Letter #28: September Thoughts
A collection of thoughts from my most productive month in 2022
Hello dear readers,
Hope you had a lovely week and are having a great weekend!
Well, I’m back!
I know I vanished for two weeks, which was not my plan. I even wrote quite a few things that first week and planned to post something, but I really didn’t feel comfortable sharing what I’d written just yet. (Some of my writing can be just for me, and that’s fine!)
And the next week? Well, I think I just burned myself out at both ends.
As I mentioned in the little tagline of this post, September has been the most productive month of 2022 for me, maybe even in recent memory. (Save for when I wrote a full rough draft of a novel in three weeks when the world shut down in March of 2020.)
September has been a long, at-times-rough month, at-times-wonderful month. Highs and lows and all.
But overall, I have learned so much about myself and the world this month, along with a lot of skills.
But when it finally stopped moving last week, it hit me how much I’ve been doing in the last month.
The number of skills I have been working on learning and teaching myself since the start of the month has been… a lot.
What I Did This Month and Why I’m So Tired
I’ve made my first full, detailed print. I decided I like it (it’s heckin’ cute), but that I need to redo the focus. (I’m back at the drawing board, literally.)
I’ve jumped into a series of UX (user experience) design courses, finished my first class in a week, and am close to finishing the second course. (UX is neat!)
I drew some new stickers, coloring pages, and stationery designs. (I’d never drawn stationery; it’s very fun. Highly recommend.)
I extensively researched printable ratios to make sure I’d drawn said designs to appropriate printing dimensions. (Going back to the drawing board to make sure they’re right. Ratios are kind of annoying. Any tips?)
I submitted more writing to literary magazines and such again! (I’d been too scared to submit again for a while.)
I wrote some new stories, started six newsletter posts, and posted more newsletter updates than I have in months.
I Marie-Kondo-ed (or Kon-Mari-ed?) my closet.
I got through my backlog of emails, newsletters, and videos, which then just built up again over the last week 🙃)
I made my first baked donuts (apple cider)! They were just kinda mid, so I’m not going to be recommending whichever recipe I tried.
But here they are, if you’re curious:
Photo credit: Me 🍎🍏 (The weird flat one towards the front is weird because I didn’t have enough batter for that one and filled the slot in the pan only halfway, but it filled out like that when it baked.)
I drew and added new designs to my RedBubble shop, along with revamping some old pen-and-ink designs with new digital art versions.
I made and posted my first Instagram reel. (It’s not amazing, but it’s alright. It was a themed little video as my entry for an art contest Notebook Therapy hosted earlier this month. It’s also my first art contest attempt, so that’s another thing!)
I drew the best dog I have ever drawn! (Usually they end up looking like weird foxes.)
I started working on a ton of new ideas I’m really excited about and researching new skills for said projects, in addition to working my current job, taking care of things around the house, taking YouTube learning deep dives, having a (albeit not very social) social life, and other general life stuff.
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But I think I just spread myself too thin, “like butter scraped over too much bread,” as J. R. R. Tolkien would so aptly say. All those projects at once is great, but there’s a reason the usual advice is to pick one, finish that, and then move on to the next.
Have I ever listened to that advice? Well…
I was the kid in fifth grade who would keep about seven “for fun” (non-school) books in her desk to read during breaks. I would read a chapter from each whenever I got work done early or during recess. (Which is, admittedly, a strange way to read. I typically read a few books at once still, but not like, seven.)
My (slightly derailed) point being: I’m good at doing too many things at once.
It’s kind of surprising I haven’t gotten burned out far more times, or maybe I just haven’t thought of it as burnout. (I didn’t really know burnout was a concept until I started trying to practice self-care, which was embarrassingly recent.)
Anyway, long month. Lotsa stuff. Very tired.
I’m doing my best to get into the swing of things and post regularly and work on all the fun projects and research I want to do again.
Hopefully I’m past the worst of the burnout now.
Then, separately, this little snippet of a thought from earlier in the month:
And if any day spent learning is a day well spent, then any month spent learning is a month well spent.
I’ll just leave you with that thought.
Anyone learn anything cool this week? Any thoughts on your month? Anybody do anything really cool they just want to talk about? Comments are open! :)
Happy reading and have a lovely week!
Works Cited (MLA 9th Ed.)
Tolkien, J. R. R. “J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes (Author of the Hobbit).” Goodreads, Goodreads, Inc. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/656983.J_R_R_Tolkien.
Quote of the Week:
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien