Strategies for 2011: First update

I had promised myself here that I would update every fortnightly about my strategies and targets for 2011. But due to the same strategies, it was tough finding time to write this blog post. So instead of 15 days, I am giving an update for 30 days.

I had kept the rule that I will not access internet (except email) unless I finish 3 hours of writing.

In the last 30 days

–Total days I was able to complete 3 hours- 21 days.

–Days I didn’t spend on writing at all- 2 days

–Days I broke the rule about accessing the net only after completing 3 hours- 0 days

–No: of days I wrote for more than 3 hours- 2 days

Certain issues that cropped up in the last one month-

*Though the amount of writing has picked up, still need to learn how to stick to deadlines. There is no point spending 12 months on a single idea. Yeah, creative process is something that don’t observe all the deadlines and crunch times. Sometimes you get better ideas after you have spent the stipulated time on outline and treatment. If that is the case, there is no point not incorporating those ideas just because the allotted time is over for that outline. But at the same time it is often required to come down heavily on oneself for going on adding and subtracting on a particular project without any sense of direction. Sometimes overcooking kills the broth. So when stipulated time is over, I switched to a new project even though some minor tweaking still needed to be done. Hopes that this will add some subconscious pressure next time to finish projects on time because I hate leaving things incomplete.

**I have been relying heavily on the fact that I travel for 1.5 hours to and fro to the work place. So basically this has been my writing time which I predominantly use for outlining. I put in at least an hour in the morning for writing which now I will have to divide with some academic work also. So basically I don’t get much time out of 3 hours to sit in front of computer and type. So I am finding difficulty in writing scripts out of finished outlines. I wish to do that atleast 5-6 hours per week for the sheer joy of doing it. All this slogging is supposed to be about the pleasure of writing, isn’t it? If it was just about meeting some targets, I could have done some business in my spare time instead of writing.

***I need to allot a fixed time for blogging.

****I need to develop a specific process for maintaining networking rather than doing it in bits and spurts. Something doable in a daily basis- attainable in a task oriented way not concentrating too much on the results.

Photo by Sifter

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6 thoughts on “Strategies for 2011: First update

  1. Hey,

    Good to see you are writing. But saying that you have to absolutely write for 3 hours everyday is a step for beginners, which you are not. What you need to do is try and find time to write constructively, even if its just for an hour or less than that, than establishing a strict time code for writing.
    When you establish a time-code like that, more often what happens is you are simply trying to fill in the hours.

    I mean for screenplays you cannot set a pre-fixed time for writing. It absolutely spoils your style / method and corrupts your fluidity / prose.

    It is commendable that you are trying TO DO something. But maybe an approach different to this might work?

    Also, I don’t understand why you have imposed a “no-internet-unless-3-hours-of-writing” rule. What does that accomplish, other than set an unnecessary burden on you? And there is no way that you can write creatively like clock-work. You have to break habits, boundaries, etc to explore new ideas.

    I believe that you can do it and wish you all the best. Looking forward to your screenplay / film. Good luck.

    1. Hi Abhayan,
      I guess one doesn’t have to be dogmatic here. What works for some one else may not work for me. With a 8 hour job and personal life to take care of, my greatest problem has been finding the motivation to utilise the little bits and pieces of free time I have. For me, finding inspiration to work on something has never been a problem, once I force myself to really write. Regarding ‘spoiling style’ and ‘just filling in the hours’ etc, if it is happening I guess it is better than no worthwhile writing happening at all(which was the case last year). Mythologising the process of writing as that ‘it just happens spontaneously’ or ‘going with the flow’ never worked with me. If sticking to strict rules affect the quality of my writing, I will have to bear with it because this is the only way I can do ANY WRITING AT ALL.

  2. Interesting to see your thoughts.

    Curious: typically, how much does the idea you decide to develop mean to you? Do you feel – ‘Yes! This story needs to be told’? Or – ‘this means a lot to me and so i need to take it out – for sure’?

    Reason I ask – it seems you put a good effort to develop the idea, outline, write treatment and…when you are on to the draft, you tend to leave it, as the deadline got over. If so, then this is like punishing yourself so next time you will play it harder?

    If…you have a story to tell the world and you are going good, then why stop? If it takes another month, wouldn’t it be worth it? Hmm…perhaps your new idea/s excite your more?

    Point – it’s a BIG thing to finish something. To run through the course. Of course there could be valid reasons too to give up. Yet…if you are at the last mile I wonder why it wouldn’t be worth it, to not take it on hard on self, and go through the grind.

    Yup…it’s different strokes for different people. So maybe you are sure on how it works better for you.

    Well…hope it goes on smooth. The big positive – despite every thing you are writing. Tremendous.

    So yeah…keep going strong. And hey – do take it easy on yourself. It’s alright. You are hiking on a tough uphill climb. Enjoy the effort. Slow-&-steady you shall get there.

  3. Sorry for the late response.
    I sure do hope it doesn’t affect the quality of your writing. And hope everything works out for the best in the end.
    Writing, as I know, is a very lonely and painful process where the end-result doesn’t always validate the grandiosity of the beginning.

    And it definitely helps if you have completed something – no matter how bad you think it is. Anyway, wishing you all the best and look forward to seeing your movie / short.

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