Saturday, June 19, 2010

Whoa! Holy concentration, batgirl!

So, I've been working on this project for work for a while. Like, upwards of 2.5 years. It's not really a project as in client work, but more of a "hey, you are smart, try your hand at this and see what happens" type of extracurricular work. And it's been slow going. So much so that I've had at least 3 different people try to help me, and we've all gotten frustrated. The problem is, the brief in the beginning was nebulous at best, the topic is thorny, and, because I'm working weeks where I'm billing 71 hours sometimes, the last thing I want to do is come home and crack open my laptop again to work on this thing. And all it really is is a few written pages. It's gotten to the point where it stresses me out that this thing isn't done. I have dreams about it. This is truly procrastination at its finest.

About six weeks ago the CEO of my company was in town and we sat down to discuss this project. It seems that he's really keen to have it done (he doesn't know how long its been in the works, thank god). So we chatted, and suddenly the brief became a lot clearer (if not completely different), and so lately I've had a renewed interest in finishing the damn thing. I wrote an outline a month ago, and have been playing with a draft of the piece ever since. But today I stole the Irishman's laptop, marched to Euphorium, and wrote it. The whole sodding thing. In 2.5 hours. And I feel good. I just logged into my work email and sent it to the relevant parties with a plan for finishing it, and it's like 2 stone have just been lifted off my shoulders.

It's funny, because "real" writing (not this blog, because this is just stream of consciousness when I get around to it), like papers, articles, and reports, is really hard for me. I've been told I'm good at it, but the practice of sitting down and putting thoughts down is really hard. I liken it to giving birth, though I've not experienced that and I assume it's much more physically painful than writing. Writing is emotionally and mentally taxing, but, like childbirth, once you've finished something you forget the anxiety and second-guessing and emotionally-fraught hours staring at computer screen willing the words to appear in the right order with the right sentiment. It's excruciating. I've actually taken to writing on paper for the first few drafts because it's easier somehow; it feels less permanent, or perhaps less official, when you're literally putting pen to paper and scribbling. Kind of like sketching before starting a painting.

Anyway, I'm in that lovely afterglow when a piece is done for now. No doubt next Sunday I'll be back at the coffee shop, silently cursing all of the screaming toddlers and chatting mothers, wringing my hands over how to say what I really want to say, and wishing I'd never actually agreed to do this stupid project. But I never could keep my big mouth shut, so I'll just close it now and enjoy my bliss while it lasts.

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