I’m having an affair.
Not the sordid kind replete with broken hearts and damaged relationships, but a lovely affair designed to shake things up and set my gait in the right direction again. I do feel slightly guilty, given that I promised not to go down this road, however sometimes one has to take a chance on something new in order for the old to seem fresh again.
I am cheating on my screenplay. I know I should take it through to the grand finale. Press on until I have an impeccable manuscript. I should present a work of art that when held high radiates light while the angels sing. I am far from possessing such brilliance. I am stuck and I have been stuck on the first revision for a while now. So, I decided that although I promised not to start another project until this one was completely finished, I am tucking my script into bed to sleep for a few weeks- maybe a month- and I’m writing something else.
We need to take a break, I said. I had heard that line used somewhere before and thought it might be appropriate in this circumstance. Screenplay said it understood and would patiently wait, but I don’t know. I saw it ogling my Kindle as I walked away.
My first thought was to return to a book I started exactly three years ago, but ultimately decided against it because that book is not an affair. It’s too special to be a fling of any sort. It’s a full-blown serious relationship. Allowing myself to sink back into its plot and characters would mean the end of my screenplay for at least six months, maybe a year. You don’t “take a break” and immediately fall into the arms of the lost love of your life. A break implies a time-out of sorts. A breather. I needed something light to keep my fingers tapping and get me back into the groove of writing every single day.
Hello, November 1st. What perfect timing. I had almost forgot: Nanowrimo. National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 in thirty days would definitely keep my fingers tapping and would give me the opportunity to create a storyline for a title I’ve always thought was on the verge of brilliant (I know it usually works the other way- first you create the story, and then title, but there are no rules in this affair): The Critical Eye of the Legless Hooker. It sounds sordid, but I promise you it isn’t.
I started yesterday, but only typed out about 500 words. Obviously I’ll need to increase that miniscule number. BUT, it revved up my creativity and I have a new story I’m pounding out. And at the end of thirty days, I won’t feel guilty shelving it.
After all, it’s just an affair.