Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Eight weeks to go...

It seems that I may be able to write a play after all. And perhaps I do have a process; an approach; a 'voice'.

I'm writing this so I remember for next time.

Tai Chi really helps. Too much sitting in front of lap top screen, play text or book causes tension in the neck. A tense neck impairs relaxation necessary to have the head space and confidence for the creativity to flow. I don't work well when I'm scrunched up, tense and stiff. Prioritising moving around and Tai Chi is keeping me on the right track.

Chanting really helps (Na Myo Ho Renge Kyo - for the uninitiated). Seriously. I'm feeling it now in a way I haven't ever before. I need it. When I don't do it I get fog in my head and the drone of 'I can't do it' starts up in my brain and it’s a slippery slope to fear and panic. Since I increased the time spent chanting each day my work has really developed and three flowers on my Peace Lily have come out, which I'm taking as encouragement from the environment.

Trying to work for very long periods of time is counter productive and beating myself up for not working more each day is even more so. I have been doing a time audit and it seems that I have a lengthy morning routine that I have to get through before I settle into work. I seem to work best in the afternoon, particularly when I have to read something. There have been periods where I've been very productive in the evening (usually in the run up to a deadline). I seem to get words on the page better in the evening.

750 words of script per day seem achievable for me on a first draft.

I'm getting in about 3 or 4 hours of work per focused day on average at the moment. I think this will increase as the deadline gets closer. But I'm quite happy with this as a moderately relaxed working speed.

I'm managing 3 focused days per week at this moderately relaxed pace.

I don't work well on the days when I have to go to day job - but I can do bits and pieces of admin/research on these days, go to supermarket and do chores.

I’m thinking about it 75% of the time so am making progress even when I’m not hugely focused. I am managing to remind myself that this is work and it does count. As the days go by the project is developing even if I’m pretty hands off.

Perhaps I’m not quite as bad as I believed I was. Yes, it does come together at the last minute, but there’s a huge amount of preparation in advance of that. I am very committed to that preparation. I think it pays off and helps things to slot together when it’s closer to the deadline.

Long preparation and not committing too early really gives the project time to breath.

I write in a condensed/concentrated way to start off with. I start with something small and compact and then ‘pull it out’ (imagine unravelling a big pile of tightly tangled wool).

I am generally happier and more productive when there’s a healthy mix of social interaction in my week/day. Keeping my self in my flat is counter productive.

I check my emails/twitter/facebook accounts far too often and these are a real thief of my time.

The ‘eureka’ moments and the surges of intense motivation come about a week before the deadline. So I need to learn to break projects in to bits and have a series of very real deadlines leading up to a final deadline to make sure I’m in good shape for the final big push.

I need to find a way to trick myself into believing the weight of my own interim deadlines. Determining in front of Gohonzon helps.


Posted via email from northerncreative's posterous


Anonymous said...

Hi Joanna I'm just back from Greece & dipped into NC and see U are really back in form with your writ ing! I too need Tao Chi to balance all those hours on the computer. I look forward to seeing the next play develop.

stefan lubo said...

Anonymous was me! Stefan

joanneleahartley said...

Hi Stefan! I got another flower on my Peace Lily and still feeling very encouraged. My Supervisor has been very supportive about my abstract writing style. Such a relief and I feel really free!