Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Battling Butterfly Brain

Greetings dear reader, if you've been here before you will know that my posts mostly concern discussions about the things that distract me from writing. Today I am happy to report that over the past few weeks I have not been distracted from writing; I've been utterly consumed by it.

Studying on the MA has really galvanised my thinking about myself as a writer and is keeping me VERY busy writing. The problem is THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO ALL OF A SUDDEN and I am so giddy about all of it, I struggle to focus on one thing without being distracted by all the other things.
We have a three hour session one evening a week. I spend at least another three hours going over my session notes and following up the notes I've made to myself during the session on points where I need further clarification or additional information. This worked out ok in the first few weeks but now we're getting down to serious business and the first assignment is due mid December - I have A LOT of notes for this but I'm not sure I have much of a clue on how to get from notes to something that looks anything like an academic essay.
This is where my butterfly brain kicks in.
There are three other assignments to complete for mid January, and there are regular workshops for which we each submit a piece for discussion. I am awash with legitimate busy writerly things to do and I flit and flirt from one to another, taking the best bits of what's there before moving onto the next.
What's that you say? Procrastination? How very dare you! I'm writing, I'm so busy writing, and thinking and writing about writing I'm NOT being distracted by other things - check out my recent activity on Twitter if you don't believe me! Talk to my neglected family and friends ... Give them my regards!
Sorry? A different kind of procrastination you say? Well ... Yes! *guilty as charged*
I have a strategy though, I'm treating each of the assignments as a 'project', including each of the MANY half finished potential workshop pieces. Obviously I've bought new folders! Each project is in its own folder and BEFORE I leave anything for something new (or to get on with my 'real' world stuff, which I APPARENTLY still have to do) I write myself a note of what I've done and what I need to do next. It's kind of working...
I have also had a VERY exciting *win* - I finally FINISHED a short story and I submitted it to my workshop group and I got GREAT feedback on it. This is THE FIRST PIECE OF ACTUAL WRITING I HAVE EVER FINISHED! It's also only the third time I've handed my writing over to be read (previous times were for York Festival and my MA application), I've even let some friends and family read it! This is a HUGE step for me, I know lots of you reading this will have LOTS more experience, and confidence, in your writing but for me, I feel like I've been through a metamorphosis ...