Motivational Pick-Me-Up for Writers and Artists

It’s been one of those months that seem to happen too often. I set aside October to write a screenplay. Today is the 18th of the month, and I’m on page 12. That leaves me only half a month to write the other 100 pages.

I have really good reasons to be behind: I’m still in the process of researching this script, which means I’ve been alternating writing with research. I’ve also been working on another project that has required a lot of creative energy. And, I did something that is going to save me at least one or two drafts in future months: I’ve re-outlined until the story structure is quite solid. (Outlining is one of the hardest steps for me, so that is quite an accomplishment.)

Nevertheless, this vine climbing the fence is how I feel about where I am with the script right now: I’m making progress (flowers and growth), but it’s a tough climb, and I need to get to the top before winter strikes.

One of my problems is that I have allowed other responsibilities to draw me away from writing time because first-draft writing is hard work. This Sunday, as I was praying over my priorities, I decided I needed a writing “pick-me-up.” I turned to Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Artists, and started praying with the reflection guide (Scripture passages, questions, etc.) that I wrote for a Catholic communicators group several years ago. And I am amazed at how rich it is for me to go over the same material.  I’ve spent Sunday, Monday, and today praying with Genesis 1, in light of the first paragraph of the Letter, and it’s so rich I will probably continue to pray with it all week.

The next time you need a pick-me-up for your inner artist,I recommend Letter to Artists–even if you’ve already read it. It’s great to go back to and deepen. The line I’m staying with this week is that the artistic vocation is all about contemplation–it’s all about how we see.

In August, Sharon Di Cecco from Radio Maria  interviewed Alfie Boe, a tenor with Catholic roots who is well-known in the UK. (I am familiar with Alfie Boe’s singing from the 25th anniversary Les Miserables concert in London, in which he sings the part of Jean Valjean. Les Mis is one of my all-time favorite books, movies, and musicals.) During the interview, they talk about some of the themes in Letter to Artists. Radio Maria has posted the interview online, and you may want to listen in to Alfie Boe’s insightful interview here.

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