The Process

I’ve been off from work this week. Not like I can go anywhere, and I can’t do much about the house, so I’ve been writing. Honestly, I’ve been getting more output done in this one week than months before. Mostly this is because I literally can not do anything other than play games, watch tv or write.

I borrowed an old typewriter off my other half and started hitting away at the keys. This seems to be my process. I have a very rough idea of what I want to get out as a story. Then I start writing it out in the barest of bones on the typewriter. Then naturally, I need to transcribe it all onto a word document and as I’m doing so rewrite. I’ve been adding texture and depth to characters that I hadn’t even considered.

Writing out stuff on the typewriter has also helped in that I’ve created characters I really hate and bits of plot that I actually have no idea where they are going to go. It’s interesting. I know how things will end and I knew how things started but getting from point A to point Z if fascinating.

Seems that I may have a process. I didn’t know this was even a thing. Now to get a better typewriter that doesn’t need the ribbon pulled through every twenty words.

Decisions, decisions

Trying to write is hard.

PreviouslyI’ve talked about my novel and what I should do. Honestly, I think that I’ve missed the boat with the one I’ve been working on. So, I’ve decided to shelve the idea and move on to something different.

If feels like a defeat. Not finishing something that I’ve started makes me think that I’ve not got it to actually produce anything.

However, I’ve learned a lot during the previous process. Knowing when to bow out it probably something important. Hitting my head off a metaphoric brick wall is probably not conducive to further creativity.

I’ve also learned how to get my arse in gear and get stuff done.

So now on to the outline and trying to flesh out the whole thing.

In case your were wondering, moving on from weird to Space Opera!

Frustrated at anger

Yesterday I wrote a scathing and immature view of people who do self-promotion etc for their art or product. I had become angry at seeing stuff pushed by people I don’t know for things in which I have no interest.

I am very bloody lucky that I was smart enough to schedule the post and not hit publish straight away.

I am even luckier that I deleted the post this morning after thinking down some of my own arguments in the post. A thing I wish more people would do.

The conclusion I’ve arrived at is, if I’m not interested in or dislike something I can just scroll by, not participate and keep on going. I don’t have to tear down somebody else to feel superior. I just need not engage. This is especially important now when so many artists are operating on such fine margins between paying the bills and being out on the street.

What has gotten me, is the sheer level of irritation and anger. Where does it come from? Jealousy and envy for sure, these people are accomplishing so much more than I ever will during this whole period of my life. Anger that I’m working while my furloughed neighbours can enjoy the time with their families. Anger at people not obeying the rules which will make this whole thing last longer than it should. You name something and I have a passionate view on it.

I have always been a person who is what would be considered hot tempered. What it really is, is more to do with my own failings as a person which I’m trying to change. Primarily driven out of frustration.

That’s what’s going on really, right now. I’m frustrated because of so many things. Mostly about the lack of time to do things or the lack of ability. I am on the fence about my novel. I’m lost when it comes to inspiration. When I do sit down to write, bam! Distraction.

Inspiration is fleeting, that’s why I’m writing nonsense posts. Energy is variable at best. Yes, I know if I exercised, I’d have more energy but trying to balance everything that ensures balanced energy is also a fleeting mistress. The other thing is time. Time for my own stuff is much more limited under lockdown than I imagined it would be.

Having all three elements come together like a magical productivity cake, well that’s just madness.

The frustration continues…..

What to do or what a todo?

The world is weird now.

I’ve previously mentioned that I was working on a novel. I have gotten to the third chapter but now I’m not too sure about it.

It was/is set in a pre-pandemic world before everything was as it is and will be in the future.

I also think it may not be relevant so I’ve got lots of  doubts.

It was going to be spooky and involve weirdness on a mass scale, but I can’t actually articulate the madness that’s happening now nor would I expect people to want to read something like this. So I’m stuck. Should I continue on with what I had started, or should I shelve it for a time in the future when retro is in?

 

It keeps building

There seems to be a lot of pressure in the world. Well to be more accurate my little world but the tension does seem to be building outside of my world too. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

I am feeling pressure to perform in my day job to a standard that has never been seen before in unprecedended circumstance. I’m feeling pressure to have a perfectly clean house, perfect exterior to my home and to do all my side-line creativity as well.

Let’s deal with the last first. My creative projects are a podcast, the blog here, editing a friend’s blog and I’m working on a novel. The podcast requires, in a perfect world, about a week or two of research. I was struggling with this before things went into lockdown. I’ve decided to put that all on hold until I’ve got the time, mental space and energy to give it the work it needs. There’s nothing more insulting to a culture than to half-ass your research.

The blog, I think it’s going to get more of a workout. Probably ranting at the world about things rather than stories. I will still take story suggestions from anyone and everyone.

The blog Soft Skills, I’ll continue to do that because I need the practice and the feedback.

Finally, the novel. The mental energy required to keep working on a narrative means that it’s just not happening right now. Since I’m using a typewriter to write it, the physical energy isn’t there either.

As for my home, it’s a tip, it will continue to be a tip until post lockdown when we can get the contractors in to carry out the work required. Then and only then will things start to get back to what I consider to be normal.

Finally, my day job. That’s my priority. I must work and attempt to meet the standards required of me. My job, luckily, can be mostly done from home. This means that I have to work around environmental factors and try to not snap at my other half or the cats. It’s frustrating since the house is a tip as I said.  However, I still need to ensure that I’ve got a job when all of this is over. That means going through the wringer now.

There’s a lot of pressure, there is almost an expectation that we should all have done our day jobs, started a side business, come up with an invention and read or write a stack of books.

I say f**k that!

The world right now is not normal. Everything is not normal! We’re trying to keep our heads together and get on with the job in front of us. This extra pressure is not needed or wanted. If you are feeling the pressure, then take a metaphorical step back. Figure out what is the priority and focus on that. For me, as I said it’s my day job. Everything else is going to be an extra and a nice to do but not necessary.

There’s resources out there to help you cope. If you feel that you need to vent please do, rant at the internet, scream into the pillow. Don’t drink (it doesn’t work) but reach out and try to ease the pressures in a sensible way. Don’t become a pressure cooker and explode hurting those close to you. (I’m very lucky not to be divorced by now)

Remember, it’s ok not to be ok….

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