verse chorus refrain

7/27/11

As a few of you might know, ever since my successful 24-hour writing binge described here on these pages, I’ve made it a yearly habit to sequester myself away for two nights at a local hotel to write an entire script. That particular bender in 2006 became – with Tessa’s crucial guidance – the script that has been our calling card for years, with other fruitful marathons in 2008 and 2010. And here I am, once again, staring at the mini-bar and wondering if $75 really is too much for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

This current project pretty much breaks all the rules you’re supposed to follow when writing a television “spec”, but something in me clicked about a year ago, and I’m well past caring. It’s slightly supernatural, it’s dark, it has swear words, it’s set in New York, and it’s in two parts (meaning a 2-hour pilot). None of which I would recommend to beginners, but hopefully we’ve built up enough street cred and good will to keep us from being laughed out of the room.

Either way, if you’re involved in something artistic, you don’t choose the project, the project chooses you. I recognize how faux and dinky-dinky-doo precious that sounds, but if you start telling your ideas you don’t like them, they’ll stop showing up. All things being equal, the writer (or writing team) that pitches something they actually love will shine two shades brighter, and it’s usually contagious.

What a bizarre job we have. Any amount of close observation, and it disintegrates like ash. Best to not think too much on’t, and keep writing stories you can’t put down or turn off. Save the navel-gazing for our autumn years, when we look back upon it and pick apart the miracle of pulling it off.