Thursday, November 16, 2006

Being my own worst enemy

There are times when I frustrate the hell out of myself. I spent most of yesterday not doing a job I should have done last weekend. I've got several pressing deadlines on key projects, but I'd already agreed to write a script for Team Fantomen in Sweden. I had hoped to fulfil that committment last Saturday and Sunday, but singularly failed to do so. My editor had asked for new elements to be added to my original plot, all of which were improvement, adding depth and texture to what would have been an exceedingly linear and simplistic tale.

Unfortunately, the creative chunk of my brain decided it needed time to process these changes and find the best way of implementing them. By the end of Sunday I'd managed to write the opening sequence and no more. Yesterday was my golden opportunity to finish the script, before heading to the studio today for the recording block portion of the BBC Radio drama lab I'm participating in. But I was still reworking the plot by lunchtime and only got halfway through the script by 10pm. So I've still that got to finish, which means I'll be back writing the Phantom on Sunday - again.

All the courses I'm doing, all the training and education and craft skills I'm gaining at the moment, are definitely improving my writing. But getting better as a writer means taking more time to write even simple stories. In the past I could rely on my natural storytelling instincts and hack stuff out. Now I find myself taking longer on jobs, because I want them to be the best I can make them. It's a significant change and one I'm only beginning to appreciate. Unfortunately, habit tells me I can write vast screeds of text to order. But that isn't the case so much anymore.

Anyways, I need to finish the Phantom script this week because then I can get paid for it before Christmas next month. Once the Phantom's out the way for the moment, I'll be devoting most of my waking moments between now and Christmas to my next Black Flame novel. Need to get the decks cleared, so I can focus on the book. But first, it's away to Pencaitland and into the studio with my scene, Sweet and Sour Sixteen.

1 comment:

Optimistic_Reader said...

I think all writers are probably their own worst enemy, or at least, their own worst critic. I've found I have the same problem since becoming a script reader. I'm now hyper aware of something that doesn't work and can't progress till I've cracked it. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, as the work is better so that's all that matters. But sometimes I wish I could work as quickly as I used to.