Rails

This Interim Project is turning out to be … well, without spoiling anything, given the subject matter I wouldn’t say it’s fun, nor is it supposed to be, but I do think it’s exactly what I needed. Very different to the teen angst, existential musings and folkloric overtones of Tallulah. And actually, it is fun, in the sense that I very much like the script format and working within the constraints of writing a 5-10 minute-long performance, which gives me a project with very clear restrictions to start squeezing my creative juices, and a really clear, narrow focus in terms of concept.

Which, being me, being a Writer, I have found a way to completely over-complicate.

That’s fine, though. I’ll just splurge until I run out of steam and then take a break, come back and look at it from a new perspective, find all the glaring errors and fix them, and then I’ll be sweet.

Honestly, I think that point is actually now. I’ve written two ‘drafts’, the second one being much more indulgent and inflated than the first, as is only right, and I think now’s a pretty good time to stop, and do something else. Like write Tallulah.

I’m not that motivated to do it, so I’ll try and just set myself a simple goal, just to keep momentum up – I think it was probably an organisational error to make one list that contained both the ideas I’d come up with about new things I thought needed to be in the story, and all of the problem-solving elements I discovered in the drafts of the chapters I’d saved. I think I need to split those up, and give each process its designated territory.

It is proving harder than I’d thought it would be to think of changes that I feel need to be made based on the ‘as is’ proposal for draft 2, new things that need to be added in. I think part of the problem there may be that the draft I’m working with is rather dissimilar to a lot of the ideas I have fermenting in my memory banks, and coming to realise just how many of those ideas I actually wasn’t that serious about – they were just ideas I was fond of for their own sake, not as actual prospective additions to the canon. Which is quite nice, really, because it should make things easier.

Sadly, though, it seems that instead I’m just seeing how many ideas don’t work and getting dragged down by this crossing-out of options that I thought would be more viable than they now seem. I dunno, maybe it’s just burnout. Maybe I could stand to take another break.

So it seems that I must accept, once again, that writing is, in fact, work. It doesn’t get done unless I do it, regardless of how I feel about doing it. A bummer, but I guess quite good in a way. At least it means that I have complete control over it.

I’m going to have to get used to doing it when I don’t necessarily feel like it, though, if I want to keep writing while studying. Which I do. The whole point of study was so that I would be potentially furthering my future prospects while doing something intellectually stimulating, as well as working on Tallulah without having to worry about a full-time job draining every ounce of energy I have. Full-time study is meant to be equivalent to a full-time job, but while I certainly want to be more studious than I was the first time through, I have other priorities, and they’re going to remain priorities. Plus I never studied even remotely as much as I ‘should’ have and still came out with a degree, and with a decent GPA to back it up – nothing to write home about, but nothing to turn your nose up at either. I want to do better this time through simply because I know that I can if I actually, like, try, but not to the point where it consumes my entire life. I’m rather fond of academia, but I’m really not an academic.

I do think that what I’m experiencing now with Tallulah is just what happens when you’ve been in the same place for a really long time. It’s been six months since I finished the draft, six months of sitting on it and, yes, analysing it, but nothing has moved. I was really jacked about getting back into it, but I thought I knew how I was going to get back into it, and as these ideas lose relevance that certainty also weakens. So maybe I just need a clearer plan.

But there’s another issue, and it’s kind of a bigger one, and that’s the idea that there isn’t actually much of anything new to bring to the table with Tallulah. There’s some edits I need to make, there are consistency issues; there are new things that are needed, simply because I can’t make do with what I’ve got, but they’re add-ons. The bulk of the story is already there. And … I kind of feel sad knowing that. It feels like the journey’s almost over, and that I haven’t even started to get to know this story as well as I’d like, as well as it deserves.

So given that rather alarming response to my current situation (mind you, I didn’t sleep last night, which makes, what, three Thursday nights in a row I haven’t slept for? So that could just possibly be contributing to my general state of emotionality), I do think that I need a change of scene.

So it’s good that I’m going a bit off the rails with this Interim Project. I may do a bit of work on another story I’m thinking of writing; it’s about, for lack of a better word, superheroes, and the only problem that I have with it is that I just don’t have any particularly original ideas for it. Except that they’re almost all female superheroes, but then I discovered that Birds of Prey was a thing, so no, that’s not original either. And what’s more, it shouldn’t be original. So on that principle alone I want to find something interesting to do with the premise before I commit.

Which wouldn’t be until Tallulah is written anyway, but still. I do feel like I need to get to know this story better, but I don’t know how to do that. Do I just read it over and over and over again? Because I’ll be honest, I actually don’t think I’d mind that. In fact the thought is suddenly very comforting. Nothing has to change. Everything can stay the same.

Yeah, I’m definitely over-tired.

But hey – I can take my time here. I like where speed has gotten me, but if there is one thing I ought to know by now about writing, it’s that no matter what you do, there is no way to rush it – not good writing anyway. Not good storytelling. Not good connection. And I want that connection. I want to hear Tallulah’s voice again and wonder who she is, and take the time to find out.

Could I possibly need sleep? Who knows. But yeah. I’m going to have to work on the intimacy issues I’m having with Tallulah as I forge ahead, and hopefully I’ll find a way to strike a good pace for the both of us.

Good relationships take compromise. That includes the one you have with yourself, I guess.

Fair enough.

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