Edward Burns Reads My Blog :-)
This is the 6th blog post in my screenwriting series, it all started here
I got a tweet from one of my favorite writer/director/filmmakers, Edward Burns yesterday. It made my day. I had just been whining about how maybe I shouldn’t have gotten back onto Twitter and Facebook (I took a 3 month Social Media Sabbatical) because sometimes it just sucks the energy right out of me. And then I get this note from Ed. Or Burnsie. What should I call him now that we’re best friends?
The very first thing I did was copy the tweet and post it on my Facebook & Twitter pages. Then I woke up at 2:30am thinking about it. I couldn’t go back to sleep. Something was bothering me. This article I read in Salon.com about how social media is one big “Look at me! Look at me!’ kept running circles in my head. Specifically, this quote:
“It’s a never-ending race to remind others that we’re here, that we exist. It reminds me of when I used to do dance routines and little plays for my mom. “Look!” I’d yell every few seconds. “You’re NOT watching! Look!” It gets exhausting. And it’s not really living…… I don’t need to broadcast my life on a daily basis.”
So I got out of bed and deleted both posts. I did reply to Ed/Burnsie, though. I’m not a (complete) idiot!.
The thing that woke me up in the middle of the night and pulled me out of bed was this:
- Nobody else really gives a shit that Ed Burns read my blog (except, of course, ME and possibly my mother, although I’d probably have to explain to her exactly who he is and she doesn’t even follow me on twitter) and…
- I could use this feeling, the little bump in excitement and inspiration, to draw more creative writing out of myself.
If I tweet it out then I dilute it’s power.
If I post it on my Facebook page, a select few will read it and maybe a couple of them will respond to it or “like” it. But it’s just a moment and then it’s gone. And more and more of these “moments” that I’m sharing are starting to feel like self-indulgent or even desperate pleas of “Look at Me!”
If I take this moment and put it into my writing then I have it forever. I’m using my life as an inspiration to create something.
Does that make any sense?
Well, it made perfect sense to me at 3 in the morning. And I couldn’t help but whisper to myself “Put it in the dance”. (funny quote from an old SNL skit- the Demarco Brothers audition for Brittney Spears) which means, take all of that energy, excitement, angst, inspiration and passion and put it into your life.
Here’s another quote from the Salon.com article that really moved me.
“It’s all the mental and creative energy spent on words that don’t even get archived. It’s all the tweets that could have been conversations with my family. All the words I could have poured into poems or lines of dialogue or essays. All the thoughts that should not be formatted, reduced, condensed to 140 characters. All the ideas meant for mulling. It’s the idea that thinking is not a performance, hard as that can be for someone like me to accept.”
Maybe it’s that I’m constantly waiting for acknowledgement or feedback when I put things out there. And when there’s not “enough” (will there ever be enough?) likes and retweets I feel disappointed. Or maybe it’s that there really are people out there that aren’t so happy for you and they read your tweets or status updates and they send you snarky-ness or negative energy. And then you feel that.
So, I’m not sure what the answer is for me yet. I know how excited I was when I got that tweet from Ed/Burnsie. And I want more of that feeling. But that feeling didn’t come from tweeting and facebooking. That feeling came from my writing. Writing something that mattered to me and then putting it out there. I know that writing this screenplay will be an accomplishment that matters to me. I don’t think I’ll be thinking about a particular tweet or a facebook status next year. But I will be celebrating the fact that I finished my first screenplay. And I’ll be celebrating the fact that I focused on my writing and wrote something that I’d been dreaming about for more than 10 years.
Finishing this screenplay and focusing on my writing are things that I know will bring me great joy and create a profound sense of accomplishment this year. So I’m going to focus on that. Finish the damn screenplay. Do my work.
15,522 words down. 4,278 to go.