Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thinking Vs. Typing

I deal every day with a particularly unhealthy but alternately helpful affliction. A curse, possibly, passed to me through genetics, or perhaps stemming from some strain of OCD. In short, if I go a day without putting some time into my writing I'm struck with such an extreme feeling of guilt that I just can't enjoy anything else I may be doing.

On one hand, this makes it hard for me to take the occasional day off, but on the other it helps keep me productive as a writer. It's a necessary evil, I guess. I wish I could take a day every now and then just to relax without falling into a miniature and short-lived bout of self-loathing, but I'm afraid if I wasn't like this I would become much more lax in regards to my writing.

The last week has been a very productive one for me. From Friday the 25th through Thursday the 1st I was able to write 27 new pages on my current project, putting me just into the final act of my screenplay. Twenty seven pages in a week is A LOT for me. I'm a slow writer - I wish I could write at fellow Leaguers Cake Man or DOA's pace (we all wish we could write as quickly as DOA, I'm sure) but everyone's different. I'll take what I can.

I hit a wall this weekend, though. Friday, half a page; Saturday, half a page. This morning I'm awake at 6:30 and staring at Final Draft, just unable to move my fingers to the keys. I've hit a point in my screenplay where I need to hunker down and figure out how I'm going to tie off my remaining loose ends. Where it stands now, there are three hanging threads I need to explain, and I'm not 100% sure. Not to say I don't have ways to solve them - it's just deciding which I like best and which will make the most sense to people who haven't had these characters in their heads for six months already.

I ended up taking my coffee out to our balcony and sitting out there for a few quiet morning hours, making notes and putting a lot of deep thought into my script. I feel like I got a lot done and solved a few problems I'd been struggling with, but I never actually typed a word.

Part of me feels like I had a productive writing session, but another part (the more neurotic part) just sees that my page count hasn't gone up since yesterday.

I guess my question to you guys is: do you still feel like you're writing if you're not actually writing anything? Is a writing session that doesn't produce pages still time well-spent?