I’m on a deadine, which means I can’t procrastinate anymore, which I hate. I love procrastination. I love all the ways the universe has invented to procrastinate, and I indulge happily in many of them.
This week, I’ve been going for broke, accepting every invitation that’s come my way, and I have no regrets because it’s been a creative windfall. By day, I’ve had satisfying catch-ups with one of my favourite editors, and another friend who, like me, is doing more writing than her usual pursuits. It was useful to talk process with both of them. I was bitching and moaning to the editor about how writing is harder, takes longer. I can’t just shoot the footage and hand it over to her to cut, then swan in with a couple of flat whites and make annoying-she-knows-I’m-right producery adjustments and sign it off. I have to do it allll myself. Well, diddums! A change of perspective, a nice hot cup of Harden Up and I was back at work, focusing on the heart of the story.
Later that day, thanks to my pal Amanda and the kind folk at South Pacific Pictures (they’re on Twitter @southpacificpix), I had a sneak preview of the upcoming 90-minute Shortland Street feature. It’s the first time the makers of New Zealand’s national soap opera have attempted such a thing, and I’d say they 95% nailed it. There’s a satisfying new plot for junkies like me who’ve been watching for a long, long time, plus the usual explosions, sleeping around and nerdy comedy that you’d expect from a soapy cliff-hanger. And pyjamas. One day I’ll write about why soaps do it for me. For now, I’ll just quote my favourite line of dialogue from the episode:
“Just because I can’t play ball sports doesn’t mean I can’t run.”
Ah, Gerald. How I love your asexual comic directness. The night after that, I turned up to this week’s Media 7 taping (little bro was there to hassle the mainstream media about their iPad apps) to find my Mum sitting next to superstar scriptwriter Rachel Lang. Rachel’s best-known these days for her award-winning work on Outrageous Fortune, and her new series has just launched, but she did her time at the Shortland Street writers’ table. The part of her interview that resonated with me most loudly was when Rachel talked about why she prefers writing for television rather than film. It’s all to do with characters, and the way they take on a life of their own, tell you where they want to go, end up writing you rather than the other way around. (Maybe I don’t need to write that future blog about why I love soaps, after all? That’s it, in a nutshell.) The interview’s not up yet, but will be over at Media7’s site soon.
Finally, I saw the designers of NZ’s Home of the Year win their award. It was satisfying to hear architect Gary Lawson talk about the sensations he aims for in a house. He urged us to look beyond the drool-inducing glossy photos and imagine the whole sensory experience of a house: the sound of the foot-falls, the feel of the banister under one’s hand, the scent of the cedar. As a life-long renter, I can only imagine, but I appreciated his enthusiasm!
Okay, no more procrastination. On a deadline such as this, why’ve I been writing this blog? Because it’s better than sitting around waiting for the pizza-wheel-of-doom to bugger off from my Word application.
If someone you love is on a tight deadline, remind them to forgive themselves for any procrastination. According to a study by Wohl et al (2010), it’s psychologically beneficial! Also, make them a cup of tea, so they don’t have to make it for themselves. Here’s one the person I’m sharing an office with made for me:
And finally, an excellent Newsweek article on creativity that’s been doing the rounds. My creative big brother sent it my way and it stopped me in my tracks in the way it describes how the left brain and right brain work together to create…
…the “aha!” moment of insight, often followed by a spark of pleasure as the brain recognizes the novelty of what it’s come up with.