Sunday, 17 July 2011

Too Many Projects, Too Little Time ...

Too many projects, too little time. What with extreme ironing and continually re-stocking food supplies fast becoming projects themselves as my teenage boys turn into real men, I'm finding I still don't have enough time to get down to what I want to do ~ Write.

So, for now, I've put all businessy projects on hold. I have decided to commit ALL my spare time to writing! That concept, three weeks ago, I felt elated about and I got to the hobby / task straight away [one of the reasons I haven't been here for a while ~ apologies]. But there I went again ... not keeping the eye on the ball, the finger on the button, my mind on one project. Typical! Arggh! My problem once again - too many projects. My mind was all over the place, trying to choose one project to focus on: Adult novel/contemporary saga of power and control in relationships, Touchstone, waiting to be finished. Short stories waiting for an edit. Children's picuture book stories waiting for ... whatever. Children's novel, a cliff hanger waiting to be attended to. Interactive activity pages for children suffering trauma mostly developed but lie neatly on the bookshelf waiting for finishing touches, a printer and possibly a touch of confidence.

Clearly, the activity pages seem most important due to the very idea of them. The overall design is child-type hand-drawn pictures, shapes and patterns. Yep, I should be able to do that. Why not? Yep Start here - it's the obvious place to begin.

So what did I do first? As usual I entertained the P word. Procrastination. I sat quietly and did some thinking. [After all, isn't writing 80% thinking 20% writing?] If I focused on the starting place of my writing and moved forwards from there, I could work my way chronologically through all my writing projects, dotting all the 'I's and crossing all the 'T's. Yeah, yep, yah, that seemed like a good enough reason to do what I do best - procrastinate! I got out ALL of my poems and made a themed collection ~ two. I decided to publish a poetry pamphlet [which involved two evenings on internet searches]. I designed some covers ideas, short-listed the content, enlisted the help of my artist friend and approached a printer. Great. Now What? During that process, I found some narrative poetry written for children and waiting for illustration. Hmm ... What could I do with this? [no doubt you're forming an image of the problem I have] One of the poems got me thinking [again]. I dug out some Roald Dahl, Anthony Horovitch, Anne Fine children's stories and did a quick re-cap [Love the Magic Finger story - the one where the neighbours, who are constantly shooting at birds, get changed into birds and find themselves living in a nest whilst the birds take over their house]. That night, I couldn't sleep. Around two-thirty in the morning, I had the makings of  four children's stories and worried I wouldn't be able to remember them in the morning, [have you ever worried about forgetting your night-time ideas?] scribbled the thoughts down on a scrap of paper [actually the back page of Jonathan Franzen's brilliantly observed, The Corrections] and tried to go back to sleep. Not a chance. By four, I'd written hundreds of words for each story. 

So you sense my dilemma. Focus you say. Focus I say, every time I sit down to write. And here I am, procrastinating on my blog ... Maybe I should just re-name it: PROCRASTION?

Anyway, must be off now ... must finish my current short story for children, 'Scrambled-Egg-Pet' or maybe a spot of Ironing? The choices are endless. Hopefully I can do both without drifting off to another project like shortening my mother's new curtains, cleaning out the chicken house / loft / garage, [incidently, take a look at the feng shui garage on and prepare to be jealous. Other distractions I'm trying not to think about; digging a vegetable patch or worse, taking accumulated stuff to a car boot sale / charity shop / tip, go for a hire-bike ride along Blackpool's Wonderful New Promenade ... now that might be worthwhile ... get the creative juices flowing ...


[oops - maybe should make a new label, 'Procrastion' ?]

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