Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mental Road Blockage

Long ago when I was a happy, healthy, outdoorsy, tree-climbing kid, I remember hearing about "writer's block" and how dehabilitating it can be. At the time, I didn't get it. I mean, what was the problem? Just put pen to paper and get going, the brain is an ever spongy landscape of ideas, right?

Then I grew up into a brooding, unhealthy, cubicle-based, pallid adult and realized what a total and utter sloth I am when it comes to beginning projects.

Luckily, it is not just me who suffers from this malaise, Charlie Kaufman, my sister and father also suffer from similar avoidance techniques. But not my go getter mother, no sir, her homework is always finished weeks prior and she cannot for the life of her understand how we can be such slow starters.

After working my 9 to 5 day job, it is always hard to motivate enough to sit back down at the computer - especially since I already spend most of my work day at a computer. I have to bribe myself with little treats such as a glass of iced tea (or hot tea if my work room is cold), a bowl of pretzels or some chocolate. Bribes are key.

It takes so long for my computer to boot up all its drives and open up my massive FCP DBC projects that I have more time for piddling about. I pick up a book, fart around while I restart because FCP pooped out on me, check my email, check my hits on You Tube, take a pee break, flip the channels - in short, I will do anything to avoid sitting still and working. Anything, even exercise!

Eventually I get thoroughly embroiled in a project and my obsessive nature kicks in and the work gets to be addictive and fun (this usually occurs about a week into the actual editing). Once this period of focused grace begins, I look forward to sitting down and getting back to the good times.

I take fewer pee breaks and start working the moment I get home. I stay up to the twilight hours and think about my project all day at work through bleary eyes. I push through the exhaustion because I am fanatically obsessed with completing this beast and clearing my plate of it. Less bribes are required and the moment my computer is on, I am immersed in a far off world where I can montage to my heart's content and control a little fairy land of my own creation.

These creative fevers last until the monster is completed (which I only do because I have a time constriction, otherwise I would edit the piece to death) and then I can take a break before tackling my next vicious animal.

But why does the initial start up have to be so painful? Why would I rather read a Nancy Drew book than sit at my computer? Rather watch "Blind Date" than plant my ass down and focus? All this is to say that i am trying to edit Episode 26 of The Deadbeat Club and I am very, very behind. My first excuse was entertaining my dad while he was visiting but now I am just making up new excuses to put off sitting down and working.

The project hasn't grabbed me by my collar yet and, until it does, I will move along at a snail's pace, ever aware of that evil writer's block which writers for centuries have been bemoaning. But, as slothful as I may be, I am pumped full of tenacity and stubborness and I know I will stick with the little bitch until she is done.

And the new episode may suck or it may be mildly entertaining and it is more than likely that no one will even bother to watch it or even notice that it is late or new, but at least I can say that I slayed the beast that tried to bump me from my true creative path...until the next path comes along that is, followed by a new beast, far more skilled at leading me astray...

5 comments:

Tmoore said...

remind me to smooch you up later...

Eva the Deadbeat said...

;*) will do!

casey said...

Wow... You've just described a process very similar to my own!

Hey... LA is weird.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

glad i am not the only one suffering! but it does not stop us from being prolific, does it? haw haw monsters!

enjoy the freeways in LA. i always do. if i am not driving i stare at the other people in their little boxes applying make up, chatting on the phone and picking their noses. be sure and go to japan town for sushi - i met janet weiss there once, maybe she hangs out there regularly? i love/despise LA...

Q_Monroe said...

my procrastination tool has always been cleaning. i organize my life to death before i actually sit down to do what i'm dreading.

can't wait to see july's episode. this is one deadbeat who won't be missing it!