Observation journal — plans and deliberateness

On this observation journal page, a reminder to myself regarding “doing it wrong” vs “doing it my way”.

This was the day my copies of Flyaway arrived! I also went to the hairdresser’s, to feel like a proper author.

Useful reflection

I don’t love being introspective. Particularly not in long-form prose. When I do have a problem to grapple with, I find it most useful to start sorting it into patterns of thought, however roughly. This way I usually end up with either an answer, the raw materials for one, or at least a better question.

Some usually useful approaches to vague concerns:

  • X vs Y (as here), to start finding boundaries and tipping points.
  • A list, to get a worry out of my head and be able to look for patterns.
  • A table, if I want to compare multiple events/projects
  • A mind map, if I sense some general areas of enquiry.

This is a ratty little page because I was sad and sleepy and it was late. But it was still helpful.

I think this page was prompted mostly by worries I wasn’t “properly” celebrating Flyaway‘s publication. A minor crisis, but representative (it turned out I was sick — spent the actual publication date being horribly ill, which certainly relieved any residual guilt).

This page in particular

In the first part, I collected my thoughts on (the fear) of doing it wrong vs doing it my way.

In the second part, I rounded up thoughts on not-partying — things people kept asking, why it wasn’t happening, what I though ought to happen. And the same on possibilities: I had champagne. I could at least acknowledge the release, and appreciate it, and tidy the house, and be aware.

Last, I started collecting more general thoughts on what I felt I should be doing vs what I always seem to do and actually enjoy doing. This section was more about some new smaller projects I had to work on, but it was a good reminder and one I’ve had to come back to more than once:

  • Pressuring myself to be/write: clever, witty, slipstream, literary, Australian Gothic, not too obvious, not too fantasy, not boring!, but consistent.
  • Things I actually (and like to) do/be/write: odd, strange, compact, multiple, fast, pleasant, following a story, chasing things that are intriguing-to-me.

At Stefan’s, with tea and hair foils