Under-Achievers Unite!

Posted in Diary of a Directrix
December 22nd, 2009 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

scientology xmas sm3094038577_5f0290d22fSo apparently Santa’s a scientologist.  I’m so not sitting on his wacko lap.  Holiday rituals are so bizarre.

For some reason, my muse always seems to want to write this time of year.  The floor is currently covered with sheets of scribbled on yellow legal paper and notecards.  I’m sure Kenny’s less than thrilled, but I think it’s a beautiful sight. It’s the sign of mass productivity.

crumpled-paper-paperweight-1Most of my writer friends are shocked to discover I write screenplay pages out longhand, but I always do.  I’ll write for a couple hours in the morning, then type in my pages in the afternoon, tweaking as I go along.  Interestingly, no matter how many sheets of paper I go through in a session, invariably they come out to about 10 typed screenplay pages.

It feels good to be back in writing mode after so many months out on the road.  I was beginning to wonder if I still even knew how to write, but the pile of trash on my floor indicates my muse remains intact.  Home at last.  Nice.

dc devi ian smIt was hard making the transition from jet-setting gypsy filmmaker the past 5 months to stay-at-home writer last week, but Ian and I have found a new peer system that seems to be working for us both.  While I doubt either of us is the image of what most would consider an “under-achiever,” we both noted last week that we felt we could and should be more productive than we’ve been of late.  The problem is we’re both fans of making impossibly overwhelming “to-do lists” every day and as a result often set ourselves up to fail.  It’s a lot easier to slack off when you know you’re not going to begin to tackle everything on the list. 373379367_3963a4e4bf Ian also commented that he works better in an office environment with co-workers around to sort of keep him in check.

With this all in mind we created the “Under Achiever’s List” and our new virtual office space.  Now every day we send one another our respective “to-do” lists that have to under-achieve in the productivity of which we believe ourselves capable.  We list the bare minimum that must absolutely be completed along with a bonus round of additional tasks we might strive to tackle.

watercoolerpervWe also schedule water cooler chats (via phone) where we report on our progress and share office gossip (like the time Cathy came to work in that hideous dress, or speculation about layoffs, and our pervy boss.)

This has proven highly effective.  It’s been nearly a week now and productivity is way up.  Underachieving has never felt so good.  But I best get back to it, I don’t think Pervo the boss will appreciate me blogging on company time….

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