I’ve Been Writing… but it doesn’t look like work…

Sorry for the no postage. I’ve been working on a script. Getting paid to write is quite the motivator, I must say. But, wow, oh wow, is it hard to get anything done around the house. I’ve had to hie out to the country where I have a house in the woods with no internet, hardly any phone, no wife, no children, no dogs and nothing to do but sit there all day and write.

I can’t get anything done at home. Zilch. There’s way too much stuff to do. Well, some of that is generated by me. Empty the dehumidifer out of the basement, trim the mint, get the recalcitrant child to trim the hedge, feed the dogs, get coffee, fill the hummingbird feeder, feed the bees, you know important stuff that gets the brain in gear so one can write.

However, there’s a lot more at home than important hummingbird stuff. There’s the “Are you doing anything?” question. The one that comes when I’m staring off into space, not lifting anything or cleaning anything or dumping stuff from an overstuffed closet. The one that comes when you’re thinking about the damn script, but aren’t using any muscle other than the brain.

And then, because I’m looking like I’m doing nothing, I get asked to accomplish something. Something like carrying all the furniture out of one bedroom so it can be painted. Thank God I’m not the one doing the painting.

Anyway, I have to fight and claw and scrape and leave the county to get anything done.

If you don’t have a house in the country, I can tell you what you do have… a library. And a library that won’t let you have a cell phone. So, if you have to work, go to the library. Get work done and people will leave you the hell alone. Libraries are wonderful. I thank all the steel workers for their suffering every time I go into one of Mr. Carnegie’s little oases of wonder.

Get thee to a library, go.
Get out of the fucking house.
Faulkner left his first wife, they say, because she never figured out that when he was staring out the window, he was working.

Being left alone.

And the pages pile up.



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5 responses to “I’ve Been Writing… but it doesn’t look like work…

  1. Elaine

    How I envy you. I often wonder what I would produce if I was paid to write.

    Bonne continuation for the rest of the script – looking forward to seeing it at a cinema near me :0)

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Ahhh, the getting paid conundrum… It actually does nothing. I do have a deadline, in that I am contractually obligated to turn in the draft in eight weeks. THAT is a motivator. Getting paid literally does nothing for you, as far as the relationship to the writing. It feels the same to get paid to write as it does not to get paid to write. The contractual deadline is a carrot or a whip, depending on one’s mood. But, being paid makes me feel slightly better about myself, but it doesn’t affect how I approach the page or the blankness thereof. You’d think it would be a big deal, but in the end, it’s still just writing. It’s much easier, I must admit, to say, “I’m heading to the library all day because someone is giving me money to go hang out at the library.”

  2. Thanks again for your amusing snippets. In a busy world, I can always find time for a page or less of compressed wisdom.

    We might be a bit isolated down under, but with the net, it sure doesn’t feel that way.

    As long as it doesn’t distract me too much from actually writing 🙂

    Re getting paid to write, it’s refreshing to notice that I would still write even if I didn’t get paid.

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Thank you! I just did a script consultation with a writer in Aussieland. They make mistakes down there, too! Just like we do up here where it’s summer. Never gotten used to the idea of Christmas in the summertime. How on earth does THAT work?

      • I’m sure we make the same mistakes down under as they do up over!

        Xmas in summertime? That’s easy: beach, sun, relaxing …

        In truth, winter Xmases are a boring stereotype. Every Hollywood screenplay set around Xmas features snow, or cold, or rain.

        Why not turn it around, we thought? Why not surprise the reader & viewer with something a little different?

        I obviously spend far too much time thinking about this gig …

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