Saturday, 2 January 2010

The year twentyten - looking forward

It seems so cliched to write a new year post but I really feel like I have to do write one to crack on with what lies ahead.
First and foremost, I have to write 'The Elephant in the Room Trilogy'. I have been working on the project with a light touch for the past few months but now the deadline for delivery of the project is looming. I have to organise casting in the next week and make sure I have sufficient script for an audition, to be able to make decisions about suitability for roles. Then I have to get the script in near final shape by beginning of February when rehearsals will take place. Performance will be in the first week of March and again in April and then I hope to find a couple of other platforms for the work throughout the year.
My bad for not being further along with the script and having it fully in shape prior to casting. This project won't be the first time I've done this and previously I have been able to deliver, so I'm confident that I can do the same this time. I'd be interested to hear from anyone with a point of view about this way of working.
At the moment it seems that I have to be very close to deadline before my work becomes watertight. I've spoken to numerous people about this; asked about their working practice and their view on procrastination; seeking their reassurance that leaving the writing until the almost last minute was not some kind of self jeopardy; questioning if I am really a writer at all; expecting that a 'real' writer should wake up every morning with a hunger for writing and be unable to stop themselves bashing away at a keyboard or scribbling away in a notebook rather than putting it off and putting it off and putting it off.
The people I have consulted have reassured me that procrastination is actually pretty normal. Phew. Still room for improvement though. I acknowledge that the further ahead of myself that I can get, the more time I have to improve the work and develop the outcome. I want to bring my practice along so that my work is a better quality and so I'm more productive.
My next major task over the next month is to complete and submit a portfolio for assessment for my masters degree accompanied by a critical analysis. The module title is 'Story Workshop' and naively I thought that at some point in my classes I would learn what constituted a good story. I haven't learned what makes a good story, but I have begun to learn how to tell a story strategically to maximise engagement and enjoyment. Pennies have dropped. I've learned about narrative and narrator, their relationship with audience/reader and the difference between story and plot.
Writing something with a head full of theory is frustrating, in fact I have to turn my thinking brain off when I write and go with my gut instincts. Applying the theory to my creative work once it's written is quite difficult because I'm too close to be fully objective. So I write, attempt to critically evaluate and gauge my 'success' on both counts according to the feedback from my Tutor. More learning takes place once i've had feedback, valuable reflective learning.
Eventually, with enough experience I think I should be able to strike more of a balance between getting the instinctive stuff out onto the page and then thinking strategically about how to shape it and move it forward.
So, this is what's on my mind at the beginning of the year. Lots to do, lots to learn.

1 comment:

Mattie said...

procrastination is the way forward. I think it make you question things more, to dig deeper and to find a sound knowledge of what you're looking for... of course it also makes sure that your CD collection is always alphabetised, your cat is always happy and any DIY is done haha.