During the month of April, there were a lot of bleary-eyed, caffeine infused, panic stricken writers all across the world. We typed when we should have been working, we typed when we should have been cooking, we even typed when we should have been cleaning out the litter box (gasp)! Was it for glory, for fame, for fortune? No. It was for one,very simple reason: to have, at the end of 30 days of frantic writing, a 100+ page script.
And I finished.
Now before you oooooh and aaaaah and throw heaps of flowers and Mardi Gras beads in my direction, let me clarify "finished". There is, at this very moment, a 109 page script-like substance sitting in the confines of the inner labyrinth of my computer. I haven't looked at it in weeks, not since I finished it. I say "script-like" because it's not technically correct. Its got dialogue, scene cuts, bold type and strange formatting but if I handed it to Spielberg tomorrow he'd probably run screaming from the pile of papers in my hands.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of myself for finishing. It's the first time in a looong time I've finished that many pages much less actually finished a manuscript of any type. I have a nice, loose, pathetic script just waiting for me to edit and polish it. More than that, I have learned something very, very important about myself in the process.
I am not a script writer.
And I'm perfectly ok with that.
Most of what we as writer's do, in the beginning, is fumble around with genre and voice, habit and discipline. Yes, I'm still in the beginning stages. I've been writing, seriously with the thought of eventual publication in the back of my head, for fourteen years. It's been an off and on, love/hate process, but ongoing. Habit and discipline I struggle with. Current situations are not conducive to an ideal writing schedule (lame excuse, but true). Habit? Well, I write when I can. When I have the energy. I tend to beat myself up over this but I'm learning to ease up and take it as it comes. Voice? That's coming, finally, after many moons of typing words and writing things that feel choked and stifled. Voice is emerging and it's a timid thing indeed. As for genre? Well, that's emerging as well. Not so timid. More...cautious for the simple fact they (yes, they) aren't the most popular fish in the barrel. And I'm cool with that. Actually, I"m relieved. But I also have my work cut out for me, researching, hunting down books in those genres and reading, devouring, studying the "masters".
ScriptFrenzy taught me I'm not a script writer. It brought out a strange, ethereal voice that I've been afraid of and a genre possibility I've been dodging. In fact, it inspired two other stories, one of which I'm working on now. Sorry, it doesn't have a title yet. I'm terrible at those things. It will come, though. Probably when it's almost finished...
Have you ever done anything that completely shifted your perception of yourself as a writer? Did you come away relieved, as I did? Or frightened, as I did? Intimidated? Wary? Lost? Yes, again, as I did.
PS: A big HELLO to my new followers! I see you down there! Sorry I haven't had a spare moment to come by and say hello properly. But I shall. Thanks for following!