Monthlies: Planning for November (and NaNo Update!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Check out this TED Talk video about innovation. It's by Steven Johnson, the guy who wrote
Everything Bad is Good For You. (Kudos to Tracy V. Wilson for putting it up and writing NaNo!)

Planner? Check. Red pen? Check. Thoughts crowding my brain like an angry bunch of tourists in a hotel elevator? Check.
Every month I set down a list of goals for myself, and this one is no different. Other than the obvious ones such as "Write NaNo," I make ones on healthy living and on putting myself out there. It gives some structure to the ideas that I want to uphold during that month - if I don't get around to all of them, that's fine, but I try to at least keep them in the back of my mind for reference. And, at the end of the month, I make another list of accomplishments that keeps me fresh and feeling good about myself.
I know that many websites will tell you about the glory of setting goals down on paper and making sure that you do them, and I will emphatically support them. But, in my case, I take the list as a loose construction of ideas rather than one that is set in stone. For example, I want to start working out more regularly, so I put that down as one of my monthly goals. I didn't specify what I wanted to do - yoga every week or swimming three days a week or what have you - I just put it down as a tiny reminder that this is what I was thinking of earlier in the month as something I wanted to try. No pressure.
Being the memory crafter I am, I also really like to look back at these lists and see what I was thinking over the year. Did it change? Did it stay the same? Afterward, I'll make a collage or something about all my ideas, whether they are laughable or great.
Another thing that I've been picking up with greater fervor these days is a "Worry Journal." Although the title may make you think that it's all bad news, I use my worry journal as a place for ideas that are pingponging around in my brain. Mine manifests itself as a large pink-papered legal pad that I first used in conjunction with The Life Organizer but morphed into a less formal endeavor. I put down expansions of those goals, ideas for writing, piece of things that I like, etc, inside that notebook. And soon I might start using it as I used to do my sketch journals - pasting things in and bringing together disparate objects all into one place.
Anyway, what you must have gathered from this episode of list talking is that I am a major records keeper. Well, I am, and a darn proud one too.

October was the month of getting out there, since I had felt that I was hermitting out more than I should. I found myself in some interesting places, such as Pala Pizza, Bluestockings, the Hollaback lecture, and the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (which you'll hear me spew on about for a long while).
November is the month of personal projects for me; I want to finish NaNo, work on collage, work on some self-assigned drawing projects that aren't related to class, and especially to work on making connections in the blog and zine communities. Right now these plans are in their infancy, but I'm outlining small steps to make them a reality.

What would your monthly goals be? What would your accomplishments for last month look like?

As for the NaNo update, I made word count yesterday but I have not yet written my words for today and I don't know whether I can get to it (eek!), but I'm hoping to get it done on the weekend and to charge ahead then. The first day back at school is a tough one for writers!

Read more about my NaNoWriMo attempts and successes.