27 March. On this day in 1854 the United Kingdom declared war on Russia. In 1998 it saw the Food and Drug Administration approve Viagra. In 1969 the Mariner 7 was launched by NASA to flyby Mars. (Disclaimer: the previous ‘facts’ come from a certain Wiki site, I will leave that with you re their accuracy).
But what about today, Sat 27 March 2010? Well, it is two days before my mate Emmie is officially declared ‘old’ (tee-hee!) but – more relevant to me, personally – it is Day 15 of The New Regime.
The New Regime (let’s call it TNR, for no readily apparent reason) represents my ongoing attempts to increase productivity. This writing lark is hard going. Those rocket scientists and brain surgeons, they’ve got nothing on us playwrights. Damn straight.
I have a lot of work on at the moment. There is Prague, which you know about. And there are all the other projects. Which you don’t. You don’t because they are ongoing, and it is a well-known fact that discussing ongoing projects immediately jinxes them. So that is the last you will hear on that subject.
TNR is exactly that – a new approach. Features include: get up earlier; work in chunks; allow myself rewards (America’s Next Top Model, Canada’s Next Top Model, Australia’s Next Top Model …) and guilt-free days off.
Because when you’re a self employed writer, if you don’t write it it ain’t getting writ. If you don’t do it, it’s not done. You. You. You. And that can get a bit overwhelming at times. It’s not like a flatmates approach to washing up – ignore it and ignore it until someone else does it for you. There is no one else. And this can be great and rewarding and make you feel on top of the world. And it can be lonely and scary and leave you in a heap.
So, TNR Day 1 to Day 14. I have been going great guns. The up-and-at-‘em early mornings are proving a success, I generally feel more motivated and am making good progress on the work accordingly.
But now, Day 15 and … uh-oh. Black Saturday? I got up early but I didn’t sit down to work – I had to go out. Back home. I sit at my desk. I check Facebook (this is allowed under TNR rules – which I made up myself and regulate … erm … myself!) and answer emails. Still nothing. I have lunch. Nothing. I sit at my desk some more. Nothing, nada, nowt.
So I make a decision. Write the day off as a bad job. If Day 15 is a flop, hopefully that means Day 16 will bring with it renewed enthusiasm (or, more likely, the guilt will kick in.) Don’t dwell, do something else. So I dust and hoover. God forbid I do anything enjoyable (see previous re ‘guilt’) – this is punishment displacement activity. Or some such Dr Phil-esque guff.
*** Just to add to the whole Black Saturday thing, a stupid power cut in this stupid house made me lose much of the above. And then on my stomping-down-the-stairs way to the fuse box I slipped down the stairs – it’s hard to lose your footing in red slipper boots (yes, including pom-poms) and maintain a furious façade ***
So here we are. At least I’ve written something today (this). And you never know, the day isn’t over yet … a second wind … maybe … possibly … please …?
*** Seriously, is it not my day – tried to get on the website to post this and the internet is down. Of course it is. The only sensible thing to do is to eat this bar of chocolate and watch Over The Rainbow ***
Two hours later (including having to post this twice cos the first time got lost in the ether) …
That’s it. I’ve taken the hint. The clocks go forward tonight so that’s an hour lost. Sack this day off … it’s o.v.e.r.