Tuesday, February 10, 2009

There's an argument in my brain

Sometimes you find yourself with so many deadlines, it becomes difficult to know which to tackle first. The obvious is also the most simple: write the project that's most urgent. But even that can be a mistake. For example, we had a blinding session on the Lighthouse team-writing TV drama workshop last Wednesday and Thursday. But it threw up all sorts of questions and conundrums we hadn't resolved, so they all need collective creative decisions.

Only then can we rework our beat sheets and scene by scene documents, before diving into the first draft of our respective episodes. Some will change in subtle ways, others require wholesale rewrites. Sad to say, mine is the latter. The course tutors kindly gave us an extra week on our first draft deadline - but it's still going to take plenty of time over the next month to nail this sucker done. Doesn't need be perfect, just needs to be done.

So there's that. Got a commission I've been avoiding that requires several hard days of creative work. Not happy with my plot, it's all too sketchy, but can't seem to fix on what's the biggest problem. Result: no progress, and that's not good enough. Another porject that's been puttering along for a year is suddenly coming on stream, requiring urgent efforts. And I need to develop some fresh ideas for Doctors, having been remiss there for months.

All these things are fighting for my attention, clamouring for a piece of creative head-space. I like to compartmentalise, I'm not good at nudging along five projects at once. I know a milion-seller author who writes several thousand words of novel in the morning and comic books in the afternoon. Wish I could swap my heads over like that, Worzel Gummidge style. Closest I'm getting today is wanting a nice cup of tea and slice of cake. Hey ho. Onwards!


Adaddinsane said...

You could approach the decision making from the "Which is going to cause the worst problem by missing the deadline?"

Or the positive version "Which is going to provide the best opportunities by getting it done first?"

Or something.

Michelle Goode said...

You should perhaps train yourself to be able to switch from one thing to another.

Maybe take a day and divide it into X (X being the amount of projects you are currently working on) and then force yourself to work on each project for Y amount of hours (Day/X). Just for one day... You might find the routine refreshing as you won't get too bogged down in any one project, and your enthusiasm will be kept at a high level.

I haven't tried this myself, mind. It's just an idea :)