Why?

Not long ago I promised that things were going to get darker in here. Have they?

They have behind the scenes. I’ve been re-writing a script that was originally a pretty light-hearted romp across Long Island for two teenage boys, and suddenly, as I rewrote, they started discussing things that happened to them when they were much younger, before a family schism tore them apart. They were not good things. It’s darker.

I’ve been feeling out of sorts the past week while working on it, alternately dismal and nauseous. I don’t actually like those feelings, and I don’t actually like imagining darkness. I don’t enjoy torturing characters. Well, I have my moments.

Why, then?

Sometimes I ask myself that.

Someone else asked me that recently. Someone who pretty much sticks to action movies and comedies and reads Cosmo, and thinks that inducing via writing something that looks and walks like a depressive episode is a sign of insanity on my part. (Disclaimer: I have nothing against such movies, have never voluntarily read Cosmo and can’t find “sanity” in the DSM so it doesn’t exist).

The answer is simple: I have no idea.

Honestly.

It’s a feeling, a feeling of being in the right place and doing something that is required of me. Maybe I feel less restrained when “on a mission” and I “have no choice.” Maybe it’s my desire to try to write stories that might help someone, and this is what those look like to me. Maybe it’s seeing myself in characters in awful situations and being able to make them do amazing things. Maybe it’s just being able to make characters do amazing things.

What’s your passion and why do you write about it? Do you have an overarching philosophy that guides you? Or is each project a new universe unto itself?  When people ask you invest so much of yourself in what you do, what do you say?

These aren’t easy questions, and when I try to force answers they seem to change daily. There’s just that one core feeling that doesn’t change, and maybe it’s poetic justice that I can’t find the words to describe it.

 

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2 thoughts on “Why?

  1. “Reads Cosmo” seems like an oxymoron. Anyway, I write screenplays because it is what I’m supposed to do. I’m fortunate enough to know what I’m supposed to do and I enjoy doing it. I think there are a lot of people today who are busy doing what they percieve they should do – like what society has “told them” they should do – as opposed to their true calling. I got stuck in that rut a little bit, it took me on a tangent, but it also provided more fodder for writing and wisdom.

  2. Thank you for your comment! Congrats on finding your calling. I agree, it can be hard to hear one amid all this ruckus. I’ve got at least one wheel still in the rut, but am grateful I have the opportunity to write at all. That feeling I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing is a big comfort and motivator when the “fodder” starts piling up!

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