Monday 22nd February 2021
I thought I had the start of a 2 day course today, but it turned out that’s tomorrow. So instead I spent the morning catching up on The Climb.
For once I can attribute the 4 day backlog to something other than laziness. Thursday was the second day of my last course (the third day of training that week). The weekend was Pokemon packed with the Kanto event and our PvP tournament. That only really leaves Friday, which given the amount of learning I did last week, is understandably a little barren in the productivity department.
I don’t generally like getting behind on The Climb. I find it eats up the day when I have to catch up, as well as burning a lot of my writing spoons. If I write one edition, then it’s a quick 20-30 minute exercise and a good writing warm up. If I have more than one, I need to take a break between each edition, and my writing pace slows down.
There’s also the problem that whilst I often take notes, knowing what to write about each day is a little difficult. In truth, the rapid turn around / rough and ready nature of The Climb is what I like about it. I bang out the copy, give a quick edit and post it. It’s a good exercise in working quickly.
But when you don’t know what to write, editions can seem to wander. What is it that I’m actually trying to say here? What’s this edition about?
Often I have multiple projects on the go that I’ve worked on that day I can talk about. But often there’s a long wait between a project being completed and anything more happening. I can finish a first draft and not start the 2nd for a year or more. I can be submitting short stories and scripts to 3rd parties and then not hear things back for a ridiculously long time.
It means that at times like today, there’s not a lot to say. I did a bunch of stuff. There’s no massive revelation or insight. I’ve not hit any major milestone. Nor have I hit a roadblock. Instead, much like Lockdown, I’m doing the same thing I feel I’ve been doing every day.
And don’t get me wrong, the lack of personal milestones or exciting realisations sometimes really bothers me. I try really hard to focus on the journey but especially during lockdown you wonder why exactly you are doing all this? Will it result in anything?
For example, I’ve started playing around with Game Writing. I did a bit some years back with an author friend but it never came to anything other than some useful experience. In recent months, I’ve learnt more about the industry (and the jingo – it seems to me that learning what all the various things you do are called is really useful to sound like you know what you’re doing). I’m working on a bit of a portfolio. It’s not a priority, but like me writing a script, it’s about diversifying my skills and learning through doing.
But will all this work ever be useful? It’s very low priority so it’s only getting done here or there, yet still I wonder if the time would be better used elsewhere.
But then… it’s amazing how knowledge compounds. You spend time learning one thing, and it makes the next thing easier. When The Climb came back last year I spent weeks interested in theme and story structure and I cannot count the number of times that’s come in useful in the following months.
So the truth is you never know which editions of The Climb you’ll be linking back to in future. Maybe there’s some nugget of knowledge in what I’ve written tonight that will have me linking back to it time and time again.
Or maybe, just like life, this is one of those editions that will blur into others under the broad title of “still working on things”.
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