Thursday, April 20, 2006

Write Like You Mean It

I've had a run of bad luck over the last year. It started last summer when my step daughter had a nervous breakdown and ended up in a secure hospital for a month. Worrying times, especially the first week or two when she was like a total stranger.

I had a script to write bang in the middle of it. I actually looked forward to the time I had to sit down alone and write it. It was like an escape from the pressure. I sent it in and guess what? The notes came back that basically it was whale turd. In fact it was a whales' communal toilet.

See, no matter what I thought at the time, I clearly lacked focus. Yes I escaped some external pressures by doing it, or rather maybe cranked them down a couple of notches, but the clarity and focus that good writing requires just wasn't there. And there is a very thin line between acceptable and non-acceptable as far as pro writing is concerned. A couple more like that and I might be searching for alternative employment.

Since then, my father in law has developed Dementia and had to be put in a home, my Grandmother whom I was close to died and a few weeks ago my wife informed me she wanted to seperate.
Lucky white heather anyone?

At each of those times I've also had to deliver scripts. They were probably some of the better ones I've written. Because I learned my lesson. If you can't write like you mean it then don't. If you can 't banish everything else from your mind for those hours at the keyboard then go do something else for a few hours, or even days if you can spare them. Focus and clarity. Without that the chances are you'll be writing drivel anyway.


liquidmotion said...

Too true sir, too true. But it seems focus and clarity without passion and thought might as well be drivel too.

Then again, I may have no idea - youth does that to you it seems. :)


I hope you keep up the posting - I enjoyed reading it and hope I might be treated to more!

English Dave said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog Robert.

Very true that passion and thought are integral. My definition of focus and clarity is very encompassing. At the risk of sounding like a second rate sportcaster- it's when you are in the zone.

Joe Unidos said...

Dang. Hang in there, Dave. Sounds like it's been a rough time of late.

But your point is well-taken. Full focus is elusive even in the best of times. Takes real effort when the outside world is intruding into your story world that much more than usual.

English Dave said...

Bang on Joe. Effort. Always effort. If you don't feel it then why should anyone else?

Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Hey Dave

Hang on in there bro. Kudos to you for being able to deliver good scripts under such difficult circumstances.

Keep on tuckin' mate!

English Dave said...

Schmucks, if anyone understands taking the knocks, however they come, then you do.

Keep the faith. It will happen. Just invite me to the premier.

Eubrontes said...

Sorry to hear of your hard times. I'm glad to hear that the hardships didn't interfere with your work - and I'm glad they never stopped you from posting the most passionate-and entertaining-entries on Done Deal.
Hope things start looking up for you.

English Dave said...

Thanks for the kind words eubrontes.

Lots of great people on DD, their passion rubs off on this jaded hack!