Friday, 2 May 2008


This week I’ve been busy writing, planning my next round of submissions to agents (must remember to keep submitting), and polishing a short story.

I have phases of focused productivity when nothing will stop me. I’m oblivious to distraction (including music blaring through the party walls). I can block out the world, and achieve in two days what might otherwise take a week!

Then I have phases when EVERYTHING is distracting (especially music blaring through the party walls).

It's a fantastic feeling to be calm and working well. But this level of productivity creates a benchmark, and I set targets based on continually achieving at a perfect pace. Then, when I falter, I’ve created the stick with which to beat my back, the reason to berate myself for failing.

But I predict: the slow-down will coincide with the release of Speed Racer, and I will venture out to the cinema for an evening of visual overload that will kick start my return to focused productivity.

I love the visual style of the Wachowski brothers' films. And Speed Racer looks amazing.

P.S. There’s a poltergeist in my office that keeps stealing my notes. This has happened twice in the last two days. On both occasions, I’ve placed an important note on the clutter-free part of my desk, only to find that when I need it -- it’s gone! And it does not turn up, even after search through the clutter!!


Katie Alender said...

I love seeing movies that inspire me to write!

And for me, my unfocused times always fall when I have time off. Just when it would be perfect to get a ton of writing done, I get distracted and fill my days with nonsense. Then when I get back to work, I can write again! Enforced time off, I guess.

Mary said...

That happens to me too, Katie! After looking forward to a lovely, long stretch of writing time, the bits and pieces of life take over. I often think a busy schedule and a nice bit of pressure is not a bad thing. That or a fabulously inspiring movie!

Eamon said...

Hi Mary

It's an interesting subject, I think, writer's inspiration / writer's block.

I actually think writer's block is the interesting part of the creative process.

Firstly, you couldn't carry on writing brillianlty all the time. Your brain needs a rest, and I think this is what writer's block is.

Plus writer's block is the time when new ideas emerge and take shape. It is a time of experimentation. It is not about a time for being right, necessarily (you often have to be wrong in order to be right, if you know what I mean ... or not ..).

I think the challenge is to enjoy the writer's block stage. And not see it as some irritating / cruel stumbling block (not saying you do but a lot of us do a lot of the time).

Good luck by the way!

John said...

Keep it up!

That poltergeist is teasing you, I bet your notes reappear next week.

Mary said...

Hi Eamon:
I understand your point of view, and it’s an interesting and positive take on writer’s block. Personally, I don’t think I’ve suffered it; I have never faced a blank screen, unable to write.

My problem comes from having a limited amount of writing time. Sometimes I have to really work at blocking out distractions, which, other than noisy neighbours and the stuff of life, include the demands of my job.

And thanks for the good luck. I need it! :)

Hey John:
Can you communicate with this poltergeist? My notes are still missing and I want them, NOW! ;)

Your help is appreciated.

Eamon said...

Maybe because you enjoy it! Often I hear about writing as if it can be a real chore. A real burden. I think that if you enjoy it, then things go a lot better, plus, I think, you are going to write better! I guess you obivously enjoy your writing (? ).

Mary said...

Eamon: It’s not a burden, at all. I’d happily write for 18 hours a day!

Josephine Damian said...

Mary: After my 3 month long break from blogging (to focus on writing) is over I'm going to do a series on Internet addiction, and after that a "finding time to write" series.

More and more, I see making writing a priority the biggest issue we all face.

I just got a great idea for a short story from reading your blog!

Mary said...

Your post-hiatus series sound GREAT, Josie!

I’m thrilled you got a story idea from reading this blog!! I’d love to know what inspired you -- but only if you’re happy to tell. :)