Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fear of Sucking

So I sat down and began doing a admittedly rudimentary outline for my The Office spec. I have all my ideas formulated and the characters involvement prepped. Since it's an ensemble cast, I decided to try and determine which characters are essential to the plot of this episode. Five are essential to my story, while the others will be featured much like they are now. Witty reactions or comments strewn throughout the episode, as well as a few talking head segments.

So I'm buzzing along, minding my own business when fear and loathing, that old adversary of mine, decides to pop in and check up on my progress. After kindly directing his attention to my narcissistic progress indicators held within this pages sidebar, a chuckle slowly arose until it muted out everything else lodged in my brain. It was quite condescending and it instantly revealed me for what I am: a scared little writer-man. I put this prep into my projects and think I'm ready to dive in, only to do even more prep. It's the worst sort of procrastination there is because in reality I'm not prepping anything. I'm hiding from my fear. The fear of sucking. It's almost comical the ways in which I try to avoid admitting this to myself. Excuse after excuse seep out of my ear hole and it makes me feel better. I'll just drink another 2 liter of Coke. Yeah, that'll help. Oh look, football is on, let me go check that game out and think on my script ideas for awhile.

Well, no more. I am once again starting my ten day first draft challenge. A couple of years back, I was going through a similar bout of self mutilation when I decided to begin a program. I would force myself to write a first draft of a feature length screenplay in ten days time. And it worked like a charm. I banged out three or four scripts in a month or six weeks. By the end of the fourth screenplay, I was so exhausted mentally I wept as I typed the final page out. I then proceeded to go over each one and make immediate changes where I felt it was needed. Those scripts served me well. It was probably the best writing I have ever done. *RANDOM RANT BEGINS HERE-I am well aware of the fact that some scribes in the bloggernet find it embarrassing that a screenwriter would admit to writing a first draft in ten days (gasp!). I happen to wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. Some incredible scripts have been written in twenty four hours, seven days or two weeks. I would not assume to know how long a 'genius' idea takes to ferment in ones brain, nor do I think taking four months on a first draft is in anyway faulty logic. But I do know that the sooner your first draft is out, the sooner you can go about a rewrite. END RANT/*

So beginning tomorrow, I am entering into the constipated writer's rehab program. I will keep all abreast of my progress, not to brag as others seem to think, but to show my dedication to screenwriting. To show this is my chosen path and I take it seriously. And most of all, to get my ass in gear.