Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Schedules and Creativity

After this last failure to follow my self-imposed schedule it's occurred to me that one of the problems with schedules is that they are logical and linear -- very left brain. I divided the number of chapters I had left into the days I have left and came up with 2 1/2 days to spend per chapter. I inserted all that into my calendar, then penciled in the coherence edits ("easy" tasks that can be done after the hard work of first drafting is completed for the day). Very simple, very straightforward.

The problem is, creativity is in large part neither simple nor straightforward. Reading about the creative process you quickly learn of the periods of blankness, the times when the work is being done behind the scenes by the non-verbal, non-linear right brain, the way the solutions spring upon you whole cloth, or else the elements fall into place step by step with no conscious or logical planning.

In fact, nothing organic grows in a rigidly logical and linear manner -- take a look at any tree! When you try to force a non-linear process onto a linear calendar, then, it's hardly surprising when it doesn't work out.

Right now I'm having to work through Trap and Carissa's thread as it proceeds through the book -- that means I'm actually doing a degree of the coherence edit on those scenes completely out of the order my schedule had imposed. But so what? The work is still being done. I may not have a nice, neat map of the journey ahead of me, with its built-in assurance that I'll not fail to finish on time... but I have the Lord. And He has assured me that, whatever happens, I will not be ashamed. I just have to believe Him. And I know without a doubt that He prefers that to all my schedules and reliance on my own ability (ha!) to keep them.