There are few things quite so satisfying as getting something finished. When you finally limp and stagger over the ill-defined finish line and collapse onto your back, facing the sky screaming “I did it. I DID IT!” Before descending into a fit of manic and unintelligible laughter based gibbering. That, dear readers, is pretty much what happened yesterday at about half past nine in the evening. Back at the start of January I was harping on about an anthology piece that I was hammering away at. It has been a bugbear of mine for far too long. I’m not very good at multi-tasking my projects, if I’ve got something on the go it is that and that alone which consumes my attention and energy. This of course is extremely frustrating when the aforementioned project simply refuses to be written. But with the first deadline looming at the end of the month I gritted my teeth and performed the literally equivalent of dragging someone into an alley and brutally beating them to death with an old chair leg.
Losing the entirety of the weekend to actual writing left me without my usual blog writing time, and then come lunchtime today I was consumed by writing some sexy, science based technical reports. So that is why this blog is quite spectacularly late by usual standards. This anthology piece was not a labour of love, it was more of an agonizing and torturous slog through a boggy swamp filled with blood sucking leeches and mosquitoes with tiny little chainsaws in place of their proboscis. It was the sort of thing which makes you despair and wonder why you bother, in between bouts of angry swearing at least. Sure I could have given up and left it half-finished, but I made a commitment. And generally speaking I at least try to honour my commitments. It isn’t a matter of honour or keeping my word, it’s a matter of not failing. For not coming through would be failure, and failure is absolutely, fucking, terrifying.
With this piece out of the way I can now focus on other things. Things like writing the entirety of February’s Pictonaut wordascope by Wednesday evening. Or starting on the other two anthology projects I’ve committed myself two. Or the two screenplays I’ve said I’d help write. Or get round to editing the malignant little shit that I’ve been harping on about for the last couple hundred words.
February 26th, 2013 at 5:17 pm
February 26th, 2013 at 5:35 pm
Whenever I’m productive I can’t help but feel that I’ve somehow been horribly tricked.
February 26th, 2013 at 9:14 pm
Absolutely. Finishing something is always a major victorious kick (anything will do but killing off something that’s been drawn out and hanging over you is even more of a fist-pump moment).
I’ll spare you my own lengthy personal creative-angst-crap-trip and keep it brief. I think I’m the opposite in that I enjoy having a range of things on the go but that always means I get excited about things I need to do and not the more imminent stuff. I end up feeling less productive and it gets vicious ’cause I’m never as productive as I want to be and, ultimately, I just want to write everything and do everything. This isn’t possible ’cause of time, mundane distractions and other crap. Plus there’s the problem of not wanting to spend all your time looking at a computer screen.
Anyway, the ace bit is finishing something or just being in the flow moment. Those are the things to cherish when you feel like a productive failure who’s trying to punch a hole in an iron elephant but your fist is made of paper. (Other bad metaphors are available. It doesn’t matter, anyway. It’ll do because, fuck, I just want to finish this thing…)