The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao-tzu

Fuck you. – David Mamet.

 

Whenever I mention that I’m pretty much done with writing for a living, the inevitable reaction is, “Don’t give up on your dream.”  If I however I told somebody that I was thinking of becoming a Heroin addict, the reaction would be a different one.  You might think the comparison is heavy handed and somewhat hyperbolic but I’ll lay it out.

When you’re a junkie, your entire world is focused on your next fix and how you’re going to get it.  Your friends are junkies, you live in a junkie culture and your general conversation revolves around drugs you’ve done, drugs you’d like to try, good trips and bad trips and of course your next score.

When you write for film, your entire world is focused on film.  getting produced, who can help you get produced, the steps of getting produced and what happens after you get produced.  All of your friends are in film or are associated with film.  Your general conversation revolves around writing and film.  Good experiences, bad ones… you get the picture.

It can and is somewhat soul crushing.

The industry seems to reward bad behavior.  I’ve had people say shit to me over email, that if they’d said it to my face, I’d have been punching them before the words would have fully registered in my brain.  This can cause levels of frustration which send your blood pressure through the roof.  It also with repeated exposure burns you out and reduces your want to deal with people in this way or environment.

It becomes not so much an act of giving up on a dream as it is one of self preservation.  The irony being, much like a junkie, you find yourself continually going back for a fix.  You know, just a bump to take the edge off, which turns into a line and there you go, you’re right back in it.

There is no rehab for writers.  Writer rehab usually involves a shotgun, a pistol or a rope.

Which of course makes me sound pretty miserable but this is not the case.  It has taught me to enjoy the moment, not keep trying for the future experience.  Probably why I enjoy photography so much.  You can tell a story in a picture as well and nobody is asking if you can change this or do that.

I’m still on the needle, writing wise.  I mean I can quit any time, you know I just don’t want to.  You uh haven’t heard about anybody wanting some rewrite work done have you?  I mean I could do some stuff on spec if you wan’t…

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