What Do I Do Today - A Piece Of My Mind
As I got older I really began to appreciate the work my father (screenwriter Waldo Salt) did when he was in his prime. I would watch the films he wrote the screenplays for, read the notations and changes he made in his scripts, etc. It became very interesting. I began to think a great deal about it. I realized that the process of writing is what it is all about. If you have a terrible script even the best director can't save the project. Writing is so inspiring. For me it isn't unlike a sculptor creating a work of art, or a painter creating anything he can imagine on a canvas.--Actress / screenwriter Jennifer Salt
There are days when I do not know what to write. I am very serious. After 30 years of writing columns, short stories and novels, I hit a blank spot today. I do not know why, I just did. My mind did go through many ideas, but none of them gelled into a full thought.
Some will say its Writer's Block. I would not go as far as saying that as ideas like my blood still flow through me. However, when I hit the keyboard my thoughts just didn’t want to formulate into some sort of connective work that made sense. Someone dammed my stream of thought...the thought beavers! It’s their entire fault.
So I got up from my chair and wandered into the kitchen. Note I wasn’t hungry at all, I had a great breakfast two hours before. However I opened the refrigerator to see if an idea might pop out from the filled ice box. What usually pops out is the remains of cold pizza from the night prior, stored in an ill-fitted zip-lock bag. I smelled the bag, fingered the pizza through the plastic, played with the blue zipper, and jam it back in the fridge. I headed back to my desk with hunger on my mind and not an idea in my head.
Next I think music may get me going. I looked at the CDs of music I have near my desk.... Western themes, Sinatra and the Rat Pack live in concert, the soundtrack of Home Alone (I should have put that back with the Christmas Music after the holidays), Cartoon theme music, The Beatles White Album, Harry Chaplin Live, Meatloaf 'Bat Outta Hell live', James Bond 50th anniversary collection, ...well none of these pieces of music strike my fancy today.
The little angel voice in my brain reminds me in a soft voice to my inner myself, to no avail, “Remember Bennet, you are on a deadline. You need to get your work done.” The evil devil voice of my brain says “Yeah, we'll call in the idea fairy. He is brain dead from the neck up!” It’s almost like the angel and the devil on my shoulders annoying me and neither one will help. So I yell out at the top of my lungs, “Will both of you shut up, I am trying to think here!” A collective “I'm Sorry” came from both of them at the same time and they vanish in a poof of logic.
I have a steadfast rule, when I am working or trying to work on an article like today, I try to avoid checking Yahoo email, Facebook, IMDb, Amazon, Twitter, Ebay or any other Internet site. Nevertheless, I do use www.refdesk.com for their online style and grammar checker.
Today was a different story. I had nothing. I tried and I tried and still had NOTHING. So plan B, go on Facebook and see what other writers are doing. I didn't have to go far for inspiration
My friend Barbara Watkins (who just co-authored a collection of horror stories called Six Pack of Fear with the talented Betty Davis, whose previous anthology collection with Davis Six Pack of Blood have garnered many praises) wrote this on her Facebook wall.
When I decided to actually sit down and write a story, I didn't have a clue as to what genre it would fall into - nor did I care. I've always loved reading a suspense thriller, with a splash of paranormal added in to spice it up a bit. Born in the ice-age, I was an avid fan of 'Alfred Hitchcock', 'The twilight Zone' series - no, not the 'Twilight', vampire falls in love with mortal girl and fights the wolf boy for her love, series. Although - I wish I'd thought of that one first...! If I had a choice, I'd rather not be known for writing in any one particular genre, but instead recognized as a writer of what I call hybrid literature. I love suspense with thrills, humor, romance, and yes -Paranormal Activity (pretty good flick)
What am I getting at, you ask scratching your head and pondering the question, "What the...am I still reading this crap?" Guess as a writer, I just often wonder why we have to be stuck in a certain category of genre - wish it could be just plain old fiction or non-fiction. However, guess that would make it more difficult to find your favorite author when looking on the bookshelf at Barnes and Noble, or when sifting through Amazon Kindle, Nook and etc... Okay, if I haven't given you something to think about, then at least I've given you a reason to wonder, "Who is this person - what has she written, and what the hell is she ranting about?"
I do love you Barbara. It did not help my cause. But it was my thoughts in a nutshell.
So suddenly the inspiration for this column hit me. I would write about what writers go through when they hid a moment of not knowing what to put to paper. Most of us have moments like these. Hope you liked it.
NOW the Prompt of the Month
If the world was going to explode and you had one of the last spaceships left, who would you take with you and why? Think only two or three spots to fill. Also who would you leave behind?
So until next time, reach for the stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org