26 June 2006

The Recording Process

Today I feel sick in the head, a defective person trapped in a prison. I put this mainly down to not having enough sleep. The lack of sleep came about as a result of the beginning of the monitoring process. Every time I woke up in the night, my activity changed from sleeping to being awake in bed, therefore I had to make a note in my Log Book of the time of change of activity.

However at the moment of becoming conscious I wasn't sure what I was meant to be doing, my mind was confused. I didn't know whether to record the activity I had been doing in my dream or to record the act of sleeping. After being awake for a little while I came to realise that if I stayed asleep I wouldn't have to write anything done. When this was clear, I could finally drift off again. This didn't prevent me, however, from waking up startled and confused on three further occasions.

Today I have major concerns as to whether I'll be able to keep this up. I've spoken to two people about my concerns about the project and have received conflicting advice.

The first was from my friend Verity, who had popped round unexpectedly and found me in a rather bad mood. She was concerned about me attempting to record everything I did. When I told her about Prime, she was excited about the project. She liked the prospect of getting a new job, saying that the best thing would be having the opportunity to meet lots of new and interesting people.

I agreed with her that yes this would be good, but at the same time I wasn't sure I would be able to do it. I wouldn't be able to act in a natural way whilst recording my every move. I knew that instead, I would end up trying to avoid people so that I wouldn't have to record so much information and could avoid having to explain what I was doing.

This made me question whether I was doing the right thing. Would I be ruining my experience of 'Part-time' by trying to document it? I wasn't going to enjoy the next four weeks. I would be constantly observing myself take part in the activity, rather than truly experiencing it. I worried that maybe I should just quit now (on the first day, before I'm in too deep) and start on something else more along the lines of my first idea.

The second piece of advice however, gave me more confidence and motivation about the idea. It was from Jon. He said that he always had admiration for projects with an incomprehensible amount of detail - when you are stunned at the amount of obsession and rigour that has gone into something. He said that this project had that same potential, just as long as I persisted.

Not one to be a quitter, I decided to persist. I needed to begin to rationalise the amount of data I was collecting, by creating categories for different types of activity for example Domestic Work or Job Seeking. I also needed to work out as quickly as possible, how I was going to visualise the information into colour coded timelines. As soon as I had this sorted I could begin to visualise each day as I went through the four week period. Therefore, I would be able to see the ongoing fruits of my labour and be motivated to continue.