What did I do?

To make the universe hate me?

Today has been rough. I finally get over enough of my psychological garbage to actually start work on my pilot, and I run smack dab into one of those problems that only seems to happen to me.

I had it all planned. I would follow my outline, cutting and pasting in the good stuff from the first version, and that would end up with me having a superb version.

But of course it’s not that easy. Turns out that when you paste any kind of text into Story Touch, the screenwriting software I use, it comes out in an unformatted block that (and this is the insane part) it will not let me put into the right format.

That’s not a problem with action description. It’s usually formatted that way. But not with dialogue. And I wrote some really good dialogue in my first draft.

So now I have to choose between the following lovely options :

  1. Rewrite all the dialogue – which would suck
  2. Cut and paste the dialogue into Story Touch then re-type it into the dialogue, then delete it after
  3. Look for yet another screenwriting program that lets me paste text into dialogue
  4. Try to convert my original into a format Story Touch understands and then save it as a new version
  5. Give up, stick my head in a bucket, and live a frugal life of self-flagellation, self-denial, prayer, and bucket maintenance

After trying to find a workaround for a while, I hit a total psychological roadblock. Logically, I know it is resolvable, but my brain gears are frozen and it takes time to thaw them out again and get back to work.

And just as I am wrapping my head around that and getting ready to get back to work, my computer catches some malware and now I have to deal with that.

I have had it before. It’s one where first it just spams your browser with irritating popups, then takes over your browser with a tab that wants you to add a browser extension and makes you incapable of doing anything with your browser except that while a lady with a British accent says “Press Add to continue” over and over and over again.

So it’s pretty evil.

After wrestling with it for a while, I remembered what I did the last time I had this problem and started disabling programs in my start up for Win 10 until the evil British lady was no longer haunting me.

But this was on top of all the software stress, and so, just like last night, fate dealt me this one-two punch seemingly designed to cripple me psychologically.

Maybe this is life’s way of toughening me up. I don’t know. I just know that the last two days have sucked and I am fucking sick and tired of it.

All I wanted to do was write my thing. But then the things happened to keep me from writing my thing. And I was all ready to write my thing and then the things happened to stop it and that really hurt.

I have to go to some place very deep and vulnerable when I write. That’s why I can’t handle interruptions. Having that tender connection that lets the words flow out suddenly broken is extremely painful to me on an emotional level.

And then there’s that fucking British lady droning on, making me feel guilty and stupid for having got infected with malware again and grating on my nerves.

I know i will come up with a solution for my software issue with Story Touch. Maybe I will just make peace with retyping the dialogue. Maybe I will say “fuck it” and do the whole thing in text and worry about the formatting afterwards. Maybe I will go look at other screenwriting programs and see if I can find one that is a little more reasonable.

But I have to admit, that bucket is looking pretty good to me right now.

I doubt I will get any work on that done tonight, though. It’s already 9 pm. After I am finished blogging, I will likely lay down for a bit. By the time I get back up, it will be too late to get back into the zone. Especially when I have a big gumption gap to leap before I can even get down to writing the fucking thing.

Oh well, nobody ever said being a writer was easy. But it still beats working for a living.

That’s a joke, folks.

I will survive. [1] I will get over, under, or around all this bullshit and today’s traumas will turn into tomorrow’s memories and then into nothing but anecdotes of misfortune.

And we all know how funny those can be, especially when written by me.

Again, that’s what I have to keep reminding myself. I write very funny stuff. It makes people laugh. That is a very valuable skill. I have something to offer society. Something of genuine economic and human value. I will find someone to pay me for it.

So all I have to do is keep going. Deal with the bullshit and move on. Do what it takes to cope – only a fool tries to go on regardless how how sick he is – and then move on. Before I know it, this will all be behind me and I will have a good start on a new life.

Which will be a vast improvement over having no life whatsoever.

I would be in much worse shape if I didn’t have a fairly bankable talent to give to the world. I spend a lot of years thinking I had absolutely nothing of worth to offer anyone and that I was doomed to be nothing but a massive liability to one and all until the day I die.

But now, I know there is at least one thing I am good at : writing comedy.

I wonder what else I can do?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Not linking the song. I think I deserve a smattering of applause for that.

2 thoughts on “What did I do?

  1. It’s those kinds of days that make the zine so late.

    When I was formatting our scripts, I did it the hard, dumb way: I used OpenOffice (now LibreOffice) and manually moved the margins for each block of dialogue, parentheticals, and so on.

    OTOH, for Story Touch you might be able to avoid that and copy blocks of dialogue block-by-block from the old script, to a format-clean program like Notepad, and then copy and paste again into the new script in preformatted dialogue fields.

    I have to head out now but remind me to talk about stand-up, theatre, and sketch.

  2. Back. I was thinking in the shower yesterday about theatre and how on the one hand I consider it an inferior art form because it can’t possibly deliver the same production values as film or TV, but on the other hand that also means that it’s more accessible to people without the means to create something as complex and expensive as film or TV. If you have a story you have to tell, all you need is a script, a few props and set dressing, and some actors who can talk loud enough for the crowd to hear. You don’t even have to have a proper stage or lighting; you could do it outdoors or in a mall. And best of all, there’s no editing. You don’t have to fight with video editing software that crashes every five minutes.

    The only catch is, that better be one hell of a script, because we’re trapped in that one set for the whole play, and we can’t cut away to show things happening outside the set. The risk of audience boredom is very high.

    Stand-up requires a stage, a microphone, and a spotlight, but those are relatively straightforward, compared to the technical requirements for film and TV. And in theory you could do without those things if you absolutely had to. You could do stand-up in someone’s living room.

    Sketch comedy is best when it has the resources of video to draw upon. I don’t like it when it gets too “stagey.” So in that case you get into needing a decent microphone and a camcorder and editing software. Still, it’s another outlet, and thanks to the modern Internet there’s somewhere for it to go.

    So I think there will always be a market for the low-tech form of scripted entertainment, if only because the creators need a system more robust and with fewer moving parts than what you have to deal with in film and TV.

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