“I’m just sitting here staring at a blank page.”
“Just start typing whatever comes to your mind while you are sitting there.”
“Why are you telling me that?”
“Because, Babe, you just need to start.”
Thanks, Honey. Really helpful.
Why am I sitting here staring at a blank page?
It went like this.
After several years of struggling to prioritize my writing, I was finally able to spend two hours a day, five days a week focused on my script. I worked up a detailed outline and pitched to a few trusted local writers. I took notes. I worked the outline again. I pitched it to a new listener. With a nineteen page detailed outline, I went on a writing weekend with a fellow writer.
Eat, sleep, write, repeat. Talk about the stories while you are eating. Write some more. Take some laps in the hotel pool. Get some coffee from the hotel lobby. Write some more. Walk at the beach to take photos and clear your mind. Get your leftovers from the mini-fridge and get back into the zone. “Sorry, I don’t want to go to lunch. I’m in the zone.” Eight hours later, my brain forced me to take a break. It felt so good to be in that place of trust – letting things pour out because I had already done so much of the hard work when writing the outline.
I came home with forty-four pages. I functioned in a daze. I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want to watch TV. I just needed to write. I finished all but the last two scenes the following week. I can once again write for eight hours straight!
But then I came to the last two scenes. I had not written them into the outline. I know what needs to happen, but I am not sure how to do it. To me, the end of the movie is the most crucial. If it stinks, it ruins the whole movie for me. I started to panic. I stared at the screen. I whined on Facebook. My writer friends said, just get something down. I reminded myself that “Writing is Re-writing” and forced myself to type something.
Avoided the script for a few days. Did a once over proofread. Sent it off to the WGA and the Copyright Office. Sent it to my first line of defense readers.
I lived in a writers high for a week. Started to come down. Needed to write a blog post. Needed to get through a long list of things I had ignored so I could write. Needed to write that blog post. Took a trip to see family. I should have written the post while I was on the plane, but I didn’t want to write about the election. Back home. Making Thanksgiving plans. Blog post? Need to get Christmas gifts ordered.
Now I need to admit to myself that I am scared to write a blog post again. Why? I was in a groove, trusting my instincts and embracing the urge to take photos everywhere I went so I could share them. I even took a risk and went down the poetry road for one post. I had a rhythm and I trusted myself. Now I am questioning everything. I know that my new script is by far the best thing I have ever written . . . but what if it is not? What if I cannot rewrite the end? What if my story feedback requires me to cry for a few days before I can determine which notes I will take to heart and which I will ignore? What if I run out of time to send the script to my out of town trusted writers before my December 30 contest deadlines?
Oh. My. Word.
I am a needy artist.
Writing is breathing and I just need to keep breathing. That is all. Not every blog post will be amazing. And no script will ever be perfect the first time. And no matter how many people you have proof read it, there will always be one typo. I cannot live in a permanent writer’s high. I have a five year-old and a husband. I need to buy vegetables.
I am breaking the blog silence by allowing myself the freedom to write an average post. As a needy artist, I really, really hope you still love me.
In the meantime, I am working on my next script idea.
I am so excited about it!