Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 Days to Light the Fire, Part I

So I’m sitting on a plane on its way to Albuquerque, about to spend five days in Santa Fe attending one of the country’s better-known screenwriting conferences. The traditional purpose of events like these is to bring together hundreds of writers to network, attend classes like “Achieving a Killer Outline in Nine Days,” and—in the case of the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe—to actually pitch their screenplay ideas to working producers and receive pragmatic counsel from those who have quote made it.

My purpose is a little bit larger. I’m looking for inspiration. Specifically, I’m conducting an experiment to see what happens when I force myself to be temporarily unobligated to work or family (thanks, Anne... I owe you bigtime). I haven’t had a significant side project since I started Conk Creative, and I need one to maintain my tenuous states of balance and sanity—and to continue my obsessive 25-year quest to avoid the ravages of mid-life crisis.

Will I come out of here wanting to attack yet another “Deadbeat Boyfriends” rewrite? Will I leave suddenly inspired to fully develop one of four frazzled movie and TV threads, or will a new idea hit? Will I decide to write, fund and self-produce a short film, or will I decide that I’m done with this genre... that I want to start another band, do another basement CD, start a video blog called My Son Is Not Normal, or go total obscuria and apply for a grant to write a book on the history of death rituals in Papua New Guinea?

Or will I spend my time eating guacamole and watching TV in my hotel room?

I’ve got five days to figure it out.

4 comments:

M. Fallon said...

Wow. That seems a lot to expect of a conference. But I know what you're feeling. Can I ask, are you around 43 or so (my age)?... I look forward to updates.

Marc Conklin said...

Just turned 40 last Monday. Or as I'm thinking of it, just started the second act.

cookielady said...

You have to find inspiration, because you inspire me! And if you spend 5 days in Santa Fe inside your hotel room, wastrel, please don't tell me...or your wife.

Marc Conklin said...

wast·rel Listen to the pronunciation of wastrel
Pronunciation:
\ˈwās-trəl also ˈwäs-\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
irregular from 2waste
Date:
circa 1841

1 : vagabond, waif 2 : one who expends resources foolishly and self-indulgently : profligate