(I could’ve sworn I’ve used the plate spinning metaphor on this blog but nothing’s popping for plate, plates or spinning. I await the sigh-and-eye-roll of the librarians amongst you to school me on my own blog.)

One of the banes of this writing gig has been the resounding radio silence that almost always follows the dispatch of a script to interested parties. I’m more patient than most but the waiting and wondering and imagining has always been difficult:

  • I know the script has been received;
  • I know the interested parties have other things on their plates;
  • and I know that I – just – have – to – be – pa-tient.

But my imagination can run riot:  was the script downright terrible?  was the script really badly received?  have I fallen from favour?

The anxiety of not hearing hasn’t been so crippling the last couple of months.  There’s been a deadline every few weeks and as each one has been met or pushed, there’ve been other projects in my queue to leap into.  I’m busy enough that I’m aware that I haven’t heard back from whoever, but I’m not really concerned:  I have another deadline to meet.  It’s nice.

Actually, it feels pretty damned good.


Schedules and Deadlines

The Mamea household1, for the sake of the adults’ sanity and convenience (and the prevention of corporal beatings), gets through each week with the help of a dinner schedule.  The schedule for Term 1 of 2007 is:

  • Monday – macaroni cheese
  • Tuesday – baked potatoes (courtesy of The Boy)
  • Wednesday – vegetarian surprise
  • Thursday – nachos (courtesy of The Girl)
  • Friday – pizza
  • Saturday – semi-planned surprise
  • Sunday – last-minute surprise

The children’s daily demands of What’s for dinner? are already answered, our (mostly) fixed shopping list ensures we get our core nutrients, and there are no more moments of standing in the kitchen wondering what the hell to stuff the kids’ mouths with.

Adults’ sanity – check.  Overall convenience – check.  (And no corporal beatings in three years, two months, two weeks, one day and counting2.)

Schedules, like lists, provide certainty.  Y’know: something to look forward to, or work through, or work towards.  Like goals.

Or deadlines.

And schedules and deadlines ensure Things Happen.

Besides being handy for things like moving house (don’t forget the pets or children, in that order) or going on holiday (ensure the selection of travelling music is equal between adults), my writing time is rarely without a deadline – I shall write ten pages of something/anything/everything until noon or I must write ten pages before I am worthy to watch an episode of Law & Order, Season 3.

Some days, the ten pages write themselves….  Well, the pain of typing text onto the blank screen is manageable.

Most days, I stave off the urge to do (long avoided) housework and/or try not to panic as noon approaches at double-speed and/or fight off any number of other procrastinating techniques, and I write and I write and I write.

As long as I’ve done a day’s writing, I don’t get restless, guilty or cranky with family members.  Well.  Okay.  It doesn’t stop me being restless from being pulled out of The Zone (I was in the middle of a great set piece!), or guilty that I didn’t spend more time with family, or cranky (because Who wrote this shit? or It’s so haaard and I hate it and why can’t producers just feel the craftsmanship?”).

Yeah.  The writing journey has its moments.

But on any given day, I know what I’m having for dinner.

1 – I hope my family forgives my possessory credit here.  But they’ll understand.

2 – Which, incidentally, is the length of time our entire blended family has been together.