LET THE FLOW CARRY YOUR WRITING
I haven’t written about screenwriting for some time now and lucky for you, I was inspired this morning to do so! Oh, where to begin. Writing, writing, writing, writing, writing...The joys, the solitude, the wonder. It’s an experience to say the least and I truly love every moment of it.
I was reminded of my love for writing over the last few days. With ‘What About Molly?’ only cutting to 60 minutes, I’m now in the process of adding water to what is my proverbial dumpster fire, in an attempt to extinguish the flames. Not an ideal place to be in, I wrote feverishly over the last two and a half days, producing 30 pages of what I think is pure fucking magic. Crisis averted!
Never have I EVER written 30 pages in that short amount of time. Being more of a 3-10 pages a day kind of guy, I really surprised myself with this one. What can I say, I was in the flow and I just rode that wave as far as it would take me.
With the characters speaking for themselves, dictating to me where the story needed to go, I simply had to jot it down. It was really one of the most freeing writing experiences of my life. A total euphoric process from start to finish.
So the question is, why was this time so different? I’ve written tons of stories amounting to thousands of pages. What made this experience so special? Why was this flow so natural and came so easily?
GROWTH THROUGH ACTION
I honestly believe my writing has improved over the past few months due to the fact that I’ve been shooting a movie. Consciously, I’m following the script, shooting what's on the page and making small modifications as I go. Subconsciously, I’m learning a lot about what’s working on the page and what’s not.
By seeing what translates to the screen VS what doesn’t, I am able to free up my writing by already knowing what works well and what does not. It seems on the surface that making a film should improve my skills as a director, never did I think it would improve my skills as a writer. A happy accident to be sure.
So as you write that next screenplay and you’re really looking to improve, I urge you to write a story you can film. Set off, make a movie, take a chance and follow your dreams. Not only will you have memories for life, you’re going to improve in all aspects of filmmaking, even writing.
Diving into the topic further, there has to be more to this amazing flow I was in outside of just learning from the filmmaking process. Taking a moment, sitting back and reflecting, I try to pinpoint other reasons why things went so well.
STEP AWAY TO STEP FORWARD
I haven’t seriously written since before filming earlier in the year. Could time off really be the reason why I came back with such a creative flow? Did I need to step away to take a step forward? Was loss of time really on my side?
Look, I’ll be the first to tell you, loss of time is never good. You can’t get that shit back. However, with my time diverted to other important aspects of life, I was able to step away from writing, leaving it as nothing more than an afterthought for a few months.
Stepping away, taking a breather and coming back, has me fresh and ready to work. I’m eager and excited, once more, to jump into the realm of world building, flesh out some new ideas and drive my stories forward, effectively and with passion. It’s a great spot to be, one every writer should hope for.
So as you hustle and hustle hard, don’t forget to step away. It’s okay to do so. Let time heal your wounds. Allow yourself the time to reflect back on the previous work you’ve done, analyze it, learn from it and move forward. Let the past be the past, grow from your failures and come back stronger than ever.
If you’re considering making a film, I strongly recommend you do so. Even a short film will be an experience to cherish. Not only will you see areas of film you might be blind to, you will ultimately grow as a writer, a storyteller and most importantly, an artist.
- The Failed Filmmaker