On writing

joy_edited-1Some writing. Not mine. But one day…

Since finishing and screening the film last year, I have spent quite a bit of time levelling out in the wilderness before settling onto a new path. For the past few months, I’ve been writing regularly again.

In the past, I’ve found writing difficult, frustrating and unsatisfying. When writing, I’ve been impatient with progress, unmethodical in my approach and sporadic in writing bursts: it really has been my own problem. After much meandering, I am in a much more satisfying groove.

The meandering after the film took in writing all that came to me: radio plays, short stories, television pilots, even the odd poem. I’d follow each project to a certain point before losing interest and starting on the next big thing, wasting more paper and time.

Three factors got me back into gear:

  • Writing morning pages. I got back into Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way again, most particularly the practise of writing three pages of free prose each morning. I wake up a little earlier than normal, make a mug of coffee and write. I have done this for long, but inconsistent periods over the last few years, but this felt like the first time I actually got the process. After the third page is completed, I feel cleared out and able to get working. I find writing the morning pages as refreshing as a good night’s sleep.
  • Lucy Hay’s Bang2Write blog. “5 Reasons Why Haven’t I Made It in Film (Yet)”  answers various writers’ complaints and enquiries about why they haven’t reached the top of, or even stepped onto the career ladder. One thing Ms. Hay advises is the writing of feature screenplays as a way in. This sparked an interest in me: my love of feature films got me into film making and the idea that talent spotters were looking for this work gave me a renewed aim.
  • The film itself. Making Fluid was difficult, lonely and fascinating. The process of writing, producing and directing the film was the steepest learning curve I’d ever faced and as I settled down from the experience, I realised that I wanted to do it again. I wanted to see how I could write different stories, set up new shots and sequences and work with more actors and crew members.

Amid all this, the excitement started again: I wanted to make more films. Then the ideas started coming and I began to write them down each day, whenever I could. This is where I am now: regularly writing, printing, reading and rewriting. Again and again. And for the first time, I’m enjoying it.

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