Weekly Words 10-16/06/2018

10/06/18: 3093

Wow, I wrote a lot more than I was expecting to.

I was just going to get started on a new scene for the co-writing project, and ended up writing the whole thing – all without noticing how long it had taken. That’s always a nice feeling. Then I finished that scene I’ve been agonising over, which was satisfying but also left me wanting more.

And I think that’s about as ideal of a writing session as I’ve had in a good while. Not bad for the first day of a week of marking to come!

11/06/18: 800

Good enough.

Today was pretty haphazard and I did not like it – however, despite not getting as much done as I would have liked, I did get some stuff done, and in doing so collected valuable data on how I want to manage my time going forward – particularly, how I want to manage the things that are slowing me down. The main reason that today was a bit of a wash getting-stuff-done-wise is because of how much I had to do that I wasn’t properly prepared for. Given that, I managed to improvise my schedule today and, well, it worked out pretty decently. Managed a balance of stuff I needed to do and stuff I wanted to do, and set a precedent for myself in the process.

I dunno. I feel a bit weird, framing everything so positively. That probably says something about me – but, it’s better than framing everything negatively. There’s more stuff I want to write, and I feel a bit lost on my way to finding “my” story to write, when I felt quite close to it a couple of weeks ago. Then again, I am having some interesting ideas that, while they don’t feel as gripping or exciting as I might like, are appealing enough that I want to do more with them than just think about them.

I also think I’m going to start revisiting Tallulah, as in re-writing it. Just for something to do, really. I’ve pretty much written off the current manuscript – I have a broad plan for a fresh start, and I am feeling comfortable enough with writing the things that I promise myself I’m going to write that it makes sense to give it a shot at least, and see where I get with it.

12/06/18: 1405

The marking has come in, and is going painfully slowly, but I know for sure now what’s tripping me up. Today was also less get-stuff-done productive, but that’s because Tuesdays are Youthline days, and that’s always a big chunk of time that I have to work around (and am happy to work around).

I am also really feeling the lack of a project that feels like it’s truly mine – the interesting ideas from yesterday are still interesting to me, but also making me feel kind of desperate to key into whatever it is that I feel like I’m missing out on right now. It’s just that I don’t know what that is. However, I have a theory that maybe it’s not any particular idea, but rather a way of doing things. Rather than chasing this fantasy of the next perfect idea that captures my imagination and inspires me to heights of creative passion I never could have imagined, I’m going to continue making the effort to commit to the ideas that I have right now. It could be that commitment is all I’m lacking – but if it’s the idea itself, I feel that being committed will lead me to that next great idea.

This slight sense of desperation has been brought on by me continuing to read Mark and Jessie’s Christmas today. It’s so fucking awful. Like, I’ve complained about it before, like I’ve complained about all of my writing that I’ve gone back to re-read before, but reading it today, I discovered new depths of shame for my past self. I remember how much writing this story meant to me, how real I wanted it to be, and it’s real in the same way that Superman vs Batman or anything written by Frank Miller is real – it’s edgy.

And here’s the thing: this story wasn’t meant to be edgy. It was meant to be heartfelt and sincere and, seriously, sweet. Bittersweet in many places, but still. It was not meant to be what it is. To the point where I’m wondering if it’s even worth me continuing to re-read it, or if I should just start over from scratch with as little engagement with what I’ve written already as possible, just to preserve the vision that I have for this story, which is the part that I do actually care about.

But I do think I’m getting some valuable ideas out of this process. It’s just a difficult process. A difficult, agonising, humiliating process. I have at least clarified some things for myself, vagueness in the vision that I have for this story, details that I’ve never actually pinned down – that seems to be a big issue for me actually. So even though most of the ideas I’m coming across are total write-offs, there are some that are legitimately valuable for the purposes of rebooting this thing. And I think that’s worth a bit of agony for.

I think. Ask me again in 500 pages.

13/06/18: 94

Today was pathetic.

I had a plan and everything; I just let myself do other stuff and throw myself off. I don’t feel too bad, though, because the stuff that I did get done felt quite satisfying, but I know it was also me falling into habits of distracting myself and not prioritising the things that are really important to me, whether because I have to do them or because I want to. Today was fine as a one-off.

Tomorrow – the rest of this week – has to be better.

And I feel confident that it will be. Today was a bit of a mess, but I don’t feel thrown off my game – I think all the effort I’ve been putting into being able to stay on my grind, as the kids say, is paying off. I certainly don’t want to just be testing how good I am at getting myself back on-track after a slip-up all the time, but knowing that I can do it is very encouraging.

But yes. Tomorrow will be better – I will be better – and get some important shit done to make up for today’s comparative frivolity.

14/06/18: 1354

And hey, today was better.

This week has felt really short. Not gonna lie, actually, ever since I decided that I was taking Fridays and Saturdays off writing, every week has felt short. But this week more so. I think that is definitely in part due to the marking, which is taking a lot out of me energy-wise (though I am finally getting quicker!), but I think it’s also because I don’t have the buffer of that extra day to play around with, so if I have a day like the 13th this week, it has a way bigger impact on my productivity writing-wise for the week.

But I still think this is the right direction for me to take this project in. I’m still writing regularly, for one; I’m managing to fit in my writing around other obligations for another. Overall, I’m just sort of evolving in general, and that feels worth keeping up.

But I am desperate for marking to be over so that I can get back to writing as my primary priority. I have a lot of energy for marking that is going into marking right now – I do need to be better about conditioning myself to do my writing, the writing that I care about, even when I’ve got other priorities to address, and that is the one particular area that I want to work on improving next week. Which will be a good time to do it, as it will be my final week of marking for this paper, and I will have to be doing more daily marking than I have this week due to late submissions.

I did want to test myself, didn’t I?

But that’s next week. This week, while it’s felt quite brief, and I’ll be honest I’ve missed having the time and energy to go into more detail about how my week has gone in this installment of Weekly Words, it’s been a good week. I got writing done, including some writing I wasn’t expecting I’d be able to make myself do; I tackled the problems that I encountered with marking last time and improved on them; and I did it all at the same time. Yes, there were a few rough edges, but I’ve learnt something from all of them. And the end result of all of this Ubermesnchful goodness is …

Weekly Total: 6746

Something else I’ve noticed since cutting Fridays from my Weekly Words schedule: my word-counts have dropped by, like 2 days’ worth. Which makes no sense, because not only was I often taking a day off when I had Fridays to play with anyway, but it’s just one day. I think it is the fact that I don’t have that extra day as a buffer; it does something to my mindset. I get a bit more fatalistic about low-productivity days because I have less time to make up for them with, which means I don’t take as much advantage of the time that I do have available.

Just one more thing for me to work on. Having problems is just part of life, but ever since I started Weekly Words, I’ve been identifying them more than I ever have before – and also breaking the curse of this blog, the curse of learning lessons and then forgetting them, re-learning them like a year later and then forgetting them again, over and over. It pays to look back on your progress, folks. That’s what I’m taking away from Weekly Words, every time I do it. And it keeps working.

Here’s to things that work.

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