About to Fail Script Frenzy

Script Frenzy is that yearly script writing challenge I’ve been doing for the past few years. Since the website started, I was there that first year.  And now with 4 days left, 25 out of 100 pages written , and zero interest, I’m about to fail for the first time.

I spent a couple weeks thinking “I’ll write this weekend” or “I’ll write tomorrow” or “I’ll write after yoga”. But I wouldn’t. I would be reading and then it was time to put my daughter to bed after which I spent either reading Cracked articles or reading Tender is the Night. I’m very versatile that way. (I’m really liking the Fitzgerald book, by the way, for those who read my previous post about it.) I could lie to myself and say “I’m just so busy trying to kill these termites” or “I should be doing more yoga” or “I really should be cleaning my house.” The truth is, I just wasn’t interested in writing a screenplay right now.

So yesterday as I was on my way to my mother’s house after finally being driven out of my home by termites, I thought, “perhaps I don’t care because there’s just no challenge to it anymore.” And perhaps that’s it. Last year I wrote a screenplay in a week.  Combine that with the lack of screenplay like story I wanted to tell equaled me with an abandoned screenplay.

The worst part is that since I felt like Script Frenzy should be my writing priority, it gave me a perfect excuse to procrastinate on my other writing projects. I never even touched the Edgar Allan Poe annotated bibliography I’ve been working on for years.  I thought I’d be able to post that prior to the John Cusack movie coming out.   And I as always, my previous works remain unedited.

I already have a story in mind to write for NaNoWriMo this year. But between now and November I want to accomplish so much.  I say that every year, but I’m one of the worst procrastinators. I wish there was a magic pill I could take that would motivate me and stop me from procrastinating.


You’re Not Doing It Right

I just finished You’re Not Doing it Right by Michael Ian Black an actor I first saw on The State.  I decided to give it a shot since it made me laugh straight out on the first page. That seemed promising, and of course, since I finished the book having read it straight through in four days, I obviously enjoyed it.

It’s not really very funny. I mean, I laughed, it had funny parts like laughing at sarcastic guy in a movie, but it’s not a humor book. It’s a harsh look at family life. Namely, his family life, but I have to think there are other families who are functioning in similar ways even if they don’t want to admit it.

Maybe not the right way, but my way

Talent is Overrated

Just got through a book someone recommended me, Talent is Overrated: What Truly Separates World-Class Performers From Everyone Else by Geoff Colvin.  I was expecting it to be a motivational book, since I was talking about a motivational book (The Nerdist Way) when this book was recommended to me.  But it’s not really a motivational book. It’s more of a report on findings from several studies of super-achievers.  Reading the book may motivate some people while discouraging others.

However, I learned several things. People who seem incredibly awesome and talented in their fields have been doing what they do constantly and for a long period of time.   Practice only makes perfect if you are doing the correct type of practice for your field.  Motivation has to come from within.  Being incredibly awesome in your field means physical changes in your brain chemistry as well.  I am right when I say no amount of practice at any age would have ever turned me into Michael Jordan because I am 5’2″.  I will never be able to play like Yo-Yo Ma unless I start practicing right now and he stops playing to give me a chance to catch up.  The sooner you start (start anything from writing to salsa dancing) the better you’ll be in 10 years.  The first few years you will produce close to garbage.

Basically, what makes the Greats so great is years and years of dedication and challenging themselves to reach new levels.  They weren’t born with the talent so much as the drive to be great and the encouragement of others from early on.

I find that the book did motivate me. I think it helps that I’ve been writing for years and therefore, am not starting at square one.  I might be at square 2, but that’s okay.  The point is I have some background in it already. So now I have to take it to the next level if I want to be great. And I’ve always said, I don’t need to be Vonnegut, and I don’t. I’m not going to be disappointed if I never reach that level. But I know I can do better than the level I;m at right now. And that is what I’m going to latch on to.

I had a dream yesterday, after finishing the book, that my turtle escaped his cage and fell on the floor. It was hurt, but shrugged it off like a flesh wound. As weird as it sounds, I’m going to take that as a metaphor for my ambition and creativity. Finally breaking out of the cage, hurt, but ready to go.

The Nerdist Way

I’ve been trying to read this book, The Nerdist Way, but it’s just not happening for me.

The part I did get through had me making character sheets for myself like I was RPGing my own life. That, I thought, was a great way to look at things. I was trying to invest in the experience. But the book is a bit noncohesive and just like the authors mind seems to have wandered, so did mine. I haven’t been able to finish the book. And what’s more, I feel guilty for thinking of trying to finish.

I’ve fallen into a a vicious cycle. I should read the book because I’ve always had trouble feeling motivated, keeping my life organized and prioritizing my own life. At the same time, reading this book just feels like another excuse to keep procrastinating. “Oh, sure I’ll edit that novel sitting on my desktop… just as soon as I spend a month reading this book and learning how to RPG my life.” ::headdesk::

My 34th birthday is next week. I’ve spent the whole of 2012 psychoanalyzing my own life and coming up short.

you suck, Tom Brady.