This is a comment I got for my update on my strategies for 2011. Thought that it is better to post it as a new entry along with my response as in some ways my answer is an extension of my earlier blog posts on strategies for 2011.
‘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.’
Thanks for raising some valid and interesting questions.
The question is what do the stories that I develop mean emotionally to me- rephrasing your question probably what you meant to ask is- is choosing a subject and developing it too mechanical for me such that I have no qualms about abandoning it midway in case I couldn’t finish it in stipulated time?
First of all, I have to concede the fact that for me as a writer, excessive emotion and passion related to any subject makes me rethink whether I have to take it up for development. Because personally my experience has been that the more I am emotionally involved in a subject, the less objective I am regarding the ‘worthiness’ of that subject for taking up and also regarding the various thematic and plot decisions involved. So if I am too emotionally charged about something, I just wait and watch what happens to it or otherwise I will be abandoning it halfway when everything cools down in my head. But I need to be excited about any subject if I have to really work on it for months on end. So at some level, the thought will be ‘there are some interesting possibilities here that can be explored.’
The second thing is- the fact is that, I don’t abandon a project midway. But only thing is that priority shifts to the next one. For example I was spending roughly 2 hours per day for the redraft of my heist script in January. But I couldn’t finish it by February as I had planned. But I started treatment of another script in February as planned earlier. At the same time, I am still working on the heist script but am not spending more than 1-2 hours per week. As you have rightly tried to point out, my every instinct and interest is in continuing the heist script with the same momentum. But at the same time, I have to give a message to myself that as I am serious about sticking to my time limits, I cant linger around in nitty gritties or waste my allotted time in daydreaming. What I am aiming for would be more clear if tell you what happened with my heist script (which is my first script). It took me an year to write to write it (of course- in bits and pieces) and finally when I finished it, it had more than 200 pages. The detailing and plotting was so immense that in my redraft, my major work is to simplify it. So basically I am going in circles here because I spend too much time on a script. Unless of course some external pressure is there like when I am co-writing. This was what I was trying to say when I replied to a comment that every writer have his own unique problems. What I am hoping is that once I convince myself that I am serious about keeping time on my projects, I would be using available time much more efficiently. And then hopefully I won’t have to interrupt the flow and momentum of my writing.