The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).


What am I working on this week?

I’m moving forward on a range of writing projects at the moment – I basically kick off my day by opening five different scrivener files and working in each in order of importance. Project Beeman remains the top priority and it’s moving pretty decently now that I’ve managed to get unstuck on a plot issue. The secondary projects requiring big chunks of word-count are a novella for my thesis and a personal essay.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I did a pretty good job shifting my focus over to refilling the well this week, and I’ve absolutely adored reading Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory. I’m a pretty big fan of Bear’s at the best of times – she’s a great short fiction writer and an intriguing novelist – but Karen Memory is the first of her novel-length works where she’s busted out a strong narrative voice and a first person narrator (despite it being a strength of her short fiction work). The novel itself is a kind of steampunk western, although it doesn’t borrow too heavily from Western tropes in the way that most people think when they hear the term. Really intriguing worldbuilding anda . lot of fun to read.

What action do I need to take?

My workspace is massively disrupted at the moment, on account of swapping out my big roll-top desk for something that will fit into my tiny apartment a little better. Lots of tools are currently boxed up until I do the actual physical moving of furniture on Wednesday, but I’ll need to rapidly unpack and reorient myself once all of that is done to get back into a writing routine as soon as possible.

  7 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 27/08/2017 at 3:23 PM

    Peter: thanks for the recommendation re: Karen Memory – will look at re-reading that at some point. I bounced off Scardown pretty hard, but I’ve just realised it’s the SECOND book in a series (I’m a muppet!) which might be why the author was assuming buy-in already.

    Regarding your setting back up on Wednesday – is there the possibility you could use that to reevaluate any tools that might not be essential, or are you pretty confident that you’ve removed any cruft in your toolset for the moment?

  2. 27/08/2017 at 3:50 PM

    What am I working on this week?

    I’m coming out of two weeks focusing on R&D and skill-building, so this week I’m opening the doors again. I’m focusing on closing open loops this week, so the main projects are closing out preparation for this year’s tax return, finishing up sorting the contact database, and implementing advice around managing Facebook engagement. Other than that, starting to work through Wonderbook to build writing skills (realising more and more that this is a skill I need to have myself) Looking to push recording for the film closer to done now that health is back again. Also, physical training – both exercises from the trainer I’ve started working with, and quarterstaff training.

    What’s inspiring me this week?

    It seems really obvious to say, but the power of reflection. I felt a little ambivalent about how much I’d gotten done in the last two weeks (less than planned) but felt like I had better perspective after sitting down for twenty minutes and going through everything I’d done, taking pains to include the unplanned but good stuff that happened along the way. I’ve started implementing a short reflection on the day at the end of the day as much as possible, and that’s really helping with small timely adjustments. It reminds me of the OODA loop, and I feel kind of silly that it’s taken me this long to realise just how important it is.

    I’ve also realised after the last two weeks that 90 minutes of study time is pretty much the perfect amount for me on any day, and I’m going to look at implementing that as a standard for the short term – even when I told myself I was putting aside the day for study, I’d find the brain wanting to wander to other things after that time. So I’m thinking I can probably ramp up the amount of study by setting aside 90 minutes (where possible) EVERY DAY.

    Media-wise, there’s nothing that’s really blowing me out of the water this week. Looking forward to sitting down and watching The Witch this week though.

    What action do I really need to take?
    I’ve had a funk hovering over me for the last couple of weeks, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from. There has been a bit of an energy leak in burnout from being at other people’s mercy waiting for work/assistance, but I’m not sure that’s all of it. I need to try and catch where this is coming from, because given my circumstances currently I should be working from a place of delight mentally.

    • maggiedot
      27/08/2017 at 11:20 PM

      Wonderbook is so cool. So many ideas and different ways to look at narrative construction. Enjoy diving into that one!

      As for the energy leak, perhaps the regular exercise will help? I’ve started doing some regular physical activity this past week, and it’s really helped level out the day-to-day mood, I’ve noticed. And the daily reflection period–fixing the default thoughts that tell you you haven’t done as much as you should have (when, in truth, you’ve gotten a lot done)–will undoubtedly help, too! 🙂 Sounds like you’re on a good path and have a great grasp on how to course-correct as needed. I’ve heard work-life-balance (or general “life balance”) is less about being perfectly balanced at any given point, but simply being more aware of how to adjust when things start shifting out of balance.

      • 30/08/2017 at 12:33 PM

        The exercise suggestion is a good one. I’m pretty religious about exercising daily, but looking at ways to up the amount of activity each day is a good one. I think I’ll take a walk to the park this afternoon for some quarterstaff practice!

      • 30/08/2017 at 12:33 PM

        So thank you for the great suggestion and reminder, Maggie!

  3. maggiedot
    27/08/2017 at 11:24 PM

    @Peter: All the best with the desk-move! Sounds like it’s been quite the undertaking. I definitely second Kevin’s comment, in terms of making sure that everything that goes back on the desk is vitally needed. ^_^

    My Sunday Circle (on Sunday!) is here!

    • 30/08/2017 at 12:37 PM

      How’d you go with printing the draft, Maggie? Also, taking a note from Wonderbook reading today, if you’re pressed for time working on the new novel idea, are you able to jot down the individual images/lines of dialogue/sparks of inspiration that are flying off the forge at the moment? (or are you already doing this?)

      So great to hear that you’re in a period of such fertile inspiration, too!

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