Paddy Chayefsky famously said,
"As soon as I figure out the theme of my play,
I write it down on a thin strip of paper and
Scotch-tape it to the front of my typewriter.
After that, nothing goes into the play that isn't on-theme."
Pause and reflect. "What is this project about?"
"What is its theme?"
"Is every element serving that theme?"
- Steven Pressfield
Do the Work
We've all been there.
On a writer's high, inspiration coming, words flowing, we feel unstoppable.
The next day, month, year, we return to our work and see that this tangent has nothing to do with the point of our project.
As the creator, tangents are our fake heaven and our real pergatory.
They flow, uninterrupted, as we shout, "This was be meant to be!"
As the creator, tangents are hard to spot.
Surely, if it inspires US while we work, it will inspire those who are reading our work?
As the creator, tangents are often a means to an end.
Tangents give us the inspiration we need to take the next step in our work, to feel like we're on the right track. They enable us during dry spells. They help us stay afloat when the next storm of self-doubt hits.
That does not mean that they have a guaranteed spot in our final product.
And that is okay.
Is your theme easy to spot, easy to remember, and easy to jolt you back on track?
20 Feb 2016
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