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Secret Life of a Nerd Girl: Nerd Girl In Motion


A blogumn by Gudrun Cram-Drach

I recently flew from CDG to LAX. In the purgatory of timeless space between my vacation and my real world, I snap an aerial sunset pic from my window (I can never not do this), and sink into a contemplative mood.

A mind so recently full of everything BUT reality teams with ideas, or more accurately, a chock-a-block to-do list. I reach for paper.

First things are practical. The milk must have spoiled:
Go to Trader Joes.

And that check must have come in the mail:
Go to bank.

All of my lists start with “Trader Joes” and “Bank”.

The list moves to artistic/career related matters:
Remember to send film to Croatian animation festival that guy (Jacques?) at bar mentioned.

Then self improvement:
Finish reading The War of Art. Why exactly ARE you resisting Part III: Combating Resistance?

If only I could get more done in a day, pretend I have an office and an inbox and people in surrounding cubicles depending on me. I’m afraid I sometimes regard my creative side as a minimum-wage-paying second job that I worked very hard to get and I don’t care much about keeping.

I write DRAW MORE in capital letters and underline it.

Then bullet point beneath it
•Go to Sunday CalArts workshops

Conflicting prior commitments pop into my mind and I debate whether I really want to burn the gas my 20 year old American clunker will require for the stretch between Silverlake and Santa Clarita?

•Start next film? The idea is there, you just have to start, what’s the hold up?

Ah ha.


When I work at home a trip to the post office can take all day. In an office, time stands still: when I take lunch too early, and the work is tedious, 15 minutes can be an eternity. At home, 15 minutes is a pit stop in the loo and hello to the cat. Then suddenly it’s 5:00 and I wonder if the 3.5 hours of work that morning could suffice as a full day’s haul. Maybe if I practiced my philosophy about freelance: “it gives me time to do my own work,” but in reality I rarely make time for “my own work”.

So comes SCHEDULE.

I draw out a schedule. Every morning start working at 8. Then by noon half a day is done. Work-work in the morning and art-work in the afternoon and evening.

I remember the conflicts.

Monday Wednesday Friday 12-8, Thursday 8-5, Tuesday 1-9.
When do I write?
What do I draw?
What do I have to do tomorrow to get the film started?

Oh wait, there’s other stuff to do tomorrow like pick up milk and go to the bank, and oh wait I’ll be totally jetlagged and probably fall asleep at 7 pm.

What I’m getting at here is, these lists never work. These “I need to paint more” fantasies do little more than add to the guilt felt when I glance at my paint box and very dry brushes. When I don’t go draw and decide to organize my bills instead, but I don’t organize my bills because a quarter way in I’m overwhelmed and I think “hell its Sunday, everyone else is taking a break why not me too?” and I run off and watch the East Coast feed of True Blood at 6:00, can I blame myself? And if so, for what exactly?

If I were to make a super-duper-special-exclusive-V.I.P.-list-of-one, it would be: find out what I need to change on the inside, so I
•better organize my time,
•separate my work-work and my art-work,
•respect my ideas enough to give them the time and space they need,
•and yeah, maybe I should finish reading
The War of Art.