Are you a runner?
Probably not. If you’re a writer – the cliche is that you’re not a runner. If you’re a writer – you write. You sit for hours on end in a chair and pour your soul out to your computer or pad.
I know a writer who bikes. A lot. And is pretty proficient at writing. Also works as a development exec and has kids and a happy wife. I hate that guy…. (and by hate – I mean love. An insanely jealous love that one has for someone who is good at what they want to be good at and somehow still manages to balance his life, exercise, family, job and be a nice guy. Wait… maybe I do mean I hate him. Sorry David…)
If you run – then you know.
There are some crazy people who love to run. I am not one of them – but I happen – at least when I was younger and still had my original ACL and a vestige of cartilage and meniscus left – to be pretty descent at running. I lettered varsity track all four years in high school and made a career at finishing second in just about every race I did.
It was the 5000 meters – a long freaking race – and we ran it on the track. When it would come to my race – which inevitably was the last race before they would announce the winner of the meet – everyone would go get lunch – cause they knew it was gonna be awhile. It wasn’t that I was great – it was more that I was willing to endure the pain that running that long caused.
And also that no one else really was willing to go the distance.
My dad was a runner. A really good runner. And it was something we did together. Sometimes twice a day. We would talk and we would run. I really liked the talking part. Not so much the running.
But running is a lot like writing.
There is nothing I dislike more than the idea of running. I will make excuses in the morning why I don’t wanna do it – and say I’ll go in the afternoon. But suddenly – the afternoon is too hot and I don’t want to go. My legs are sore. My ipod isn’t charged. Whatever.
I. don’t. want. to. run.period.
I was filming a commercial in Australia with a really nice girl who was a professional surfer. She told me her dad got her into surfing because it was a good way to get out of school. She went on – in a year – to be one of the top pro girl surfers in the world. Billabong spotted her at a competition and asked her if she wanted to model. She said sure – and ended up being a really high paid model.
But she wanted to leave all that behind so she could act. So she was moving to NYC to pursue that from the bottom up.
Everyone wants something they don’t have – and I find the same thing. I spent the last 20 years as a producer/director working my way to making movies – and all I can get an agent for is writing. If I could find another way to get a great script other than writing it – I would do it. Cause writing is to dang hard.
There is a reason why I’m the worst writer ever. It’s cause I approach writing like running. For some ungodly reason – I have had luck with writing – and I hate to actually sit down to write. Its awful. Like a chore. Like fingernails on a chalkboard. I can come up with a million reasons not to write – this blog being one of them.
Each time there is a new post – it is another brilliant excuse for not writing. I am the Steven Speilburg of avoidance and procrastination.
I have never given birth – and every woman who reads this (both of you… 🙂 ) will wanna jackslap me for saying so – but I can imagine that as painful as bringing a child into the world – it is easier than writing. When I watched my own wife writhing and crying and screaming bloody murder on the table as my two kids dropped out – all I could think of was – Hey… its not that bad… at least you’re not writing….
Cause writing is hard. It’s so hard, I’d almost rather go running than write – and I hate running.
But just like running – once you get warmed up and you’re going – something weird happens.
You start to feel good. Your body loosens up. You feel the street rolling under your feet as you move – heel toe heel toe… and as you sprint to the finish – you smile. You did something good for yourself.
And writing works the same way. It sucks to start… its hard to begin… but about a couple crappy pages in – something happens. It starts to gel. And work. And suddenly – you’ve got a scene. And you’re writing.
Or at least you’re writing a blog about writing – and avoiding your script.
Hey! Its Friday night. Give me a break.
Coming soon: Interesting update on the feature. The game is still afoot….