Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 6: Some Housekeeping

I've had a number of communications via email, phone and Facebook about "how to follow" the Hungry Screenwriter. In an attempt to see what the experience is like firsthand, I signed up to follow myself this morning. I went to the grey menu bar at the top of the Blog and clicked on "follow" and hey presto, it was done just like that. There is also a "follow" button down on the "followers" section of the Blog but that requested I sign up to a Google account and, to be perfectly honest, that idea ended up in my "too hard" basket. Give it a go and if your care to go public with your following, it would be of great encouragement to me.

Also feel free to comment on any of the posts. I've yet to learn how to post a response, but I'll get there.

Day #6 Tip: Do Not Wait For The Right Circumstances to Write
Five or six years ago I was over at The Script Factory in London with my script The Comedians, that had been selected to take part in their year-long development programme Writer's Passage. Whilst there, I watched a reality tv show about a man who earned his living writing the copy for the instruction manuals that come with electronic goods. Good on him.

The programme centred around how he was building a house in the Dordogne Valley in France. He'd bought a plot of land that stood on a certain hill that looked out over a particularly wonderful view and explained to us, the viewers, how the house, when built, would feature a first floor study that had the perfect picture window to look out over the perfect pastoral view, where he would position his cherrywood desk and place his laptop to write the novel that he'd always wanted to write. I wonder if he ever wrote that book?

On the same trip, I had my laptop and I had to write every day as part of the programme. I lodged myself in the Reading Room of the British Museum just like George Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx did before me. They had somewhere for me to plug my computer in and were even kind enough to call me an ambulance on the day that I was visited by a kidney stone (pain similar to a gunshot wound, although I confess to never having been shot) and of a lunchtime I got to visit the Rosetta Stone and the most fantastic room dedicated to The Enlightenment ( I must thank my good friend Lara Shirvinsky [in New York] for showing me this room).

However, mea culpa: at the beginning of my ten-year writing apprenticeship, I was financially buoyed with funds from an inheritance and rented an office, first in Kings Cross and then in Surry Hills. I told myself the lie that I needed an office to
write; a lie that masked the fear that I couldn't write, but that in circumstances which gave the impression that I knew what I was doing, I'd somehow knock out the next Chinatown.

If you haven't heard Diana Krall's cover of Joni Mitchell's A Case Of You (from her Live in Paris album), stop reading, go to iTunes right now and buy it for $1.69. Diana channels Joni when she sings "...on the back of a cartoon coaster, in the blue tv screen light, I drew a map of Canada....". Whatever your circumstances are - computer, no computer, kids, no kids, money, no money, food, no food - you can draw your own map. I love and loathe Love Actually in equal amounts but like Emma Thompson's character, I thank Joni Mitchell for a great deal of my emotional education and the most valuable of writing lessons.

Tomorrow, friends.

1 comment:

  1. My first attempt at a blog comment. I too have sought and found the depths of my emotional being with Joni's assistance. Several highlights of my life's experience are rerun to her soundtracks- All I really, really want my love to do, is to bring out the best in me and in you tooo. Is the sound track of a relationship that went any way but that!!! Just a little green plays while i madly chop vegetables at "Food For Thought" in Covent Garden; where I honed my knife skills and made blue jelly, The Wind is in from Africa has travelled far and wide wherever I drive, and that is only from 'Blue'. Ah Joni my thanks to you. Rog thanks to you for the reminder to 'just write'.
    I am considering the 'blog' and how i might use one, seems a recipe a day may be of use and interest to many...X Hols