How my facebook friends pulled me out of a death spiral. #amwriting

Having admitted the problem, it becomes easier to come up with a plan of attack ... especially if you have smart friends who care enough to make suggestions in your Facebook feed (as mine did last Friday) which pulled me out of my death spiral.

Marta Szabo, Mudd Lavoie, Jessica Arinella, Corinne Friesen, Julia Wolfe and Tracy Wuischpard had ace suggestions which I’ll boil down to:

- get out and move your body

- have some FUN

- start scribbling like there’s no tomorrow

With the one exception of wishing that I hadn’t sought ‘fun’ in walking past the weirdest storefront window in the Village (with the large rabbit, on Waverly near Charles) I recommend following their suggestions to a ’t’.

I’d gotten sucked into the old perfectionism trap and was trying to come up with seven, beautifully constructed, tightly written pages to drop into the middle of the script.    

Having gotten out and 'moved my body', I relaxed ... and had an idea! Do what art students do at museums: copy from the masters.

And so I googled ‘best eps of 30 rock”, watched the 30 Rock episode called ’best-structured” (acc to Vulture: 1. “Tracy Does Conan” Season 1, Episode 7), understood for maybe the first time EVER what people are talking about when they talk about ‘structure’, watched it again and wrote down what happened scene by scene and a third time to see how long each scene ran, watched some I Love Lucy and did the same thing.

I’m probably not going to win any speed race in finishing this rewrite but at least I’m working on it and even having fun with it which is a huge improvement from the panicky death spiral during which the fingers were clenched around the pen, the shoulders brushing the ears and sounds of anguish coming out of the sides of the mouth.

Thank you my dear friends for your love, support and ace suggestions!

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Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 176 (on #tbt, Puritans, poetry, the most popular girl, Viet Cong and fun)

I'm afraid that I may have adopted (or inherited) more than a trace of Puritan ethics.  Since the age of sixteen, while still a frivolous high school girl (dedicated to becoming the most popular girl in the school), I fell in love with a poet, a 'college man' whose depth and sophistication showed me the error of my ways.  I didn't like or get the poetry he wrote and read but, longing to fit in with his crowd, decided to at least not mention how fervently I would have liked to have been a cheerleader. 

I started wearing baggy black pants and a black Asian-inspired top.  My father remarked that I looked like one of the Viet Cong, not a compliment from him.  Naturally I welcomed it as proof of progress.  I was discreetly trying to catch-up and there were so many books I hadn't read, records I hadn't listened to and movies I hadn't seen.  I smoked non-filter cigarettes.  Alas, I still couldn't focus on school work or make sense of the philosophy or poetry books or the Sibelius records I was trying to love but I looked serious.  I looked dark.  Heck, I looked like 'the enemy'!  

Tonight, Mudd and I were talking about this blog.  "Have fun with it!" she encouraged.  The phrase caught me by surprise, but it didn't (as it once did) put an instant chill on my heart. 

A number of years ago whenever my hair cutter Terry would try to encourage me about a new haircut:  "Have fun with it!"  Fun!?  I'd smile, shrug and try to act light-hearted while thinking to myself, FUN!?   Are you kidding??  I don't have time for fun!  I don't have fun!  I'm an artist. 

How times have changed.