Monday, November 28, 2011
If it Wasn't Hard, Everyone Would Do It
To write a 60 page pilot in 5 days, I just need to write 12 pages a day. How hard could that be?
Say that to any writer and they’re liable to punch you in the face. Because it is hard. It’s hard to will words into the perfect arrangement that will communicate what’s in our mind. The gap between what we want to say and what actually comes out can be mighty disappointing. And imagination by definition is nebulous – the faculty of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
Sure there are easy moments – the Relax & Write method has helped me tap into my creative inner core and write without self-doubt, but mostly for my fiction. For me, writing dialogue and scenes is still – as one showrunner put it – like "shitting razor blades."
The Simpsons – “The Book Job” – in which Lisa decides to become a book author and finds herself struggling to get that first paragraph out. She gets distracted by YouTube, plays online games, and gets lattes at the coffee shop – all while facing a blank page. Eventually, she comes to a conclusion – “Writing is the hardest thing ever!”
But this isn’t news to me. Writing was hard when I started, it’s hard now, and it will likely continue to be hard in the future. I’ll get better at it, of course – I’m already much better than a few years ago – but the hard never goes away. The hard is par for the course.
So I will forge on, into the land of hard, for at least 6 more pages today. Then I can watch that Jimmy Kimmel Halloween candy video again...