On knowing when to say cut

Script Frenzy. I’ve stopped writing for it. It’s not that I don’t think I can do it  — I know I can — but I have some more important stuff going on right now and cannot afford to be stressed and divided.

I’ve been having some focus and mania issues over the past week or so, a harsh flare-up of my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and I’m learning how to channel that into positive things instead of beating myself up for not doing what I feel I should be doing. I’ve been drawing and painting a lot. Yesterday I started two canvases and today I started another. I did an illustration the day before that. I’m giving my brain permission to be visually expressive when it’s in this state rather than punishing myself for not doing what I demand. Right now my brain is visual and productive and I’m not going to let myself feel like script writing is more important and getting neglected — it’s not. It just isn’t where my brain is right now and rather than making myself ill over it, I’m saying enough.

When I say ill, I do mean it. Neil has noticed a trend in me when I’m up against a deadline: I work hard and furiously until the last minute leading up to the deadline and then a few days later I am in bed ill. NaNoWriMo: ill. Short story submission: ill. I cannot risk being ill this month as we have a holiday coming up and I’m not wasting it by staying in bed with a post-deadline stress illness crash. I can avoid that outcome, and so I am doing just that.

So, this is not my month to write a script. I feel better already. In fact, even though I’m not going to ‘win’ Script Frenzy 2009, I have developed not just one, but TWO script outlines/plots that will be useful in future projects. I’m not staring at a blank page, I’m staring at two stories, three new paintings, a handful of illustrations, and looking forward to our holiday.

I may not have a script completed, but I am certainly a winner by bowing out and doing what works for me right now.
Besides, I don’t need a particular month to write the script… I have twelve every year to choose from.

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2 thoughts on “On knowing when to say cut”

  1. I know this wasn’t a decision you made lightly, and it is one you should be proud of. I’ve seen you tap your energy so positively these past couple of days, rather than fight against it, and you have been far more productive as a result. I think you might have already gained the value from the scriptwriting exercise.

    There are times when we need to beat ourselves up and get on with it, and there are times (most times) when we need to just go with the flow and just let loose our ideas into the world.

  2. It’s always good to know when to stop.

    As you know, when I was working full time, doing the degree and learning to drive at the same time, I constantly felt horrible and drained. So, after talking to Bob, my Mum and a few friends (yourself included), decided to stop and concentrate on one thing at a time.It made a huge difference, and I felt so much better.

    I know it’s not quite the same (as you have ADHD to battle with), but I really think you should not push yourself so hard, especially if it makes you ill, and punishing yourself over deadlines is silly…it’s just not worth it.

    I hope that all made sense…I think you’ve made the right decision. xx

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