I hate hitting a lull. Even the sound of it is off-putting.
Which of course is exactly where I found myself over the past few days regarding the first draft. I thought I was making some good progress, but instead found myself staring at a screen that mockingly stared back.
“Come on, writer boy,” it seemed to say. “Show we what you can do.”
Putting more pressure on yourself combined with the anthropomorphization of electronics doesn’t usually end well. You’re already frustrated, and when the words won’t come, you just want to throw up your hands and do your best Bill Paxton impression.
I’ve been down this path before. I don’t like it, it ain’t pretty, but it’s gonna happen and I accept that.
This is one of those times when you have to remind yourself that you’ve got two options: quitting, which is the easy way out, and totally squashes all the hard work and effort you’ve already put in.
Or you dig deep and force yourself to keep going. Again.
I recently started re-reading my copy of THE FIRST TIME I GOT PAID FOR IT, which chronicles the tales of many successful and well-known writers and how they got started. Apart from some great stories, it’s a good reminder to us outsiders striving to be insiders that even the pros started in the exact same place we are now.
And if you’re like me and want to change your status in that scenario, there’s only one way – keep writing!
I don’t know what the exact trigger was, but the next time I faced off against that blinking cursor and half-empty page, something clicked.
Boy, did it.
The words didn’t just flow – they gushed. It was like a Niagara Falls of scenes and dialogue pouring onto the page. My fingers could hardly keep up with my brain.
Whoa. Three pages in thirty-five minutes? Inconceivable!
I definitely now feel back on track. A renewed sense of what drew me to the story in the first place. Being that much closer to being able to type FADE OUT. And a little more faith in my ability to be productive, even when I don’t think I can be.
Take that, lull.
2 thoughts on “Moving that inner strength outward”
Great post, Paul. Used to go through those lulls quite often, but you said it best: keep writing. Also, I haven’t read ‘first time I got paid for it’, but there’s another one that I thumb through, ‘101 habits of successful screenwriters’ by Karl Iglesias. Not sure if you have read it – but it’s got similar content to what you describe as well, interviews and such as well as details on how and where writers work, manage their time, etc.
Sounds interesting. I’d be interested to know if it covers stuff you should know once you establish a career. My local used bookstore appears to have a copy. I’ll take a look. Thanks!