Thursday, August 2, 2007


I don't feel right if I don't write every day. Somehow things start running in loops in my head. I got involved in script consulting because it's something I'm good at, I work at home, and there's a lot of flexibility. I can write every day. But sometimes I don't.

The last few weeks or months have been one of those times. I'm on a huge learning curve with film producing on Mr. Gary. I've got lots of clients with a lot of different needs. House guests. And then there's life.

Writing for other people is not the same as writing for yourself. It's easier, for one. You have a strong perspective and access to the lead writer. You break it down. you come up with a plan. You execute.

Not so simple with your own stuff. Now that we've got our post-production team up and running, I do have more time for my own stuff. I pulled out my own script, started digging through and suddenly had a huge realization about it. I saw where I was missing something incredibly obvious. For me, the story was about a boy exploring his fantasy world in the flesh. For my main character and the audience, the focus was on the fact that he thinks he may have caused his father's death. There's this huge layer of guilt and anxiety and his character completely stressed in every way possible. This is pretty much what a screenwriter wants. This is exactly what I wanted for the character. And I didn't see it. I was too close, and now I was writing off in the wrong direction.

The next day I had four meetings, two phone calls and dinner with a fundraiser. No time to write. I had three pens run out of ink on the same day. What are the chances? The next day I put the work ahead of my writing, and a pen exploded in my bag. Monday I was too exhausted to engage stuff deeply. You got it: my last pen ran out of ink.

There's no good explanation for this. I'm not the kind of person who dwells on weird coincidences. But it feels like my pens are rising up in anger. It's time to get back to work and really dig into this character. Working on your own stuff is harder, but it's why we write. No amount of futzing with structure will help me if I don't look at my work, if I don't listen to my work.

1 comment:

Michael said...

I find your point about a work/life balance in regards to writing hitting fairly close to home. There always seems to be something that keeps me FROM writing but nothing that really pushes me towards it.

It's not that writers like to writer, it's that we have to write. I get kind of an uneasy feeling if I go a long period without writing something (even a semi run-on comment) and after doing so it seems I can regain my focus. So, maybe it's not your pens revolting, maybe it's latent telekinetic powers trying to make your real desires come to life.

Well, maybe not.