Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ankle Deep in the Black Bog of Writer's Block

Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune is just about over. It's been a terrific run, and I feel like I've learned a lot as an actor. I am hoping for this last weekend to be the best yet.

One more weekend to go, and I no longer have any huge commitments after hours. Well, having just about wrapped up this latest 2-month excuse not to really do anything with writing, the thought of the massive project has been getting ever so insidiously under my skin again. At the recommendation of a friend, I purchased a book called "No Plot? No Problem!", just for the sake of having the topic of writing part of my evening regimen.

The real problem is that, while the act of writing itself is important, I still find myself going back to the notion that I have a very specific story that I want to tell -- I am simply not yet at the point of writing the tale. It's that simple. I could sit down and write fifteen short stories in a week's time and it wouldn't give me one iota of a sense of satisfaction because they simply would not be stories that I want to write.

So I am recommitted to giving this process of story outlining and back-story development a go. I have printed out every single note I have on the topic, in my Google Documents & Spreadsheets collection, in my Google Notes collection, in the LiveScribe notes I've been collecting, on my over-sized sheets of notepaper that I bought last December along with lots of permanent markers and lots of stick'um so I can post them on my wall, and over the next few weeks, as Frankie and Johnny closes and I am able to commit more time, I will cut these notes up into little scraps of thoughts and paste them on my wall in my office at home and pray that a sensible pattern emerges.

See, I am exploring something very peculiar. It doesn't even have a fully fleshed out story, yet. It's an exploration into the very notion of identity and reality. The story presumes a set of physical laws that would have an impact on so much of our notion of what is a person, what is a moment in time, what is "real".

Meanwhile, I will take a break from theatre work. At least a couple of months. These little hermit-moments don't tend to last too long. The writer's block has made it difficult for me to stay on task and sort through my thoughts. I'm still trying to enlist the aid of some of my creative friends, but they either complain irritated that they can't grasp what I'm trying to do, as if the fact that I can't either isn't relevant, as if I'm trying to show off for them, or they focus on irrelevancies or try to advise me to "just write", ignoring everything I've been saying all along.

Yes, I know that "just write" is important. I'm not discounting the idea that the act of writing, in and of itself, sets the creative juices flowing. I've already been down that road and the motivation simply isn't there to continue. The reason for this is that the real problem I am trying to solve, this puzzle of how to tell a story about a god who doesn't even know what is real, isn't yet ready to be written.

2 comments:

Healing Morning said...

Is this the project you mentioned about 10 days ago? Second question is, how did I not know you have a blog?! I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that, considering the overlapping connections w/ friends we have.

At any rate, as I said when you first mentioned this (if it is, indeed, the same thing), I am happy to lend a hand. I vow to not criticize your method of approach, as I tend to use that same storyboard method myself. I guess it's the sign of similar mentality, and perhaps you're one of the obscure balanced brain (vs. right/left brain oriented) individuals like me(?)

When you're ready to brainstorm, give me a yell!

~ Dawn

VSmirk said...

Thanks, Dawn! Yes, as a matter of fact it is the same project. I started an email detailing some of it to you that I guess I'll just have to finish now. :-)