AAARGH, must fight off procrastination urges

Yes, it's a carnivorous monster fish lamp. Yes, my children actually are scared of it.

You know, that might actually be a little dramatic – I DID spend a total of about an hour today working on the manuscript for GEEKS, GIRLS & SECRET IDENTITIES, after all, and with everybody back at work and the baby still doing his thing that feels pretty good for a weekday. Still, I’ve been having these urges to do other non-revising things, as I periodically do. What, Mike, do you mean like writing a blog post? Oh HAR DE HAR HAR, you’re really funny. No, I mean making tangible, 3-dimensional stuff with my hands, like I used to do back in my art student days, or even in my pre-parenthood days.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Not being able to make frightening sculptural objects that frighten the children because I’m putting all my creative energies into the book that I have under contract is the situation I actually want to be in! OBVIOUSLY, duh, why go to all the trouble of pursuing the book deal otherwise? But I do like engaging in more than one kind of creative activity when it’s possible – it’s like cross-training, right? Or taking a multidisciplinary approach to things, if you prefer vaguely organizational-sounding verbiage to vaguely athletic-sounding verbiage. I think this line of thought may have been spurred by this post Adam Rex made on Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which I dimly remembered and decided to go hunting for after THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY recently won the Odyssey Award. Cool, huh? The post about the image for the Headless Horseman’s Blog, that is, although it’s also very cool about the Odyssey Award too. There’s a real and huge benefit to being an author/illustrator, I guess – you really are required to do the two different art forms. It’s not quite so necessary when you’re crafting the prose all by its lonesome, although that doesn’t stop Maggie Stiefvater from making awesome book trailers or whipping up Sharpie guitars to give away in contests.

I should be able to come up with some cross-creative thing as my very own shtick, don’t you think? Giant fish-shaped floor lamps aren’t really in the cards right now, partly because of space issues, and partly because the one pictured above actually does scare the crap out of my children (I gave it to a friend). Maybe I should start practicing the ukulele again? But that’s a performance-oriented thing. I guess I could write  a new song and play it on the ukulele and record a video of myself playing it and edit the video with some still photos and b-roll footage and get the old band back together to play along and borrow a friend’s ProTools setup to record the song and…aw forget it. If I did all that stuff I wouldn’t have time to shirk my revising obligations via this blog…



8 thoughts on “AAARGH, must fight off procrastination urges

  1. An artist friend convinced me a long time ago that playing guitar, even badly, helped my writing, because of the very cross-training thing you mentioned. The relationship doesn’t have to be obvious. Creativity begets creativity, right? I think your instincts to do something are dead on, whether it’s playing your uke or creating a (very small but exceedingly awesome like your mind-blowing original) fish lamp. Perhaps desk size? Where do I place my order?

  2. Great post, Mike! I like the cross training reference, too. I jumpstart myself by watercolor painting–and it doesn’t even have to be good/recognizable!

    Good luck on those reivisions! We’re in the same boat on this one!

    Here’s hoping you get your lamp back…some day! 😉

  3. Maybe you could teach the carnivorous monster fish lamp sculpture to play the ukulele? Then contact director Tim Burton and put together a creepy-yet-somehow-campy-at-the-same-time rock band. I’d totally buy tickets to that freak show.

  4. I used to think, that other creative things would be a distraction to my writing projects, but then heard Laurie Halse Anderson speak and talk about this cross-fertilization thing and realized how dumb I was being. I both write and illustrate, but for me sometimes it’s so helpful to get out of book-land altogether and do something completely different. Even if it’s just to play in the kitchen or garden.

    But I should really stop procrastinating by blog-reading, though I definitely think that YOU should play the ukuleke… and then finish your book so we can read it!

  5. I adore that lamp. If I could have a lamp like that, life would be complete. Okay, not really, but I love crazy stuff like that. My puppies would probably break it then eat the pieces, though.

  6. Well, I’ll tell you one thing, Mikey. That carnivorous monster fish lamp scares the BGbers out of me! As to cross training–Yes. A great way to stay sane and energize yourself at the same time.

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