I tend to lie a lot.
Not important stuff and never to friends (except when it is and I do).
I do, however, tend to be a little economical with deadlines. I don’t know where this compulsion comes from, but I don’t seem to be able to stop.
When people ask if I can have something done in an unreasonably short period of time, I always say yes – knowing damn well I can’t.
Then I somehow manage it anyway. Panic is a great motivator.
When people give me a short, but realistic, deadline, I shout about how it can’t be done and then do it in half the time.
It’s a pathetic writer’s version of Scotty’s ‘multiply repair times by four’ strategy.
When I was asked if I could finish the full draft of ‘The Summoning’ by the end of the week, I quickly denied it was possible – fully intending to have it done within two days.
Unfortunately, events and my own monumental stupidity have conspired against me. Through an embarrassing oversight I’m not really prepared to admit in public, I’ve suddenly found the twenty or so hours of writing time (excluding time for sleeping) I had reduced to ten – if I don’t sleep at all.
Still, that’s not impossible (in my deluded world) and I set off at a cracking pace (for a one legged asthmatic spider carrying a heavy load).
Then came an email – one of the six shorts which make up the film (ironically, the one which got me the job in the first place) is no longer deemed suitable. Can I come up with something else?
I argued the merits of the story, not because I believe in it, but because I’m too damned lazy to write a new segment.
They are, of course, absolutely right.
Did I say ‘bugger’ already?
So now I’ve had to abandon the linking scenes and go back to the ideas stage. Which maybe isn’t as bad as it seems, since I no longer have to forego my much needed sleep; but means my already full schedule just started to pile up.
As far as I can tell, the effects aren’t going to really start hitting me for another week or two yet, but I can already see the looming traffic jam on the horizon.
Do you know the really sad part about all this?
Apart from the monumental stupid thing which caused the initial fuck up?
I love it. I absolutely love it. I love the pressure, I love the hassle, I even love the lack of sleep. The potential to disappoint two or maybe three different producers is a great feeling.
Because a year or two ago, I would have been idly picking at the keyboard, wondering what to write next. Now I rarely have that luxury. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a spec script – they’re all on commission or request or at least for someone who’s expressed an interest in a particular type of story.
Yes it’s tiring, yes it’s stressful; but god damn is it a good place to be. I’m no longer writing into the void, wondering if anyone’s ever going to read anything I put on paper.
Everything I write these days (except, perhaps, this blog) has someone waiting to read it. Someone who knows roughly what it’s about, likes my work and actually wants to like the script.
Does life get any better than that?