Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wet Work

There was a girl in the year below me back at the Esteemed School of Art who believed she had to put the hours in whether they were productive or not. Even if the ideas were snagged on a synapse, she would steadfastly remain at her desk until the Inspiration Pixie shook them loose with a swift steel toe-capped kick in the head.

While I clocked in at eight in the morning, and wouldn’t pack up and go home until twelve hours later when the caretakers were locking up the building, a good portion of the day would be spent out and about in central London. Especially when the tutors took my desk away in my second year, but that’s another story.

While I don’t entirely subscribe to the theory of Writer’s Block, there are times when staring at the white expanse of the Word document doesn’t do any good. With our dozen projects in various stages, from simple outlines to finished scripts, there’s always the opportunity to switch over to something else if I’m drawing a temporary blank.

Still no joy and the only alternative is to take a break, during which time I could:

Sit back and watch The Wire, Battlestar Galactica or Deadwood on the second monitor. By which I mean a whole season rather than a few piddling episodes.

Re-read Dennis Lehane’s five Kenzie & Gennaro novels. Which usually take a day apiece, maximum.

Play Goldeneye or Perfect Dark straight through, from the first to last level. Time wise, that depends on whether I’m on my game or playing like dog toffee.

While these are all viable options, they can be rather time consuming. Which means the best bet is simply to get up from in front of the computer and go for a walk.

After a brainstorming session with Work Buddy, I’ll invariably wander out into the garden for a gasper to sort out any weak areas or get the motivations locked down tight. Tough nuts to crack are invariably remembered as two- or three-cigarette-solutions.

This was all fine and dandy in the hot summer sunshine, but the past couple days or so, someone’s forgotten to put a coin in the meter and the season’s come to an abrupt end. Wandering around, allowing the idea to percolate away, loses its appeal when hard driving rain is raking the pavements.

I was all ready for a stroll yesterday morning but was stopped in my tracks when a thick blacket of dark cloud spread over North London and hastily unburdened itself. And it’s going to get worse as the year runs out. Which is a good incentive as any to keep the ideas coming.


At 1:04 am, Blogger Dom Carver said...

Love BSG. I do the same with 24. I once watched 15 episodes in a row on DVD.

Listening to Oasis usually gets the ideas coming for me. Something about their music distracts the procrastinating part of my brain, so the creative side can rule supreme.


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