There I go disappearing again. Sorry!
The CAA Party was super lame. There was an open bar until 10 pm, so the bouncers held us all outside in big lines (keep in mind we all paid at least $50 for tickets) until 9:55, so that when we got inside, the open bar was over. And then it took half an hour to get a drink, and most of the glasses were dirty and the liquors weren't even out yet (weren't they expecting us)? So I got a rum and diet coke for $13. Hooray. It was better for those assistants whose companies had paid for tables that included free drinks - and it seemed that every company except mine paid for such tables. I did run into a few IC alum and met a couple friends-of-friends. Overall, though, an aggravating night.
Going back to the subject of BJ Novak, Gavin Edwards wrote in to share his own piece about the Office writer-performers that appeared in Rolling Stone last year. Very cool. Have I mentioned that it used to be my life's dream to write for RS? Now I just dream of a world in which rum and diet coke doesn't cost $13.
And now to what's been on my mind the last couple days: the perils of being a Hollywood insider, as one writerfriend put it. I always recommend that people get industry jobs so they may make contacts and learn more about the business as well as the craft of writing. And I stand by my advice...but sometimes it can bog down your writing. When I was younger, I used to just write. I had dozens of fancy journals and plain composition notebooks filled with thoughts and words and stories. Now when I sit down to write something, I think about everything on TV or in movies. Am I being derivative? I think about format, genre. I think about what I know to be selling based on the phone calls I've listened to. I think about stakes and act breaks and whom I would cast. I wonder if my idea is high-concept. Or high-budget. I wonder what it will say about me as a writer, what it will demonstrate my voice to be. I wonder if it would be a writing sample that could win a contest, or get me an agent, or sell, or get me staffed. I contemplate motivations, themes, plot twists, demographics, tone. I ask other writers and friends if they like my ideas and take in all their opinions. And I've yet to write down anything.
We all certainly should be thinking about many of these things if we plan to write for this medium, work in this business. But when it comes down to it, it's a lot of fucking noise.
I'm not going to forget about all the knowledge I've soaked up in the last couple of years...but from now on, I'm going to try my hardest simply to WRITE.