Scriptwriter's Shed

The joy, the pain, and the long journey from script to screen.

Writing – it’s a love/hate relationship.

Well, that’s it… it’s finished.

I’ve written, rewritten and tweaked as much as I possibly can and it’s finally all over. On and off it’s taken me close to a year to get my 90 minute screenplay to a standard I’m satisfied with – although I’m not ‘actually’ satisfied, you understand. That would be silly.

Around about the time I’d finished the fourth draft, I suddenly became trapped in a continuous state of both loving and hating everything about my script: the characters, the story, the plot, the dialogue… even the way it looked on the page.

My brain went into meltdown, I ate myself half to death with junk food and I began reading the script to the dog and asking him whether he thought it sounded OK (mostly, he was quite impressed). It was at this point I realised I could do no more.

Now, as I sit writing this blog post – wearing the jumper I’ve knitted from the hair torn from my scalp – I’m reflecting on whether it was all worth it. All that torture… the desperate soul-searching… the late nights… the early mornings… the feeling that I was about as much use as a steaming heap of rabbit droppings… the fear that no-one will ever show so much as a passing interest in what I’ve written anyway… was it worth all that?

YES, by *ecky thump, yes it was!! It was worth every single torturous second.

As I typed “THE END” at the bottom of the script and closed down the page, the immense relief I felt at having seen the project through to the bitter end set me on an incredible high. It may not be perfect… it may not even be all that good… but it’s as perfect and as good as I can make it, and that alone feels like a huge achievement.

The biggest thrill of all, though, came when I sat in my chair this morning and fired up my laptop.

After months of self-doubt and wondering whether this path was really the right one for me, I felt excited about writing again. The kind of ‘unknown’ excitement that I haven’t felt for quite some time. I opened up my ‘ideas’ page and my mind began to race. New focus… new ideas… new characters… new stories… the possibilities are endless.

And that’s the great thing about being a writer… the possibilities are always endless.

* Special thanks to The Goodies for introducing me to the words “Ecky Thump” when I was six years old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJxGi8bizEg&feature=search

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5 thoughts on “Writing – it’s a love/hate relationship.

  1. Congrats on writing it! 🙂

  2. Well done for getting to the end of your script.

    I’m beginning to get over the fear of friends and family reading my work, mainly because I’ve had some short stories accepted for publication. Still waiting for the scriptwriting success though!

    Good luck with the next one.

    • Julie Messenger on said:

      Thanks for your comment Juliet. And well done for getting those stories published. I’ve not really tried my hand at writing shorts but I’ll be giving it a go sometime in the near future. I’m not afraid of friends and families reading my scripts, but I know that they’re so lovely they probably wouldn’t be honest about what they read for fear of hurting my feelings. I NEED people to be brutal!

  3. Julie Messenger on said:

    Hi Di,

    at the moment I’m trying to build up a portfolio of work (shame the last two efforts were pants!). The script I’ve just finished will be read by a professional reader and depending on the feedback I get I’ll decide what to do with it next. In the meantime, it’s on with other projects.

    I have a real fear of friends and family reading my work – I think I’m frightened they’ll tell me it’s brilliant when it isn’t, and that I might actually believe them!

    Keep working on me… you never know, I might give in to you. 😉

  4. Di Page on said:

    I love the way you write Julie. How do we read what you have written then? Or is it a secret? Hugs D xx

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