foundations of drawing and reinforce the habit of daily warmup sketches. Though September is half over, and I’ve only just begun – oops! May the rest of the month fare better. (If you are interested in following along, head on over to my Twitter. . . . )
Inktober, founded by Jake Parker, builds on Sketchtember’s work by adding a new element: ink. Whereas September allows one the comfort of an eraser, October takes that away in return for permanence – once a line is set, that is it. As someone who primarily works digitally – another field with an eraser – this is both terrifying and thrilling. I am looking forward to exploring ink once again this year – though one complete drawing a day may be out of reach for me, considering my other October goal: Plotting for NaNoWriMo.
Plotober, as NanaM, Cloud, and I have affectionately dubbed it, is quite simply “the month devoted to learning everything about your book before you actually have to write it.” Over the years, I’ve learned that my NaNo failures are the result of one thing: failure to plan, aka failure to know my world. (Well, there were a couple of colds in there too. Insult to injury?)
Writing is fun, but without a roadmap I end up stuck in the weeds and putter around there until – gasp! – November is over. This year I want to devote ample time to exploring the world, getting to know the character, and choosing the exact diabolical plot twists to employ – all the fun stuff. Then, hopefully, those 2,500 words a day will flow smoothly.
This is all lead-up, of course, to the grand event: NaNoWriMo. After four attempts, I am ready to finally win this marathon. The finished draft will be a bonus – at this point I’m in it for the pride of actually having finished NaNo for once. (Joking! Or. . . mostly joking. . . . 😉 ) With adequate planning (or should I say. . . plotting?), this year’s marathon should be less prone to falling by the wayside – and there should be a shiny new book to show for it. Ooh, I’m getting excited already!
Looking at it all now. . .
. . . it does seem like a crazy workload, hm? You might wonder why I do this to myself. Well, I wonder that sometimes too. . . ^^ But despite the melodramatic title, I’m looking forward to all of these challenges this fall. It may be a lot, but I’m going to give it my best shot! Wish me luck. . . and cross your fingers that I will emerge in December unscathed. . . . 😉
How about you? Are you challenging any events this year, whether Sketchtember, Inktober, NaNoWriMo, or something else? What are your plans to succeed? Let me know in the comments! And if you are, I wish you the best of luck on your journey!