I create context. I also write blog posts:

Finding A Reason Not To Write

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | 2 Comments »

I would say that I love writing, but that’s only really like a half-truth: I like the end result of writing, I like reading what I’ve written. And the process is satisfying too, knowing that I’ve taken something from nothing to completion, I like that I’ve pulled an idea out of the air and made something of it.

[At this point, I should probably point out that I'm talking about writing screenplays and stories in this post. When I'm being paid to write something, I'm always on. ;-)]

But the actual act of writing sucks. The blank page, the writer’s block (which I don’t even believe is real, but that’s for another post…), the hand cramps… there’s always something standing in the way. I write under really specific conditions: I have to have the right background music, I have to have yellow Staples legal pads and Uniball Vision pens (they allow me to write at just the right speed: anything too quick and it’s a mess; anything too slow and I lose track of thoughts–God, this doesn’t sound like a product endorsement, does it? I’m just trying to convey that I’m picky…), the lighting has to be right, I have to be away from the TV and the computer, and I usually like a glass of wine to be sitting nearby — though, that matters less now. I can’t watch movies or read before writing because my characters all morph into the characters I’ve just seen and that throws everything off.

So most of my “writing time” is spent actively trying to find something to do instead of writing. It’s a world of excuses, and my standard for accepting them is incredibly low…

My outline isn’t complete (enough)

This sounds stupid, but I can’t write without knowing exactly what is going to happen. Even if I’m only three scenes in, I need to know how it’s going to end and what scenes I’m going to include in Act II. Spontaneity comes eventually, and it’s actually where everything good about my writing comes from, but for some reason, it’s basically the enemy. Probably because writing without an outline leads to tangents leads to rewriting. And that means sitting down to do it more.

I don’t know my characters

This I don’t understand, because characters develop and evolve throughout a story, and they’re not going to be the same on page 50 as they are on page one… or ten, or 20 even. But until I’ve spent a lot of time in a character’s head (or is it “they’ve spent a lot of time in my head?”), I’m not writing him. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty convenient for me.

I need to do more “research”

Who am I kidding? This one’s a pretty blatant excuse for me to surf the internet for a while instead. I love writing about things I don’t know (case in point: the one big script I’ve written is about scientists; I haven’t paid any attention to science since 8th grade.)

So with that, I’m off to do some writing… Though, my wrist does kinda hurt already from this post. And I did just watch three episodes of The Office…. Maybe I’ll just go do that some more.

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