Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mojo Risin' *

It would be fair to say I was struggling there for a while with the rewrite of my main feature script. Too many voices in my head, a loss of confidence in my writing ability and, as a result, I was procrastinating like crazy. Not good with a deadline approaching.

Thank goodness then that the fog has lifted and I am back in the zone.


Well, let me explain by taking a little trip into time and outer space. Specifically, April 14, 1970 on the way to the Moon. Yes, the day astronaut Jim Lovell announced to the world that Apollo 13 indeed had a problem. Beautifully dramatised by Ron Howard in the movie of the same name. In Mission Control, chaos erupts as the controllers struggle to comprehend the enormity of what the data is telling them. Lead Flight Director Gene Kranz (played by Ed Harris) then utters the line I most relate to when the proverbial hits the fan:

Let's look at this thing from a... um, from a standpoint of status. What do we got on the spacecraft that's good?

Substitute the word 'script' for 'spacecraft' and you have the catalyst for my change in mindset. Instead of focusing on everything that was "wrong" with the script, I went back and looked at what was working. Sure, there are things that need a fixin' but there's also a lot of really, really good stuff. Funny how you forget that when your confidence is somewhat battered. 

Instead of reinventing the wheel it becomes an exercise in problem solving. Once I flipped perspective from a negative bias to a positive one everything was suddenly freed up and the keys started a clackin'. I had my writing mojo back! 

So when things explode, the data (notes) overwhelm you and the script is flirting with "Gimbal lock" remember to ask - what do you got in the script that's good?!

* Apologies to Jim Morrison

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