Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Doldrums

I'm revising a couple of things. Okay, several things. And by "revision" I mean a wide range of things, from "more" (writing new material to see if it broadens the emotional range I'm going for) to "less" (reading aloud to ensure that the words I'm using are the ones I actually mean).

Sometimes I want to throw papers in the air. Most of what I'm working on is still pixels, which are more difficult to toss into the air in frustration. Also: although creativity is a messy process, not all messes actually move me forward. (Your mileage may vary here.)

So to entertain myself, I tried to label this point in the revision process. I looked up "the doldrums," and learned that what I sort of thought meant "becalmed" has a lot more nuance. In fact, the doldrums (according to Wikipedia) include variable weather patterns--severe weather (I especially like thinking of my frustrations as "squalls") as well as those periods of calm when basically nothing happens.

In any case, that's where I am. Depending on the moment, frustrated or inspired (and both!). Trying different things. Resisting things I know I should do (cutting--the "sunk costs" thing is hard for me to overcome). Mulling over options while doing other things. Listening to podcasts to procrastinate.

This week's Scriptnotes podcast: very helpful. John August and Craig Mazin (at about 10 minutes in) talk through ways to apply The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (no I haven't read it) to your writing work. Lots of interesting and helpful stuff there. As usual.

But no podcast is going to do my revisions. That's on me.