Back to Blogging

It’s been awhile since I have tried to blog regularly, but I think I am finally ready to give it a go again.

Blaugust

About 8 months ago there were 50+ bloggers typing away vigorously as they attempted to write 31 blog posts within the month for Blaugust, turns out I actually completed the challenge, and then subsequently fell off the face of the earth (read: stared at the WordPress editor for a month and then started school again). I never did a proper reflective piece on Blaugust, and I won’t do one now, but I did really enjoy it.

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What I want to do is thank Belghast for putting the event together and congratulate all the participants. Also, I never got to show off this nifty badge Belghast made for everyone who completed all 31 posts.

One more thing. I need closure, because…

100 Noses

In April of 2015, I decided one of the firsts things I wanted to focus on as I practice and improve my drawing was the human head. It was during Blaugust that I started posting my progress on this project starting with drawing 100 noses. And while it took longer than I wanted, I drew the last one on New Year’s Eve. I haven’t decided what my next “100…” project is going to be, right now I am thinking eyes.

Back to Blogging

Coming out of Blaugust I didn’t have a plan for when to write, and I started to question what I wanted to blog about.

I don’t think a month, or really a week has gone by since August where I haven’t told myself I should start blogging again, and I often found myself fiddling around with the blog or staring at the WordPress Editor. I even started writing a few posts, but as you can see nothing materialized.

I suppose the logical question is what changed to make me start blogging again. There are a few reasons chief among them being I have a little more time right now as I am in a transition period as I recently completed my undergraduate education. The second reason is I need something to help focus my gaming and drawing because my efforts in both are feeling a bit scattered.

So, the plan is to post at least once a week, with the focus being MMORPGs, drawing, both, or something else entirely.

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The Final Week of Blaugust

Blaugust Day 24

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During this last week of Blaugust (yes, one week to go) I will be posting about how I plan to tackle fall term as it starts in about a month for me. I don’t know if this will be one post or multiple posts- we’ll see. I do plan on posting about more than studying. I’m hoping to get in some more about SWTOR, drawing (I haven’t had a post dedicated to my own drawings since August 8- yikes), and I need to get back to my story The Great Blaugust Sea before Blaugust is over. And, somehow I have managed to go all of Blaugust without talking about playing my main games RuneScape and Guild Wars 2, except for mentioning some goals I had for each during the month.

Anyway, prior to fall term and during fall term I want to make some posts that have a more academic focus, but I haven’t decided whether I want to post those here or over on Tumblr. At the moment my blog feels very much like a place to talk about my hobbies, and I really can’t decide if I want to inject academia into that or keep those two worlds separate. Part of me says yes, and part of me says no.

In the beginning the posts I plan on making will likely focus on the changes I am making to studying habits, and then will transition to a summary of what I have learned during that week of studying or classes. I know there are a lot of differing opinions on having two blogs vs one blog. There are good arguments for both sides, and I plan to be having many internal debates about the subject throughout this final week of Blaugust.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

I Need More Time to Write

Blaugust Day 21

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Yesterday Kateri Morton, a fellow Blaugust participant, said something that really stuck with me:

My struggle at the moment is not having nothing to write about, but not having long enough to do the posts I want to do properly.

This is exactly how I feel. I’ve been keeping a list of topics to write about, and I can always refer to the writing prompts over on Anook. But on days like today when I am not exactly sure what to write and I’ve given myself little time to write- I look at the things I want to write about and I feel like I won’t be able to do them justice. So far I’ve deliberately avoided topics that require anything more than a little research. It would probably help if I just picked a topic at the beginning of the day or night before and brainstormed ideas throughout the day until I was ready to write, but that hasn’t happened much.

Anything I have been writing outside of Blaugust has taken me a few days to collect my thoughts and write down. And, that is more of the norm when I write. Lots of thinking, lots of listing, more thinking, a bit of procrastination, and then write. With Blaugust it’s been different, and I’ve had to change my normal writing habits and fight those mental blocks (especially when it comes to starting) to make sure I am posting daily.

It all makes me a bit uncomfortable and insecure about my writing, but at the same time it is a much needed challenge. If I want to overcome years worth of built-up aversion to writing- I’m going to have to write.

Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

Keep Going

Blaugust Day 20

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As I read more and more about drawing and writing one of the things I keep coming across is the necessity to get all bad drawings and bad drafts out of the way as soon as you can. This quote or some variation of it tends to show up often:

“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”

-Walt Stanchfield

For some us we may have to do those 10,000 drawing or write 9 novels before we’ve crossed the threshold of beginner and finally are proficient at our craft. Others may not have to produce near as much. To get good, we have to put in the work and push ourselves.

We have to let go of perfectionism and produce drawings and drafts that are terrible. The grammar stinks, the perspective is off, characters lack depth, and the composition makes your eyes go crazy. But, with each new drawing and each revision or new draft we learn more and eventually we start to get better because we’ve put in the effort.

Blaugust fits into this concept. It’s about quantity, not quality. Proving to ourselves that we can write everyday- that we can in fact get words on a page even when we are not feeling it. Quality comes later after we’ve made mistakes and learned from them.

Just don’t give up even when you’re not happy with what your producing. Keep trying, keep learning. One day you’ll look back and realize you’ve mastered that skill and didn’t even notice the transition from all those bad drawings or drafts into the good ones.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.

-Thomas A. Edison


Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook

Rambling

Blaugust Day 9

It’s incredibly easy to get stuck in the grind of life and in the process we forget what we’re moving towards. Life often gets overwhelming at times and the anxiety that pops up can come from so many places: work, education, family, friends, goals, etc. We all work so hard at maintaining. Maintaining our home, grades, careers, vehicles, hygiene, diet, and the list goes on. All these things are important but many times not all are moving us forward. I highly recommend reading this post by Julie and Brett Bean that goes into this in a little more detail.

This past year of university especially spring term which ended in June was filled with anxiety, burnout, and malaise. I should have enjoyed Spring term more than I did. I was taking some great classes particularly paleobiology and vertebrate physiology. And I did enjoy these classes- the content was interesting, the professors were fantastic, and the classes directly pertained to my career goals. Yet, I found myself wanting to do other things than study. I would rather draw, watch drawing videos on YouTube, read about technology, and read blogs.

I repeatedly thought to myself if I love these subjects, if I plan to pursue a career where this content will be relevant- why can’t I focus? Why can’t I find the joy in studying and doing assignments? Had my interests and goals shifted and along the way I forgot to send myself a memo about the change.

I think instead my interests have expanded, and I need to learn how to better nurture each one without losing perspective.

The point that I’m trying to make is don’t forget what you’re moving toward. Don’t forget what you love. You may not have found your passion or your purpose yet, I know I haven’t, but chances are you know a general direction in which you want to move, and if so, then you and I are in the same boat.

At this point inspiration has ceased and my thoughts are all jumbled up, but I will be revisiting this topic and related ones in the future. So, I’ll leave you with a quote.

Your destiny is to fulfill those things upon which you focus most intently. So choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving toward something.

Ralph Marston


Blaugust Initiative Page

Blaugust Nook