Monday, July 16, 2007

After Eight Days of Sweating Pixels

Yes, master.

The baby in this video is pretty much in the same state as I am after eight days of sweating pixels:

I was making much more progress and having more fun between Monday and Thursday when I was roaming at will among the files as I got organized, refreshed my memory, and played in my storyworld. I had given myself until Friday to do all this prep work before I would have to get serious about word count. I didn't wait until Friday to start adding new words to the files as I fiddled with them and with the ideas, plot, theme, timeline, genealogical trees etc. I was surprised, actually at how easy they started flowing again.

Then Friday came along and I felt that now I had to get serious. I stopped playing in a relaxed manner and started thinking more about word count and how to make sure that I could keep track of it, keep the old work separate from the new, keep the scene work separate from the notes and so forth, so that I could keep the material that counts for this challenge separate and thus easier to get accurate tallies. But I realized this afternoon, thanks in part to the encouraging comments in my Monday Poetry Train post, that I was focusing on the wrong priority. This is a lesson that has tackled me several times before. I should have remembered. I never get any creative work done when I am fretting about anything that turns on that part of my brain that counts or categorizes--whether it be words, seconds, commas, typos, spelling errors, files, days, what have you.

This was true even before I discovered the benefits of writing rough drafts as well as notes in a relational database program. Working this way stimulates creativity for me as it allows me to roam around among the drafts and notes, dropping a few words here, a sentence or three there and every once in a while several paragraphs of actual scene narrative or dialog. This had started happening again last week in the days before the deadline of Friday I had given myself for getting organized. Then on Friday afternoon, my mind switched from the relaxed playful mood it had been in since Monday morning to that of a playground monitor calling the kids in from recess and the teacher insisting they settle down at there desks and focus on the assignment.

That never worked for me then. It never will.

1 tell me a story:

Bri 7/17/2007 9:18 AM  

Hah - poor kid.

I know I do the same thing - organizing, enjoying the sort of composting method of writing and gathering notes and info about my story. I didn't realize that when I was doing that, I was still writing - and I always berated myself for it. Now I enjoy it and let it happen. Shouldn't be surprised that the writing comes and the word count comes easier.

Hope the sweating goes well - use what habits you have to your advantage - it sounds like you have a lot of info at your fingertips! Good writing. :)

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