I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the writing process, not because I’ve been in the writing process for two years now but because I’ve been asked frequently about how I do it. How I come up with an idea, how I begin, how it comes to be an actual script etc. To be honest, most writers don’t really subscribe to one particular method and it really varies project to project. But what has stood out for me most is that the conversation usually goes like this, I dance around the question saying, “oh I don’t know, it just happens,” and then, more often than not, they tell me about their own artistic endeavors; that book/painting/poem/script/screenplay/song etc. that they have been working on for years, or have “been meaning to get started on”. And you know what? EVERYTHING SOUNDS PHENOMENAL. I want to see and experience all of it! We have some really talented people in our group. YOU ARE ALL INCREDIBLE ARTISTS. So I say this, and really unfortunately the response is always, “Oh I know, I just have to get it down on paper first and really go for it!” YES. YES YOU DO. Take it from me; I played the lazy artist game for years, I gave every excuse in the book, I too felt like if I really wanted it, it would just happen “organically.”
And I am here to tell you that it doesn’t. Art is only as hard as you make it, it IS hard work but if you don’t practice at it you won’t get better at the process. And that’s all you really have to learn, once you have a process that works you are golden. You have to train your talent. It was one of our goals here at CLP from day one that we wanted to create a company of artists to surround and exemplify Copious Love. Start doing what you love to do and do it a little every fucking day, find your groove and you will be awarded with results. Easier said than done, you say?
First of all; I would be lying if I said that I write on my own accord. Because I don’t, I mean, I do but it’s not just me going “Oh hey! That’s a great idea! Ok, let’s do it! Here I go writing a play! This is awesome and not terrifying!” I never would have stopped to put anything down on paper if it wasn’t for my best friend/Executive Producer /Editor extraordinaire Lacy Sarco saying (for 10 flipping years), “Bitch, you need to start writing.” And now that she’s my editor-partner-in-crime, “Yes that’s a good idea. NO, for the love of god don’t delete that! Great, just do it; in fact here is a schedule. Do it by this time or I will be disappointed and sad. And you will hate yourself forever.” And that’s how things happen at Copious Love, schedules and goals are number one priority. Nothing would ever get past the idea stage it they weren’t. You don’t have to be militant by any means, it should always be fun and you can plan forever but life happens, just remember that excuses never get you anywhere and no one really thinks that brooding non-productive artists are cute. That being said…
Tip #1: Use the buddy system! Grab a friend with a similar artistic view to meet up with you maybe once a month, share projects, get an outsiders opinion, brainstorm and just TALK ART. It’s WAY more fun than doing it on your own and never getting anything done. You will be surprised at how much more you do just by involving someone outside of your own brain.
Tip #2: Meditate! For most of the day we are all completely inundated with so much SHIT that bogs down the real artist inside and it is rarely let go and set free. What meditation does is it lets your true artist come to the forefront of your brain and strip away all the anxiety and negativity. Then, in a place of balance, all the real ideas, love and inspirations can step forward and reveal themselves. Every single great idea I’ve ever had, has come to me in that dreamlike state you wander into just before you are about to fall asleep. Personally, I have a lot of trouble sleeping, I can’t turn my brain off and I know a lot of you can relate. Find a comfy pillow or mat, turn off the lights (I love burning a candle and focusing on the flame), sit still, and just BREATHE. Eventually close your eyes and see what happens, the ideas are there just waiting for you to unlock them and bring them to life.
Tip #3: Create an ambiance and do research! This to me is really important, I have found that most things in life are compiled of rituals and practices, find what yours is and stick to it if it works. If it doesn’t? Change it, try something new (hint: if you not working and producing, I’m sorry but it doesn’t work.) I have a little routine to get going, though I find it hard to consistently create without being stimulated by other art forms. It sounds simple but it’s really easy to forget and even easier to get distracted (see above mentioned ADD) so remember to keep an endgame goal so you stay productive. During the time it takes me to write, I make sure that everything I watch, look at, listen to and read is in some way related to what I am trying to produce, to create an ambiance for my entire day in ways that won’t inspire duplication (i.e. don’t be a copycat). It is as easy as picking the right music, watching movies that might put you in the right mindset or reading up and doing research on the ultimate message you are trying to send with your project. The best advice I can give is to spend some time at the library, its quiet, no one will bother you and you can get all the research/inspiration material you could ever want or need for FREE! And this brings me to my next point…
Tip #4: Give back and get involved! I implore you to GO OUT and be an active member of your artistic community; no you don’t have to go to every single event or spend hours volunteering. Just go out and experience the incredible art that is in your own backyard. More than ever venues, companies, troupes, playhouses and local spaces need your patronage and are basically GIVING their art away for next to nothing trying to get families and people in the door. And you can find the most info and the best examples of what is going on in your neighborhood at your local LIBRARY! And finally….
Tip #5: Learn to trust yourself! You are going to fail, have unoriginal ideas and you will be misunderstood. You will be rejected and you will cry. Art is art because it’s every emotion rolled into one, it’s scary and its painful, it’s joyous and it’s the reason most of us are still here. To create and to believe in something that pure and human is to be completely honest and vulnerable with everyone who experiences it. If you do nothing else, do it to belong to a community of people who GET IT. Join us. You will never regret taking a chance on yourself and sharing your passion.
No go my lovelies, go forth and make art! And while you’re at it, make LOVE of any kind 🙂