The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

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The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

The first half of my week will be given over to finally preparing and delivering my PhD confirmation presentation and doing the associated meetings. That’s on my plate after Tuesday, which means my primarily focus shifts back to Hell Track and trying to move into the third and forth sequences.

What’s inspiring me this week?

If you missed Mary Robinette Kowal’s 47th Birthday post, in which she breaks down the process of drafting a story from idea to execution, I’d strongly urge you to go and check it out. There’s little things to pick up at almost every stage that Kowal is writing about, from breaking an idea into a story (which I’ve rarely seen handled in such an efficient, procedural way – it’s something I’m going to steal and start modifying for my own process) through to scene-planning process that she’s using.

As a bonus, I’m also going to mention a specific episode of Writing Excuses season 11 where they talk about the Elemental Genre of Humor. I’ve mentioned season 11 as being a particularly great run of the podcast on this blog and in my newsletter, but this episode has fundamentally changed the way I watch comedy shows by giving me terminology and analytic tools that gives me a way of breaking down and understanding what they’re doing.

What action do I need to take?

I’ve got a bunch of paperwork to fill out and training courses to book into ahead of teaching in a few weeks, and I’ve got two reports to review and prepare responses to ahead of my confirmation meeting on Tuesday. Mostly, this is a symptom of a larger problem with doing the six-week project sprit – because I don’t plan my day and make project decisions in the morning as a default, I haven’t really figured out how and when I do basic maintenance tasks like answering emails and processing inboxes.

This is rapidly becoming something I need to address.

  8 comments for “The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

  1. 11/02/2018 at 11:30 AM

    Peter: regarding the maintenance tasks, I’d argue you already have the tool for this if you look at it a certain way – Work Clean’s half an hour start to the day to free up other people to work for you feels relevant to this (at least in the case of the life admin stuff)

    Thank you for mentioning both of those pieces of media, too – they’re HUGELY relevant to upcoming projects on my plate.

    • 11/02/2018 at 11:38 AM

      Having the tool and remembering g to keep it handy aren’t always the same thing 🙂

      • 11/02/2018 at 12:00 PM

        True, true. Mobile phone alarm reminder then?

  2. 11/02/2018 at 11:47 AM

    What am I working on this week?
    This week continues to be GDC preparation, along with a quarterly review and some face to face meetings. Trying to focus on the vital numbers and pushing them up. ALSO trying to squeeze some content creation in there along the way to get back to making my own things.

    What’s inspiring me this week?
    I saw Mathew Lutton’s production of Picnic at Hanging Rock at Malthouse Theatre last night, and was transfixed. A very generous gift from my sister who described it perfectly as an amazing realisation of Australian gothic. Such an incredible sense of creeping dread and isolation combined with moments of sheer terror. The staging of the production was amazing, and its components worked together so wonderfully to create a piece without visible seams.

    Listening to the same scores on high rotation at the moment – Dark Knight and Blade Runner 2049, and looking to branch out a little this week into something new.

    At the risk of being a little navel-gazey, there are also two things that are really inspiring me that are more personal – one is realising last week that a particular hobby was far too time-consuming for the joy it brought, and ditching it. My brain is already grasping for something to fill that space, and I’m looking to shift that time and energy into narrative skills development.

    The other is the progress I’ve been making in the program I’m working with a personal trainer on. I’m starting to notice small shifts in shape in the upper body, and a definite increase in practical strength. Every six weeks is a new onslaught of exercises at the next level of difficulty, and the process of moving through those programs is reminding on the micro level that change happens because of constant commitment. That, and the fact that anything is possible when worked at consistently.

    What action do I really need to take?
    Two high priority actions this week: tying up a few life admin loose ends that have dragged on (getting documents mailed back to lawyer) and lining up more strategic meetings for GDC.

    (sneaking this one in – happy to scrub it if it rubs people the wrong way)

    What could I use some help with?
    I’m starting some reading for a side project at the moment. Anything related to pacts with the devil/nature of the devil very much appreciated (I’ve got Paradise Lost, Revelations (the book of the bible), Faust & Devil Went Down to Georgia in there at the moment, although I’ve only just started looking at it.

    • maggiedot
      13/02/2018 at 11:45 AM

      Congrats on the progress on your exercising goals! That’s a tricky thing to get organized and committed to, and is definitely worth feeling good about! And bravo too for recognizing that the additional hobby is taking needed time away from other focus areas–I had to really scale back on a few hobbies myself, because it’s too easy to expend useful creative energy on side projects. (Not that there’s not a place for them, but keeping them in check, I mean.)

      I’m assuming you’ve got The Portrait of Dorian Grey for the deal with the devil material?

  3. maggiedot
    13/02/2018 at 12:09 PM

    I cannot wait to check out those posts/podcasts, Peter. I just started listening to Writing Excuses per your recommendation, and it’s fantastic. Thanks for introducing me to it!

    My Sunday Circle (if linking goes well today) is here!

    • maggiedot
      13/02/2018 at 12:11 PM

      Rats! Again! Next time, I’m just posting the post in here. Lol.

      Second attempt…

  4. maggiedot
    13/02/2018 at 12:14 PM

    AAAAAND, just copy-pasting. Don’t know where my linking skills have gone, but I blame WordPress, just because… :

    What I’m working on this week: Plowing ahead on the word-cull edit, though the hubby’s on vacation this week, so the likelihood of finishing the cutting edit is probably a long shot. If I can get a minimum of half an hour of editing work in a day, I’ll consider it a major achievement.

    What’s inspiring me this week?: Well, it’s Winter Olympic week, so I’m all about watching people half my age do crazy awesome things with knives strapped to their feet. I mean, have you ever seen anything as crazy beautiful as the double-helix Evgenia Medvedeva does on that second jump in the solo short program?! I didn’t even know they could jump with their arms up.

    And this weekend, the gift that keeps on giving struck again: my folks got the hubby and me a turntable for Christmas, and since then, it seems like everyone we talk to about it has a stash of records in their attic or in storage that they are only too happy to donate to the cause (aka: our building up our library). This weekend, we raked in a ton from my parents’ neighbors: Gladys Knight and the Pips, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode, of course), Blondie, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Willie Nelson, along with some Vivaldi and some Beethoven, among others. And we’ve been absorbing those bit by bit, which has been an absolute delight. I don’t think a day slips by that we don’t listen to at least one album.

    What action do I need to take this week?: We’re gearing up to get all of our passports done/updated, which we’ve been talking about for (literally) years, but never quite make time for. So this week, we’re trying to at least get that tackled.

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