In which we check in our participants of the 90-Day Challenge, one happy and one hapless, at the 2/3 mark, and discover that things are looking up. But not for everyone.
|Some of Holly’s work|
James Sie: We’re on day, what? 56? Are you on track?
Holly Meyers: Okay, slightly less focused that I thought, bc I’m still technically behind by a few. BUT some pictures are way more detailed than the original parameters required, so I give myself some credit for that.
JS: How MANY are you behind?
HM: Only 9.
JS: Hmm.. last time it was 7.
HM: IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. THIS WEEKEND WAS BUSY.
JS: Oh, so BIRTHDAYS are exempt. And busy WEEKENDS. Can we be just done with this?
JS: C’mon, let’s just delete all our blogs and no one will be the wiser. We’ll wake up in the shower and it will all have been a dream.
HM: And we’ll be our 17-year-old selves again, and go back to high school and try to get recruited for college basketball. Oh wait that’s a Zac movie.
JS: It’s negative conditioning; I’m starting to HATE the thought of Zac. Because he represents crappy writing and guilt.
HM: No way. By the end of these 90 days, when you have your first draft,
he’ll be a vision again.
JS: If I have a first draft. IF.
HM: So how is it going?
JS: Everything I wrote in my last blog was a lie. All that affirming shit. I’m miserable.
HM: Oh noooooo.
JS: Just drudgery drudgery and wondering what the hell I’m doing. Though it’s amazing how a promise to myself becomes so binding, like I’m pretending it’s an actual deadline. I’m afraid that I’m going to get to the end of this and then look at all the wreckage and not know what to do with it.
[full disclosure: the book does warn against this darkness descending, and says I’ll eventually move beyond it]
HM: If that happens, at least you will have created some original wreckage, and that counts as producing something.
JS: Hrmph. Anyhoo, many days missed, word count perilously low. I keep thinking I should just stop now and work on it in my usual methodic way, but that would preempt the challenge.
HM: Exactly. We’re in this challenge for a reason, so chaalllleeenngggeee ourselves and our normal patterns. Maybe the last third will be the breakthrough phase.
JS: Maybe gilded monkeys will fly out of my butt.
How are you feeling about it?
HM: I’m feeling good, but nervous! A few people at the new job have caught wind of this 90-day thing and have gone so far as to send my blog to art people. Like, legit art directors and stuff. It’s freaking me out. Now I feel like I have to get super organized with a real website and business cards or something.
HM: Yeah. Mostly, said Art People have been very friendly and polite, giving me good advice about the business of editorial illustration.
JS: Editorial illustration. Explain, please.
HM: Magazine art directors hire people (like… me?!) to create illustrations for articles, online products, and even covers. It’s a lot of freelance, so if I want to get in the game, I need to be legit.
JS: Oh! And is that the field you’ve been focused on?
HM: Well, it wasn’t my original plan! I thought maybe it would get my blog a little more traffic (which it has), but I didn’t think I’d need to mobilize so soon! I actually got one little gig for a fellow NYU alum, to create a poster for an event in Brooklyn next month!
JS: Look at you! Gilded monkeys aflight!
Does it affect your work on the challenge, knowing it’s being scrutinized?
HM: Big time. I thought I could get away with casually posting just anything, but now I’m paralyzed with fear.
JS: Some actual trepidation!!
HM: I only sit at my computer paralyzed with fear until I remember that someone thought it was worthy of a magazine, then I feel confident again.
JS: Do your hands get tired, squeezing all those lemons into lemonade?
HM: Seriously!! I wouldn’t have done this without the challenge you set up! THANK YOU.But you’re not off the hook about your own writing.
JS: [grouse grouse grouse] Okay, I guess I can suffer through one more month.
HM: Yay k bye!