As many of you know, I am trying to write a screenplay. A screenplay for television. No one says teleplay anymore according to a book I read called Read This Book If You Want To Feel Like You’re Actually Doing Something Productive on the Screenwriting Front However You Still Haven’t Written Shit, Asshole. When I saw it on the shelf I was like, “Now that’s a saucy title I can really get behind!” Then I gave myself a high five and tightened my side pony (it’s a side ponytail, not some other kind of adjunct equine creature or appliance or dance move. Although actually you could work on tightening your side pony and mean the dance move, I suppose. Maybe I’ll put that into one of my scripts!)
So but how is the script writing going, you ask, because you care. I’ll tell you, I respond, because I’m procrastinating.
NOT SO WELL!
Turns out I’m experiencing all those things that amateur writers—ones I scoff and roll my eyes at and look down upon and use to mop my brow from the sweat that builds up while I toil away on real writing assignments and whose fingers I often borrow to open the envelopes containing checks I receive from actual published magazine articles—experience. Or at least I think they experience it since it seems there’s a lot of literature out there about the fear of the blank page and blah blah blah writer’s room blah blah retreat blah discipline blah get up early blah I havent’ showered in three weeks.
I showered today actually, but spiritually I have dreadlocks.
Um, so where was I? Oh yes. Granted I’ve felt writer’s block before and there’s always a point when I’m facing a deadline where I want to cry and feel that life is unfair and feel that I’m probably the only soul who is awake on the planet and feel lonely and woe is me-ish and stuff, but I’m used to that. And it sucks. And if you happen to be a professional writer I’m wondering if you also go through that? I exchanged a couple emails with Louis Menand of The New Yorker once because he went to my college many years before I and he wrote something in The New Yorker about having to reread old articles he’d written before starting a new one to remind himself that he knows how to do that. I related, since I often do the same thing. Anyway, what was my point? Oh yes. I once exchanged emails with someone from The New Yorker.
But the discomfort I’m feeling trying to write a script is something new and horrendous. And the self-doubt is beyond description. Yesterday I ate my hand just for fun, that’s how nervous I was. I’m typing this whole thing with one hand. Just tapping away at the keys, one by one, embarrassed that I ate my whole hand in one sitting. Not only impractical but SO unladylike!
So now I have myriad first pages of scripts sitting on my computer and I’m thinking I should just write a book instead since that’s something I’m more comfortable with. But who knows. But I thought I might regale you with the first line of each of my scripts. Won’t that be fun? I THINK SO! Here we go. No context or character names. Just first lines. And please note, these are all separate scripts:
Coochie coochie coo. Coochie coo.
Welcome back to Omyra.
How was the audition?
Hi, I’m Amanda.
You know what we need?