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peartreealley: (writing)
I adore getting a peek behind the curtain on how creative projects are made, so after a bout of illness a few weeks ago that resulted in re-watching the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, I’ve been re-watching the Appendices in bits and pieces, too.

Here are some bits that resonated with me today as a writer/creator:


  • I’m fascinated with the amount of storyboarding they did—from synopsises to story beats to sketched story boards, to animated versions of the story, to digital models of what the scenes would look like. I love it. It reminds me of a painter starting with loose sketches and eventually building toward the actual painting. It’s a process I’ve been trying to build into my own storytelling—one that works very well, at least, until I get caught in deadline panic.


  • At the moment, I “build up” with free-writing, sample outlines, and story beats. I want to keep expanding on that process, trying out different versions of the story before I piece together what I think might be the actual story. Speaking of….

  • And despite all of that planning ahead they did, the actors were getting revised scripts on a daily basis. And the changes by no means stopped once the shooting was done--there was recutting in edits, and eventually doing pick-up shots.

  • They were moving around scenes, cutting sections, and adding new scenes, all into post-production. This is so much harder and more expensive to do for a film! I must remember this when I am in the angsty throes of revising a novel. No, revising isn’t easy, but compared to revising a film in post-production? What on earth do I have to moan about?

  • The sections in which they talk about gathering at Peter Jackson’s house to talk about characters, over scripts; where the artists would bunch together, on site or in the office and just draw and sketch… it increased an existing yearning and longing for a local creative community. (Although, at this stage of things, I’d be happy with an online one, too. I’ve been feeling very lonely lately, in my writing.)

  • I also liked the commentary about Tolkien and how he was not training as a 20th novel-writer, and because of that, he broke all sorts of rules. That makes the ~artiste~ in me squee—but pragmatic me also remembers that he was a professor by trade. This stories were an expression of his obsession with creating languages and world-building. They were not to pay the bills.

    Although I’m enjoying (and grateful to be) writing as a full-time endeavor, I have to admit sometimes I wonder if getting an appropriate job to support my writing would take pressure off. It would decrease my time freedom, but might increase my creative freedom. That’s a long term thought, though, and not one I plan to seriously investigate in the near future. But it’s something I may be keeping in mind more than I did before.

peartreealley: (time motion manager)
Good morning,

I've been pondering and noting down changes to the 12 Year Week, and (on [personal profile] ironymaiden's helpful suggestion) talking to the Gryffindor about Agile and the single user.

The end result is a plan that goes into motion today, and runs the next four weeks. Working out the plan also revealed that I need a change of focus. I realize these are probably not exciting for most of my readers, but since I don't have a team to Stand Up and Retrospective with... well, I'll give this a shot for now.

So my high level four week plan looks a this:

Sprint 1: FN5 revision (up to 3 weeks/15 working days)
Sprint 2: FN4 ships. (3 working days, needs to overlap with Sprint 1, unfortunately.)
Sprint 3: Finish PS1 draft. (1-2 weeks/5-10 working days)

The math isn't perfect there because I have 4 weeks to do this all in, but it's an experiment... and I always did aspire to become a Time-Motion Manager.

(I'd better getting working, then....)

x

FN 5 Revision/Rewrite
0 / 30000
(0%)
peartreealley: (Default)
Following on my comments about the 12 Week Year yesterday, my brain has been humming:

One of the things that I realized is that even though a 12 week window is indeed shorter and more urgent than 12 months, it’s still too long of a window for me. I run best on intense intervals, and 12 weeks is plenty of time for me to drift off course.

With that in mind, I started playing with ideas on how to scale down the goal/tactics window to create more urgency and better fit into my processes. I also took another look at my vision statements.

Long term plans are not my forte, so 3 year, 5 year and 15 year (!) visions just don’t work for me. I can totally write them, but they’re too vague and too far out there. I know enough of my life patterns to know that something (probably me) is going to explode and my life is going to spin out in some mad way that invalidates every plan I had in the wings. Knowing that reality undermines the clarity and motivation the long term vision is meant to give me.

