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Page history last edited by Steve 6 years, 10 months ago




First-Day-Back Procrastination:


I have a standard "first day back" slowness, where I get my head round the fact that I’m in a new phase of the project, and after any type of break. One of the causes (I’ve just discovered) is that it takes me a while to regain the confidence to make rapid decisions about the writing – as I start getting back into it, I prefer to fluff around paralysed by the choices I could be making rather than commit to something & lock it down.


There's a 5-step process to overcome my first-day-back syndrome:


  1. ask myself why I'm writing it
  2. ask what the absolute best case scenario for when I've finished it could be
  3. brainstorm a whole bunch of ideas
  4. organise them
  5. figure out what I have to do next.



'I'm uninspired' Procrastination


If I'm not inspired by what I'm writing, then I get disillusioned because it all feels like a sterile, mechanical exercise. That can lead to a week of avoidance and coming up with reasons not to write.



Multi-tasking procrastination


If I feel like I have to do two things at once - for instance, come up with cool new stuff AND rigorously proof read the script.




If I feel the scene is "TOO IMPORTANT!" or If I need to make a change that has big ramifications for the rest of the film. I can usually tell this because there's an editorial voice screaming in my head. It makes me "scared of getting it wrong." The implications of making the change can stop me from going ahead and making the change. Instead I'll analyse.



Too-much-time procrastination


If there's no immediate pressure on me to make a decision about a line of dialogue or an approach to the scene, it can lead to perfectionism.


(FINISH THIS) While the pitch currently is good for the purpose of timing, I have to accept it doesn’t plausibly convey this sudden shift. So I have to re-write it so it does.... and that's made me stall out. It’ll be hard work but probably not anywhere near as hard as I’m imagining. In fact, I’ll probably spend longer procrastinating than I will in re-writing it.


The internet is the timesuck of doom for me.

I’ve mapped out this rewrite on four A3 pages – and today I crossed over into the fourth and final page. Once again, I slowed down - kind of freaked out & scared – and began a massive blast of procrastination.


When I get the desire to FINISH something, I have (on occasion) swapped to an entirely new project. This can have positive results.


The more important I think a scene is, the longer it seems to take me to write. Thinking of something as "important" makes me freak out, because I need to get it "right".





Tips and Strategies:






    If I'm feeling frustrated, angry and a little depressed - due to my impatience at not making progress on the script - see if I can use that impatience to overcome my first-day-back syndrome.



    If I'm a little freaked out about starting to tackle a project, I need to break it down into manageable bits and choose the first (or easiest) bit. Tackle the smallest part of the very next problem I had to solve.


    I can try to vividly visualise the scene. It works, and makes scenes fun to work on.




    I can work up bits and and pieces of ideas, combining them or layering them, over a couple of hours - and then plunge in once I've reached a critical mass.



    If I'm angry, I can focus on that and use it. Focus on how much I want to finish it so I can get it out of my life and do something new.


    I can take a day off, to let my mind refill with creative goodness and to get some distance from the project / problem.


    If I'm trying to make things perfect, I should switch (instead) to making rough, necessary changes, and complete the draft / scene / problem.


    If I'm blocked on a script, I actually get a lot of work done if I take a train up to the Kapiti Coast. The secret is to not bring anything else to read or do . There's something about boredom that really forces me to write.


    Get a good night's sleep and try and settle back to my daily routine of exercise, writing and everything else. That takes a lot of the pressure off.


    Relax my goals - for instance, focus on creating something that was readable for others as opposed to getting it perfect right now. Also, just focus on doing one thing at a time - for instance, don't try to proof read and write at the same time.



    If I swap to an entirely new project and finish it, when I come back to the draft / scene / problem I’ve been blocked on I can often finish it in a couple of hours.


    Although I may freak out because I think a scene is "important" and I have to get it "right", I need to remember that at this stage of the script, every scene should be important. Every scene needs to contribute. Every moment, too. So I need to  develop ways of de-freaking-out.


    Write first thing in the morning and first thing when I get home. Write on public transport. Write in my notebook. Fill the little moments with writing.


    Try a writing routine of three days on, one day off.







    Other Stuff:


    My procrastination can last a few days, but one way it'll stop is when I can visualise 'what happens next' very clearly.


    Procrastination can lead to breakthroughs, which can lead to changes whose ramifications means HUGE rewrites. Then can make me angry, then panicky ... then, slowly, I'll calm down and look through the project methodically, seeing exactly what would need to be changed.



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