More Creative Energy Considerations: is it procrastination, or gestating?

Thoughts on Entertainment, Writing

Another great post from Seth Godin:

Low & Slow (vs. fear)

My sourdough rye bread failed. For the first time since I’ve been baking from this starter, this weekend’s batch didn’t work.

I know why.

I rushed it.

I didn’t let the dough ferment long enough.

And then I made the oven hotter, in an effort to get the loaves finished so I could leave to meet someone.

That’s not how great bread works. It’s ready when it’s ready, not when you need it to be.

Of course, the analogy is obvious. Much of the work we do as creators, as leaders, as people seeking to make change–it needs to ferment, to create character and tension and impact. And if we rush it, we get nothing worth very much.

There’s a flipside.

Sometimes, we mistakenly believe that we’re building something that takes time, but what we’re actually doing is hiding. We stall and digress and cause distractions, not because the work needs us to, but because we’re afraid to ship.

Impatience can be a virtue if it causes us to leap through the fear that holds us back.

This is something I am often conflicted about. On the one hand, I do believe the creative well can be overfished, and some stories need time in the unconscious to develop (or gestate, as the book Movies in the Mind calls it)…but I also believe if you just sit down, the story shows up–and I’ve had the latter happen to me a bunch of times, even during times of great stress!

But I feel the temptation towards for procrastination when a novel or story leaves the first section (introducing the character in a setting with a problem). I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT COMES NEXT but usually the solution is to sit down and just have fun with whatever shows up next. Beat the fear by being willing to try.

But sometimes I’m genuinely tired and need a break, time to rest up and watch Star Trek and doodle aimlessly.

You have to show up. But also…

Animated Toy Story 2 GIF: YOU CAN'T RUSH ART says Geri the toy repairer.I’m just not sure which I believe more strongly! What do you think?

More Creative Energy Considerations

Thoughts on Entertainment

This thought’s from Seth Godin:

Your kitchen table

You open the door and the vacuum cleaner salesperson comes in, and dumps a bag of trash in your living room.

Or a neighbor sneaks in the back door and uses a knife to put gouges on the kitchen table.

Or, through the window, someone starts spraying acid all over your bookshelf…

Why are you letting these folks into your house?

Your laptop and your phone work the same way. The reviews and the comments and the breaking news and the texts that you read are all coming directly into the place you live. If they’re not making things better, why let them in?

No need to do it to yourself, no need to let others do it either.

While I believe in being somewhat current with the news, I think taking (or replacing) time- and energy-sucking sites off your “speed dial” pages is helpful. Those pages will still exist if you want to go back to them, but why make it easy?

To that end, I’ve removed some movie review and game review sites off my speed dial and replaced them with some positive Instagrams and the Good News Network. They tend to update only once a day (if that) and every update brings me positive thoughts and encouragement for my day and my creative work.

Nothing wrong with movies and games, but I was checking these pages multiple times a day and getting lost on them. You can’t get that time back.


Creativity and Time Management Considerations

Thoughts on Entertainment

(Reposting from my Mastodon account, because I think peeps will find it useful)

Upon reading about the way loot boxes mimic gambling I stumbled upon
Since them, I’ve been musing about how much compy/tablet time I’m using when I could be producing or practicing something lasting.

My argument for playing single-player games is that everything I take in is grist for the mill (inspiration for art or writing). I feel like if I stop, I could overfish my creative well. But I also don’t want to waste my time as a watcher and not a doer. And sometimes social media and seeing everyone’s art saps energy.
The most MP game I play is Armello, but I think I’ll delete it [EDIT: since this post, I did that and deleted a few card games that I was spending too much time on].

I think Game Quitters is very savvy though–that factors that make people turn to gaming (or other not-so-productive behaviors) are:

  • sociality
  • challenge
  • a steady sense of progress
  • (and my husband added) validation.
  • And I’d add fear.

I could use more of IRL sociality. I feel like writing and art give me plenty of challenge and a sense of progress but other psychological things make me feel like I’M NEVER GOOD ENOUGH so there’s that, too.

The Art Direction of Oddworld (And a new Oddworld game on the way??)

Art, Thoughts on Entertainment

I thought this video was simply going to be, like, side-by-side video of the original Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee (a game I have adored ever since I played it as a child) with the “New ‘n Tasty” version.

(I am always iffy about HQ remakes. If it’s a classic, for heaven’s sake, why would you mess with it? It’s already stood the test of time! The 2-part Silent Hill HD Review by Twin Perfect is an excellent example of how messing with classics can go catastrophically wrong and why you should NEVER EVER buy the Silent Hill HD collection EVER.)

But to my delight, this Oddworld video digs a little deeper into the artistic vision of the original, so I’m posting it here.


Three-Part HOBBIT

Thoughts on Entertainment

I was looking forward to seeing THE HOBBIT*…until I found out it was being broken up into three parts!

Inline-Bild 2

Dear Peter Jackson,

Even though your names contain the same amount of syllables, you are not Richard Wagner.  Thus, you do not have the genius needed to justify drawing this children’s book out into a 10-hour epic.  Just don’t.



PS, just a reminder?  Rankin-Bass already did THE HOBBIT in 77 minutes back in the 70’s.

*Mostly because of Smaug.  There are not nearly enough good talking dragons in movies.

The 2 reasons I loved WRECK-IT RALPH

Thoughts on Entertainment

There ‘s a plethora of reasons to love WRECK-IT RALPH, of course–too many to mention here.  But in the course of talking to my friends and family, I’ve narrowed my intense devotion to it down to two main reasons:

The movie is bigger than my imagination.

Any number of fantasy movies out there promise to show you exciting worlds.  Too many of them fall short, causing you to walk out of the movies thinking, “That was cool, but there was something missing.  Why didn’t they do…?”

RALPH makes good on the promise.  After the second viewing, I though to myself, “There is nothing I would add to this movie.  I can’t imagine anything that would make it better.”

Simply said, every possibility is explored to the fullest.  You’re watching, and in your hindbrain somewhere, it says, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”  And then…IT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE.   It’s not just in the jokes–the mechanics of the worlds lock together perfectly to support the character journeys.

Which brings me to my second reason why I loved WRECK-IT RALPH so much:

RALPH explores the struggles you can encounter while you’re learning to accept your native abilities.

In writing SCVK, I’ve realized this is a theme I feel strongly about.  So many movies say, “If you follow your heart and believe in yourself, things will work out.”

I believe this is true, but a lot of movies gloss over the fact that sometimes it is really hard to be true to yourself.  It’s easier to look over at someone else and say, “I wish I could be like her, I wish I were funny like him.”  You can waste a lot of time doing this (even your whole life!).  Claiming your gifts is a tough deal sometimes!

In RALPH each character either was doing, or wanted to do, the very thing they were designed to do!  Felix fixed, Calhoun commanded.

Ralph wrecked, but people looked down on him for doing what he was designed to do, and that caused him a lot of heartache.  Vanellope wanted to race, but was being shut out because she wasn’t like the others.  So much of the story comes out of these characters trying to do what they were meant to do, and feel good about it.  That resonated with me.

Between this and Paperman, Disney is starting to feel more like the king of family films again, rather than the lazy emperor of entertainment.  I hope the keep it up!