Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Odd but surprisingly loyal bedmates: Despair and the Writer

You know when you have a project and you think it's there.

You think it works and you feel happy, relieved, pleased with what you have achieved. Then along comes someone wanting to work on the project, to actually make it happen, and the feedback you get - and need to act upon if you want this collaboration to work - leads you to eviscerate your play, book, script.

There can be few feelings related to work that are more debilitating. You pull your project apart, and then some, because you believe deep down you can make it better. You try to change the structure, the characters, the tone... and there's that awful moment when you find you have nothing left.


Nothing works.

Not the characters or the structure or the tone.

You doubt that you can write at all. You doubt you can do this project, that you can achieve anything worthwhile or of which you can be proud .

But the thing is, it worked before.

You know this.

The journey you are on now is meant to make it EVEN better. That's why it's so painful. That's why you can't tell if it's working or not. Why you don't know if what you are doing is not only failing to make it better but is actually making it worse...

Until you've put the hours in, taken the risks and made the mistakes and finally, finally, it comes together. Maybe bit by bit, maybe in one of those wonderful creative bursts.

And then, when you relax and realise you can do this and it will be better, then it's all worthwhile.

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