Contact me at because I'm always up for a natter about anything. Well, mostly.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Can You Watch & Edit?

Today I noticed something about myself. Aside from the fact I need to be listening to music in order to write, I apparently need something on in the background in order to be able to edit my work. Nope, it can't be music. Preferably, it should be a musical which has enough numbers in it to distract me once in a while yet isn't completely packed. I would watch The Sound of Music as opposed to the anniversary concert of Les Miserables let's say.

Does this quirk make me odder than I thought I was?

I choose films I know backwards. Tonight I sat watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with my script on my knee. I managed to edit twenty-five pages, a pretty concentrated effort for me. Usually I drift off into doing something else while I'm editing.

The trouble is, I like the editing process but I do see it as a never-ending one. I'm never going to be happy with what I write. If I try and edit at my desk I'm likely to overwhelm myself by playing around with my thesaurus and panicking about why my scenario seems faintly familiar. Am I a thief, am I wannabe? By focusing half my attention on something else I can pull back from my doubts and have a decent editing session whilst also entertaining myself a little.

This doesn't work for everything, of course. Some stories require more meticulous attention than others, especially if they're irritating me. If I'm overhauling a plot I have to give it my full attention. And, invariably at this point, Facebook and Twitter get my undivided adoration.

I'm not a lost cause but I am getting close to being a hopeless case.


Sal Bates said...

I have to have something on it the background, but it is a balancing act. It has to be something good, but not too good so i want to stop what i'm doing and watch. But it also can't be boring, otherwise i start flicking though the channels. Soaps are good, news is good, Friends and Are You Being Served, definitely all work. 24, Lost, Heroes, not so good for working cos i want to watch them!!

Anonymous said...

I think if I had the news on in the background I'd end up arguing with it as per usual! I'll bear comedy in mind though, as an alternative to watching Maria for the fiftieth time...

Sal Bates said...

In that case i take it back! You should watch Maria for the fifty-first time!!!