by Paul Madonna
This is my first blog entry, ever.
A bit about my creative process: I can guess how long a piece will take, and it generally takes me less than that in actual hours, but more in cumulative time, because I need pad and buffer time. I need to know a piece of writing or a drawing can sit and breathe. A piece may take 15 hours if we add up the punches on the clock, but doesn't mean that if I started it on Monday morning, it was done Tuesday evening. It most likely means that it was started Monday morning and completed 2 to 3 weeks later, with a total of 15 hours within those weeks.
I tend to feel stressed when I don't give myself breathing time for a piece. And I find that work with no deadline tends to be the best work. With All Over Coffee, published once a week, I find that deadlines are helpful for creating structure, and I've learned how to dovetail pieces so that one is finished each week. Some sit on the table for months, while others sit only for days, but with the weekly deadline I must always stay in motion and bring pieces to completion. The deadline keeps me working, and by working on several pieces at once I can give a piece time to breathe if it needs it, rather than force it to wrap up prematurely. It's a rare day when three finish at the same time, mostly because I'll let them breathe until I think I'm overworking them. Also, becuase All Over Coffee is a series, it's about working out ideas and continuing to make pieces, whereas a short story or a one off piece is summed up in its singularity, and doesn't necessarily have the benefit of a group context.