Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Like Steinbeck

When Steinbeck was writing East of Eden, he kept a journal alongside. Every morning, before he began work on the novel, he would pen down his thoughts on the left hand page. I don't know if this is true of many writers but, like my idol Steinbeck, it is difficult for me to jump right into my work for the day.

I work from home, which means I have to be especially vigilant about waking up at the same time everyday and developing a routine that brings order to my day and forces me to be ready and at the computer at a specific time each day. This 'routine' changes every couple of weeks but while it lasts, it gives me the balance I require.
So, at this specific time each day, I sit down at my computer and open up the document I've been working on. I'll stare at it for a bit and then minimize the window. Then I'll check my mail, I'll facebook a while or maybe blog for a bit.

I can't speak for Steinbeck but this bit of time wastage that lasts for anything from ten minutes to an hour is absolutely essential to ease me into the task of being useful. Believe me, if I were being paid to write this blog, I'd start a new time-wastage blog to write before I opened this one up each morning. I can only theorize that I, like Steinbeck, have an inherent fear of being trapped by the forces of capitalism. That these few minutes of babbling (well, the babbling's mostly me, Steinbeck's Journal of a Novel is somewhat of a bestseller) are somehow liberating me from the shackles of mindless moneymaking. "Haha! Take that you filthy capitalist pigs...you think you own me? Huh? Huh?"

Often it's a way to tease and trick myself into doing the work that needs to be done. So I'll be writing this blog, when unbeknownst to me, I'll open up another window containing the latest script that needs to be completed. I'll continue to blog but I'll keep going back to the script to review yesterday's work. Back to the blog, all ready to post. Click on Publish Now, read what I've written, shut the window and voila! There's my script, all reviewed and ready to be worked on.

Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Whatever's left to be done is taken care of by one angry phone call from the client.

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