On Long-Form Stories

I don't think there's really any way I should be able to write a feature length screenplay. It's just not natural for me to spend that much time on one project. I can feel it already with Indy Film. I'm twelve pages in to a story I know I want to write, and I'm already thinking of ways out. This isn't the first time it's happened. I almost didn't finish the first draft of another feature because I was scared it wouldn't be good enough. Boy, was I right. It was pretty awful, when it comes down to it. It was done, and that sense of accomplishment kept me going for a little while.

Then it came time for the second draft, and I lost steam at about page thirty, so I quit it completely.

That's right. I gave it up. I had my reasons, like I'm writing outside of my genre or that the story just isn't right yet, but when it comes down to it, I ran scared from it.

That's something that'll keep me up at night if I think about it too much.

I think about it anyway. I need to remember it. My tendency to avoid the longer story is something I can't let myself forget. Maybe I'm good at writing short film scripts because I've only ever learned to live the short stories. Get in, then get out before there's too much trouble. Too much of a mess. Too much work. I'm not even 25 yet, after all.

That doesn't sound like a great way to spend the next sixty years, when you think about it. So this post here is my promise to work at the long stories harder than I ever have before. To take them as they come to me and tackle them, as Anne Lamott would put it, bird by bird. Not that she recommends tackling birds. Not literally at least.

This post is also my promise to finish Indy Film. Even though I've talked your ear off about the project already, I don't owe it to you. It's me who needs this one. I'm overdue for a win.

But what about you? What scares you? What keeps you up at night? Maybe those are the things we need to do most.