Dear Max, "stuck" is not fun. Not to mention
"not getting going." Both of which are runners-up to
"I've fallen and I can't get up." None of these are pretty
pictures. I've been there before, Max. Stuck, that is. I'll
tell you what I've found when I'm in that state of "stuckness."
Well, it's like quicksand, which I always liked when it appeared in television
shows and movies. I loved it when somebody got stuck in quicksand. I
don't know why and my therapist would probably be quite concerned if I told
him. Which I won't. I believe secrets were meant to be kept from
therapists, doctors, and, of course, agents. Back to quicksand. Now there's
stuckness. And going-down-fastness. (I don't believe my Spellcheck
didn't alert me to the fact that "going-down-fastness" is incorrect
and unacceptable. But it did notify me that "Spellcheck" is
wrong. Go figure.)
What I'm trying to get at here, Max, is that, even though you
may be stuck, at least you're not part of the second equation of quicksand,
which is "sinking." Now if you had written to me to tell me that
you were sinking, well, that would be another matter entirely. You see,
it's important to decide if the glass is half empty or half full.
Personally, my view is that there's just some churning and unstable liquid being
contained by glass, keeping it from exploding all over the place, causing death
and destruction in its wake. But that's just my version. Okay, back
I don't mean to go to Zen on you here, Max, but if you look
closely at your own question (Grasshopper -- or Little Stuck), you'll see that
you may have already answered it. You wrote that you "feel"
stuck, not that you are stuck. Do you see the difference?
Hmmmmm? or... Ahhhhhh (accompanied by a redundantly bobbing head -- which
really can get on your nerves if you watch a lot of Kung Fu Theatre Movie
Marathons. Not that I do.) You only feel stuck.
That's how you wrote it. Feeling and being are two completely different
entities. It may very well be that you're not stuck at all; you merely feel
like you are. (Okay, I'll stop underlining the word, "feel.")
Going with the assumption that that may be the case, that you
are only feeling stuck (sorry), what's the best thing to do? Here's
a procedure that I've used that's helped me. It goes like this:
Method for Unsticking Yourself:
1. I'm feeling stuck
2. I realize it's just a feeling.
3. I realize that feelings don't mean it's real.
4. I ask myself where this feeling is coming from.
5. I realize that this feeling is coming from only a part
6. I acknowledge the feeling and I...
7. And somehow -- call it a miracle (or just me getting
bored with this process and wanting to get on with my screenwriting because I
hate these Polly Anna Feel Good exercises with a passion...)
8. I don't feel stuck anymore.
9. And I'm free to write another mediocre screenplay.
Now unstick yourself and get out there. Enjoy that
creative writing process once again.
And watch out for quicksand.