Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deadline Disharmony

I think I might have a problem with deadlines.

I’ve always been a procrastinator. My approach to deadlines in the past was to put the project off until the last possible moment and then get it done in a frantic blaze of activity. Deadlines were useful to me. They said this thing needs to be finished by this date, and gave me the incentive to get it done.

As I’ve grown older, my idea of what constitutes the last possible minute has been pushed further and further back until any notion of getting something finished in the remaining time is hopelessly optimistic. Cans of Red Bull might keep me awake through the night, but they can’t magically turn one hour into three.

For me, the real problem now is the corresponding loss in productivity. I missed my last monthly post for this blog because I was battling with a tricky story. I’d like to say it was because I was engaged in frenzied writing, but in reality it was more patient hacking at a computer screen, like trying to chisel out a sculpture made of words.

Distraction behaviour is the bane of productivity everywhere, especially nowadays with so many modern distractions. I find the best way to combat it is to have multiple projects on the go at any one time. If a story is proving troublesome, switch to another one and come back to the first with a clearer head. All the stories worth being completed will get completed and with, hopefully, a minimum of head-banging-against-a-wall frustration. It should be fun, after all, otherwise why write at all.

Throw in a deadline and it gets messed up. I can’t justify switching to another project because I need to be writing this specific story for this specific date. But sultry Distraction Behaviour is still lurking and waiting to lure me astray with her glittering temptations of internet, computer games, television, etc. This is the point where my productivity takes a nosedive.

Anyone writing short stories will encounter opportunities and deadlines in the form of anthologies, magazines, competitions and the like. In the past I used to be the kind of writer that dashed from one deadline to the next, hammering out stories to match whatever theme was required. I don’t think this suits me now. I think I need to be the other type: the type that writes what they feel like writing at the time and fires off whatever happens to be most appropriate from their folder of complete and near-complete story ideas.

M.E. Hydra

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Game On

I rewrote the first chapter in Cinderella Ending.  It still needs a lot of work.  I was a little repetitive but it's not that big a deal.  I can fix it or leave it.  Thomas was thinking and I felt like he kept vacillating between thoughts coming back to his oiginal theory.  I do that all the time, but it is probably redundant in book form.  I have to mull it over some more then try to make decisions tomorrow.

I worked for several hours but only managed 1,000 words. 

I'm going to try to write tomorrow - get back into the swing of it and get focused.  I know what the ending is but will it really be a Cinderella ending?  I don't have a clue because I really don't know what I'm doing.  I don't even know what I'm doing here.  For some reason, I always thought that if you were on the right path then your journey would make sense.  Everything would sort of fall into place, like love and stuff.

I'm not sure if this is the path or the detour.

The main reason for my existentialism is that I fell asleep to a 2012 doomsday show on the History channel and I got a little freaked.  Naturally, I had a nightmare about it.  No one seems to think it's a big deal - like maybe it's another Y2K.  And maybe it is.  But according to the show, they are predicting a tilt to the earth's axis based on its allignment in space.  And depending on how much we rotate, it could have dire consequences.  This is not Mayan or Ancient Chinese mumbo-jumbo.  It's real - science.

I'm surprised that more people aren't freaking out or at least having a sense of urgency in their relationships.  Maybe preparing for the end somehow or in my case maxing out every credit card possible.  Are you even remotely thinking about this?  Getting affairs in order?  Being nicer to people, etc.?  Or am I sounding like an idiot right now?

I had better get this fucking book written so it can have a May 2012 release date.  Otherwise there could be the possibility that I write it and no one gets to read it.  How dumb would that be?

Okay doomsday - game on!