Wednesday, November 21, 2018


When we're children we're invincible. If we're offered the chance to do something we do it. We don't think about it, we don't hesitate, we just act. So why when we get older do we take a step back, analyse things, debate whether we should do them or not and often miss out when we stop trusting our gut instincts? As older writers, we do the same, we stop trusting our instincts and over think everything about our writing.

My current project has been in gestation since the beginning of the year and I still haven't written the pilot episode. I wrote an extended treatment, an astonishing twenty-seven pages long, and began plotting the outline of the series and episode one. But since then I've been going around in circles, closely examining what I've written in minute detail, deleting, rewriting, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum. I ground myself down into a tight little ball and clearly wasn't getting anywhere fast, or at any speed for that matter. In fact, I might have been going backwards at some point. Then Sunday afternoon I went for a drink with my mate Kevin.

Kevin is a highly intelligent bloke and often sees things from a different perspective than almost everyone else I know. That's why I love getting shitfaced with him, exploring the deeper meanings of life as we challenge each other exploring the philosophy of our existence. Somewhere between pint five and six, he said, "Let's go on a fishing trip to Scotland in the new year."

"I'll have to ask my wife," I replied, "But I'll think about it."

"Why? Why don't you just say yes and do it?"

And then we started debating why we lose our instinct to do things as we get older, why we have to debate stuff for ages instead of just throwing ourselves into things as we did as kids, why we should fight this and regain that fearlessness we had when we were young. By pint seven I had agreed to the Scotland trip and emailed myself a note so I wouldn't forget to blog about it.

What I'm trying to get over here is why spend time thinking too heavily about what you're writing? It's wasted time, a time you could be actually writing something new. When you start out as a writer you write what you love, you trust your gut with your characters and your plot. I had forgotten that my best work was written by gut instinct and that I would let my ideas evolve as I wrote them. When did I stop trusting my writer's instinct?

So the message is to trust your instincts. Stop examining or worrying about everything you do in your screenplay. Just go and write the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it and forget about anything else

. Only when it's finished worry about formatting, plot, structure and characters. Enjoy the ride and let your ideas flow without restraint.

Happy writing!

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