Too Much Tuesday

I woke up to bad news.

An artist had missed a final deadline. It was time to make other plans. But we were so far behind that meant a whole lot of scrambling, favors asked, and logistics managed. I think I made the smart call, but it put me way behind to start the day. I didn't even go for my run until about 12:30 in the afternoon. But the timing led to an impromptu chat with friend and writer Rick Loverd on Westwood Blvd., so no complaints there.

Hill and I traded scripts back and forth the rest of the day. The latest on Broken Trinity and a project I can't talk about yet, but will make some very big noise very soon. Lots of little tweaks and formatting. I must have read each of them 4-6 times in the last 18 hours. But seriously, co-writing has so many perks. I definitely like the challenge of going it solo, but so far we're getting some great stuff out of this pairing, so I hope it lasts a good long time.

Speaking of, Bryan's twitter rambling got a Books section greenlit over at GeekWeek. It's almost 3:30am and I've just finished a scathing editorial about my trip to the book store and the death of fiction. Maybe that's a bit more extreme, but both of those things are discussed. I'm not sure it's coherent so I'm holding off until tomorrow to post, but hopefully you'll get a chuckle or two out of it.

Conan is going to come out of this late night debacle smelling like roses. Good for him. He's been the funniest of all the hosts in addressing the situation, even though he's the one getting jobbed. I guess misery is the other side of comedy. Remember what Mel Brooks said:

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."

Also watched the Chuck premiere. I like the show, despite the fact that it gets stuck in a rut at times. They did some nice work at the end of last season, but they seem to be playing it a little too safe right now. And the action sequences are getting worse, but I don't expect Cameron with my dramedy.

I think that's it. Writing goes well in the new year. Ron Marz has been posting some good insights on twitter, as he always does. If you're interested in his take on the comics industry, writing, or new ideas, definitely give him a follow. I need to remember to post something about Gamechangers here. Bug me if I don't.


TGIM - Hawks 3-0 Against Celtics

I know, I know. I said I would mainly stick to the sports talk over on Geekweek, but I couldn't resist.

Today was generally a crappy day what with Mark McGwire admitting to PED use, Pete Carroll officially resigning from USC, and Sony scrapping the plans for Spider-Man 4 and going forward with a re-boot (yes, an origin story) of the franchise sans Raimi and Maguire. Plus, there was that whole "working" thing. Had some not fun experiences, and didn't start writing until around 10:30 tonight.

I could talk about how great the previous draft of what I'm working on is (and my plans to ruin it), or the Hawks. I choose the Hawks.

They've beaten Boston (yes, a wee bit short-handed tonight) 3 times this year, and twice in Boston. That's huge, regardless of who's on the court. Even bigger was Joe Johnson all game long and Jamal Crawford in crunch time. Hell of a game.

My boys don't make it easy, but I sure am happy when they win. I'll be ecstatic if we sweep the season series against the Celtics at the end of this month.

P.S. No more Monday blogs that start at 2:30am on Tuesdays. This is some very weak writing. Feels like I'm just filling a quota. Which I am.



10 points to anyone that can decode the acronym in the title.

Didn't get a blog out yesterday, but I wrote a column this morning for GW and an interview about BT is up, so I'm linking. Damn, all these abbreviations make it seem like I'm practically speaking in text.



The interview was CBR's top story at the time of this posting, so I figured I would take a moment to memorialize it in a screen grab.


Breaking the Seal

I don't know what happened last year.

The last two months were incredibly unproductive for me in terms of writing. Sure I was finish up some editorial projects and they were giving their last gasp hassles, and yes there were the holidays (and me being gone in Ohio for a bit). But that's no excuse. I just flat out wasn't writing.

Given that I'm a writer, and a professional one since I've been paid more than once to do that thing I claim to do, I wasn't cutting it. But I couldn't do it. I would agonize over easy stuff (taking my polish/revision stab at the latest draft in the Hill/Levin saga), and flat out freeze when it came to other things (like that damnable screenplay). I just couldn't get anything going. Sure, I could blame certain projects for not moving fast enough. I'd expel creative energy in one direction, get hyped, and then wait weeks (or longer) to hear what the next step was, or even if there would be one. But excuses are like assholes. No one needs 'em even if they come in handy once in a while.

