Thursday, April 10, 2008

Recalibrating

I don't blog much about the craft of TV writing. You can get far better advice and teaching from Jane or John.

And I don't blog too much about my own personal writing process. Mostly because I don't know that my process is relevant to you, as a reader. Everyone has to find a process/method that works for them. Some of my friends LOVE notecards -- putting beats or character notes on cards and tacking them on the wall. Some love outlining. Others don't outline at all (those are the ones I marvel at...if they claim not to outline and yet come up with something resembling coherence). You, as a writer, have to find what works specifically for YOU. If one method doesn't work, you try something else until you find something that does.

Some people write early in the morning, some late at night. Some people like to write in cafes, others in their homes, even still others like to write outdoors.

Some like to dictate notes. Others scribble notes on post-its. Some people write in sequence, others write out of sequence, skipping around from one scene to another.

It all doesn't matter. There's no 'right way' to put together your writing.

What matters is that YOU ARE WRITING.

And that's something I haven't been doing enough of. I try to keep my blog updated, simply because it helps me know what is going on 'out there', but also to keep my mind sharp. I used to use my blog as a warm up exercise for my script writing, but lately the blog writing is its own thing. I'm by no means giving it up, but I've had to think hard about my own writing process and why it hasn't been working for me lately.

Part of the problem, is that I went down the wrong road story-wise. I ended up in a cul-de-sac, stranded, and had to find my way back to the start. Now I've turned around and headed a different direction. I also find I need deadlines to keep moving forward. I have a tendancy to 'idle' too long...I'll sit, revise a line here, a line there, but not make any forward progress...to extend the car/road metaphor, it's like revving the engine in neutral.

Good thing: going to the gym again. This has made it much easier to clear my head for actual writing. Story problems can be broken down in the 30 minutes on the elliptical, or I can watch 'Law & Order: SVU' on the treadmil on mute and play 'guess the plot twist'. That's always fun.

I've been struggling with whether to gear up for contest season. I promised a 'what to spec' post, which I am almost finished with, research wise and will have posted in the next few days. I've asked myself what the contests or the fellowships can do for me now...and, in some cases, if I even have a shot at them. I won't rehash my reasoning, but suffice to say, at this moment I don't think I'll be submitting to any contests or fellowships this year.

I'm still going to write a new spec, and I'm going to finish my two new pilots before fall. I'm trying to stay optimistic about the potential of certain circumstances, and hope that I can pursue my aspirations along a slightly different path. Some of you will understand this, I think.

In any case, I'm back to writing. It's all good.

1 comment:

Kid Sis said...

Go Shawna go!!

You doing Tim's diet?