The screenplay idea isn’t dead but it feels like it’s in a coma. When I got this new computer I turned down paying the high price for Microsoft Office because I knew the computer would have WordPad. I knew that at some point I was going to get the latest version of Final Draft. If I don’t get it as a present for the holidays or my birthday coming up then I would pick up a copy for myself soon afterwards. There didn’t seem much point to spend the high price for Office only to use it for a few months. I figured that even if I couldn’t import my WordPad file I could still print it out and type everything again.
It turns out that WordPad is not only annoying when it comes to formatting, it doesn’t seem to save what formatting I do use—which is a complaint I have about other aspects of Windows 10. But even if I could figure out how to fix that problem it’s still getting annoying to keep hitting tab and hoping that I’m writing dialogue in the correct space. Knowing full well that I can use better software to achieve my goals is deterring me from doing much work on the current project.
Is this a case of a poor workman blaming his tools? Probably. I will admit to a case of writer’s block combined with overall lack of ambition has crept up on me over the last few months. But knowing full well that I’m not using the right tool for the job could also be discouraging me from pushing on. I abandoned the one screenplay I was writing earlier this year in favor of something I think will work better. I should start outlining it, which means I won’t need the special software anyway. All I would really need in that case is a notebook and pen. I bought a new laptop so I would probably end up using it instead but you get the idea.
On the subject of scrapping that other screenplay—I just realized how strange that idea is to me. I have a lot of unfinished—in many cases barely started—writing projects. I tend to think that in the back of my mind that at some point they’ll see the light of day. I think that if I just put a little more effort into them I can make them work. If not, then I can integrate those ideas in to another project that is working. Not a single word is wasted. Then again, how can a word be wasted? Even if I abandoned a project that still means I was writing something. I was getting my practice in. I don’t honestly think that every blog post I write, for example, is my proudest moment as a writer. (Of course, you’re free to love it.)
I did abandon this screenplay, however. Let’s be honest: it’s crap. It was a boring idea. I don’t know what this says about me: that I’m more willing to abandon projects because they’re bad ideas, or that I’m more willing to abandon projects because I’m getting lazy. It could also just be that the screenplay I started was crap.