Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week two of twenty-ten

First off, I had a great holiday - spent some quality time with my family in Atlanta, which included my nine month old niece, Maddie, and my seven month old niece, Samantha - and it was good medicine. I didn't do a whole lot other than eat a lot of shitty junk food, act like a crazed baby lady with my nieces, see some old friends, watch movies, take walks, and read Anne of Green Gables on my iPhone. (Again.) And then I had a brief stopover in Breckenridge to visit my youngest sister, where I capped off two weeks of mild excess with a few more days of thorough excess in the style that only 24 year olds in a ski town can muster. Suffice it to say that by the time I got back to LA I was ready to return to a more spartan existence.

And now we're two weeks into the new year, and so far, I'm happy. I accomplished so little in December that I was basically desperate to crawl out of the holiday slump, but I did manage to make one important decision last month, and that was on a medium: screenwriting. I'd been agonizing over where to focus my writing energies, and truthfully, if the media world weren't in an outright clusterfucked state, I would have just started applying like crazy to editorial jobs. I did apply to a few, in fact, and I actually think I'd make a decent journalist, but those jobs are in very short supply, and the future there is so uncertain it freaks even me out. So I thought and thought about what I wanted to do, and then made my decision when I came across a great intro to screenwriting program.

Class has only been in session for one week, but I'm already knee deep in the writing. Over my head, really. I've seen thousands of movies, and I even took an intro to screenwriting class at UCLA a few years ago, but this is a serious workshop, and my head is spinning. The class is mostly filled with other people from the entertainment business - a director, a lighting guy, some actors, and even one working writer - so I'm feeling a little intimidated due to my naivete. But besides the occasional moment of panic that I have no business doing this, I'm enjoying it and learning a lot. By the end of eight weeks I'm going to churn out the world's shittiest first draft, but it will be a complete draft!

I don't know if this will stick - I guess you never really know if anything will - but I've told myself I'll give it a year and a few scripts and see how it goes. My one real weakness as I can see it now is that I've only ever read a handful of scripts, so I really don't have a strong feel for how a good one looks, but I'm banking on the feel for story and dialogue that I do have from reading thousands and thousands of books to carry me through. That and the frantic screenplay cramming I'm doing right now. 

And on the matter of the day job, I made a decision there too, which in some ways is even scarier. I'm going to wait tables and/or bartend. I'm worried about going back to it after such a long time away, but you can't beat the money, and I figure it'll be nice to have something that gets me out around people to even out the solitude of the writing. I know it will be jarring and a far cry from the time when I had an office and could close the door when I was in a bad mood, but I have to give it a try. I just hope I can get my ego to cooperate.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

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