Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Favourite Headache

The reason for such a huge gap in this blog, as with previous attempts to maintain a blog, is that I was busy. Writing. And panicking. Sort of.

From October of last year through December, I spent my writing time on reading. Recharging my batteries is something I tend to forget to do. I read some good great books in that time:

Broken Angels – Richard K. Morgan
Beyond Belfast – Will Ferguson
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union – Michael Chabon
The Killing Circle – Andrew Pyper

It was also important to feel like I was doing something. I had a complete breakdown in confidence, both in my abilities and in the story I was working on. Reading was a chance to recharge and look for inspiration, so I told myself I was working at my craft -though this was more study than hands-on. By the new year, I had begun to re-outline the current screenplay to find what I liked and what I didn’t like. By February, I was working at a decent pace, and in March I got into a good groove and haven’t slowed down. I wrote the first Act in the last couple of weeks.

The confidence/panicking thing is something all writers talk about. One thing I’d like to know from the established writers/screenwriters is do they suffer from CRS like I do. CRS is a frightening condition that plagues me and is genetic. It was passed on to me by my father and there is no known cure. It is such a rare disease that even a Google search only yields a long list of unrelated results. The full medical term for CRS is Can’t Remember Shit.

I seem to forget, quite regularly, that first drafts are shit. I forget to recharge. I forget that Syd Field talks about all this in “Screenplay,” and that I’ve told myself in the past to re-read “Screenplay” as a reminder that panic is normal. And I forget that I shouldn’t regret the choices I’ve made because, after all, writing is my favourite headache.