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Good evening everyone! (who cares about timezones, anyway)
For those of you who remember me; Hello old friends!
For those who don't; hello new friends!
I feel almost obliged to offer an explanation. Two years ago (what? it was three?), I was a high school student who obsessively wrote screenplays. I had convinced myself that I was going to be a screenwriter. I was going to take the the world by storm. At the time, I would have liked to have thought that my ideas were original and fresh. As a screenwriter I had always found that my ideas were "good" but never "great". Whether this was a contributing factor to me moving a way from writing I honestly can't say.
What I can say is this: At some stage I hit a wall. I could no longer write any piece of work and I'd be lying if I said that it didn't kill me a little. I had no new ideas, nothing that came to mind. I've been within this dry spell for years, now. Slowly I forgot that I used to write screenplays.
I'm at University now. For those who are still friends on Facebook, you will probably know that I'm having the time of my life. The experience of meeting a bunch of new people opened my eyes to the possibilities of writing again. I've found myself looking through SimplyScripts, but have yet to find the courage to post. I certainly haven't written anything, but I'd really like to write. I've always wanted to find something to write. But alas, nothing has come up.
Anyway, I thought I'd just pop in and say hi to all the people I used to network with here. I haven't forgotten about SS and everything the community did for me to try and beef my writing skills up.
Has anyone else ever hit similar dry spells? How the hell does one get out of it?
You get out of it by actually writing something. The urge is there so just do it. You have new experiences now and they are what form you as a writer... maybe you ran out of things to write about because your life experience had little else to offer. Now it has a lot more. Share it.
I use to find myself froze over a blank page not having the "perfect" in my minds eye. Then I would write 1 - 2 lines - oh, that sucks - delete them - start over. I finally realized - at least for me - it is far easier to improve something then to create something. So I started to just friggin write - good, bad, ugly. I lost the self judgement and pages started to come out. It is amazing when you come back to something how much easier it is to edit then to create.
I remember you, you little upstart. Suppose you'd be all of what, nineteen now?
Dan, both Dustin and Dave make some good points.
'Just write' is the best mantra - even if you think what's going down on paper is crap, it's a starting point. Set aside some time each day even if it's just a couple of hours to begin with. Observe those around you too for inspiration/dialogue/character etc. and keep your eyes and ears open for story ideas, in the news, on the internet, at your 'local' - and then put your own spin on it.
I don't find it easy, you're not alone, but as Dustin said if the creative 'urge' is there you'll produce something just by virtue of the fact writing becomes something you have to do even if half the time it's a pain in the you know what.
Count me in for a read/review when you post one up.
You say you are now at University. This could be one of the reasons your ideas have dried up; you are concentrating on other areas. You are focusing on gaining education so you can start a career and are involved in new social circles. It is understandable your idea creating machine has become distracted.
I would suggest feeding that creative mind. Cram as many stories as you can into your brain by reading books, poetry, scripts and by watching TV programs (good ones like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead etc, not crappy reality TV) & movies. Discuss these stories with friends who are as passionate about stories as you are. Imagine yourself inside a story that excites you, chat with the characters and see where these imaginary conversations lead. Don't forget to go out and experience life as well!
Do all these things with a watchful eye always looking for something which sparks an idea. When it does, write about it, even if it is just notes.
With me I can't write anything unless an idea has been sparked. Once it has there's no stopping me but until that idea kicks in I'm lost, so I'm ALWAYS looking around for something to trigger it. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it takes a while but as long as I'm consciously on the lookout something will trigger an idea.
I hope that helps. Give me all the credit if it does.
For more of my scripts, stories, produced movies and the ocassional blog, check out my new website. CLICK
The Elevator Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr
Hey Dan, I'm new, but, have been doing a lot of reading and writing. I have taken long years away from the craft that I love, screenwriting and writing in general. Sometimes, life just happens.
One life lesson that I can share is, be humble. It's one thing to believe in yourself, it's another to think the screenwriting world will explode at your ideas and you will automatically be the next big thing.
It takes a lot of hard work. Harder work then you have ever put in. Picture insane amounts of hard work, and multiply that by a billion. Then double it. that's what you need to do. But, it can be done.
As some of you know, I used to play a game called magic the gathering. No one starts off good. You need to work at your craft, and be prepared for a lot of learning and losing. It's the nature of the beast. Poker and screenwriting have that in common.
All three have one thing in common- patience, well and tenacity.
It's fine to take time away, I left for 20 years. It just means that if you are in the right mindset and it is the right time for you to take that step forward and achieve a sellable product, that you will, and it will be all the sweeter b/c you persevered.
Good luck. Dan (yes, I'm Dan too, and I'm suing you for copyright infringement! I'm the one and original Dan, and you didn't ask me if you could use it) Yes, I was kidding... until you make it, then I can get royalties from you
Welcome back. You were here before my time, so, nice to meet you.
I'm at a similar dry spell right now, for quite a few months, and I'm not too bothered by it. If I don't feel like writing now, I suppose I don't. I know it interests me and I'm confident that I will write something some day. Maybe in a week, maybe in a year. Who knows, the dry spell might not necessarily be a bad thing. Unplugging the laptop and dragging it along to an isolated location somewhere to stare at a blank page and force it to move from there is still kind of tempting, though.