Yesterday, in my post "Going Hollywood," I wrote:
You can’t always force creativity, regardless of the immutable reality of a production deadline. But I have to believe that if I have a bad afternoon or a completely wasted day, that I’ll make up for it later.
After reading author Loreth Ann White’s thoughts on the subject, I realized that I needed to clarify my comments. In TV, you can’t wait for inspiration to strike…the show is shooting on Monday whether you are feeling creative or not. A deadline is a deadline. The pages must be written. A professional TV writer will get them done.
The same is true of my MONK and DIAGNOSIS MURDER novels. I have 90 days and, in some cases, less to write them. I may not feel motivated or inspired today, or even tomorrow, but I will make up for it later…because I am a professional writer, and that ‘s my job. Some days are better than others. I try not to sweat the bad ones too much (though I do).
What I should have said is that I have faith that if the writing is going badly at any particular moment, I will "get inspired" in time to meet my deadline, whatever that deadline may be.
It’s amazing how inspired I am the closer I get to a deadline. The reality that something has to be done at a certain point forces you to focus and to silence your inner critic.
If I don’t have a real, honest-to-God, make-or-break deadline, then I have a much harder time focusing…which may be Paul’s problem with his pilot.