Day 354: When Productivity Keeps You From Being Productive
Six weeks. That's how long it has been since my last post. That's a lot of time with which one could get a lot of writing done, and I can confidently say I have managed two (2) whole pages in that lengthy expanse. Two whole pages.
Let me first explain that I can't believe it has been six weeks. It honestly only feels like a couple of days, but that is what happens when you become overloaded with work. Unfortunately, it wasn't work of the paying kind though some of it has potential.
After completing the July 4th holiday with family and figuring out how to do post uploads from my self-imposed writer's retreat (what a joke that turned out to be), I was all set to begin the task of actual writing. And then the internet went out. That took nearly a week and a service repair request to sort out. Since I was out of my normal environs, I was counting on the internet and the online writing software Writer Duet to allow me to keep writing. Without service there was no Writer Duet and so no writing.
About the time the internet was restored it was time to do some painting. I had made arrangements to paint the trim of the house I was staying at to cover my use of the house, a barter system arrangement. The painting was a bit more involved than I anticipated and took a total of 8 days to complete. I had anticipated 5, so it was a little more than I had planned for, but what was really unanticipated was how much painting would take out of me. Standing on a roof for 8 - 10 hours a day in the blazing sun where temperatures where well above 100° takes a lot out of you. A LOT! Much respect to construction workers and house painters.
I was so wiped out at the end of each day it was all I could do to just crawl in bed and sleep. There was no way I was going to get in the 2 hours of writing I planned while painting. I did get a nice tan going, however. With the painting finally complete, I still had a little over a week. Surely I would get some writing in at last. Nope. I awoke one morning with a brilliant idea, one that would utilize both my writing and my video production skills; it was also an idea that could lead to a steady stream of income. . .down the road. The thing was, if I wanted to follow up on the idea, I would have to do it right then and there. It's sort of a site specific concept and I needed to gather as much 'content' as I could while I was there. I won't go into details on that project as it is not screenwriting (though it is writing related) and it is an idea that is still developing, but suffice it to say I spent the remainder of my 'retreat' gathering information, making calls, conducting interviews and capturing 256 gigs of visual information for what I hope will become a self-sustaining website.
I spent 10 hour days driving, hiking, interviewing, photographing and capturing video of everything I could. Once home, my evenings were spent planning out the next day. And then it was over, and I had to come home. And in that time I had managed to type out a total of 2 pages on a new screenplay. But the work didn't end once I was back. I had to download all the footage and organize it only to discover about 16 gigs was corrupted and lost. I'll have to go back to recover that footage, but that's a project for another time. There is plenty to do before then.
I did manage to take the last 10 pages I had written on The Devil's Tramping Ground into Rewrites, and that was on the day I got back. Then I was immediately on to a job I booked while I was away. I dumped my suitcase and reloaded it and moved to Venice Beach for a week. That sounds good, but I only saw the beach when I got up at 6 AM to go running. By 8 AM I was on set shooting hair and makeup tutorials for 12 hours each day, a gig I booked while on my retreat. Then I spent several days working on a mockup of the new website to figure out what it would look like and give me a ground plan. It's not something I need to get online right away, in fact, I'm not planning a launch until January, but I've laid the groundwork for future work. With another Rewrites meeting coming up (I missed one while shooting the tutorials) I finally sat down to catch up on some writing. Then my roommate had an emergency. She needed an update to her speaker's demo reel to coincide with her appearance on a show for the Centric television network. That's right, my award-winning television editor roommate wanted me to update her demo reel. To be fair, I cut the first one for her, but it seemed a little ironic that I was editing the editor's reel.
Well, the little update turned into 14 hours of work plus another 3 or 4 the following day to clean everything up. It looks great, but I missed writing any new pages for this week's Rewrites group. I went to the meeting anyway and showed my support for my fellow writers. And that finally brings me to today. I've been making a concentrated effort to find some steady work, but I realized my personal website and online portfolio is a bit out of date. So, the writing got pushed again while I spent the day updating the site. It's finally together, but I'm not feeling particularly creative at the moment. Hence this blog post (which needed to be done anyway). I should be caught up on everything to make a good effort to write tomorrow.
Now, I only wrote 2 pages over the last 6 weeks, and there are only two weeks left before the one-year journey is up. That means some concentrated writing over the next few days if I want to reach my goals. I want to complete the rewrite on The Devil's Tramping Ground and get the new project - the one that is only two pages - a little further along as Tuesdays@9 will be starting up mid-September. I need something to submit early and get in the queue, so it's going to be a busy two weeks of writing. In addition, I did manage to identify about 130 companies in the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory to submit query letters to. I'll tackle that at the beginning of September when everyone is back from vacation.
After that, I seriously need to find a steady job so I can have some time off.