So I’m scaling that down, too. 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years is as far as I’m taking my visions. (Even 3 years feels dangerous.) I’m also adding a present vision--how are these goals I'm striving for right now going to give me the life I want right now?

Of course, the test is in the execution.

As it turns out, I have two projects I need to finish in the next 4 weeks, plus one that I'd really like to finish--and at the end of those 4 weeks I have a 2 week holiday planned which makes for a fairly immutable deadline. I don’t really want to leave anything hanging so here is my window and my urgency. It's not a perfect test because I can't replicate "4 weeks and then a 2 week holiday" every 6 weeks (if only!), but it should let me get through a scaled down cycle from beginning to end and evaluate it.

So, I guess I'd better get on with that....

x

PS 1 First Draft
35064 / 60000
(58.44%)

On Systems

Apr. 19th, 2017 02:03 pm
peartreealley: (Default)
I love productivity systems. It's awesome when getting things done is just a matter of plug-and-play.

(Of course, it's never that simple.)

But like most things, I need to adapt and customize it to fit my life. (Because I'm special and unique? Because I'm incapable of doing anything "out of the box" without fussing with it? Ha!)

Anyway, two of my favorite systems right now are:

1) Bullet Journal
2) The 12 Week Year

I've always preferred analog for organization, and so I've been playing with Bullet Journal for a couple of years. Initially I liked it because it let me keep everything in one place. Later on, I hated it because it kept everything in one place.

Last year, I bought myself a "wedding present" in the form of a (faux) Travelers Notebook with my married name stamped on it. It's been a good purchase, and it continues to get regular use, despite that I've changed how it gets used frequently. Because it's basically just a leather folder that holds a few notebook inserts a time, it's really perfect for someone who is constantly tailoring their system. (Assuming their system, like mine, tends to involve use of notebooks.)

Anyway, right now, my "bujo" system is as such:
Disposable notebook for to-dos, rapidlogging, and braindumps. At the moment this is an entirely separate item (cheap spiral-bound notebook) from my Travelers Notebook, although I think when I finish this one I'll switch to adding a notebook into my TN to keep everything in the same folder. The reason I keep this one part from other stuff is because I realized that having my to-do lists and random notes in with my more reflective journaling entries led to my journal being overwhelmed by "clean cat box x2" and "do laundry" and "check energy tariffs" and "see if library has this book" and I didn't like that, so I changed it.

Journaling. This notebook has been for reflection, occasional freewriting, and records I want to look back on. Flat things, like event ticket stubs, often end up taped in as well.

Life in Lists. An ongoing collection of bullet points. Places visited, books read, notable experiences, stories written, etc. This is, in a way, my answer to bujo migration.

My calendar is online because it's easier to coordinate with the Gryffindor. Despite having tried a lot of ways, I haven't found a satisfying answer to how to integrate my fiction into the system yet.

The 12 Week Year:
The basis of the system is that a year is a very long time. A lot of organizations create lofty annual goals without much of a plan on how to get there, which mean people procrastinate and faff around aimlessly for the first three quarters of the year, and then suddenly light a fire under their bums and are productive the last quarter when they're under pressure to achieve and make the goal. The idea behind the system is to get people working like that last quarter all the time.

To do this, you are asked to create a strong, emotionally-evoking vision of what you want your life to be (in one year, three years, and five years). From there, you ignore annual goals and instead set a small number (3-5) twelve week goals (personal and professional) that require a lot of focus and dedication, create tactics to achieve them, do weekly plans and reviews, and work diligently to achieve those goals each quarter. (The vision is to guide you and your goals and keep you motivated.)

To be honest, I'm still wrestling with this one, which means it may not be the right system. But I love the philosophy behind it and I think it has potential, and despite that they want you to subscribe wholly to it as written... I will play around with it for my second attempt. It's my nature. (Perhaps I should figure out how to integrate it into my bujo system, too! I did the tracking digitally last go-round.)

ETA: Here is a decent summary of what the book covers.

Anyway! What systems do you love?

Obligatory Writing Update:
PS 1st Draft
31014 / 60000
(51.69%)

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