Monthly Archives: August 2012

Laura! Do Your Exercises!

You know, I didn’t think I’d achieved much this week in a writing sense.  I’ve been flitting around the incompletes in my portfolio without anything really jumping out at me.  And yet, reflecting upon the past two weeks, I’ve actually done a fair few things – things I told myself I should start doing, miraculously enough.  (It probably doesn’t sound miraculous to the casual observer, but this actually is a surprise.  I never listen to me nag.)

 

  1. I have taken to free-writing and free-drawing.
  2. I have forced myself to think up summaries for new short stories in five minutes flat.
  3. I’ve started writing two fanfictions to help ease me back into original writing.
  4. I went online and did a little research to educate myself about some terms and parts of history with which I have never been acquainted.
  5. I have finally begun to compile some old short stories and ideas in my portfolio, and like some of the stuff I’ve found.

 

I’ve also taken a look back at the story which was stumping me and have thought my way out of a plot issue.  Maybe all these writing exercises really are helping me along!

 

So, what’s next?  I reckon I need to do the following:

  1. Update my records for character designs
  2. Type up the notes for one of my stories
  3. Produce a nice calendar detailing all the stuff I could – should – be getting on with
  4. Finally finish the damn book I’m reading
  5. Finish another story

Perhaps paying any attention to what I say will pay off twice!


Adding Madness To My Method

I think most of us have a kind of ocean mentality to organisation.  We swallow up all this stuff indiscriminate of how much we actually need or want it.  In time, the tide turns, all those things wash up onto the beach for us to inspect and we realise we need to tidy up.  Well, sometimes.  Other times it takes a stern word from PETA armed with pictures of pelicans covered in oil and a crab munching on plastic packaging.  Either way, though, eventually the job gets done and we feel better for it.

So why is it so damn difficult to feel that way about computer files?

Seriously.  I just reorganised my hard copy portfolio into a nice folder.  I’ve split it into five sections with dividers, plastic walleted all draft material by their corresponding story, alphabetised it all and can find everything I’m after in seconds, and I’m not even that great at organising myself.

But with computers I just can’t do it.

I think organisation has a tactile dimension to it that computer programmers just haven’t learned to imitate yet.  Documents are, after all, just pixels.  There’s no handwriting or scuffs or scribbles on computer files; no real memory of writing the page that isn’t superseded by every other page I’ve ever written on Word in the past.  It isn’t a physical object and so, on some level, my brain just can’t fully grasp its significance.  When I look at a bunch of desktop folders, with their white backgrounds and appropriate but bland file names, I don’t see pages of my stuff.  I just see a bunch of icons that don’t really mean anything to me.  I still feel removed from my work.

There are ways to make the sight more bearable and the contents more aesthetically pleasing and manageable.  OneNote essentially makes your work look like a binder with links in and tables; tags can shorten file paths and keep things organised into sections.  Windows’ own icons can help distinguish one thing from another more clearly.

But perhaps no matter what a programmer does it won’t help much.  Perhaps, I realised tonight, you have to find or make value for your files’ appearance yourself in order to establish this elusive connection.  Perhaps you have to put a little of your own psyche into those dull icons and get the cogs turning whenever you see them – to use something warm and familiar and entertaining that has personal meaning to you.  Something which took an internet quest to find, and brings joy whenever you see it.

And that’s how I ended up downloading Wall-E as my Recycle Bin icon.


The Toaster Has Sprung

It has been a long time since I was last on here, hasn’t it?

I am sorry for disappearing and hope the silence of my tiny self-indulgent project has not caused readers any minor fleeting curiosity.  A few things happened since my last entry and I regrettably went to ground in order to coccoon and come out as a butterfly.

Not that that metaphor is horrendously overused or anything.

Anyway, in terms of writing I think a lot of progress has actually been made – though a little more outwards than I anticipated.  Coming up against yet more issues with my one big project, I think I’ve finally done what I’ve needed to all along: branch out and start, heaven forbid, thinking like a writer rather than the writer of one all-eggs-in-basket attempt at a masterpiece.

That’s right: I think I’ve finally killed the lingering perfectionist.  I’m starting to have ideas everywhere, in every genre and for every age range.  I’ve completed a piece of work and am midway through completing others.  I have finally organised my thoughts and projects into an actual bloody folder and started to think of writing as a job – as well as a free-for-all scavenger hunt in an ugly-ass overcrowded market.  Plus I’m enrolling on a creative writing class this September, so I have plenty of ammunition for the blog in terms of what I’ve been achieving and adding to my portfolio.

My original project is always going to be on the cards, and I will keep adding to it.  But right now I feel a tad underqualified – and too far in a rut – to properly do it justice.  Besides, I refuse to be a one trick pony.

Also, I will be funnier next time.