Nathanial Garrod

Current Project Progress and also Things About Running

I did not get to writing in this space (or really at all) this last week. It was a pretty intense week.

On Friday, I gave a talk for a group on student retention efforts I have been working on in my professional role. That was pretty cool — my first time being invited to speak, as opposed to applying to give a talk. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think I want to do that more.

Out of this, I may have come up with an idea for a TED Talk (of course, about student retention). It needs to be a bit more numbers-y than what I prepared for this week. I did find that after writing some pretty comprehensive notes, I was able to mostly talk continuously and confidently about each slide — and some of those slides were among the best I have made. Some were not.

Anyway, mostly for myself, I want to talk about some of the projects I am working on and what my progress is on them. Sometimes I forget that it is important to process my progress in word form — it seem useless, but really helps clear out a lot of where I get stuck.

Ongoing Space Project — When I took the Comics Theory course at the beginning of the year, I had to do this project where I created an 8-page minicomic, which was folded from one page. Essentially, a zine. Then I remembered this project I had started back in 2014, which was slightly derivative of another project I’ve been working on in starts and fits since 2007, but a bit more approachable. I decided that instead of taking this piece I had intended as a Novella and submitting it, I could easily just turn it into a zine-sort of piece. So I am. I spent some time today editing my first 32-page issue.

My intention is four-issue arcs (it’s mostly arbitrary, but seems like a decent length). After doing some line-edits on a printed edition, I did some mapping of the arcs. I have the first two planned out, and an idea where the third one should end. I have not really planned out projects before. I typically let the characters tell me where to go. This is good. New. Different.

Once I have a structure, I guess it is a bit easier to fill in. I plan to figure out logistics for how to release/sell each issue when I have the first arc completed (and maybe a couple pieces of the second arc ready to edit?).I want to be able to release content consistently for these. I also need a title, so that’s something. Hopefully I can be ready to release these starting in late August or early September, then do one a month.

Time Loop Comic Script – Another Project with no title. This one I have been stuck with the first two pages of since I started it. Honestly, right now, it’s the one that I am most excited to finish, but also it’s going to be some work. I would love to have this done by early July and ready to pass on to a friend who does art to see if he’s interested.

The problem with writing this piece is that it’s a loop. A version of the character is having a conversation with themselves in the future/past at any given time, and that messes with my head a bit. I want to make sure it is clear and consistent, but also somewhat unexpected.

Retention Book – I really enjoyed giving a talk on my work. I liked being invited to do it, I enjoyed doing it, I enjoyed preparing for it (stressful as that was).

I think I want to give more talks, and it seems like one route to that is to write down my work. I think of Jeff Davis, who was, for a moment, one of the staff members of the McNair Scholars program office at my undergrad. He wrote a book about his experiences supporting first generation students (with a focused research population in the population he was working with at the time). It’s a pretty short and to the point book, with enough interviews laid out to be considered qualitative research. I figure that with that book as a mentor text, I could probably do a similar sort of thing about retention.

Heck, just in talk notes, I have almost eight pages. That seems like a pretty good jumping-off point.

Running — Running has been touch and go. I think I have run more in the last week than any week since November, which is cool.

Yesterday my run was real rough – the whole thing felt like a struggle, and I kept wanting to give up. Running 10 or less miles per week feels a lot different than when I was running 20 to 40 miles per week.

I feel sometimes like I have to choose between the running and the writing — the running feels better for my well-being and sense of accomplishments, the writing feels like it moves me closer to where I want to be in life.

Conclusion – well, those are all the projects/running things I have tangible updates on. I imagine I will try to do something like this once a month or so, to try and keep up on my projects.

One Comment on “Current Project Progress and also Things About Running

  1. Katie
    May 24, 2018

    Hi Nathanial,
    You might find, with more practice, that running often allows you to produce more writing. Running has a funny way of that, if you can make the time for it. Running (well, and eating) is how I graduated at the top of my class while also working full time and I have no doubts on the way it makes your mind more fluid – just make sure to not push yourself too far getting back into it. I hope you run into (see what I did there?) the same efficiency results as I did! Good luck!

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2018 by in Thoughts, Writing.