After just using this metaphor to an editor, I thought maybe I could use it to talk about my writing process.
I’ve got a huge project that I’ve spent the better part of December putting together with a collaborator. I was given a green light to go to script, which was then pulled back a day or two later. So, okay, I move on to other work… EXCEPT-
My brain doesn’t quite work like that anymore. I imagine my brain as a clipboard. It’s a notepad filled with all of my ideas for the script/project/thingy I’m currently working on. So, if I move off of that project and onto another one, just like with your computer’s clipboard, you’re going to lose that data. You’re going to get a lot of links to cat pictures and think pieces on Fight Club.
And yes, I have systems in place that allow me to hold multiple projects in my head at once, but, and I mean this literally, so much of what my process is amounts to conceptualizing (in head/notes) and then typing the finished product. Not writing it. The conceptualizing goes so far as to actually be my writing process. I understand what a script is saying or means, I understand what well over 2/3rds of the dialogue will be, and then I start writing.
I equate my process, to some degree, with automatic writing. I hold so much of the process in my head prior to typing, that once I actually set about trying to type it out, it’s closer to an edited second draft than it is to what would appear to be stream of consciousness.
Which is, in all honestly, probably a short coming of mine. I don’t like working a story out on paper. I don’t like grinding away at draft after draft. I like to conceptualize, contextualize, understand thoroughly, and THEN i like the typing part.
But, in the meantime, the project that’s taking up all of my clipboard is on hold, and I gotta work on other stuff in the meantime. Because that’s the job.