When I made the resolution (on this very site), I was very clear not to set unobtainable goals. It wasn't that I was going to write X amount every day. It was just that I was going to sit here and write every day. Chances are, between the 30 or so projects gestating at any given time, I'd be able to get something out there, even if it's just notes for something I haven't really thought out yet.

So last night I got a late start after dinner and did just that. I spent a few hours working and made actual progress on something that was already 3 weeks overdue. Tonight I worked on it again. A later start, and now it's almost 3am, but I got more written than yesterday and that thing is inching closer to completion.

Is it good? Probably not. There are parts I'm not happy with in the slightest, but it's just a draft. And as I've come to realize, the first step is getting something on paper. You can have the best idea ever, and in your head it may be genius, but a) it's not real yet, and b) it's much easier to fix something when it's in some kind of form, rather than nebulous headspace. So I push on, trying to get this scene done, and then the next one, and then the next. And when it's finished, it doesn't have to be perfect. I can take a look and make it better. I can pass it off to a co-writer or a trusted reader. I can make it better on the next pass, but I have to get this one done first.

Aspiring writers, never forget that bit. You can always make it better, but you have to get it written first. Write, then edit, then write some more.

Writing is not a young man's game. Most of what is written is crap. But the more you write, the more likely you are to get that crap out of your system. If I were a pessimist I would say all I've done the last two days is "get more crap out of my system."

I'm constantly amazed at how consistent my co-writer Bryan Hill is. There's a very high level to everything he does, and that could be the idea he just typed up after a phone call, or a screenplay he's toiled over. It's always there. And I believe his secret is that he's written out his bad stuff. Sure, some stuff is better than others; that's always going to happen. Not every idea can be a winner. But the overall quality is astounding.

I don't like most of what I write. I'm overly self-critical, but I've learned to put that aside. Malcom Gladwell talks about talent in his book Outliers. He calls talent the result of several factors, the largest of which is 10,000 hours of practice. I don't need the process of writing to get easier, and I don't need to think that everything will make me feel happier once it's on the page. But knowing that I'm getting more and more of my bad writing out of my system and getting ever closer to 10,000 hours/talent... that's what keeps me going when I feel like I'm writing crappy pap and should put down the keyboard.

So what was this post about? Oh yeah, I've written a decent amount (and been very productive, despite watching three movies today) the last two days. I feel like whatever excuse hex I was putting on myself is gone, and committing to "something" is really paying off. I broke the seal, so to speak.

Again with the 2010... Totally feeling it.


TGIM - 2010

For a lot of people, myself included, 2010 didn't really start until today.

Everyone was still "on vacation" until work was back in full swing. There's some wisdom to that, too, given that work takes up the majority of most people's lives. Why start doing something when you have more time only to wind up with no time once work is back in your system. You'll only end up feeling like a failure if you can't maintain. If you suddenly find yourself back at work and taking care of your goals/resolutions... that's quite a feeling.

And as for me, Mr. My Work Is My Resolution... things are good. I dove into dealing with all of the editorial craziness first thing, then nearly killed myself trying to do the Fit Test for Beachbody Insanity. Followed that up by passing out for a minute and then had a good meeting about an upcoming writing opportunity with someone I've been not writing with for years. If I've ever mentioned the Hawaiian thing to you, same guy here. The rest of the day making notes and discussing a long-dormant project that is very much alive again. I knew 2010 was going to be awesome, but it's really starting off well and there are a lot of things that have yet to even get close to falling into place.

It's a new year. And that means it's a new opportunity to fix past mistakes and make the most of tomorrow's opportunities. I'm not taking that for granted. I still haven't done my "writing for the day" yet, so I'll get to that in a bit.

So far, so good, 2010. I like you already.