Adventures and Insecurities: A writer’s props

31 03 2010

Tomorrow is April 1. I don’t care that it will be April Fool’s Day–in fact, I think the last time I pulled an April Fool’s Day prank (or had one pulled on me) was in high school. To me, April 1 would be just like any other day … Except this year, I signed up for ScriptFrenzy, which means tomorrow will be the first day of writing my very first screenplay.

I’m nervous even though I have no expectations for my screenplay beyond its length. To be a winner of ScriptFrenzy, I will have to write 100 pages, so 100 pages is my goal. My goal is not to become a famous TV screenwriter, though in my wildest dreams, I do see the pilot I’m going to be working on as a successful TV show. I’ve chosen to write a pilot for a TV show I’ve wittily named “The Profs” about a group of professors in a department. The show will feature those professors as they live their daily lives and navigate academia (including all the departmental politics and dealings with students). For anyone who knows my background, you might be saying, “Shocking” with a bit of a sarcastic voice. This screenplay will be pulling on some of my own experiences of being a professor as well as the “horror stories” I’ve heard from colleagues about past jobs and interviews and what not. I’m excited about writing it, but again, as a first-time screenwriter, I have no expectations going into the month of April. If you’re doing ScriptFrenzy, too, my username is joiedelire. I’ll take all the writing buddies/support I can get!

While my brain is mostly preoccupied with writing up some last-minute characters sketches for ScriptFrenzy (as well as familiarizing myself with CeltX, the screenwriting program I’ll be using), I’m also going through a bit of a panic attack about another writing project: my first completed novel that I finished last year. Since August, I’ve been trying to find an agent (unsuccessfully), and I’ve entered the manuscript in a writing contest (again, unsuccessful), and all the failed attempts are starting to eat away at any confidence I had built up in myself and my manuscript. I entered the first page of my manuscript in the Page-to-Fame on WEbook (an amazing resource for writers), and every day–I can’t help myself–I go into my profile and check my submission’s progress. Right now, it’s doing okay. Which should make me feel better, but I don’t. I’m afraid to make any predictions about whether or not it will make it to Round 2 (where I would get to submit the entire first chapter), and I’m even afraid to hope for that admission into Round 2. My confidence is a yellow ball of string being batted around by a large cat named Insecurity. One minute I’m feeling okay (and possibly even better than okay) about my future as a writer; the next minute, a giant paw reaches out and bats me around until I don’t know how to feel anymore.

From what I understand, every writer goes through these periods of insecurity. Yet when I’m in the midst of an insecurity attack, I feel alone. Desperately alone.

I feel alone right now, so I’m forcing myself to put that aloneness out there online for the world to see (should the world stop by and read my humble blog). I can imagine there are readers out there who will stop and read this and think, “I know just how she feels.” Being able to imagine that makes me feel a little less like a solitary figure and a little more like a part of a community.