Saturday 13th February 2021

It’s still very early days but I think the iPad is helping my productivity.  I found myself sat on the support bubble sofa today, dipping in and out of tasks.  Even if I wasn’t completing them I was making progress on them.  And best of all, a lot of these were long running tasks that have just sat around in my ToDo list for ages.

Obviously, new toys get played with a lot more, but I do think the iPad is going to help me.

It made me realise that I’ve had tasks backing up and as a result have felt a bit overwhelmed.  Whether that’s due to the Shadowlands 2 week staycation, or the late January wobble, I know that for the last few weeks I’ve felt a bit snowed under by the amount of things I want to get done.  If this doesn’t work then I need to scale back a bit until the pandemic uncertainty and result anxiety dies down a little.  I have to accept that I am not as productive in a pandemic.

What I did find was that  getting some of these little tasks progressed has freed up a bit of mind space and I’ve been contemplating a few stories, one that I’ve not yet written, another that I am writing.  Specifically, I’m back to theme.  One thing that struck me from watching The Dig the other week was just how much each character was centered around the theme of death.  I think it’s a fantastic and clever script, and it’s got me thinking that theme needs to be more central to my planning.

Of the two pieces I’m working on, I might steal the theme of death for them.  I could possibly make it work for both projects, but I think I want to play with the concept of theme and see how far I can take it, rather than make broad decisions across a range of projects.  So, I’ll probably only use it for one.  What I especially liked about The Dig was that even though the theme was death, it wasn’t a grim film.  Yes, there were moments of sadness, especially with the backdrop of the looming Second World War, but there were also moments of joy and triumph.

So yes, the more experimental of the two pieces of written work might take the theme of death and play around with it.  The other, I’m not so sure about.

I still have a short story to edit, but I think the delay in doing so is less procrastination and more wanting distance from the story.  I think I’ve also figured out the tools I want to use to do this and have the start of a process flow.  A lot of this will revolve around version controls.  Major versions for drafts and rewrites, minor versions for edits.  As a result this will allow me to store drafts and edits in the same folder, whereas currently I was heading down the road of having them on different cloud storage services.

I would like to markup The Shop At The Bottom Of The Hill tomorrow if possible, just to play around with the tools and process and start to get a feel for what my editing process will be like.  That would be good as I’m due to start editing a draft of another novel from Monday and I’d like to have some idea of what I’m doing.

Hopefully, by starting to clear out a bunch of tasks, I’ll have a clearer head for the work and will see the productivity gain extend to my writing.

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Past Years: 2020 – The Year of Being Fearsome | 2019 – The Year of Soldiering Through | 2018 – The Year of Priorities | 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive