I always liked what Aaron Sorkin said about writing: “I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, ‘You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy; I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?’ and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.”
Truer words were never spoken. The white piece of paper always scares the hell out of me, too. I use little tricks to start marking up the white and feel a little better about it being all white and untouched. Put my name down, put a chapter title down, maybe write up a little scene-setting information like location, time and date… after a while, the writing starts and the paper gets less white and the fun happens. My problem with writing isn’t so much about getting started as it is about finishing the story. I think out of the projects I begun, a percentage of them have actually been completed. I have over 25 untitleds sitting in my directory right now, and none of them are anywhere near being completed. Isn’t that scary to look at? I go into that directory and try not to open them all, but curiousity gets the better of me, and then a post like this appears in my livejournal.
When I look into some of the ones I’ve forgotten, I also seem to not remember writing it. It’s almost as if I’m reading something someone else wrote, because it seemed so long ago that I don’t even recall what inspired it in the first place. I hate that feeling. I look at it and I think to myself, “When in hell did I write this?” Sometimes, it’s not even just like a little one-pager, either… I found an untitled with 14 pages of writing done and no idea how it got there in the first place. Am I going senile? Or was it another one of those middle-of-the-night writing fits I find myself in? I honestly have very little idea, and right now, I would like to get one of my novels completed so I can cross it off my to-do list in life.