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Monday, February 02, 2009

Sludge hampster

January was a weird month for me, hard to get into the flow of things, hard to just sit down and get shit done. Unfocused at the best of times, overwhelmed as a general rule of thumb.

Felt like the hampster had officially ditched the wheel and took up a steady diet of pork rinds and Bailey's shots.

I'm not sure why my mind refused to co-operate - just being a fickle lil' so-and-so I guess. Stupid Diva Brain. This is what happens when I forget to check the rider - probably left a few green M&Ms in the bowl or something.

Whatever it was, next thing I know - BAM - imagination's on strike, focus is dulled to a butterknife's keen and suddenly shiny objects are, well, shiny.

And yet through it all I kept trying to push myself, force myself to work.

I knew I needed to get outlines done and pages written but every time, the moment I sat down to write, my attention would be instantly drawn to something more interesting.

Frustrating to say the least.

On the bright side, I finally beat The World Ends With You (only took me 8-9 months... *sigh* Still... a wicked, wicked, wicked game! Highly recommended).

I know that a part of it came from my own insecurities in telling the story that I'm working on right now. Some sort of mental rebellion when looking up at the monolith before me. See, it's a spec pilot with a concept that I love - it's a world that's not my own but very, very real. Everything about it is fresh and new and different from what I've normally done.

But in that, well, it's a tad scary too.

There's slang and jargon and - hell, a whole other lifestyle and I've been fighting myself hardcore over this; starting story ideas and then crumpling them up - trying to find my way in, trying to envision a way of life I've never seen but would be called on harshly if I got it wrong.

For the most part I'm not one to bow to pressure and if I do it's usually my own self-flagellation that'll get me to take a knee. But somehow I knew I wanted to do this right and, now that I've finally put pen to paper, I can understand where my fears had been hiding.

It's one thing to say, but in researching it I've come to understand (and accept) that what lies before me really isn't my world - it's something so far from the way I was raised, from the type of life I've lived, that I've been to hell and back trying to get any sort of real perspective on it.

Truthfully, I've been tempted to give up on the idea in its entirety as time rolls on and words like 'progress' seem to echo around inside the empty halls of my brain.

But I think I've finally found my way in.

All my research, all my frustrations as of late are starting to pay off. I've taken to keeping a small notebook on me and stopped bringing my DS with me on long trips, just WRITING whatever comes to my head but attempting to focus it into the stream of what I wanted to accomplish.

I've also taken to writing character studies, understanding the people I want to tell stories about so that I can better get a view into their world. That, in and of itself, has helped me immensely. Just being able to say 'what would they do'? in _____ situation, and being able to have a reasonable answer - something to build on even if it doesn't feel 'right' - has helped to de-sludge the corridors and get hampster back into the wheel.

For the most part.

February's going to be a busy month, gotta make up for January - gotta get shit down on paper.

But I'm feeling good and that's a start.


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