After that dreadful day, September 11th, I couldn’t write anymore. I felt blocked so I went and got a real estate license, started a business.
During real estate seminars I found myself writing short stories or jotting down character profiles and scenes instead of listening to speeches on how to make a million bucks. I remember one particular time sitting at this high powered seminar at some big hotel. Everyone was jazzed and clapping and smiling.
Me, I was sitting quietly in my own world in the back of my notebook hashing out a car chase scene. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Isn’t she [the speaker] the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?” I just smiled, closed my notebook and walked out of there. I didn’t go back for day two or day three even though I’d paid a fortune for this thing.
The reason for mentioning this is I was digging around for a book a couple of days ago. Opened every drawer, went through the closets (oh the dust), but no book. What I found were tons of notebooks full of scenes, story ideas, character profiles, little poems…ideas, ideas, ideas. Much of this was written while “blocked.”
The way I know is it was not on a computer. That’s where things get written when I am “writing.”
I never was blocked. It was just that something was missing, the sewing needle to take these little scraps of mine and bind them into a cohesive story, a project. A committment to a single story. Because once the commitment to a story and some characters is made, I must stick with them, live with them, obsess about them, and not neglect them. They will wake me up in the middle of the night and beg me to get out of bed and write things about them.
Lately I’ve had my mind chock full with other stuff. Not thinking too much about the story.
That’s how it was before I found the treasure. The proof that there is no such thing as being blocked, not for me at least. This was enough to open up that Final Draft and get cracking on that script again. Tonight, for the first time, I can say this script is more than half-way finished.
Here’s a wall mosaic I made of scrap tile for the shower in our old house.