It’s Christmas and I can’t sleep. Well, I did have a long ass nap after supper. It was a good supper… baked potatoes with cheese and faux bacon bits, parmesan alfredo, veggie meatballs and veggie goodness. And red wine, yes that stuff. Don’t know why, but it hit hard and home.
“WHO TOLD YOU YOU COULD EAT MY COOKIES?!”
I’m spending these late hours watching Doctor Who Series Three. I was thinking of watching Torchwood Series One first but decided I’ll skip that show. Although, I’ll probably watch Children of Earth later, hearing how good it is from online sources. Anyway, Doctor Who is more my flavor. It’s more playful and overall fun than Torchwood. What I did like was the darkness and willingness to go all out (episode of a parasite alien that got had a hunger for ‘orgasmic energy’ — brilliant). Besides that, it just didn’t click with me, aside from Captain Jack Harkness. With that said, Jack Harkness is not the Doctor. And the Doctor is fucking awesome.
The holidays have been very causal. I’ve been sleeping a lot and my biorhythm is a little off the normal schedule, as you can tell by my late/early hour ponderings. It’s sad to say that my best time to write of the moment is at the three to four in the morning period. Yes, it’s inconvenient but my mental state in those hours is in perfect writing mode.
Recently, I’ve been taking part of a writing experiment among some peers. They are also indie filmmakers in the making. It’s the shared dream. We’ve decided to keep a communal writing quota chart to inspire each other. At the moment, the chart is in its trial stage. It’s also the holidays so I can understand that most people would rather relax or work or spend time catching up on a good book.
Yet… I’ve been thinking. If you are going to write, and by write I mean creatively write, one should just do it. That’s what I’ve been trying to force myself lately. I’ve got to stop the lazy thoughts of “I have to be in the perfect mood” in order to write.
It goes back to the recent thought of making my debut feature film. I’m just going to do it via no-budget style. I’m not caring about making it “perfect” to Hollywood or critical acclaim standards. No, that’s not my goal. My focus should be story. Next, I should believe in the project. I think this quote by Roger Corman sums it up the best:
“Other writers, producers, and directors of low-budget films would often put down the film they were making, saying it was just something to make money with. I never felt that. If I took the assignment, I’d give it my best shot.”
Roger Corman looking awesome.
This is the same with writing a script or novel. I just got to do it. I only have one life to do this. There is no do overs or restarts. This is one life. I can’t have that mental delusion of putting it off because I’m not ready or not worthy or it isn’t worth pursuing. Life is a game and you only have one coin to play. So play I must.
I can also dig deeper into my philosophical roots of finding the “play” of my life, not “work.” By this, I sort of mean, find the thing you love to do in life. That thing that takes mind and body. Something that you can focus in the present moment. If I am going to express myself artistically through writing, I must do it as much as possible so it can occupy my present moment. When I write I get this surge of energy and my mind opens up, especially when I’m writing a story. I do not see the words anymore but the characters and visual composition… the lighting… the moods… the colors, etc. That’s me at my best. It’ll take awhile to get at that point because when I’m stuck, the writing is slow. This is the critical point. I have a decision between stopping for another time or just write until I hit that smooth road of creativity.
Having a set minimum quota isn’t so much of my concern but I am using it to help push myself. How my writing business goes about: I’ll write until I hit that first speed bump. Then, I’ll do word count check. If I passed 500 words, I’m happy. Hemingway had his quota set at 400-500 but then again, knowing his writing style it makes sense. Depending if I have to go somewhere or this is the only time I have for that day to write, I’ll be content with my production. However, if I have ample time at my disposal, then I shall push forth. Why? I must push on until I hit that scared highway. This “highway” I’m speaking of is the one where words disappear and visuals come in. Once I go into this mode, I’ll write until I’m creatively exhausted. This usually pushes my end word count of the day at ~1000+ words.
There are also little tricks to return into that mode. A popular one is that I’ll go back and rewrite some previous paragraph or section. My focus on rewriting is minimalism and clarity. It changes from time to time, but that’s generally what I like. So, I’ll do that for a few sections or if I’m obsessed enough, rewrite the whole day’s work. By the time I reach the end point, I see the highway again and I’m off for another round of output.
Another trick to save for another day is to stop a tiny bit before you are completely stuck. Like stop in a middle of sentence or start the next scene of the script and stop on a point where you want to know what will happen next. That usually gets ‘Tomorrow You’ excited when he or she opens up that file and see that uncompleted thing. Something like what my sister told me about Mozart and his wife. If she wanted to irritate him, she’ll sing the major scale but not complete it (“Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, __” then she would repeat the scale again. This would drive Mozart crazy because he had that urge/need for it to be completed.
I shall end my post with a simple, “Merry Christmas!” and a link that sums up the “Just Do It” cause. Don’t worry, it’s not a Nike commercial but an awesome song by the Brazilian indie dance-rock band, Copacabana Club: