For the first time in well over a year I have started writing original material again! I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this feels. I had forgotten what it even felt like. I had forgotten how active my mind gets when I’m working on a story. I’ve missed jotting down ideas on any material possible – I’m back to taking notes in the shower (there is a product called Aqua Notes that you should all look into getting), jotting down ideas in random notebooks and with my class notes, and texting myself ideas and lines of dialogue that I don’t want to forget. Lately I’ve been spending entire days working on my project, talking about my project, and doing research to help me with my project. By the time I’m done with work, school, and working on my project I’m exhausted. But as soon as my head hits the pillow, my brain starts buzzing and I end up reaching for my phone every five minutes to jot something down. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked like this though. It feels strange. I’m thankful that I have a supportive and understanding partner who can recognize that I’m not being distant or deliberately ignoring him – I’m just thinking about ways to improve my story. I didn’t have that support before. It makes the artistic process a lot more bearable, ha.
I used to write novels exclusively but this time I’m trying my hand at writing a screenplay. Back when I was actively writing novels, I had a group of beta-readers that I trusted with my unpolished work. Many of them told me that my work read like a screenplay and they often suggested I give it a try. I never thought I’d be able to do it, though. The formatting intimidated me. I couldn’t imagine myself telling a story that way. Something funny happened the other day, though. I took a look at my old work. The material was maybe four or five years old. It was Bill’s lecture that inspired me to look at my old work. I remember sending off an excerpt from one of my manuscripts to an agent and getting a request for the full. They ultimately turned the work down and that’s for the best, because when I look back at that material now I can see its faults. It was not ready for publication. I don’t even think it was meant to be a book. My old beta-readers were right. It read like I was trying to write a screenplay.
Jump forward in time and here I am, working on the screenplay for my first film, Itch. I don’t know if it will be any good. It likely won’t be. The first try at anything is always a little sloppy. You get better with time. All of that is true. But I feel like I’m on the right track. As impractical as it is, this is what I want to do with my life. I want to tell stories. Because if I don’t tell them they’re just going to be floating around in my head and I’m going to be distracted and end up looking like a jerk.