Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hear My Song

I would be a liar to say that I didn't wonder, from time to time, just where the hell this whole thing is going. I'll hear from friends that are having plays produced, or see a kid that I went to school with having a pretty big part in a legitimate movie and I wonder just what on earth I'm doing. There are levels of completion, steps to success, and with nothing quite finished and no completed project on the horizon, I wonder if I'm actually accomplishing anything.

It's gorgeous outside, and the sun's spilling into my bedroom. The breeze is gentle and smells clean. It feels like the kind of day in which success can be relished, but for me, I wonder if I will ever make it to that point.

It's a fear - a fear of failure, a fear of mediocrity. A fear of being anything but significant.

And yet, just when it feels like it should be crippling, when I can't quite figure out where it should go, I hear a tiny voice in my heart that gently urges me to keep going. Keep writing. Three pages here, five pages there. Laughter, tears, joy, triumph. All the roads are different - length, composition, the obstacles thereon. On days like this, my mind mingles with memories that I associate with my earliest passions of writing. My old muses make my heart heavy, and I wonder if the answer to the future lies somewhere in my past.

My heart, however, will have none of this. Just a few more pages. Help your characters succeed. Make their passions yours. Breathe life into them. Take your passion and compassion, and empathy, and fears and roll them into words that matter...

...even if only to you.

I know it's tough right now, but this too shall pass. Soon this will all be a punchline to a very, very, funny joke.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...

"Just lie in my arms and I'll tell you the things that you know but forget. The lies no one ever could sell you...I know that it's hard, but don't give up yet."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

To Get Feedback or Not?

The League recently had its second meeting. By the time our unofficial deadline for submitting stuff for feedback rolled around, I was done with the first act of a new screenplay I'm working on. So, I was faced with a decision--did I want to email my act out to everyone for notes or not?

Ultimately, I decided not to. For a few reasons. First of all, Captain Undead remarked that it's often difficult for him to give accurate feedback if he doesn't know where the rest of a script is going. If I only sent out my first act, I would have had to include a pretty coherent outline of the rest of the story, which I didn't have written at that point. Some of the other leaguers felt the same way that the Captain did, so that was one reason I opted not to show my work yet.

But also, I knew that there were really two other reasons, or two sides of the same coin, which deterred me. On the one hand, I knew that if I got great feedback, and everyone seemed to love what I was writing, I would preoccupy myself with making sure that the rest of the project was just as good, to the point that I would either get a swelled head or worry that I was faltering, and wouldn't be able to just write the thing. On the other hand, I knew, too, that a lot of negative feedback or indication that I was severely missing my mark would send me back to the drawing board, revisiting all of act one without progressing and just getting that first draft written.

No, the League will see my draft when it is complete, all three acts, with the end credits closing out the last page. Until then, it's just for me to see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Steady Employment

(Click to enlarge image)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

From the "Reasons We Write" Series

Megan left for 10 days in Europe only yesterday, and already the old pangs of loneliness have crept in and left me reminiscing of times that are more than two years past. It's an emptiness in the gut, a meandering state of being, an old question of what now.

With the evening ticking away, I sit at this computer prepared for a few hours of uninterrupted composition but not out of convenience or some obligation to fill empty hours with fulfilling productivity. Instead, it's a way to abate the feelings of which I'm most frightened, to keep a light burning in an ever-encroaching dark.

To write is to fill a void with no name, even when it takes a specific shape, and with any luck, it can bring a sense of balance and clarity to what might otherwise degrade into melancholy. For writers, the gift can make one whole. Sometimes it's needed more. Other times, less. "Salvation," while melodramatic, is a label that is, more often than not, apt.

Write on...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Silence is Deafening

Sorry for being MIA for so long. I got a promotion at my job and have since been quite busy during the day. Let's just say I used to post on my downtime.

A lot's happened since then, and I'll make a series of smaller posts with some thoughts about...hell, New York, life, working/writing, etc.

This past weekend The League finally got together and had its first workshopping session. It went incredibly well - the melding of these minds is productive, unique, perceptive, and beneficial. I submitted the first 22 pages of a screenplay I'm working on with a friend of mine. After sharing with him the notes I got from the meeting, we made the odd decision to immediately go back and rework the first act, incorporating those notes and other ideas that came up as a result. Normally, I would have been happy to just write an outline of a new first act and then come back to it after plowing through the first draft, but the product we were looking at after taking the notes into consideration was so much more interesting than it had been. It got me excited for this project again (it was starting to feel like a chore) and I couldn't wait to get to work on a revised act one.

It's a dream result, to be sure. I remember the feedback I've received that's left me completely stuck. I feel like the norm is somewhere between the two extremes, but for now, I'm certainly not complaining.

Write on...

P.S. Excuse our appearance. In order to make our site less inviting of a lawsuit, we've removed the Superman and Batman images. They will be replaced with some original content, but in the meantime, please be patient with our lack of color.

The next step should be getting over this feeling of being in-between everything. It's been long enough.

It's been a real struggle getting started on the next screenplay. I just finished a second draft of one about six weeks ago, which isn't a bad amount of time to take a break from writing - I just feel that the longer I'm not writing, the more I'm wasting my time. I've started a new job and moved to a new apartment within those six weeks, so there's been a lot of changeover. The big expenses of moving are nearly taken care of, and soon I will have a small but steady income. I just can't let myself get into the working rut... I can't get up, go to work, go to bed, and get up to go to work again if there's no writing in there somewhere.

There's no reason why I can't unpack that last box. There's really no reason why I can't start that next screenplay.