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Of Short Circuits and the Creative Process

straw hat
This past week was a tricky one.

A holiday weekend.

A workshop piece due May 31.

A packet due June 4.

A locally-sourced freelance piece due June 4.

It didn't help that four days of torrential or near-torrential rains started late last Wednesday. (I'm ignoring the snow that hit the higher elevations over the actual holiday weekend.)

Aside from one interview for the freelance piece, I couldn't get myself to work. While it was true that the weather made me uneasy, and for good reason--there were washed out roads and water across main highways between us and points west--there was another reason for my inability to work. My creative mind was being pulled in so many directions it was short-circuiting.

I kept sitting down to work on my workshop piece, thinking I could pound out eight rough pages in a morning, and finishing with two or three. It was torture, of the slow drip kind. Sure, I was making progress, but not fast enough. It wasn't until Monday afternoon, when I sat down and realized I only had four pages to go, that I knew I could do it.

Once that was done, it was as if order had been restored. Yesterday's work on the packet went smoothly. I made some progress on the freelance piece.

This is why I am not a last-minute person. Even without panic, too much pressure inhibits my ability to work well.

What about you? How do you respond to multiple, close deadlines?

P.S. It didn't hurt that we took time out for Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
robinellen
May. 29th, 2013 02:00 pm (UTC)
I often work better when I have more than one deadline -- it forces me to focus and *work*. When I only have one- - especially if it's far off -- I tend to procrastinate...
wordsrmylife
May. 29th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
I hear you. More than one project often helps me, too. It's when the deadlines are close to simultaneous and have to draw on the same parts of the brain that I have difficulty. I think I can only live in one fictional world at a time.

On the other hand, maybe it's good that I can't have too many different voices in my head. :-)
writerjenn
May. 30th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
The only way I can get as much done as I do is to plan waaay in advance and do a little every day. I don't like last-minute rushing or having too much in a short time.
wordsrmylife
May. 30th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
I knew you were my kind of folks! That's certainly my preference.
patty1943
May. 31st, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
I have never met a deadline in my life! I was late on Recovering from the War, and so ignorant of publishing that I didn't know how wrong that was. When I did the Post-Traumatic Gazette, every single issue was late...
I admire you for meeting deadlines. I think they would paralyze me.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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