This is an addendum to my pathetic ‘Fess Up from last week. Excellent and inspirational advice from mischief mari:
And speaking of house-cleaning: this afternoon I started clearing up some of the clutter in my tiny little corner of our home office. I came across some writing journals that I kept at the suggestion of a producer who snored through a very cruddy draft of my screenplay. One was a personal diary, really, of my thoughts on writing: my fears, my hopes, my frustrations. The other journal was more like a log of ideas – unique ideas or thoughts that I could put into the next draft. While I kept these two journals, I didn’t touch my screenplay. Initially, I felt even more lost because I was in such a hurry to finish my screenplay, make it into a movie and become ridiculously famous for it. But, you see, those thoughts have nothing to do with writing a good story; they’re all about the dreams of making it in Hollywood. The journals, however, saved me. I took time away from my story, confronted my writing anxieties, and found a few really wonderful ideas that I put into the next draft.
Eventually I got back to the screenplay and produced one of my best works ever. I held several readings with some really great actors and took some other steps toward making it into a film. My lawyer got the script to a few production companies including one headed by an A-list actor. Unfortunately, as often happens in the film industry, the project hit some snags that brought the whole production to a halt, and though I’m not sure whether I want to start this particular project up again, the journal exercise was one of the best things I could have possibly done for myself. I hope this suggestion might be helpful to other writers, no matter what form of writing they are pursuing.
I especially liked this, since I’ve spent a lot of my time the past few weeks cleaning, purging, and decluttering. I know the work will pay off, but it’s frustrating to have little actual output (vis a vis writing) to show for it. This post made me feel a whole lot better. Thanks, MM!