There’s no such thing as writers block. There is only aversion.
So much of what we do is deception. Mostly towards ourselves. It’s probably the most practiced behavior in the human species. I mean, I don’t know for sure. I might be just making this up to serve my own agenda.
You never know.
One night, while living in Gainesville, my bed being nothing more than a mattress on the floor for reasons I can not remember (it’s not like we were poor my dad was a dentist learning to be an orthodontist at the time) I sat awake all night writing a really silly script for a movie that was basically “what if Jackie Chan played a tv-news camera man and got caught up with the local mob and had to fight his way to salvation — but in high school” kind of ordeal.
In fact, I think I had to have written this post Gainesville because I distinctly remember using the architecture of Radnor High-school and the existence of it’s TV-studio as a big inspiration for the film.
It was my first full screen-play. And for all intents and purposes a complete piece of adolescent trash. Odd-ball character names, by the numbers plotting, and practically no stakes: because it was taking place in high school and the villains were also high-schoolers I couldn’t have anyone committing murder (or at least, did not want to) and therefore had being spray painted on your face as the ultimate price. Like I said: adolescent.
The funny thing is I never intended to compete the thing. I had only started out the project as an exercise in premise. I had a scene in my mind of a character using various camera equipment in inventive ways to take out his pursuers and wanted to see if I could at the very least complete the first of act of a movie I knew I would never make. And so I did. And for some reason kept going. I just wrote the whole thing in one night. From start to finish. My first screenplay which — as I remember it — was between 62-80 pages. Which in action terms is like and hour and forty minutes.
I never showed it to anyone. I never read it over after that night. I don’t even know if I still have it (as I recollect the memory I may have actually written it on my second computer: a Sony Vaio I had somehow convinced my father into giving to me rather than my brothers so that I could finally begin to start cutting movies of my own). But what matters is that it proved to me that there’s nothing standing in my way other than my own bar of quality. What allowed me to finish that script was how little I had invested in it being good. Because I was just having fun. Trying to pass the time. Trying to be productive…
This week I procrastinated quite a bit on my commitments and now my work is suffering. But I don’t know if it’s the encroaching deadline as much as it is a desire to make something of “value” and a lack of confidence int “what I want to say”.
I guess this is better than nothing. There’s still fifty weeks to go.