Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Pining for the moon

On monday evening and tuesday morning I wrote 3,000 words of a script for my film class project. This is important not because of the amount I turned out (for me 3000 words in a few hours is hardly a strain) but rather that I got it out at all. I hate everything I write, without exception. I love the process of writing, but if a story or paper doesn't spring whole and cohesive from my fingertips the first time I try to put it down I consider it a failure and either abort the effort right there or don't pick it up again. It's not that I don't consciously recognize what an essential part of the writing process revision is, it's just some weird subconscious expectation that it has to be really good right away or it will never be worthwhile. My fear of revision and inability to write badly is perhaps my greatest hang-up in terms of writing well. Even Shakespeare (who had to write very fast to feed the beast of theatre) didn't write his great monologues in a single sitting. Authors I admire like Charlie Kaufman or Orson Scott Card probably spend a year or more on every 150 pages. I somehow expect myself to be able to churn out that kind of quality and quantity in 10 days. This is something akin to Alfonso Soriano deciding that not only does he want to break Hank Aaron's home run record, but he needs to do it over the next 2 seasons. It's paralyzing and stupid.

Getting back to the topic at hand, however, I did manage to turn out these 12 or so pages of script for the project and I have to say that they weren't quite as awful as I thought they'd be. Are there problems? Sure. In fact the problems are legion. On the other hand there are parts that I really like and some moments where I actually made myself chuckle out loud. I also recognize that what I'm doing is writing two short scenes trying to ape two long-dead (or at least metamorphasized) genres and there are inherent limitations to that. It's hard to insert subtext and clever twists in 3-5 pages. There are places where I went over the top with the cliches and spots of dialogue that are confusing to people that don't see the scenario as richly and clearly as I do in my mind's eye. That's what writing is though, it's taking a lump of coal out of your mind and working on it until it becomes something like a diamond. After I get Frank's notes on the script I will work towards polishing it and cutting out some of the fat and we may even end up with something presentable!

Right now I'm re-evaluating what I want to do. On the one hand I am getting more and more of an urge to go into something creative, writing, filmmaking whatever. Maybe try to nab an internship or even just take classes at a community college until I can apply to a master's program or whatever. On the other hand I'm thinking that maybe my original plan was the best idea. One of the disadvantages of having a reasonable amount of wealth is that you don't HAVE to work and so you don't get some of the life experiences that are so crucial to any creative person. I have had some to draw on, but teaching for a couple of years would definitely give me more to work with in that department. Plus I'm sure that I could take classes while working if I wanted it bad enough. One good compromise might be to apply for TFA but put down New York and LA as my first choices rather than Baltimore. I'm hesitant about staying in New York because I've lived here my whole life but it might make sense for now. I could get my own place in an outer borough and then I'd be able to take classes at Columbia or NYU, prestigious universities that I have connections with and thus would be able to get into classes at. LA is the center of the movie industry, of course, although I'm not 100% sure that film is right for me. Perhaps I should concentrate more on books, less glamorous and profitable as they may be, and then New York is the place to be.

22 is an odd age. It's old enough so that I wish I had made different decisions and don't feel that every door is still open to me, but young enough so that I don't have to worry about what I want RIGHT now. Different people take different paths, and many of them switch streams in the early to mid twenties. It's not like I'm 36 with a family and I have suddenly decided I want to be a writer. Plus writing in this journal has helped me move beyond some of my inhibitions in terms of writing and I've been WRITING consistantly for school at least for years.

I think the main thing that's keeping me on the fence right now is a combinations of rationality and high self-criticism. From a rational perspective it's true that many people try to become writers or directors or whatevers and fail spectacularly, ending up waiters or bookstore clerks until nigh unto middle age. Of course some try, fail, and THEN succeed, like Quentin Tarantino who was a video clerk until at 27 he started hitting the big time. In fact I sort of assume that I will have some extended period of struggle, and the real question is whether after 5 or 6 years I would reach some sort of big break or start to become one of the perpetually unemployed and unemployable. The other question is whether I have the self-esteem and drive to stick it out through the rough times. I don't know. I have a very negative self-view and worry that I might be untalented and of mediocre intelligence. This isn't really evidenced by anything except the fact that I feel isolated and generally unliked. I don't have many friends, and one would think that this would not be the case were I special in a good way. On the other hand there are other explanations for this, and I imagine that many talented people were introverts and outcasts. In fact I know it's true. On the other hand most of them had at least some close friends and I really don't have any. Some of it is probably the weight and there are other factors at play (being a commuter doesn't help) but it hurts my self view all the same. If people don't find me interesting or worth dealing with in person than how would they find what I have to write interesting or worthwhile?

I have a few other relatively minor issues I'd like to just put out there. For one thing I have noticed that while I am no longer quite as fixated on LHG as I once was, she's still an incredible distraction to me. Twice this week I've been talking to Frank about the project, she's walked into my line of vision, and I can feel my consciousness start to split in two like a corn husk being shucked. I continue to talk to Frank with half my brain basically just stalling for time while the other half follows her across the room. It's actually rather embarassing not to mention irritating. I also fixate too much on what she does while we're in class together. For example, I made a joke to the guy next to me during class, but since my head is still stuffed up it came out too loud and the rest of the class heard it and laughed a little. She apparently did not hear it, and asked the person sitting next to her to repeat it to her. I should not be remembering that. I should not remember what her shoes looked like yesterday. I wonder if I would be mocked if I went into class next time wearing blinders, like those that horses wear in the city. That's one benefit this whole thing has given me other than a refresher course on longing and isolation, better peripheral vision.

I have become much more politically cynical than ever before these days. There's just too much evil shit going on and no real hope on the horizon. Ironically I feel better and better about living in New York just because our state has maintained its normal level of corruption and incompetance and not gotten worse like so many others.

Spring had better spring soon. Someone commented the other day that I wasn't wearing a coat. I tried to explain that I am firmly of the belief that you start wearing a coat and stop wearing a coat ONE time a year each. If the weather doesn't cooperate then you say fuck it and curse the wind. They didn't buy it.

I really need to get started on my school work. I have like 70 -100 pages due in about 5 weeks. As a cheese concierge might say, that's no Gouda!

I am not going to get back my FIRST graded assignments in THREE of my classes before the Pass Fail deadline. This means I won't be Pass Failing anything but it's also a little unfair. What if I botched something? Am I just screwed?

I went to bed at 9:45 PM last night and awoke at around 5:15 AM this morning. I think I may be becoming my father. I have no reasonable explanation as to why this occured.
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