I’ve been too lax in getting to a rewrite of my screenplay, That Moment In Between, so I scheduled a table read to take place at my place next Thursday. Actors are coming. Some producer contacts I’ve made are coming. An agent is coming.
We’re going to read the new draft together, whether it’s ready by Thursday or not – and it will be ready.
It’s clear that soft deadlines don’t work for me. When I look back on everything I’ve ever written, completion came mostly as a result of some kind of hard deadline. It gives purpose to the process, because otherwise I feel like I’m just writing for the sake of writing.
There are no consequences to not being great, because I can always get around to fixing problems later – much later at some yet to be determined ethereal place on the calendar. No one’s going to see the work until that time, so why sweat it?
Commit myself to showing my work to a room full of people however, and things become much more heightened. I feel it in my headspace. I’m swimming with the work in my headspace. Thinking through script problems, even while I’m doing something else.
And there is plenty else to do. That’s the trick to it. There’s always something else going on, and it’s usually just as important as finishing the screenplay. So as I weigh the pros and cons of getting to those other things, verses spending time with my script – while feeling the cold glare of a hard deadline – I find clarity in putting my daily schedule together.