Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Whole Screenwriting Process and Its Relevance to Baking Banana Bread at 11:08pm

I got home from Harpo's (more on that in a moment), and realized that the bananas I had been waiting to turn had in fact been excreting some kind of juice in the bottom of the Ziploc bag, so regardless of the hour, banana bread had to be made. I might have made it this afternoon, but I was lazy taking a nap. Most people say busy taking a nap, but I prefer lazy taking a nap, because that's pretty much what it boils down to. That's what I do when I'm overwhelmed, I take a nap, and this afternoon I was overwhelmed, I am overwhelmed. There's just so much to do. You're supposed to write as much as you can, but also keep up on what others are writing, so that means reading screenplays to get the feel for new things, but also be sure you keep an eye on what is coming out so that you understand the market, but don't just watch trailers, see the movies, since that's what you're writing anyway. Then you need to make sure you've got time to read real books, because that's important too, but also make time to get involved in the writing community, in person and on the web. That's what I was doing at Harpo's. It's where The Kansas City Screenwriters meet, and that's the kind of thing aspiring screenwriters should be doing, meeting up with other aspiring screenwriters to exchange ideas and whatnots. It's all good stuff, just taking it in all at once can seem daunting. How am I supposed to accomplish all these things on a consistent basis while maintaining a job and eventually school, taking care of the husband, and finding time to bake banana bread at a reasonable hour? Blake Snyder says I should be spitting out four scripts a year. I can't imagine! It's not possible in my current state. I would have to change my surroundings, my circumstances, altogether to make that feasible. Am I willing to do that? Probably not. I want it my way. I want to get my school done, live a happy non-neurotic life, maintain a healthy love life, and produce good, quality scripts at a rate of about one per year. If I can't make it doing that, then right now I'm just not going to make it. I'll have to wait. And some day, I'll get tired of not making it and things will change. But I'm not there yet. I want to make it my way. So I'm making banana bread at 11:08pm. That's fine. I'm hungry anyway.


ditty said...

You're going to make Banana Nut French Toast again, aren't you? So not fair. Unless you're inviting me over for breakfast. Then that would be completely fair and very kind of you.

We've talked more in depth about this, but as long as you're moving forward, you're doing all right, I think. And you are indeed moving forward. One of the dangers of jumping into the world of RSS feeds and screenwriting blogs is that they can make you feel all doom & gloom & hopeless sometimes. Believe me, I've been there.

So, to conclude, do the best you can with what the circumstances you have at this time in your life. If you're doing that, then you're doing more than most people. And, if that's not enough to make you feel better, then you've got banana bread, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Joselyn. I too have been feeling exactly this. I have a full-time job as a creative director, teach art at a local college two nights a week, have a wife and three kids whom I love to spend time with and very often feel overwhelmed.

It's funny, I take naps too when I get hit really hard.

My goal was to write two screenplays a year, but lately I've been teetering on only doing one or abandoning the pursuit altogether. My main issue is time. Lately, I've only been able to write on weekends, or for maybe, MAYBE an hour or less on a couple week nights. I think I've been more discouraged now than ever for some reason, but then again, maybe I just need a nap.

I guess I really have no point to this response other than to say you're not alone. Maybe there is some kind of comfort to be had in that - it comforted me to hear someone else experiencing what I felt. And isn't that Izzi awesome, always the inspiration.

Anyway, keep moving forward and so will I. :)

Take care.