Friday, February 29, 2008

Sweat! But Don't Sweat it.

That's my motto for Sven III which begins in a few hours.

This time around I am working at folding story writing into the rest of my life. I want to maintain the disciplines of organization of mind, body, environment, files and time that I have been practicing since January 1st.

I want to continue to enjoy the stories made by others on the same days that I work on my own. By which I mean read fiction and watch movies or TV series.

I want to continue reading Non-fiction and doing the research that relates to stories in the works whether the one I'm focusing on for Sven III or another. It is especially the research for my NaNo novel, Spring Fever, that I do not want to let go of.

And there are three more things that I meant to have folded into my routines by now: some form of regular exercise; a return to the creative pleasure of fine needlework; and a return to working regularly (if not every day) on the side bar for Joystory and the design and construction and content for my other web sites, Joywrite, Joyread and a third which I conceived of a year ago and worked on in a burst of enthusiasm for about a month before getting distracted by another enthusiasm.

It is that propensity to be consumed by an enthusiasm for a brief though intense time only to turn away to another intense enthusiasm while seldom following through to completion on any of them that I am hoping to address this time around.

It has to do with my tendency to hyper-focus on things and my difficulty in changing mental gears. It seems I am always either resisting the call to an enthusiasm for fear of it taking over my life or chastising myself for the chaos the rest of my life devolves into whenever I have surrendered to the enthusiasm.

The most productive times in my life have been when I was in thrall to an enthusiasm. But the joy in the accomplishment is always muted by guilt and shame for the projects and responsibilities neglected in the meanwhile and later by more guilt and shame for having not remained faithful to the project born in that enthusiasm.

One of the disciplines I've recently implemented in service to the chaos control project, is the mental one of noticing an issue that may need addressing while maintaining an emotional detachment. This may be related to the mindfulness practices of various spiritual traditions. I've adopted it for the purpose of identifying by making conscious the mental clutter at the root of my anxieties. The most energy sapping of that mental clutter is the incessant shame and guilt chatter that whisper-shouts through my days and nights.

So for this round of Sven my focus will be on finding a balance that allows serial enthusiasms (including the latest enthusiasm of staving off chaos); that approaches the story work with a sense of playful expectation instead of slavish dread of the word-count whip. I want to sweat like a child playing a game of tag as I chase my characters across the luminous landscape of their stories.

0 tell me a story:

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