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Monday, June 16, 2008

REVISITING THAT OLD SCRIPT


There are many things that leave me often puzzled in life. One is the drive that some of us have to write. I have read many books giving me advice on what I should and should not do as a writer. I read somewhere that if you want to be a successful screenwriter; we should crank out 10 scripts a year and be single because relationships often fuck up writers. In the long run does anyone have the perfect formula to be a successful anything other than tenacity?

About a year ago I finished a script that I had revised a hundred times or more. I thought I should throw it away because it was my first dark comedy and well, I was told that it should be darker, minus the comedy. Others thought that it was just…NOT FUNNY. Okay, so I realized that maybe I should move on to something else and I gave up on the script. I never claimed to be a comedian, and I also never claimed to know exactly what I was doing. To me the script was not just a dark comedy. It was about everyday life, what I knew and what I understood: fucked up relationships, life, and personal identity. While I know these topics are broad, I’ll refrain from telling you the full synopsis because I’ve learned the hard way- NOT to give out too much about works in the making.

Let’s just say that recently I picked it back up again during a position at a previous job that allowed me to sit for long periods of down time. I decided to fiddle around with it. I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I simply just wrote and I didn’t give myself time to think or worry about the imperfections, sometimes we can over think something, and before we realize it—we lose momentum and are paralyzed. What stops us from moving forward and using what drives us deep inside? What causes this “writer’s block”? Why do we get blocked and why do some of us breeze through what ever it is we’re working on? There is something that I would call “the switch”. Whenever this “switch” is on— it is like the floodgates are open in our mind and suddenly the words pore out like an avalanche—an unexpected overflowing of words. I’ve often felt my fingers unable to keep up with the words and my characters that speak to me in my head. It is like I can hear them and see them and I know what should happen next not because of any beat sheet I’ve followed, but because from my own gut instinct it is what should happen naturally.

This doesn’t always happen to me. Usually I feel conflicted with my own worries and that’s what I’ve found to be the worst stumbling block for any of us. When we are stricken with fear we become immobilized and unable to reach the center of our souls. When we are so stricken by worry and the need to be perfect, we remove the passion and love out of the gift we crave to use. Fear is likened to what nagging is to a relationship. It kills all the fun, joy, love, and passion- saps it and then we wonder what went wrong? Death of inspiration and death of the love affair we had for our: novel, script, poem, song, short story can have many excuses and reasons for why the love faded. When push comes down to shove, if you really look deep within yourself you will see exactly why “the switch” has not turned on for you. You are thinking too much and somewhere along the lines the more you thought about it the more you became afraid. We can think ourselves scared and that often leaves us immobilized. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, none of us are perfect. So how about we just let go of our thoughts and for once- STOP THINKING.

One insomniatic night I realized that I couldn’t stand myself. I couldn’t stand the thoughts and the over thinking and the worrying. I wanted so bad to change my situation (job, career, and personal successes) that I was unable do what I loved- WRITE. When I went to write, I often worried if what I’d write next would be good enough? I went over the script so many times that I almost felt like I had nothing left to give. Once you hit the bottom and you give up the notion that what comes out of you must be perfect and you say goodbye to your fears—watch out, because that switch will come on for you. And be aware, that your finger may not be able to keep up with the flood of words pouring out of you. So, if you are stuck: life, relationship, financial troubles, and you feel like it’s all getting in the way of your creativity, or if you simply feel stuck in a “writer’s block/rut”- DON’T GIVE UP! Chances are if you give yourself a break, and realize that you don’t have to produce perfection, or over-thinking about it all—you might just revisit that old piece of work you put up on the shelf years ago. Oddly enough, when you get rid of fear, other things in your life will fall in place too, and we’re not just talking about overcoming writer’s block. Don’t throw away old ideas, I didn’t, and I am very pleased with my completed script and its 101st final revision!

3 comments:

K.C. & Ipuna said...

WOW! Nice 'F bombs'! Colorful blog! haha. So, how's it going? -K.C.

K.C. & Ipuna said...

My hubby is crazy. I agree, sometimes we think too hard. I am glad you are blogging! Love ya!

Sonyo said...

KC & Ipuna- yeah it appears as if I have recently turned in to a sailor. As I try desperately to find an appropriate word when someone cuts me off on the freeway and nearly causes a huge car accident- still, my first response is "WHAT THE F...K!"

Or when I rush to the bank and it just closes- "F...K!" Or when you get an angry old woman at Trader Joe's balling up her fist at me saying "You almost hit me with your car you F..king B..ch!" My first response should be to totally ignore her. But instead, what do I do? I say "Oh yeah, well F...K You Too! And have a F..king Nice Day you old hag!"

Not so mature, but I think you're right- it's time I carry my thesaurus around.

; )