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Of Short Circuits and the Creative Process

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.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
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...
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. :-)
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.
May. 30th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
I knew you were my kind of folks! That's certainly my preference.
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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December 2015

Reading Raves

Nation (Terry Pratchett), Men of Salt (Michael Benanav), Paper Towns (John Green), Lavinia (Ursula K. LeGuin), Weight (Jeanette Winterson), The Wizard, the Witch & Two Girls from Jersey (Lisa Papademetriou), Beastly (Alex Flinn), Hogfather (Terry Pratchett), London Calling (Edward Bloor), Before I Die (Jenny Downham), My Mother the Cheerleader (Robert Sharenow), Antsy Does Time (Neal Shuesterman), Against Medical Advice (James Patterson & Hal Friedman), Wait for Me (An Na), Doppelganger (David Stahler), The Year We Disappeared (Cylin Busby, John Busby); Little Brother (Cory Doctorow); King of Screwups (K.L. Going), Tyrell (Coe Booth), Goth Girl Rising (Barry Lyga), Bad Apple (Laura Ruby), The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson), Hold Still (Nina LaCour), Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green & David Levitahn), Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto (Eric Luper), Ostrich Boys (Keith Gray), Front & Center (Catherine Gilbert Murdock), Twenty Boy Summer (Sarah Ockler), I Shall Wear Midnight (Terry Pratchett), Tales of the Madman Underground (John Barnes), Please Ignore Vera Dietz (A.S. King), Sex: A Book for Teens (Nikol Hasler), The Girl Who Became a Beatle (Greg Taylor), Crazy (Han Nolan), Pull (B.A. Binns), Pearl (Jo Knowles)
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