So that's what it feels like to buckle down for three weeks and blow through a screenplay. And here I thought I'd be able to finish off this latest draft in no time flat. That train of thought left the station right around November which was, conveniently enough, the same time little Max was born.
I've been trying to finish the rewrite ever since.
Despite My Fair Lady giving me plenty of time here and there to write, it still hasn't been enough. The massive level of stress induced by a newborn (magnified tremendously by both parents working from home and being with him24/7) has pretty effectively neutralized my creative impulses. Not to mention consumed both of us more than we'd like. With newborns, you have to make a list of things you want or need to complete, then expect to get no more than two done a day. That's if you're lucky. If not, then nothing will get completed until (maybe) tomorrow.
With that in mind, I've spent more time in the last three weeks devoted to finishing this thing than was probably healthy. So I decided that I would have it locked by 5 p.m. 06/05/09. Setting a hard deadline was literally the only thing that would help me because I'd tried everything else. Finally, I just looked in the mirror, told myself that it was time and set that deadline. Completed it Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. But! .....
Factor the sort of lifestyle we're now living into trying to craft a feature length screenplay and make it good, and the challenge most closely resembles Mt. Everest. As an example, here's what happened the night I completed it.
Put Max down about 7:30 p.m. For the next 45 minutes I cleaned the kitchen and straightened around the house. My Fair Lady will think this reflects poorly upon our skills as parents. I disagree. I think it reflects that we're parents. Then I ate something quick and finally sat down at my computer around 8:20 p.m. or so. Cranked through the finale of my script and all was going well. I actually knew exactly where I was going at that point and the light at the end of the tunnel was brilliant.
At 9:30 p.m. I'm five sentences away from completing it when I hear Max wake up. If you're planning on having kids, I'd recommend this Safety 1st Baby Monitor set as the one to get. Great range + crystal clarity = win for America. I pick him up and try to rock him down. He's having none of it. I rock him some more. No go. I stare at my computer screen. Oh so close.
My Fair Lady was out at an event so this was entirely my shop for the night, just to clarify.
After a 30 minute power struggle, I finally get him back down. I drop back in my seat and it takes me a bit to calm down and then go back to finishing. By that I mean I played some Fairway Solitaire to soothe my nerves, then jumped out of that and opened my script back up. Where was I? Oh yes! I was....
At that point I was banging my head on the desk. Probably harder than I should have, to be honest. I checked back on Max, and believe it or not he was more awake than he had been previously. Bottle time!
Changed his diaper first, then fixed him a large bottle, followed by trying to rock him back down. My Fair Lady showed up then right as I was rocking him down, and she helped me get him into bed again. He was snoring by the time I walked from his crib to the door.
Once we were out of earshot I exploded in frustration. I wasn't angry at her for going out, nor was I angry at him being up constantly. Had I been screwing around on "Left 4 Dead" or "Ninja Gaiden II" I wouldn't have cared. But the fact I was five sentences away from completing this yet was stymied royally pissed me off.
So I took out those frustrations on a bad guy at the end. He was going to live. Not now. Oh no. Not at all. Originally he just learned a lesson. Now he gets shredded. Subtle? Nope. Satisfying?
I started this blog post at 1:57 p.m. and am finishing it at 8:16 p.m. If that doesn't pretty much spell it out for you what raising an infant is like, I'm not sure what else will.