Focus is not a friend

Monday, February 18, 2013

There are still two more horrible after the one below sitting in my queue. They are the result of yesterday’s anti-writing session. You may also notice the dark mood permeating through them. Welcome to my brain.

The amount of time I spend worrying about jumping from hobby to hobby is concerning. I do that, you know. I consternate about my lack of focus. It’s not like I’m multitasking with my hobbies—any given free time is focused on one hobby (or sometimes, like yesterday, the fetid beginnings of one followed by a quick switch before I drive myself batty).

The list: writing these diary entries, coding projects, dreaming about writing stories, drafting comics, thinking about video games, and doodling, in no particular order. Then I start reading about a real creator—be it an author or an artist—and I begin having pangs again. The pangs that tell me that I focus on too much stuff and don’t immerse myself with any particular hobby. These pangs come and go at different times but they’re always there.

Today it was an author’s blog post where he did a screencast of writing a chapter. Yes, I know, what can be more boring than watching a video of someone type. It did happen to be the author of the book I just finished and couldn’t talk enough about. I noticed that he had three sections to his draft: the writing for the chapter, notes about the chapter, and notes about the world. I really wanted to get a peek into the other two sections.

I’m thinking about workflow. I’ve attempted to create workflow in the past. For my short lived comics, I had an entire notebook dedicated to drafts and outlines for the three measly panels. It was when I sucked my notebook’s notes dry that I ran into the wall that for the most part stopped that experiment.

For writing I’ve tried high-level outlines but never a chapter-by-chapter plan. I’ve always been scared of such a plan as my biggest weakness in my writing (and I have lots of them) is plot and story arc. Perhaps forcing myself to sit in front of a blank page and putting together brief two-sentence outlines of each chapter may help. I have started such a process in the past, but I’ve jumped into writing too quickly, never getting beyond the initial arc before deciding it was enough. Perhaps it was not enough. The cause of that was probably not eagerness but the proverbial wall that I always hit when I try to make something happen in one of my stories.

I should add one more to my list of hobbies: consternating about my hobbies as that’s what this entry is.

The Tiger is in bed after a quiet evening. I stayed home this morning to help the Doolies with the children, as the Tiger was not in school because of president’s day, and our babysitter had to go to the dentist with one of her children. We wanted to go to a museum, but after another late start, settled on the mall. Yes, I know, we’re not mall people, but after running through the possibilities, we ended there. We need to plan better for our experience outings for the monsters. We need to figure out what time to leave the house, pack snacks and lunch the night before, and leave promptly at the ideal time. We’ll try Sunday when we’re going to a museum. Like for real this time.

The Dinosaur is next to me in the bouncer making his dinosaur noises. He’s moving around a lot these days. The Doolies said that when she went to check on him this morning (he slept from around 10pm to 5:30am, again showing his sleep magic) he had moved around in his crib, rolling over to his side. He’s now kicking up a storm in the bouncer. He had a humungous poo before I brought him downstairs to keep me company while I write. He seems happier because of it.

The Tiger is fascinated by the moon and stars these days. She always seems to find it before we do. We’ve now started looking for it nightly. Since we’re in the Northwest, we don’t always have luck finding the moon or stars. Today it lined up with one of our skylights, and Tiger was able to see the half-moon and a couple of stars. Before sleep we went to check on the moon again, and the clouds had rolled in obscuring the stars, but showing the moon. Next step is to invest in a telescope, and perhaps plan a weekend trip somewhere that’s dark and star filled. The Seattle sky has too much light pollution to see much.

After all the fussing the Dinosaur fell asleep. Good for him. I’m looking forward to joining him soon.