The book is just rocking along! I’ve now written significant portions of eight of the thirteen chapters, about 5,000 words in total. I’m hoping to write about 1,000 words per day, which would complete the rough draft in about a month. I’m not putting a time target on it because there is so much other stuff going on! But I am enjoying it so much it’s hard to stop writing.
Here’s another snippet, on choosing projects:
It’s important to distinguish between performance projects and learning projects. Performance projects focus on the end result: producing a perfect piece. Learning projects focus on what you learned, not the final result. In truth most projects fall somewhere in between, but it’s important to recognize the tradeoff: making a technically perfect piece usually requires working within your existing skills, which means you won’t learn as much as if you went off into the weeds exploring a learning project.
What projects I choose depends on three things: my skill level, what I want to explore, and what I want to produce. Typically, most of my early projects are learning projects, selected for what will develop skills and knowledge fastest. They come out of a book or a magazine, possibly as part of a beginners’ study course. Later, as I master the basic skills, I’ll take elementary projects and change them radically, or else challenge myself technically, tackling projects incorporating advanced techniques. I typically save performance projects for later, after I’ve honed my skills.
In other news, I’ve been working on paring down projects. I had the following on my plate:
- Autumn Splendor, due Feb 15
- the book!
- buying our first house (starting with a meeting with the realtor on Jan 9)
- an online class on visual design, beginning Jan 6
- an online class on surface design, beginning Jan 20
Normally I have two or three projects going on at any one point, but five is ridiculous! especially since the first three are so intense, and my day job is in a state of crisis. So – much as I hate to do it – I have dropped the surface design class. I think the class on visual design will be much less time-intensive, so I’ve left it on the books, but may drop out of that one as well. That leaves three Major Projects, which is still too many, but I think I can make it work.
Off to write some more!