it happens pretty much every day.
The paralyzing anxiety.
I wake up with a charge. I get in the shower, inspired and pumped. I commute to my job and then get so distracted by the quotidian. Or drained. Drained so much that I don't feel one creative spark in me. I have plenty of energy. I get fulfillment from my job. I'm content. But hanging over my right side of my brain is the idea that... I did not write today. And then the disappointment in myself sets in.
The combination of pressure (self imposed) and expectation (self imposed) and a to do list a mile long (imagined and never mapped out) is all bottlenecked on the perfect script.
I will lash out. I'll snap or pace or jump up and down and then my partner, Sean, will turn to me and ask, what's really wrong, Liz?
The answer will inevitably be that either I didn't work on my script that day, or a fear it's just not good enough and will never be.
I remember these same anxieties while writing my first film Bread and Butter and though we didn't win an Oscar or get into SXSW, we still did incredibly well for a team and film of our resources. However, and this is a flaw of mine... in my eyes, nothing is ever good enough.
So with this new film, I was supposed to turn in my last draft "over the holidays." I did have a few days of writing and just got back some new feedback ... but each time I go down into the script - I fix things and as things become more defined, I get more confident. I then send the script out for feedback and more questions, new questions arise. Questions that bring up points and aspects I never even thought to answer. Problems crop up with every edit that I never anticipated.
So then I add more things to my writing to do list. And that. That adds to the pressure.
Everything is bottlenecked on this script. I need to finish it. I need it to be as close to perfect as it can be. I understand that it doesn't need to be perfect. It just needs to be as good as it can be in this one moment. It needs to be good enough. And nothing ever is.
The most recent run of notes are to address logic problems in the script. Once I address these, and I feel like the heart of the script is there - then, then I let go.
And once we have the perfect script, we then go out to cast. We set dates. We keep on fundraising. We breakdown the schedule. We polish the budget. We apply for grants. It all is dependent on that script. that script that will never be done. the script that can always get better.
It's a balloon that gets filled with more air and it just bigger until it is about to burst and when i sit down to write, it deflates a tiny bit.