Monday, June 28, 2010

A Post About Being Productive--Which I Am Not.

I'm not terribly good at being productive. Today I had this whole plan that I would wake up early (summertime early, not normal-time early) at 9:00 instead of when my body naturally awakes (10:00), but my sister woke me up at 8:45 or something saying, "I thought you were getting up early!!" "I am..." I said sadly, "in a few minutes, when my ALARM goes off." She apologized, and I decided to hit the snooze until 9:30...which is still better than 10, right? Nevertheless, I took a long shower, got into a fight, got dressed, compared my GED scores to my brother's, made some iced coffee from Starbucks new presweetened Iced VIA Coffee, read a James Patterson book, and pretty much did nothing. However, my younger sister did try to tempt me with pleas to watch more of Season 2 of BBC's "Merlin" on YouTube....but I resisted, which is incredible.

I am supposed to be working on this piece that mainly takes place in a Viennese cafe (it's during the Victorian era, so it's's during the age of the Austro-Hungarian empire fyi), and it has these six people (three couples) and they're eating lunch and being cute and rude and horrid and all. But I have to maintain this funny light attitude while writing and I've been wayy too moody for it. I listen to Florence & the Machine's "Heavy" and can't be all cute and funny! Humor has never been easy easy for me to write (except sarcasm)....But I do this too everything I write really. I come up with excuses as to why I can't finish it. I hit that 7-page mark and I get stuck. Or, if I get past the 7-page hurdle, it's the 12-page spot that gets me. So it's really me, and maybe that I don't push myself enough? But I have co-finished two that's something? It's helpful (though annoying) to have a co-writer pushing you. 'Cause pushing yourself is hard. You can want to finish a novel and reach that goal all you want, but it's 'drive' that's the toughest to get a hold of.

I remember when I took the GED in '08, the essay was on "Ambition" or something. That was before I learned how to write a good essay in college, so it was probably terribly written. Basically though, it was about how it's 'drive' that moves ambition. I told a story about how someone had told me that, or said something to me about ambition--and I don't even remember what this story was, though I do remember who the person was. It was someone I thought was interesting, until I got to know them better and they turned out to be sort of boring. What I remember most from the essay was some terrible metaphor about how ambition without drive is like a car without wheels? Or something. (I did say it was terribly written.) But the idea is sort of basically true. You can WANT to finish a story all you like, but if you don't have that drive that moves you toward that goal, that ambitious goal is worthless. (It should be noted that I just took a break from writing this blog to skim through my dash on Tumblr.) I have drive, but it's in small quantities and comes and goes and sometimes I think I run full out and need a refill.

I think drive is fueled by inspiration (SORRY MY METAPHORS SUCK). I don't hold by the muse idea, but inspiration is important. I personally get my inspiration from music, movies, TV, books, people, food, or whatever, but for some people (my sister) books dry out inspiration. I remember sitting through movies in the theater and trying to pay attention to the movie WHILE working out an idea (note: this multi-tasking is only right when watching crap movies like Hulk [the Eric Bana one] or X-Men 3). Melvin Burgess' "Blood Tide" novel changed my LIFE and I think, the way I develop stories. His story was SICK, both literally and figuratively. It was genius (though I don't recommend it at all, because it is nauseatingly violent), and the characters were such twisted people--and it had a huge impact on me as a young teen. Anyway, I often excuse my time-wasting by telling myself I'm gathering inspiration, which is bad, but actually kind of true. So closing the Word doc and going out for ice cream can be inspiration. You never know what you'll see or do that will inspire you!

So to seems as if I have an idea of AMBITION being a car that will take you to your GOAL, and DRIVE is the wheels, and INSPIRATION is the fuel. That is super-lame-sounding. Sorry!~ But that's the basic idea. You need all four to do anything.

And I did end up being productive...I wrote a page in my Three of Swords chapter, which took a surprisingly dark turn. So that legitimized my desire to watch Merlin 2x02... Not since Harry Potter have I been this crazy about shipping (relationships for the non-fandom-savvy). In the days of the HP books, I was violent about Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione...and I totally was for Snape/Lily, Lupin/Tonks, Neville/Luna, Fred/Angelina, and other stuff that did happen or didn't happen. I even did admit that Ginny/Draco would be cool if Harry/Ginny wasn't such an OTP (one true pairing). But Merlin brings out the old rusty fangirl in me, and I have my ships and will stand by them. Like with HP though, I am annoyed by the SO OBVIOUSLY non-canonical shipping. Dude. Harry/Hermione was stupid. Sirius/Remus was just silly. And nurgghhhh Merlin/Arthur WILL NEVER HAPPEN, so get over it, people. And that was my random geek prattle for the day. Will now go to Tumblr where it's okay to do this.

Oh and by the way, John Farnham's "You're the Voice" is THE OFFICIAL SONG OF FOREVER.

1 comment:

  1. I liked your metaphor. I want to finish things all the time. But, like you, I get to a certain point and I'm done. Balderdash was the longest thing I've ever written. I need the rest of the car of ambition.