Blog No. 28
As I was lying in bed last night trying to get to sleep my thoughts kept drifting to an idea I had for a TV show. It’s not a new idea, but I had a new idea for it and got all excited. Not only could I not sleep but I found my focus pulled away. I have been trying to keep my blog and my short stories at the forefront of my attention (at least creatively) but it’s so easy to be distracted by something new and exciting (or older but with something added or changed to it to make it seem new).
I have often gone back and forth with my decision of what my writing focus should be. Sometimes I feel that it is more important to start something and stick with it. Other times I have been more inclined to just write whatever is in my head be it part of something I was working on or something new or, like with my sleeping trouble last night, an older project that I have come up with a breakthrough for (or even random ideas no mater what story or script it may belong to).
There may be merit in both which is why I fluctuate so much. I think I have found a possible middle ground that works. Since I have been working primarily out of my pointlessly fancy notebooks I have found it easier to have pages (sometimes several) dedicated to an idea or story (or script or something). When something strikes me say, at night when I am trying to get to sleep, I can jot the idea down in the book and hopefully when I get a chance to go back to it I will remember what it was all about. So far that has worked to at least free up my attention enough to keep the majority of my focus on what I am currently writing (or typing). It remains to be seen if it will work when I actually get to those other ideas. Maybe I am accidentally killing them, but I doubt it. (We’ll see).
Focusing on short stories has been helpful with the wandering idea machine (I mean my head). Not only am I spending less time on one idea moving more quickly from story to story but the cathartic feeling of finishing a story (or exploring an idea) helps me roll into the next story without the yearly pauses I often experience. I hope I can keep it up.
I’ve be reading my friend’s blog over at Radom Thoughts on Random Things. I am really digging the shorter format. It has made me think that my blog can sometimes get a little long. Maybe not though, it is a different format. He is attempting the arduous daily blog and I am sticking to the less challenging weekly. Still, I am the type that sees a big page of text and sighs. I know part of that is being lazy, but I think it is a natural reaction for many people when surfing the net. Don’t get me wrong. If it is something I am interested (like the stories over at Adventure Worlds) I am often upset when I come to the end and wish there were more, but there is something about that tight short prose that rings true.
I think I am going to stick with my natural instinct and just write until I think the post is done. It is far more important to have a post or story that ends when it seems like it should than have it match a specified word count. That’s hard for scripts though (especially TV ones). (I brought it back!)
And now another aside.
Focus Knob comes from my time in college. Way back when I was in electrical engineering one of my classes was scheduled for the early predawn morning (It may have been eight but all I remember is showing up to school in the dark). I had a rough time trying to stay awake and focused on the class. One of those bleary eyed mornings I looked up from my haze trying to make out what was on the front board and saw the overhead projector with it’s focus knob staring back at me. It was like a sign just for me. I sat up strait in my seat and took a deep breath and woke up at the end of the class having missed it all. (Not really, though I did still struggle to stay awake). It was one of those moments that has stuck with me and any time I find myself wandering I tell myself to focus – knob.