As a young aspiring writer back in the 90s, I constantly looked up to other successful writers for direction.
Back then, I was mostly looking to write for stage and screen. I may have dreamed about writing a novel or something but my true dream was to be produced as a playwright or screenwriter. I was in Film School when I realized that to succeed in writing films I must mimic those great film makers and screen writers. I went so far as to write the exact same way as George Lucas wrote his movies. When, I learned that George writes only on yellow legal pads, I immediately went to Office Depot and bought a case of yellow legal pads. I wrote my next 2 plays on nothing but yellow legal pads and then transcribed them into a Word-processor in the computer lab.
I took a seminar with John Patrick Shanely – the screen writer of Moonstruck and Joe Vs. The Volcano – at CU and couldn’t believe I could be so lucky. It was open to Film Makers and Creative Writing majors and I called the reserve line before I could finish reading the flyer. Sitting there with him for a few days, I wanted to know how he wrote. Call me funny, but my questions weren’t philosophical. I wasn’t asking him what made him a better writer. But how he physically wrote. Did he plot things via an online? Did he block it out with index cards? Does he handwrite his writing on paper first or just type it directly it into the typewriter or computer? I do recall him giving me a weird look each time I asked him a question. Not the: what-are-you-smoking-weird look, but that of a curious mind. Almost as he was trying to understand my intent.
So, that’s how I wrote in the 90s. I’m not sure if that was successful as I didn’t get anywhere. But I don’t regret it. Yet, I’ve learned since, just write. Write. It doesn’t matter if you use a pencil. It’s not important if you write everything with a pen. Some just sit at the keyboard and let it flow out.
I will admit. I still like to use pen and paper to throw down ideas and outlines. Yet, I’m also trying to be more electronic and do it all digital. That’s why I bought a iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. But I think I may just be too analog and old school….