Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Getting Out of the Way of Me

Did I mention I love writing?

It’s the pre-planning that gets under my skin. From day one, I always outlined, but the problem was that I’d rush through the outline, just to get to the part I LOVE. The writing of pages, glorious pages.

And that was the problem?

One of my instructors told me once that the biggest problem I had, in terms of writing (and, maybe even, my life overall), is that I didn’t know how to get out of the way of me.

What the hell does that mean? Arrrggghhh!

Don’t you hate to admit when somebody is spot on about your issues or problems? I do, so I won’t admit it.

Without admitting that this instructor was right, I needed to learn how to get out of the way of me.

So, I have an idea for a story that I am so in love with and I just can’t wait to write. What’s wrong with this sentence? Nothing, really. Just maybe way too many I’s. You see, I had to learn that writing a script was not a personal moment - well, not if I wanted it to be up there on the big screen where millions and billions of people could see it over and over again and it wins the Oscar for best everything and every director wants to work with me... Oh, sorry, I got lost there for a second.

My point is, I had to learn to step back and look at my story outside of who I am, and what that meant for me was pre-planning. Breaking down the story into it’s simplest form. Asking questions that would bring more clarity. Taking the personal out, just long enough to see the bigger picture on a wider scale.

I think this has to do with some of that left brain, right brain type of thinking. Don’t ask me which means which.

For me, I look at the process over all as heart, mind and soul coming together. All three of these things must come to play during the process of my writing. They may not come together in any particular order, but they must find a way to coexist. My heart is present from the jump; it’s what fuels my passion and drives me to complete the story. It’s there during the first draft, freeing emotions and all manner of thoughts. My mind joins in during the pre-planning stage - the outlining and laying the story out. The soul, well, that’s the most important, and no wonder, the most difficult.

The soul is what I have to breath into the script in order to make it come alive for others. I have to give the script life, and, simply, having the heart and mind to do so will not give my script/story wings to fly. Not only to fly, but to touch others in some way, be it small and simple, or wondrous and unforgettable.

So, I got out of my way long enough recently in order to do the part of writing I love the most - pages. Seven today, I start off slow, basking and enjoying the moment. As this is a revision of a script I first completed two years ago, I’m at the soul stage, and loving it.

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