Friday, April 21, 2006

I'm Supposed To Be Writing

I've got a screenplay to work on. I made a rough outline while taking my first screenwriting class in 2003. Once I started writing the story of my parents' divorce, I got into it. I liked writing and I liked what I was writing. The way it flowed, and even looked, on the page. My instructor gave me positive reinforcement. I thought, briefly, that I was onto something.

Then, my class ended. I had the best intentions of continuing and finishing my script. I made a schedule to be sure to fit in time to write and reflect. But, naturally, I went back to what I do best. Slacking. Dreaming of great heights I have yet to achieve. Watching tv and movies and pretending to soak everything in so I could call it 'research'. I made many promises to myself to start up again, but I kept pushing the dates and letting them pass by.

In three years time I had taken more classes on script development, the entertainment industry and film history. That story, though...MY story. It was still in the back of my mind. Quietly filed away along with several other ideas that hadn't ever been written down. I wanted to go back to it, but I just couldn't.

Then I started dating my boy. He comes from a well educated, history-loving, artistic, literary family. Everyone writes. Poetry, fiction, blogs...they've done it all. There was a local screenplay contest coming up. He was very encouraging and inquisitive, as were his parents. In January I made a feverish bid to finish at least a first draft for the contest. I'd finally be able to say I'd completed a script. I'd finally have some solid evidence that this film obsession wasn't full of shit. You know I didn't make the February 15 deadline, right? And to think, those three were so looking forward to me making it.

This is why I've never told my mom about the screenplay. She would care. Mom would want to know how it was going. Just like my boy and his folks. As it stands I feel bad enough not having updates for his parents. I can't stand the idea of letting my mom down too.

Since the deadline passing I've written twice, getting to a solid page 50. Around page 30 I headed into un-outlined territory. It felt like a good place so I went with it, then came to a natural stopping point. I didn't know where to go next. Back to the outline? Revise the entire second half? So I decided to take a break and think through it. We know what this means, right? I've completely ignored my script, for over a month now, like a red-headed stepchild.

This is it, people. This weekend I start the really hard and painful work. I have to sit with it, past text and blank pages right in my face. I'll have to face the fear of failure and the fear of possible success. I'll need to stew over it and sweat over it. I may have to blind write. I fucking hate that. Just writing with no real idea of where it's going. Getting all the crap out on paper so you can get to the good stuff that's buried beneath your fears and insecurities. Yeah, that's what I'll need to do.

I can feel it. Wish me luck.

5 comments:

miss tracey nolan said...

I am excited for you. And inspired! Maybe I'll sit down and do some writing this weekend too. Maybe those CD reviews that I owe a music website...or maybe the last bit of my second one woman show....! Hang in there. Do this. And give us a progress report on Monday.

Buffy said...

"I'm suppose to be writing..."

So am I.

citygirl said...

Tracey: I actually got motivated this weekend and got over the hump, so to speak. It was easier than I thought! More on that later.

Buffy: I hear you, girl! It's so easy to procrastinate, isn't it?

Cheetarah1980 said...

I totally feel you! I'm always supposed to be writing. After crafting 9 wonderful chapters in over 150 pages my novel is at an indefinite stand still, not having been touched since late February. I keep telling myself I'm going to get back on it and churn out chapter 10, but I have yet to do it.
The worst part is, I actually told people about the novel and had some of them reading it chapter by chapter. I'm getting threatening messages sending the next installment. I guess it was a good thing I let people know, because without them to keep me accountable, I'd probably never write another word in my great American novel.

citygirl said...

Wow, cheetarah. Congratulations on those 9 chapters! I've been writing everyday since Monday. I decided to just open the notebook and start writing, for a minimum of an hour a day. It's been working.

I certainly know what you mean about telling people about your artistic projects. It's a good feeling when you can give them positive updates, but if you're avoiding the work...Oh, crap! Their questions just feel like so much pressure!

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