Week 1 and 2 – First steps

Week 1 and 2 – First steps

And just like that, it’s November. Halloween came and went in a bit of a flurry, and all the shops in the area are gearing up for full Christmas mode. It’s been two weeks since I announced my grand plans – here’s what I’ve been doing:

1) Installed extensions on all my browsers to minimise social media usage

I did this two weeks ago, and my mind has been quieter than in a long time. Distract Me Not is a browser extension that lets you blacklist and whitelist certain websites at certain times. You can decide how you want your “nope” delivered – as a screen, or whether the browser just closes the tab. I prefer the latter method, which feels like a parent gently closing a drawer I wasn’t supposed to open.
Unhook is the best thing, a browser extension that lets you customise your Youtube page. I use Youtube for background noise almost constantly, so blocking it is not an option. “Unhook” allows you to toggle dozens of elements, so you can keep exactly what you want and get rid of all the rest. For the past few weeks I’ve received not a single video recommendation, and it’s been heaven. It’s just my subscriptions and the search bar. I swear, I can already hear myself think again.

my notebooks

2) Bought myself a sexy new notebook and started taking online classes

My Skillshare subscription is about to run out, so before I answer the siren call of another online learning platform, I’m taking whatever class I can. I started with Ellen Lupton’s classes for design basics, and I hope to squeeze in an Illustrator class before the end of the year. Illustrator has always been my white whale in the Adobe Suite, it would be nice to get a handle on it.

3) Started a project I’ve been thinking about for years

It’s quite simple: I read a lot of books, and I like book covers. So I thought, why not create new book covers for books I’ve read? I call it, creatively, Project Re.Cover, and the first post will be up soon.

That’s it, that’s been my past two weeks. I’m trying not to burn myself out with too rigorous schedules, because that’s been poison in the past and I have to fit this work around my paid work, language classes, therapy, writing (because I’m on a roll there, too; November is just magical even if you’re not official doing NaNoWriMo) and things like hobbies and a social life.

I’ve been reading

  • The Abominable by Dan Simmons, which I don’t recommend, but made a new cover for; post coming soon.
  • The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik. It lacks the charm of the previous two books in the Scholomance trilogy, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wipe away a tiny tear near the end.
  • Das verbotene Notizbuch (The Forbidden Notebook) by Alba de Céspedes, which is one of my five-star reads this year. Stunning book, and I’m working on a new cover for it.

Other things I’m obsessed with

  • Going outside. I’m milking the Berlin autumn for as much as I can before the Berlin winter hits us in all its monochromatic glory, and I’ve been going on as many walks to enjoy the sunshine as I can.
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities on Netflix. It’s perfect for this time of year, a gorgeous collection of spooky, Lovecraftian stories. The quality of the stories varies; I’m not a fan of the stories by Lovecraft himself, but especially they are stunning visually. Especially ‘Pickman’s Model’ had huge Layers of Fear vibes, which I’m here for and my boyfriend never wants to hear about again after an hour of me gushing about it.

To Do for next week

  • finish the next book cover
  • make a movie poster for one of my Skillshare classes

That’s it for this week. If you’re reading this, I hope you have a good one!