euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)
[personal profile] euphoriafish
I subscribe to Kristine Oller's mailing list because I bought her Networking Bootcamp recordingsĀ a few years back. Her networking advice really changed my approach to networking and learning from others, and I still listen to her positive, encouraging vocal inflection once a week or so in the short videos from her mailing list. This lady has a voice like dew drops on cotton candy that is so soothing because she BELIEVES. IN YOU, even.

Here's a video that really spoke to me:

It's about the difference between one time decisions which don't have to be revisited vs. commitments, which are more than just habit changes but potentially also shifts in your approach to life. Change in methodology takes time and you have to revisit your new habits until you don't have to think about them consciously anymore. But she used the word "commitment" and that word choice made such a strikingly positive serendipitous change in my inner monologue.

I'm always working on my habits because I'm pretty sure I have an undiagnosed minor case of ADHD which will be a neverending balancing act to manage capably, and it's a problem when too many goals are too important.

(Please click the arrow to expand or contract one list, as opposed to clicking the link to open all of them at once.)

  • a finished grad school writing sample portfolio so I can move out
  • a paid byline
  • a produced comedy project
  • a community service project
  • a paid production assistant gig
  • enough show of commitment to the Indiana Filmakers Network
  • improvements to my continued system of time and resource management
  • improved efficiency in idea development
  • continued effort in maintaining/improving my physical condition
  • and a reputable research project to earn financial assistance for grad school.

  • Pulled in so many directions, I default to inaction and it takes me a long time to settle down to work on a project. Once I'm into the project it works the other way and I forget to eat until the project is done. I'm a perfectionist, but it's not a fear of failure that stops me from finishing things anymore; there are just a neverending list of what's fixable and I'm probably supposed to move on to a new activity but I want a finished one and this thing I'm writing just won't attract praises until I fix infinity.

    I might benefit from some outside consultation on time management, but I'm not sure my health insurance covers it and I definitely do not have the money out of pocket. For now, I've been trying various smartphone and teacher curriculum planning solutions, but I need to take into consideration how commitment works for me. I just hit a milestone, but there are so many changes I want to make. What stands in the way of the other ones?

    The big milestone was when I finished my fist spec script last month by the Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship deadline. It took me about half a year, and by the end of that time I found it easy to show up everyday to draft, edit, and polish jokes. I need to work on my loglining and brainstorming habits to be ready with more scripts for the next fellowship, the next round of this one, or just to build my portfolio. But I keep wanting to go back to the script I just mailed (a month ago) because there were missed opportunities to get more jokes in. I mailed it. It should be done and I should write another one. BUT IT'S NOT DONE.

    The plot is about as exciting and novel as I could manage and I need some professional feedback to improve my narrative storytelling, but I know I could put more time in on the jokes on my own and keep tweaking it that way before using it as a writing sample to apply for graduate school. However, I can't use it for grad school without also writing an original one, not another spec. So my first fellowship attempt is at odds with my application to grad school.

    The gravitational pull of this ghost-of-done project is so great I have had a lot of trouble moving on to the next one this month.

  • I stubbed 4 ideas for comedy sketches
  • found an editor to publish a film review I drafted last month while editing the spec script, so I'll have a regular byline reviewing indie films
  • and also drafted a news article I'm hoping to find an editor to pitch to this week.

  • I have one solid longterm goal of being a comedy screenwriter, and which steps lead to that are pretty clear, but the intermediate goals are in all directions and seem to need to happen at once--

  • I need to change locations and job markets by getting accepted into graduate school
  • I need money for graduate school
  • I need to improve the system for managing my time and resources
  • I need to build a portfolio of work
  • I need to take in more new information and generate new ideas faster
  • I need to maintain my physical condition
  • I need to commit to a social group for collaboration and feedback, I need to volunteer and give back to the community.

  • So where is my commitment? Why do I commit?

    I changed focus last year from art to writing and found that I was passionate enough to finish a writing project in a way that I've never been sufficiently passionate about my art projects. (Bucket List goal: I hope one day to exhibit my self portait in oil at MOBA, the Museum of Bad Art. Bonus points will be achieved if I get to revisit the gallery world as an interactive storyteller to also exhibit video stills or intermedia pieces at MOMA New York or LA. But I've backburnered the pursuit of Gallery World for now because I do not want to be an art professor and don't have a meaningful body of work for going to art school for an MFA. I didn't feel like I fit in but I feel like I enjoy the work of improving writing more.)

    Belief in the habits I'm committing to may be the ultimate obstacle that is preventing me from changing on time or at all. I certainly believe in the logical argument for the change, but if I'm not accountable to anyone else and there's no external positive reinforcement, I have major trouble with achieving consistency. On a subconscious level, I don't believe the change I'm trying to make is going to add up to greater achievement because I've made it repeatedly and still slid back into old behavior. Even the script-- you can read it if you want to, but I can't really show it as a finished product if it remains unproduced. EVEN MY FINISHED PROJECT FEELS UNFINISHED. HOLY SISYPHEAN BOULDERS, BATMAN.

    Some changes have stuck, mostly with hygiene and cosmetic choices. And I'm taking a 20 minute walk every day that I don't go out on errands. And I show up every day to write for between four and six hours that may amount to a draft or may just amount to brainstorming. I want my writing to improve faster than it does, and my motivation is sapped by how long everything takes, an interval during which I can't show anyone what I'm working on.

    Aha. That's it. Showing up doesn't always amount to achievement, and I don't believe in showing up late but I DO show up late and roll my personal deadlines all the time because at the critical moment, I don't convince myself that the bar of quality I want to hit will be reached. If it isn't important to anyone but me, it happens slowly if at all. I'm not sure I can prove my research capabilities, get paid for writing, AND get into grad school with a produced short film, iRiff, or comedy sketch, let alone try standup or Moth readings.

    How do I convince myself my efforts are going to add up to success?
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    euphoriafish: Avar photo I took in Japan of the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura. (Default)

    November 2015

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