Author Topic: Efficient direction of efforts  (Read 1921 times)

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altasilvapuer

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Efficient direction of efforts
« on: August 14, 2013, 04:39:19 AM »
I'm still indecisive as to whether this should be here or general topics, but there you have it.  I'm passing that buck to the moderators.

The last year or so, I've found it very difficult to work on anything without immediately considering it the vein of my symphony I've been working on.  When I get frustrated with it, I'll try to go work on something else, but invariably, I find myself trying to shoehorn or cannibalize the parts of what precious little else I write into being in the symphony.

It's quite frustrating, but so far I've learned to live with it.  At least it gives me a bit of a reason to finish the work, for all that I've a long way to go.  I sometimes can scurry away to do some minor engraving work, but even that is most often on the symphony, and there are precious few works about which I'm concerned for engraving them, right now.

Does anyone else have similar challenges, where one work so dominates your compositional thought that you simply can't be productive on really anything else?  How do you handle it, or do you?

-Matthew
R: "How much time do you think it takes to write a book?"
O: "Oh, you know: Not long . . . but long."
[Patrick Rothfuss and his son, Oot, on the nature of writing.]

Jamie Kowalski

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Re: Efficient direction of efforts
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 10:19:24 AM »
Hi Matthew,

I can relate. My priority at the moment is finishing my large suite, and I've been going through my sketchbook and appropriating things left and right. Some of those things had sort of been earmarked for other possible future projects, but as I need a lot of material quickly, I've been lifting some of it and adapting it for the suite. I always have the question in the back of my mind of whether or not I should be borrowing something, if I'm not sure I'm comfortable "re-using" it for its original purpose.

On the other hand, I have so many unfinished pieces and loose sketches, that I really need to start doing something with some of them. I guess if I end up using an idea in two different pieces, it's really not that bad.

gogreen

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Re: Efficient direction of efforts
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 08:18:36 AM »
Quote
When I get frustrated with it, I'll try to go work on something else, but invariably, I find myself trying to shoehorn or cannibalize the parts of what precious little else I write into being in the symphony.

A suggestion: Stop fighting it and go with it! Even if it's a "wrong" step, it will bring you one step closer to the right direction. I believe such is the nature of creativity and the creative process. So I don't believe there really are any "wrong" steps. Stop editing as you go for a while and let it take you where it takes you.

I've been doing this for about a year or so now, and it's spawned some eye-opening breakthroughs and high points for me.

Jamie Kowalski

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Re: Efficient direction of efforts
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 08:44:50 AM »
I don't believe there really are any "wrong" steps. Stop editing as you go for a while and let it take you where it takes you.

Wonderfully articulated. I believe our best work happens when we allow ourselves to ignore the practical side of our brains, and write as much as possible without restricting ourselves through pre-judgement.

Turn off your mind when it's time to write. Turn it back on when it's time for edits.

gogreen

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Re: Efficient direction of efforts
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 10:53:56 AM »
Thanks, Jamie. You might enjoy Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go, by Shaun McNiff. The book is mainly about artwork, but, as Dr. McNiff told me, "In my experience the core concepts and processes transcend disciplines." What I had written in my last message is one of the main concepts I drew--and tested--from the book. Very liberating!

Jamie Kowalski

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Re: Efficient direction of efforts
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 11:06:07 AM »
That looks like an interesting book, I may track that down when I get time.