Purgatory


I know I've spoken about this sort of things before, but I want to go over it again, partly because I need content to fill this up with and partly because I sometimes find that getting something down on paper (or, in this case, a blog) can often help clear my heads and get me into a space where I can start being creative again.

When I finish a project, more often this happens when it's a big project (like Follow the Crows, The Door or ONUS), I often find myself at a loss as to what to do with myself. It's like there's all this time I should be utilising doing something production but I can't quite bring myself to do anything at all with it. Instead of squeezing in another project, a short film, a book, some short stories or whatever, I just end up led in bed watching episodes of Brian Clemens' Thriller (have you ever seen Brian Clemens' Thriller? You really should. It's an old ITV anthology show from the 70s and every episode is absolutely brilliant in its own way) and wishing I was doing something more worth while.

During this time I often find that I'll have lots of ideas but none of them will fall into place in the way that really captures my imagination. Take this new play I'm sort of working on at the moment (not the ghost one, I finished that, and for some reason now I'm... well, I'm not doing anything with it); instead of spending time considering what it is that I like about the idea and trying to work out how it all fits together I just keep staring at an empty word document wondering why it's not writing itself.

On a side note; I'm not a nutcase, I know it won't literally write itself, but sometimes, when you get into the swing of something, it kind of sort of does. At least, your hands to just move around the keyboard almost independently from the rest of you. It's cool.

So, this play I'm working on; I want to write something that's relatively simple, three characters tops, that's in the style or Ira Levin's Deathtrap, Samuel French's Dial M For Murder, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth or Patrick Hamilton's Rope. Something that twists and turns and has a lot of fun doing it, but isn't necessarily all that serious or even all that complicated. I quite like the idea of playing out in real-time, or a couple of long scenes that play out in real time, and I know exactly where it should be set and what it should be about and yet...

And yet it's just not doing it for me.

It's a bizarre and often frustrating experience, but what makes it so bizarre and frustrating is that I actually know I could solve this problem if I just sat down and spent some time working on it. But rather than doing that I instead sit down and watch Brian Clemens' Thriller (seriously, give the show a go. It really is brilliant. I have the box-set on DVD, and it's not the expensive. It's dated and a little silly, but it's also fantastic television).

Eventually I'll either figure it all out or move on to something else, but while I remain in this sort of weird purgatory/middle state between projects I'll continue to struggle to find the drive or the willingness to do anything. I have college work to do as well, would you believe, and yet here I am writing a blog! I'm not even watching Brian Clemens' Thriller at the moment.

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© Alex Secker 2018