Bear with me, guys, this is gonna be a post about writing. I promised myself I would never go too in-depth with anything too writer-ish in this blog, because I’ll scare all of you away, but I have some quick “writer love” I want to give, and I’m sorry.
I started this blog for two reasons: 1) to force myself to write something every week beyond my other duties, and 2) to connect with people. I was told that all writers should give themselves a platform, so that whenever (or if ever) they publish a book, they’ll have more than just their family interested in reading it. So when I finally succumbed to the idea of a blog, I thought, better not make it one of those how-to blogs that only interest the people who have an agenda. The decision was two-fold: not only am I interested in attracting readers who are not writers, but I also am not a professional author… far be it from me to pretend to have the ultimate authority on a subject that I only participate in because I’m a story nerd. I don’t want to tell people how to write, because how I structure a story is not the One True Way to structure a story, and who am I to claim that it is? I don’t even like reading books about writing, because it makes me mad that people are getting paid to tell other people that writing is a formula, some scientific equation that has nothing to do with life and love and inspiration and sheer curiosity.
What I like about the book is that it reveals the writing process in story form — I have a hard time reading anything that is not a story — and provides such an imaginative (and yet vastly realistic) view of RTD’s relationship with his writing. To him, a character is not just a series of words on paper, or the actor playing the part; to him, the character is a person ready to be written, already there but in need of being revealed; and there is a difference between the character and the actor’s portrayal of the character. This man gets sad when he has to put a character on the backburner, and excited when he’s discovered something about a character that he already knew but didn’t know he knew. He writes the Series Four Breakdown (the episode description list for the writers and production team) like a kid in a candy shop, gleefully pointing at different sweets and throwing them into his basket as he goes. The dreams and wishes of a head writer — or is there any differentiation between the two?
It’s reading stuff like this that gets me excited again about writing. Because, let’s face it, lately I’ve been in a kind of mellow place when it comes to writing… I get too in-my-head about plot points, or how readers will perceive something, that I forget what it’s really about: telling a story. Telling a story because it’s there and you want people to know it; because you want others to meet the people who have been walking around in your head; because you have something to say, and it just happens to align with what a character has to do. I miss feeling like a kid as I write, throwing sweets in my basket because they look delicious, and why not try them out?
I’m only about 70 pages in, so I can’t say that the rest of the book will capture my attention like it has… but so far it’s been a joy. I can only hope that it will stir in me a desire to write more than the bare necessities every week. I want to write because it’s an addiction, not a requirement.