Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 50. I feel a familiar knot in my stomach—uh oh, that’s anxiety. What are you doing back so soon? Not cool. Having just finished watching The Bodyguard, I’m not sure where it’s coming from or what it’s about. Yes, the film makes me a bit nostalgic—1992 was my heyday—and I’m certainly sad Whitney passed away but I’m not anxious about either. Hmmmm, I slow down and ponder my predicament. It dawns on me that I had a flash of the email I sent earlier to Screenwriter Monica while getting weepy listening to I Will Always Love you. She was responding to my email to her from the day before telling her I wasn’t ready to give her notes yet. She wrote, “no worries” and gave me the link to her blog post she did on her experience writing the script—it is fantastic, as is her blog. I love it. You can check out her post and her whole wonderful blog by clicking here, The Librarian Writer.
I happened to open up her email and read it when I was in the middle of rereading her script and beginning to make a few notes. Ridiculously excited, in the email back to her I blathered on about a few premature, half-baked notes and directions I might want to go in that were running through my head. I didn’t censor myself and I pressed send without another thought. Until now, post “Lifetime remembers Whitney—The Bodyguard” screening, 12:11 am on Day 50 of my experiment. How in the hell am I 50 days in already? Time is flying. Anyhoo, I worry that I might have hurt her feelings by one of my off-handed, not completely complimentary comments about the script. I really hate hurting people’s feelings. I think, “How are you ever going to give Monica notes on something you want changed then? It technically means you didn’t like something she did in the first place.” Oy. “Well, why did you put anything in there about your notes when you aren’t ready to really give notes yet?” Crap. I’m not only full tilt disease to please but also, I’m second-guessing myself. I hate it when I do that! Oh, and there I go second-guessing my second-guessing. What a vicious cycle. I need to work on that.
To put a stop to my neurotic over thinking, I revisit the email I sent. Although the notes are premature, they’re not mean in any way and just rereading what I wrote makes me feel excited about the project all over again. I immediately release all of my out of left field, wonky worries. I relax and remember that notes are just a necessary part of the creative development process. And I actually love giving notes and developing scripts. It’s really so much fun. I’ve just never done it with Screenwriter Monica before so there’s some nerves about us getting our groove on in this next phase. And as I think outside the box inside the box and create from what I have I realize, even though I have it to create from, second-guessing sucks.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…your first guess, screw the second one.