There will be set-backs in the career that you’ve chosen, especially when that career is about writing. Projects will arise and collapse faster than I can down a can of Diet Coke in the morning. It’s just a shitty matter of fact about doing this.
A few weeks ago, I was emailing this other writer back and forth about possibly collaborating on an idea they had posted on Craigslist. For the sake of this, I’m not going to go into details, as it’s just not crucial to my point. So we email each other over a few days, and decide to meet. The idea that this person has, but the issue at hand was that they couldn’t get it out of their own head. Pretty difficult to write a complete screenplay this way. After two meetings and four hours of teeth pulling, I decided that enough was enough. How much longer would it have taken to get a treatment together? At that rate, a fucking year. Look, I’m a 31-year-old unpublished writer, so I don’t want to commit that kind of time to something that may never get anywhere. And this project was getting motherfucking nowhere.
When a project that a writer is in does not have forward momentum, that writer is going backwards. We’re a crude and impatient bunch, us writers. We may seem cordial and congenial on the surface, but deep down, we want to get the fucking momentum to move even faster. Because it’s a race car, baby. Every single project is a dream vehicle that we strive to get to 200 miles per hour within as short amount of time.
That’s part and parcel as to why I personally love 6-10 hour writing jam sessions where dozens of pages get written. After a session like that, it’s like the best sex you’ve ever had. Because you did it, and those filled up pages are yours.
Skill levels of craft be what they may, momentum is absolutely necessary at doing this. Can’t exactly build a mansion without appropriate materials and tools, right? Same deal goes here. You must know what the story is that you’re going to tell. There are so many that haven’t been told yet. We owe it to the craft of storytelling to get our yarns told.
And then we can get to rewriting, which is 90% of all writing anyways. Every first draft is a piece of shit, by the way.