5 Free Minutes

“I’m not happy to be here. I’m not happy to meet you. I couldn’t care about your relatives, no I couldn’t give a damn. No I couldn’t give a damn. I need five free minutes for myself.” 

– Spirit of the West, 5 Free Minutes

So I’ve asked myself a few times since the enlightening Kevin Smith show back in November… What do I want to do with the time I have for myself? Not free time. ME time.

Initially it was full steam ahead on a screenplay, but then I got this idea for something else. Something for which I have just as much passion as film making. As it turns out, I may have more of a passion for this, if for no other reason than I find myself doing it ALL the time, and I would take great satisfaction in being able to do it really well, or at least way better than I do now.

It’s at this point in the piece that I will kindly ask my wife to stop reading. You see, the project I have undertaken is going to be a terrifically timed and wonderfully romantic anniversary present. Jodi, if you are reading this I can guarantee you that it will top the great secret piano lessons (anniversary #5 in 2004), and certainly come in ahead of commissioning a local artist to do a chalk drawing of the first time I set eyes on you (anniversary #1 in 2000, affectionately titled “Love at First Sight”). So please, read no more. I would very much like this to be as big a surprise as possible.

If you are not my wife, then I’ll kindly ask that you just scroll down a bit, where I will continue my thoughts.

almost there

OK, here we are. Thanks for sticking with me.

After the Kevin Smith show it was all about me wanting to make better use of the time I had available. Then in December I added the anniversary present project and it became a struggle to keep moving both projects forward. With the anniversary present on a firm deadline clearly the screenplay would suffer, but why was this a problem? The two projects were not in obvious conflict. One was being done in secret mostly during the day with a small amount of research in the evenings, and the other I could do whenever I had the inclination to pick up the damn laptop and type something. So was I just being a lazy shit? I started to wonder…

Then today I read THIS, written by fellow Kevin Smith devotee R. Chazz Chute (@RChazzChute on Twitter), and I gotta say that it burnt with the intensity of 1000 suns.

Are you taking care of yourself and pushing your goals forward?” – R. Chazz Chute

I have asked and answered the question above and many of the questions Chazz asks before, and for me I have boiled the answers down to two things: priorities and deadlines. Most importantly, that I recognize that I thrive on a well placed deadline and the satisfaction of meeting it to my measure of success.

So I asked myself, how important was it to have a finished screenplay sitting on my desk with my name at the bottom of the title page? Is there a deadline can I self impose to move this along? I’m sure there is, but I’m also sure I have a really short attention span and am only capable of doing one thing at a time, and right now I have the other project that’s taking up considerable mental energy.  Blah blah blah… if ifs and buts were candy and nuts…

So I took my anniversary project – with my passion to succeed and a firm deadline – and I asked myself what I could do as part of that goal that would get me closer to the other one. I found a couple things, and if I just do them it will make those first words-on-page draft of the screenplay definitely suck less.  Yes, it will take longer to finish writing it, but to be honest I’ll get more satisfaction out of finishing the anniversary present.  I’ll be a better person for it, and in the end I’ll probably be a better writer for it.

So https://potatochipmath.com (which for now will just be this blog, but will expand as the year goes on) will be my playground to practice one thing (writing), while at the same time garnering some public interest in the other (the anniversary present).

Public interest? Really? Full of yourself much?

Yes, there will be public interest in the anniversary present project. Mostly because it’s a feel-good story. It really is. Everyone I talk to has nothing but kind words and encouragement and they all genuinely want to see me succeed.

It also has the potential to be a massive train wreck that goes viral on YouTube. So stay tuned…

2 thoughts on “5 Free Minutes

  1. Chazz

    Well, hey! Gotta say, I'm intrigued!Also, glad you liked today's post so much. I was preaching to everyone else but talking to myself.It seems appropriate to tell you the same thing Kevin Smith said to me:\”Loved it. Go, sir! GO!\”


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