Getting the Creative Juices Flowing
“I’ve got a purple yoga mat, and I have a little table about that size. That’s sort of what it looks like. I hoover; I find odd places to polish. Places that I haven’t seen in a long time; sometimes parts of my own body. And there’s a lot of crying in fetal positions.” – Emma Thompson.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Emma Thompson gave a wonderfully entertaining lecture at the BAFTA Screenwriters Conference in London last month. Equipped with props, (including a vacuum and the aforementioned yoga mat) she explained her unusual process of writing to the audience. Quirky as it may seem it makes you consider the type of environment a writer needs to feel comfortable enough to actually write. While many professionals would agree that real writers should be able to “create” at any time of the day, despite how they feel; it certainly helps when the mood is right.
“I’ve sometimes made the analogy with eating. Why do you eat? You’re hungry. You are sort of in the mood to eat, and if you are in the mood to, the food tastes better; you’re more interested in what you’re eating. The whole experience is more “creative.” It’s the same thing in art except that, in art, the hunger is the need for self-expression.” – Aaron Copeland
And let’s face it - writing a script isn’t easy. It can be a grueling, frustrating process that oftentimes leaves you a little more gray behind the ears or with patches of hair missing altogether. You’d be hard pressed to find a screenwriter who loves the entire process from start to finish. Having a solid conducive process can be the best way to kick start the creative process into gear.
“I used to write late at night; I would start when my family went to sleep and just work until I ran out of gas. But now that I have to wake up at 6:30 and drive the kids to school and attempt to "exercise" so I don't die, the only way I can write is to just tell my assistant, "All right, we're going to start at 9 tomorrow, and let's unplug the phones for four hours." And it's awful. Usually I have to give myself a reward. So I'll say, "If I write a good hour, I'll watch one episode of The Wire." – Judd Apatow
What’s your method to get the creative juices flowing?