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Finishing a screenplay

4 September 2009

I finished the major draft of my spec script and began eliminating unnecessary scenes, compacting it, and fixing a few ambiguities in the story.  I estimate 20 hours of work left until I can comfortably let it be read.

The problem is finding the time.  I lost my IT job, which helped me finish the story.  But put a severe financial strain on my family.  So I really need a job.  Really need a job.  I submit applications and resumes almost daily.  My location is not a hot bed for IT jobs and in this economy it really sucks.

But how is it I don’t have time to write when I am out of work?  My wife is working full-time toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing and working part-time on the weekends as a CNA at a nursing home.  We have four children.  The youngest three are four-years-old, almost three-years-old, and 17-months-old.  Interruptions never seem to cease.  At their ages, they do not understand Dad is at work.  They see that I am at home… with them!

So I write when I can.  When I don’t have time to write, I carry around index cards and jot down ideas when they come or most often, when I resolve a scene transition or a stubborn scene.  I have written scenes on index cards.  I have also done late night and all night writing sessions.  Whatever it takes.  Writing is my profession.  It just does not pay the bills yet.  I forgo some sleep, but hey… I still function well enough that the kids know I am awake.  Like me sleeping would prevent them anyway.

John August had a recent post on writing.  I agree fully with his views.  To be a writer, be professional and write.  It is that simple.

After years of ignoring my need to write, I now know it is what I have to do.  There was a void in my life not being filled by earning paychecks doing jobs that seemed to suck the life out of me.  Writing fills it.

What bothers me is that my family is now financially caught in this creative gamble that is a spec script.  It may end up breaking my family.  I am willing to drudge through more IT work.  But I am more than willing to go to the edge for my craft.

When I take that next step, I hope my family has climbed upon my back.  I am taking that step for them.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Don permalink
    8 March 2010 1:25 am

    I feel you!.. Been out of work here for going on3 years. Been writing/creating virtually since I popped out the womb. But was usually pressured into getting a “real” job. Which I did. Never took them seriously at all…The “real” jobs I mean. It’s been almost 30 years now…So busy with the “real” jobs and what I really wanted too do I must have forgotten the most important ingredient that you did not…Having a family. So now I got no job, no family and I’m still trying too do what I wanted too. Unfortunately the frustration meter is off the charts….Hell of a life…Maybe I should write a book about it. …;-)
    Thanks for your share!
    don

    • 28 August 2010 3:18 pm

      Hang in there, Don. My job of necessity right now is making pizzas at a Casey’s General Store (convenience store). It’s as depressing as hell.

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