I started this blog as a think-out-loud tool for myself, and I've slowly let it slip into neglect (the fact that it's on Blogger and not Wordpress is a dead giveaway). Why did I sacrifice long-form thought on the altar of social media snark and snippetization? Who knows, but just this morning, I decided to go back and read my opening post, "When I Grow Up." And several things hit me.
First: I wrote that piece seven years ago to the day. Second: the feelings I expressed are as relevant today as they were then. And third: Despite the fact that I've since written a screenplay that actually turned into a distributed film starring an Oscar-nominated actor ("Memorial Day"), I still ultimately value a collection of travel writing more than anything else I've written. And I haven't contributed to it in almost 10 years.
On April 30, 2007, I wrote:
I'm glad that I sent Future Me that message seven years ago. But now for the task at hand: to answer four questions about writing.
On that front, I'm working on two screenplays. One is a historical drama covering St. Paul's gangster past--a wonderful Prohibition-era story yet to be told, as St. Paul was one of a handful of gangster "safe havens" in the 1930s. The other is a script called "Pulling the Plug." This is a dark comedy about a family who has to pull the plug on someone twice: once when he falls into a coma, and then again when they realize that he's programmed his social media accounts to dish the family secrets after he's dead.
Why do I do this? I think it's because to this day, the only book that has ever made complete sense to me is Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death, which I read in high school. I would since add a newer book by Ajit Varki called Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind. Light reading, eh? The point is, all meaning, all humor, all inspiration comes from the fact, fear and denial of death. So why not just tackle it head on?
I've written long-form journalistic pieces when the subject has interested me. But mostly, I write screenplays. Why? Because I tend to think cinematically, and there's nothing like seeing something go from your head to a big screen ... and witnessing people laughing or crying at what you've created.
This article is part of a "Blog Hop," started by Ellen Barone and continued by my friend, fellow Ireland study-abroad-program-mate, and award-winning writer and photographer Kristen Gill.