Saturday, 29 January 2011

Exhaustion = Inspiration?

After an exhausting week I find myself facing a busy weekend. In fact, looking at my diary, not only am I working a 12 hour shift as well as my regular 10 hour shift next week, but I’m not due any down time until next weekend. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to that weekend. I can see it now: me, in my slanket, a book, a cup of tea, the sofa. I’m only leaving the house for jalapenos, black beans and a gentle little run (maybe). Because sometimes, I just need to recharge my batteries. So don’t even try to get me out and doing anything more energetic than a jog. It ain’t gonna happen.

I am gradually getting into the routine of my new – hopefully permanent – rota. So now I’m slowing adding to my week. This week I successfully added in the hours that I can collaborate with my script-writing partner (although that’ll take a battering this week with that big fat 12 HOUR SHIFT). This week’s challenge is to fit in at least three runs while figuring out how to work Run Keeper from my Android phone. This is possibly a challenge too far…

Still, despite the long hours at work and the hours wasted travelling there and back I am not lacking in inspiration. The strange thing with me is that when I have all the time in the world, words are not forthcoming as when I’m trudging to the train station at 7am with my flask in one hand and brolly in the other. It’s like they know I really ought to be making productive use of the day.

In fact I always found at uni that I was at my most productive and creative when it was term-time and I was juggling lectures, deadlines, reading and my part-time job. In the summer, when I always intended to write loads and steal a march on the upcoming year, I always ended up craving fiction. My brain just refused to produced – it wanted to consume. The same happens on my weeks off and during those vast sands of unemployment. What my brain demands is a rest from producing and thinking. What fiction is for me and my brain is grist to the meal because when I’m back at work or wading through a to-do list that reaches my belly-button, I’ll be musing vaguely on something I just read or watched and through a convoluted train of thought I’ll arrive at a spark of an idea.

It also helps that being busy, having a life beyond the tapping of keys and the glow of a computer screen brings you into contact with people, events, snippets of conversation… gossip basically. I have to admit to lapping up the tales my friends tell – everything from funny things that happened to them and stuff that happened to their friend’s-brother’s-cousin-in-law’s-wife.

And yes, I have to confess, some of those stories have made their way into my notebook.

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