Creative Outlets

It’s November.

Every November for the last couple years I’ve hunkered down in front of my computer keyboard and started writing … occasionally finished writing … a novel.

There is an online writing event called NaNoWriMo wherein those so inclined to put pen to paper (or more likely, fingers to keyboard) can launch through a month-long inspirational, deadline-based effort to scrawl out fifty-thousand words around a singular cohesive plot in one month.

I’m skipping a year.

It’s not that I didn’t think about it.

A lot.

Heck, I even roughed out a basic plot outline and started naming characters.

Rather, it’s that I have a bunch of other projects, other creative outlets that I’ve decided to make a priority … keep a priority.

This blog, for one, is among a small set of projects that have gnawed into my free time and tempted my distractibility to it’s frayed ends. And entering the eleventh month on the homestretch to the one year anniversary of this site, I’ve liked how it’s going and am happy with the results of the effort so far.

I’ve also been doing a lot of drawing. The prospect of actually travelling again next year has me excited about bringing an art set on vacation and doing a lot more urban sketching. I think I’ve written about this before, but I’ve been an avid photographer for decades, and the next step for me seems to translate that compositional eye I’ve developed into something slower and more deliberate, like watercolours and sketching. That does mean that I’ve been using the free time I could have been writing a novel, and instead practicing my art skills, bringing them up to a stronger space worthy of capturing travel scenes. And while one might think a little bit of drawing practice would be quick and simple, even a basic sketch (like the one above) can consume about ninety minutes of my Sunday afternoon.

In short, time for creative outlets is precious and limited. A new project would detract from all projects.

Between blogging, nabbing photos for the site, doodling, and of course poking through various cookbooks trying to foster that more delicious side of my creative urge … a novel is not in the cards this November.

My priorities are set, at least for a little while. So, thanks for reading this one.