So last week, as I mentioned – before I went almost completely silent for an entire week – I had set myself a project to watch, catch up with and blog my way through and entire five seasons of some show or other.
And Im glad I did, for several reasons, which I thought I should note down here in case I needed to remember whether it was worth doing in the future. Because it was.
Basically, my brain needed resetting. And there are not very many ways of doing this, but I happen to know that one of them is just writing. Writing writing writing writing writing.
Which is stupid, because one of the signs that I needed to reset my brain was the fact that everything I was trying to write was simply expanding to fill whatever space I had. So whether I was trying to write a long post for little red boat, or a short post that I was going to get paid for, or an email to my mother, or whatever it was – I would sit here and distract myself with a billion other things until it had taken me 12 hours to slog my way through 500 words, none of which – I would be convinced – were the right one for saying whatever it was I wanted to say.
And part of that is not being able to focus on finding a thing to write about, and part of it is not feeling very sure of myself and my ability to think tangentially after a long process of having my confidence kicked about to the point where I only felt like I could write the most basic of things – and I wasnt even any good at that. So I sat down and for about a week I just wrote. I caught up with this TV show, I wrote my way through 103 episodes of it (about 74 hours of television in all) and I drew pictures and wrote little scripts and enjoyed myself immensely (to begin with) and slightly less so (when I realised I was going to have to wake up after four hours sleep and watch 14 hours of telly in a row to hit the deadline I had imposed on myself).
But I did it. And when I woke up on Wednesday morning and went out into the bright sunshine, I was enormously upbeat and happy and springlike, and it was only partly because I realised that one of the great things about forcing yourself to watch 14 hours of brain-melting science fiction fantasy adventure is that any day when you do NOT have to watch 14 hours of it after that suddenly feels airy and open and blossoming with spare time.
But it did teach me some other things, which I should be careful to note, because if my writing-brain needs resetting again, a marathon event proved to be a handy way of doing this.
The other things it taught me were:
1) I can set myself ridiculous deadlines and meet them, and not give up.
2) I can launch something and publicise myself like a confident person and not be scared.
3) If I give myself licence to do so, I can be as silly and as tangential and creative as I like, Ive just not been in a situation where Ive given myself licence to do that of late.
4) If I want to, I can easily write 50,000 words in a week. They may not be the greatest words in the history of writing, but they will make sense, be readable, and up to 73% of them will be spelled correctly.
5) The basic, little things dont have to take me hours to do. I just need to focus, and then I can leave more space for the other things I really want to write.
And thats it, really. I just really wanted to make a note of that somewhere. Because I just felt so elated and full of energy the next day after doing that, I wanted to make sure I had taken notes on how and why that worked for me, so that Ill know in the future.
Writing short stuff on here. Thats what I need to get down to next.
Not sure how to do that, though. Oh, hang on. Ive got an idea.
Ill be back with my idea tomorrow