Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's that time again

...when I have a crisis of faith in myself. Writing is such a self absorbed activity, if you start to doubt yourself, which we all do at some point, things can get nasty. Right now is a terrible time for this. I'm in the middle of a short, and Script Frenzy is starting Friday. And right now I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to write a genuine, powerful, engaging story. Because those are the only type of stories worth my dedication and exhaustion. And right now as I look back on everything I've written, even back at The 4:05, which I loved, and Daffodil, which is my baby short, I'm not sure any of them are actually really truly good stories.

And I'm not sure if telling good stories is something you can learn.


michanon said...

You worry too much. See what happens when you have time off from work? Just remind yourself that you can def. write better screenplays than your coworkers.

Jay said...

My advice -- take it for what it's worth -- is not to be so hard on yourself about writing "a genuine, powerful, engaging story." The main reason is that by doing so, you're attempting to control something you can't. "Meaning" and "power" are assigned to a narrative by the audience. What happens if you write something that's meaningful and powerful to you, but then the people you show it to find it banal or trite? How much grief would you give yourself? On the other hand, you might write something that you consider not particularly deep, but that strikes a nerve with someone.

You don't know where anyone in your audience is on their journey; all you can say is that they're probably not in the same place you are! :)

Tell the stories you want to tell, and have fun telling them. That will make them engaging. Sure, work your craft to your utmost, and explore the meanings of your stories... but don't get too hung up on meaning too early into the process. The meaning of your stories will become clear as you write them.

The above is completely my own opinion and can be safely ignored if you like. :-D