I just finished revising chapter 6 of Tallulah and it took like 10 minutes WHY HAVE I NOT JUST BEEN REVISING EVERY SINGLE DAY I WOULD BE FINISHED IN LIKE ONE DAY.
Instead it’s taken me over two weeks to get to this point, but hey, it’s done now, no use crying over spilled milk or wasted time. It does happen anyway, and that’s fine, too. It’s all stuff. Stuff is good.
I almost lifted my no-heavy-expletives rule tonight because I had a lot of tension banked-up from the past few days. That incident on facebook had a much bigger effect on me than I’d thought, so I had to get pretty personal with myself, and at least I can swear in the drafts and it opened it all up and felt so much better. I haven’t been sticking to the revision plan – I know I haven’t really talked about my lack of progress on this blog, but I’m sure you will all be able to handle the shock of this news – and it’s thrown everything else out of whack as well, from my study to my state of mind. But it conflated with the facebook thing and nothing is ever done in a vacuum in life; everything effects everything else. It’s never just any one thing. Well, okay, sometimes it is, like getting hit by a car, but barring that …
Arbitrariness is very powerful. It’s a form of accountability to say: okay, I have until 7pm on weeknights to get all of my study done, and then I can’t do any more studying. It’s arbitrary, and that’s what makes it powerful – it means nothing, so the work that needs to be done within that time has to pick up the meaning-slack, so to speak. And if the work means more, I’m happier to do it.
It also means that I stay focused on Tallulah, and that I maintain an attitude of being able to just let my work stand as it is, however good or not that work may be, and to let it go and move on to the next thing. That is so important to me; I have a history of stressing about things and not ever having a cut-off point for things that I get invested in because I want them to be ‘right’ or ‘enough’ – there isn’t a natural cut-off point for art, for essays, for anything personally expressive (and yes, essays are personally expressive), so you have to have an ‘unnatural’ one – and this way I give myself a bottom-line that is as arbitrary as the need I perceive to make things ‘perfect’. I just do. I crave approval, and we all know people only approve of things that are perfect.
One day. One day I will discover this magical world of Reality that people keep talking about. Sadly my wardrobe is a bit lacking in trans-dimensional ferrying properties. I’ll just wait for the owl.
This revision is just so simple, so slapdash and rough – I like it because it doesn’t feel like a ‘thing’ in its own right, just a stepping-stone to the ‘thing’ I’m working towards with this second draft, which will – hopefully – reveal itself to me when I finish the revision and then go back and read it through. That’s what I’m excited about, and I’m excited because it could happen really, really soon.
And then once I’ve finished this revision, while I can start planning draft 2, I won’t really have time to work on it seriously because of assignments, which means I can shift some of my focus onto the YA thing, which means I could even have that drafted by the end of semester if I stick with it.
Acknowledgement is a powerful ally in life. It gets you going again when you hit a bump in the road and get a bit jilted. We had a couple of filmmakers come in to talk about the process of making films as guest lecturers and, combined with all the other stressors, and the catharsis of swearing, I realised that what I want is to work, really hard. Having to stop at an arbitrary point gives that hard work a funnel to pass through, forces concentration. And forces pragmatism, in the sense that if it’s not done by X time, it’s not done, and there is no more time until the next day or whatever. So I’ve gotta make it count.
I want to make it count. I want to work like I don’t know how to stop.
And rightnow I want to go to sleep, so I think I’ll do that.