Distractions of Creativity

Creativity can be a foul beast.  Writing in this day an age is no easy task.  It boggles my mind sometimes that we get to see the written word at all anymore.  There are so many distractions that can keep a creative mind occupied.  There are such a number of just little things, that in the long run mean nothing, that keep our minds from doing what centuries of storytelling have taught us to do. 

This morning, my goal was to wake my ass up out of bed, get cleaned up and sit down and get some work done in the script and come here for a few to impart some words of my not so infinite wisdom.  It’s now about 9 am and I have done none of that.  My intentions are still there and I will get to it.  But, I just got sidetracked.

First off, it’s snowing outside, at the end of April… April snow showers do not bring May flowers.  I am sure of that.  I’m not just talking a little sputter of snowfall that this area can see at any given time of the year, but a real snowfall.  It’s accumulating.   Well, at least it’s accumulating on my car.  It’s turning the ground to a white-brown muddy slush which will be wonderful to walk through later this afternoon as I head to my day job. 

That set me off on a journey I wasn’t planning on getting into this morning.  I grabbed the phone and shot a nice high quality vid of the snowfall to post on here.  From there, I began to delete old photos from the device, knowing I was going to have to sync the phone to the beasty old Mac here and sit and wait while all the photos and vids chunked up my computer from the last backup.  It was a while ago.  I dragged my aching body from the bed and strolled to this beasty ol Mac, leaving the phone in the bedroom, mind you and sat down.

For the next forty-five minutes, I proceeded to delete and organize MOST of the files on my computer and back up drive.  Somehow, 1 TB of back up drive was closing in on being full.  Raw video files will do that I suppose.  So I cleaned that.  And I cleaned my 15 gigs of iPhoto archive.  And here it is an hour later and I have yet to sit down and post the snow video that was my distraction that started this whole mess that was a distraction from showering and writing in the first place.

For years, I have always done my best work writing while doing something else.  That something else has always been work.  While working at my job, I kept my down times and slow times particularly occupied with writing.  I think I trained my mind to think in those isolated situations, so when I am actually home and have the time to write, there are zero creative juices flowing through me whatsoever.  My first screenplay “The Last Straw,” which eventually became my first “student film” “The Other Half of Me” was written ENTIRELY at my first job as a video store manager.  I HAND WROTE it in a notebook and then eventually, when that big book was all done, transcribed it to the computer.  That painstaking process I only repeated one more time before I decided there were a hell of a lot of other ways to accomplish what I needed to accomplish at work.

                              You know it's old when this is the BEST pic I can find of it!

A long time ago, IBM came out with what was called a WorkPad.  It was essentially what we now refer to as a netbook.  It was a tiny laptop that ran strictly on internal ram, but, it had a plug in port for a dial-up connection.  On THAT little beast, I wrote a good portion of my early scripts while sitting in my back room office in my video store in Connecticut.  My lost “horror” film was written on that, then emailed to myself and transposed into word at a later date.  And my second feature “Two Days with Juliet” was also written in that same way.  Only this time, I had figured out if I cut and paste into Final Draft, it would auto format EVERYTHING.  Which was a tremendous time-saver.

As years went by, I graduated up to a Dell POS 1100 cement block of a laptop, where I could just write in final draft.  That saved a lot of time, but damn, that bitch was heavy.  Cold Winter was written there.  Until I went all mac shortly after wrapping up Cold Winter.  And once you co Mac, you never go back.

But even to this day, I still do my best work while AT WORK.  It’s a terribly bad habit, and one that I will someday have to break.  “Seven Isaacs,” mostly was written while substitute teaching last year.  And now, “Ashio” is being written in the back room at a wireless provider in my spare moments and breaks.  I no longer have the luxury of sitting for an hour on end writing, but that’s ok.  I’m in the rewrite phase, which is a whole new process all together.   Perhaps I will get into that another day.

Right now, I have far too many distractions to get to.  Some of them are actually important, like calling insurance companies and such.

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