Thursday, May 20, 2010

Embracing Order And Control, For A Change

Worst Game of Chess EVER!

I choose my projects very carefully, because once I commit myself to something, I'm usually pretty good about sticking to it. Problem is I'm only good when I spell out exactly what needs to be done, like in a step by step to-do list. It's amazing how powerful writing down something on a simple piece of paper (or a gmail tasks list, as I usually do it these days) is to me, and how incredibly satisfying it is to cross each item off, and seeing a list of completed tasks.

To delve even deeper, the specificity I use plays a large role as well. "Find a new job" is mentally harder for me to start doing than "apply to 5 jobs every day", which makes obvious sense, but I know if I never added the specific rule to apply to 5 jobs a day I would have probably applied to many fewer positions. Similarly, "write more" was a goal I had in mind for a while, but it didn't start happening until I made it a point to publicly and specifically state I would be doubling up on blog entries for the year (so far so good on that promise, though I think I missed one last week).

I waver between fully embracing this weird OCD-like behavior, and wanting to force myself to eliminate to-do lists entirely from my life and seeing if I suddenly can't get out of bed, and have to relearn how to accomplish anything without so much as a mental checklist. Embracing chaos and the unknown has never been my strong suit, which makes my improv career that much more incredible.
My idea for an episode: Jeff makes a to-do list, and the others help him complete it! After that, an orgy.

Having said all of this, I'm gonna play to my strengths at the moment and list a few goals right here. About a month ago I mentioned wanting to write some fiction, which I'm still trying to get started doing. The idea was to possibly enter in the National Novel Writing Month, which would actually work out real well with my experience with time-based personal challenges if I do indeed fully commit to doing it (still deciding, but leaning towards a 'yes'). But perhaps before that I'd like to try my hand at writing a spec script for a TV show, which could be equally daunting but also just as exciting to do. The current front runner for a show I'd love to write for is Community, my new favorite comedy (which by the way, you really need to check out if you haven't yet. The first season just finished up and it was a blast throughout).

With the television season over (and some old friends saying goodbye forever!), and no major games I'm dying to play on the horizon, this could be a great opportunity to use my free time to push myself like I never have before. It can seem like a daunting task, setting big goals that in and of themselves are potentially part of a bigger picture, but I'm a big proponent of baby steps, and with this slight self-nudging, this baby writer is getting those baby legs warmed up.


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