Sometimes I try to convince myself that an idea will work if I just put a LITTLE more effort into the piece. That if I just work HARD ENOUGH I can make an idea work. So, I sit at my computer and I just… keep trying… to make my brain work HARDER. Generally what happens is that I end up under my desk, shaking my head.
Then, I dust myself off. Get back in my chair and I try… to work HARDER…
Now, I have a theory, which may or may not be try, but my theory is this: when I’m not working, somewhere out there, someone else IS. And THEY are the ones who are going to succeed. Because they kept going. I firmly believe it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And it’s about hard work.
Which is what keeps my butt in the chair, staring at the computer, trying to make my brain just FIGURE this idea out, that’s all it takes, just… a little bit more…
And then, I find myself BACK under the desk.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with a deadline…wait. No. That’s not true. I haven’t been struggling with a deadline. I’ve been struggling with an IDEA. If I had no problems with the idea, the deadline would’ve been met. But, alas, that wasn’t meant to be. The idea… well… it wasn’t just about working harder… After about a week, I had to admit to myself, I didn’t love this script anymore.
I should say, actually, I didn’t love this VERSION of the script. Not anymore. The pieces weren’t going together right. The characters were becoming less likable. And to be frank, I really hated the script. And I couldn’t care about it. The only thing keeping me in my seat was my work ethic. (Which is the silver lining in all of this.)
I was struggling in the final 15 pages to come up with an idea. Worse, I was struggling to come up with an idea to FILL, to DELAY my characters from achieving their goals. And I just didn’t care. I just couldn’t be excited to make these characters talk and feel. And that’s when I realized: this is crap.
I realized, I don’t want to send this out. I’m not excited about it. Why would anyone else be? Maybe I could fake my way through a meeting, but… what if I couldn’t? And who would WANT to?
So, I stopped. Then and there. Just stopped. Which made my Work Ethic a little angry. “You should just finish it.” “If you don’t finish this, what else won’t you finish?” “It’s just 15 pages, just do it, fix it later.”
I worked on something else. I worked on an idea that I liked… no. LOVED. Before I knew it, eight pages were done. Eight pages that I could get behind, eight pages that I AM excited about. And it didn’t feel like work. I made me remember WHY I want to be a writer…