Monday, October 24, 2011

The Writing Week (Vol. 4) part 198 - Self-Evaluation

We writers are introspective creatures. We're observers. We note mannerisms on the micro level and human behavior on a macro one. Our eyes are trained to pick up signals, behaviors, and subtext. Regardless of whether we're writing giant, blow-em-up action specs or small living room dramas, our true practice is that of recording the quirks and subtleties of mankind. It fails to surprise, then, when our discerning eyes fall upon ourselves. 

I have recently been doing a lot of self-reflection, observation, and analysis. It seems imperative that I ask myself certain big questions, to get the inner dialogue rolling so that I might answer them in a timely fashion. They seem monumental, because they are. Do I want to stay in New York? Should I change careers (or at least jobs, if not industries)? How long will I keep writing?

That last one is the true biggie, the Everest of questions a writer can ask him/her self. But the other two directly feed into that. The truth of the matter, which I've accepted for a while now, is that I'm not wedded to this city, and I do not believe that I will be here for years to come. A half a year to year and a half, tops. I think. A change in career or employment scenery is probably a guarantee (economy providing) too, if I can make it happen. All of that, naturally, goes to reinvigorate the writing juices, which if I am being completely honest, have frozen over a bit in the past few months.

Writing is no easy feat, especially when other things in your life seem trite. For me, the fact that the ideas I have strike my manager as not exactly commercially viable at the moment is a hard blow to my creative drive, also. He comes from a point of reason and logic when assessing whether something is worth the time to write now or not (from an industry point of view). So I am forced to ask myself yet another question; do I write against his advice, because that's the story I want to tell? As much as maybe I shouldn't be, I am torn on this point. Part of me thinks, "yes," because that is what true artists do. They say what they must. Yet, on the other hand, I think, "no," I am too young to work against the current yet, that while I still have people on my team who are going to try and put their neck out there for me as long as the product warrants it, then I should do us both the favor of matching my scripts to the industry's pulse. 

Naturally, the common ground is to find an idea that I like, which is within the scope of what my manager thinks can sell now. That's tough, but that's what I'm doing. I'd like to get him three ideas. So far, I've come up with two. The last one's on me.