Month In Review: October 2017

A celebration: My dad got married!

A change: The season. It got cold very quickly.

A conflict: Inner turmoil. Feelings of not being good enough. But also not giving a fuck if I can’t meet my own standards.

A relief: Therapy.

A regret: Not a lot of blogging.

A random memory: I sat on my lawn for a while just watching a wild bunny eat. This little act made me remember my bunny, who passed away a year ago, and feel more connected with the cycle of life, death, nature, and humanity. By far the best random memory I’ve had this month.

Onward to November. I’m feeling very withdrawn, though you could also say I’m feeling very introspective. That’s the reason why my blog posts have been lacking this month. But I’m not forcing anything to happen. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to find myself again.

Bullet Journal Monthly Spreads: October 2016

It’s October already! I’m very excited. If you read my post reviewing September, you’d know I’m looking forward to this month. I didn’t get to a very good start, but those days are done and new days are coming.

When I showed off my spreads from September, I used it as a bit of a review for what I wanted to change come October and the monthly spreads. I spent the first two days of October in a depressed pit, so creating these spreads took way longer than I anticipated. But I’m so excited for them!

The first spread is a cover page for October. I love having a refreshing new page to welcome the month. September’s was very different to this pixelated one, and I absolutely adore the confines of the boxes. It reminds me of the good old days of some webdesign trends in the *ahem* younger generations.

The word "October" styled in boxy or pixelated font outlined in warm colours.

I found September’s calendar didn’t work well for me, so I adopted a table with dates on the left side, and various categories and deadlines/schedules/activities for those days. This gives me more room, but also lets me see everything at a glance and make it easy for me to know what’s coming up in a few weeks. It also feels more chronological than the 7-column structure of a calendar, y’know? I kind of regret the numerical calendar on the bottom of the right page—it’s much more spaced out than I’d like. But, c’est la vie. I can always cover it up if I really, truly hate it.

Chart with days of the month and activities in various categories.

My habit and health tracker got the least changes. I eliminated a few things I neglected to track during September, and refurbished them onto a daily spread to test out this first week of October. I also decided to bring in colour. I’m using FriXion markers in a set colour palette (the blues and greens) in a pattern. Last month, I used different symbols for when the habit was present or when it wasn’t. At the end, it looked very cluttered. I reasoned, If I don’t do the habit or healthy thing, then I shouldn’t get to mark anything down. Let it be nothing.

Chart with the days of the month and various habits and coloured boxes next to the habits.

I’m also very much in love with the weekly spread I did. It’s a variation on the last week (which I have yet to show, heh) with some differences in how I structure the daily logs. I promise I’ll show some pictures soon!

The monthly spreads in the bullet journal always take up the most of my time. They are more long-standing than the weekly or daily logs, so I find I consider the look and content much more. But I’m very happy with this month’s! We’ll see how well I keep up with some habits and where I fall off the wagon.

Month In Review: September 2016

Thin wooden boards with contrasting light and dark brown colouring.

I started up my last semester of university this month, and I could not be more excited to be done with school. My boyfriend also moved in with me. September was so rainy and thankfully cooled down halfway through the month. I can wear sweaters again!

Here are some of my favourite posts from this month:
  • New Bullet Journal Setup (September 9) – I’ve been loving the new notebook and the setup definitely played a role in my enjoyment.
  • Thoughts On Fluid Sexuality (September 12) – This post was long-coming and I’m glad I got it out into the world. I’ll say it again: you can change your mind. You can keep figuring things out.
  • Writing Wednesday: Plane of a Face (September 21) – I’ve missed writing poetry and the language in this one was so fun to play with.
  • Bullet Journal Spreads: September 2016 (September 26) – I’ll be doing another roundup of all my bullet journal spreads for October. This was a great post for reviewing my bujo!
A single adjective for September was transitional

I had to get used to going to school once again. It feels like time has barely passed, though. I think that’s because I have two single-day classes per week, so it feels like I’m going to fewer classes (which is true). There was also a lot of change to get used to. I also didn’t do everything I wanted to, blog-wise, during September. Not even bothered by that.

In October, I look forward to:
  • My birthday on the 6th!
  • Finishing my WIP. I know that for last month I put this, too, but I was overshooting my goals then.
  • Preparing for NaNoWriMo.
  • A week off of classes.
  • Seeing my family again in the middle of the month.

I’m hoping October doesn’t go by too quickly, but I’m hoping it does—I’ll be even closer to getting out of school and facing the shit-storm of society. Let’s hope I also get a ton of writing done.

Writing Wednesday: October Goals

For this week’s Writing Wednesday, I’m sharing goals for the upcoming month instead of posting some of my creative writing. I figure it’s time I get a bit more transparent and permanent with what I want to achieve. Call it accountability, if you want; I’m calling it a reminder.

I love October. It’s my favourite month of the year. I love the way it’s written, the linguistics of the word, the change of season, my birthday in the first week, Thanksgiving in the second week (#Canadian, don’t forget), the chance of frost in the third week, and Halloween in the fourth week. It isn’t a December mess with Christmas and New Year’s fighting for a week.

So it’s only natural my biggest goal is a terrifying one. I have to counterbalance the wondrous ambience of this month, aye?

Word Goal 1: 70,000 by October 7

I have to reach 60,000 by September 30, and then I can do the 10K in the first week of October. I’m behind on my word count (and scene completion) goals right now, but I have a good feeling about this weekend and my writing.

Word Goal 2: 80,000 by October 15

The deadline for this goal falls near the end of a week-long break from university classes, so I’m confident I can achieve this one.

Big Goal: Finish this draft of THE PILGRIMAGE

I want to have this done by November 1. That deadline might cause some trouble, since it’ll come very quickly. I write by scene and have yet to complete approximately half of the story. I don’t know how word counts will reflect the completed scenes, so I can’t set a word count goal. My original goal for this story was 70,000, but once I reached 35,000, I knew that was too low. We’ll see how this goes!

I have pinpointed 4 struggles.

  1. The keyboard for my desktop finally wore out under my 110WPM fury. I am stuck with my laptop and its terrible keys that are much too slow for my fingers. I’ll be replacing the keyboard in the second week of October when I’m back up north with my family and have access to decent electronics shops. Until then, however, I’m left with this aged machine.
  2. It’s midterm season for university. My time management skills have improved, so the second and third weeks of October will be a test of those skills. Luckily, I don’t have many tests this semester, which means I won’t have to stressfully study as much.
  3. I’m trying to maintain relatively good grades and progress with readings in my courses. A lot of my time is spent reading and re-reading material for class, and I read unfortunately slowly.
  4. I want to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I also want to edit THE PILGRIMAGE during November. I’ll see if I can balance writing something for the heck of it and editing something I take seriously. There’s no shame in giving up one. (I’d be giving up NaNoWriMo, as is my tradition.)

I’m going to do what I can: manage my time carefully, remember to look after myself and my Self, and wake up earlier. I can function more easily by waking up earlier instead of staying up late. (The quiet mornings also give me a good space in which to meditate and do yoga.)

I’m shocked at my own motivation, to be completely honest. I won’t question it. I’m going to embrace the fiery in my ribcage and get this story told.

What are your writing goals for October?