Sunday, May 11, 2008

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris

Dear Reader. Dear, dear Reader. Let's talk.

First of all, I don't know what's made you so endearing to me all of a sudden. I must be getting sentimental in my old age. And speaking of you dear readers, it's quite alright to pipe up and say something once in a while. I do know people visit this site, oddly enough, you're not slipping that by me, and sometimes I lie awake in my bed at night and wonder why the heck someone from - is that Slovakia? - would find anything of interest here. And who the heck is still in my uni town at this time of the year? I'm not being a stalker, I swear, or a creeper who does like awake thinking about her blog (I already wrote what I lay awake thinking about), I just feel a little left out by all those bloggers who know how to figure out what people are truly Googling when they stumble across their blog.

But seriously - does anyone know how to find that out?

Bullet point number two - I told you I would write about how my creative endeavors (that's totally my new favourite word for some reason. I think it's because I keep using it in my Zoetrope reviews) have been going. Well here it goes:

I haven't written anything.

Ok, so maybe that's not *entirely* true. I picked three feature ideas I think have the strongest potential. I wrote a few lines about each of the main characters, maybe a little plot summary. I nailed a premise for a webseries and wrote out one to two sentence plot summaries for twelve episodes.

But any real writing?

...does writing directions count?

But I protest - this does not mean that I have been uproductive. Not at all, dear - anonymous lurker. I say no! Here it is what I have been doing instead, just over the past week:

- I have made this blog prettier. And for you, reader, I have tried to add some more useful links, blogs, and sites. ... Ok, at the very least, they're better organized.

- I watched Rules of the Game, Once, Stardust, Atonement, Purple Rose of Cairo, and The Searchers. That's six films. Seven if you count the director's commentary I watched of Walk the Line. That's more than I've probably been awake for over the past academic year (outside of class, of course, professors!).

- I cracked and got a MySpace account because some day, some how, in some weird way I might use it for networking. And I've been collaborating with my web designer for the Lives Agape page, hoping that will be running in a few days and "Join This Group?" will be up for the world to see.

- I started participating in two writer's communities: Wordplayer, which I fade in and out of, and Zoetrope, which I'm giving a third attempt, this time whole-heartedly. And it's working because in addition

- I read and reviewed four scripts. To get reviews for a script in Zoetrope, you first have to pay your dues. This was actually a really good experience, though I did all four of them in about four days, which was pretty draining. Let's just say my computer screen and I are still on delicate terms.

- I actively pursued reviews for The 4:05. It's in the hands of three friends/mentors that I know personally as well as being live over at Zoetrope.

- I read David Mamet's book 3 Uses of the Knife. ... I'm sorry, MM, I really am. I know how much you love him, but - he just doesn't cut it for me.

- I listened to threef Creative Screenwriting's Q&A podcasts on Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Juno, and Waitress. These were incredible and inspiring, and I heartily recommend them. Go to iTunes to get them - don't look for them through that link. That page looks a little outdated to me, but I don't know how to link to iTunes.

So, no, I have not written a real word, but I dare you to call me unproductive. I have learned a lot over the past week.

But still, I felt guilty about not really writing. I mean, I have all this time. I'm not going to be able to write at camp again this year, and when it comes to being back at uni, if I'm honest, I typically put writing second to life in any shape or form. Isn't this a waste? Shouldn't I be pushing forward with something? Haven't the Greats told us that we need to write every day? What good are all the lessons I'm learning if I'm not actively applying them in my writing life?

But something clicked in all those lessons. It came through Zach Helm (Stranger than Fictions, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium) and Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer's Body). And that was this. When asked about their writing schedules and writer's block, they said, honestly and point blank -

If they don't feel like writing, they won't.

I think hearing it twice, from writers who have crafted incredible movies, made it okay for me to face the frustration and lack of motivation and dissatisfaction and the slight panic that comes from not wanting to write. Maybe it's just an excuse. Maybe it shows a lack of will power in me. Maybe it shows a lack of devotion in me. I know there will be people shaking their heads at me. For some people, this is not an "okay" action to take right now. But I think that I'm okay with that. Because you know what? Writing is supposed to be a joy. Sure, it's a heck of a lot of hard work, and it's not always pleasant, but the fact that I have a story that I'm passionate about and that I love - that's supposed to bring me joy. And I don't feel that right now about any of my projects. There's potential there - but there's not any joy yet.

So I'm not going to write. I don't know for how long. Long enough for me to find the story that I want to write. And I don't mean that I'm not going to write at all - now that's bordering on crazy talk. I'm most definitely going to blog (maybe more than usual, actually), because I'm still going to be reading books and listening to podcasts and watching lots of movies, and I want to write about those lessons that I'm learning there. I'm still going to read scripts at Zoetrope and write reviews.

And I think I'm going to take some time to do some personal writing, handwriting, journaling. Because I think the story that I want to tell next - I don't think it's going to come from outside of me. It's inside, I'm sure, sometimes I think I can hear it. So that's where I need to go.

It sounds like it might be a novel.


Jason C. Martin said...

Are these bloggers actually using Blogger? Cause, I dunno about Blogger, but I think there are plugins for other blogging software to track the search terms people are using to get here.

i write with pictures said...

Hm, I don't know. I don't think it matters, because I know Emily and I think Brett have written posts about how they've found out what people were Googling when they stumbled across their blogs. It's pretty funny actually. There are some random things.