Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Engaging Neurotic Writer Mode, Captain!

I suffer mornings most of all
I feel so powerless and small

By ten o’clock I’m back in bed

Fighting the jury in my head

- "Have To Drive" by Amanda Palmer

"Who Killed Amanda Palmer" has been playing on my iPod a lot over these last few days. Life is weird and overwhelming, but that's how it goes. Sometimes I feel stuck in the mud. Today was one of those days. I got up early, but by ten o'clock, yeah, I was back in bed.

I got out of bed eventually, of course. Went into town, got some coffee, read music magazines at the nearest bookstore. Did a lot of thinking. I think that sometimes I focus so much on trying to keep other people happy that I forget about what is important to me.

The day got better. I watched Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" with my family tonight. I know I sound like such a cliche white person/film geek/hipster saying this, but that film makes me happy every time I watch it. I grin every time Adrian Brody runs past Bill Murray to catch the train (in slow motion!) before the opening credits. I laugh every time Jason Schwartzman maces Owen Wilson in the face ("I LOVE YOU BUT I'M GOING TO MACE YOU IN THE FACE! AHHHHHHH!"). I get hooked into the characters every time and am always smiling when that French song plays and the end credits roll.

I really want to write a script like that someday. I want to tell a story that people can get hooked into and find joy from again and again.

Writing is hard for me sometimes. I always have a million ideas rolling around in my head, but I have a hard time shaping them into something manageable. By the time I get my mind wrapped around some sort of plot, I become bored with the idea and move on.

I have had one idea floating around my brain for a little over a year though. It started out as just strange, late-night sketches in my journal and evolved into a full-length Broadway musical. I think it might be a good idea, but I really don't know. I need to be more disciplined. I need to devote time each day to working on it instead of just waiting for INSPIRATION. A lot of the songs are already written and all of the main characters are in place. I've even got a couple of scenes down. And a title - I have a title! "Goat Man Is All Alone Tonight (And So Am I): An Existential Rock Opera In The Key Of Despair." Might have to shorten it if it ever actually makes it to Broadway - that's a lot of put on a marquee.

Anyway, I have all of that. I just need a plot. And the discipline to write it. And confidence. Sometimes I second guess my ability to write something decent and then end up writing nothing.

Gah. Speaking of second guessing, I'm doing it right in this very moment. The concept of "Goat Man" is kind of out there. There's such a fine line between quirky and dumb. There's also a fine line between ingeniously funny and offensively strange. I feel like I may be in danger of crossing both of those lines with this.

But I guess I'll just go with it and see what I can come up with. It can't be worse than the 50 page stink bomb of a screenplay that's still saved on my hard drive from a couple years ago. "And Would You Like To Be Fried With That?" was the name of it. It was about some nerdy guy who worked at a fast food restaurant and spoke with a fake British accent. I think maybe the idea had potential but I jumped the shark with it pretty fast.

Anyway, I'm descending into rambling mode once again. Bed time for me. Goodnight, my darling blog friends.


  1. I should have been up twenty minutes ago to stand any chance of getting to work on time, but I'm still in bed. I blame your blog for giving me the idea that I can stay in bed and blame it on just not being able to face the day.

    The musical sounds mad! You should blog about it more.

  2. I love the Darjeeling Limited! Whenever I see movies like that I wonder why I can't come up with an original creative thought and envy those who can.

  3. My issue is always I have the plot, but the rest just doesn't want to come together.


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