Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'll Try Not to Sing Out of Key

Hi all, this is Jessie.

I'm not sure what to write here, so I'll continue on the thread Jason started: why write with a partner?

I used to write all the time. I wrote in a diary every day as a little girl. Poetry seemed to spill out of me as a teenager. I started plenty of short stories, most of which I never finished. I think it was because I wanted to write a novel, but didn't have the focus or time to complete a project.

I don't want to wax too personal here, but I feel it's important to mention that I have bipolar disorder. Most of the ways it's affected my life aren't important to this project. However, it has had an effect on my writing, so I'll mention this bit. When I'm hypomanic (i.e. I only go a little crazy, not full-blown psychotic), it's very easy for me to write creatively. I write a lot, and well. However, when I was diagnosed and put on lithium, my creative drive seemed to leave me. Lithium was horrible for me and I was put on different medication that's not so famous for killing people's creativity. However, it seems that when I stopped writing a lot, I got out of the habit. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to come up with anything worth reading ever again.

Then I met Jason. Anyone who knows him knows that he talks about movies incessantly. Soon after I met him, he started carrying around a composition notebook in which he was writing his movie. I thought it was cool that he was committed to a project and actually working on it. I sincerely hoped he would be able to write his film and get it made. I really had no aspirations to be included in the project till he asked me to help him write. Apparently he couldn't get anything he wrote in that notebook to come together into something cohesive.

Having a writing partner makes the process a lot less daunting and more enjoyable for me. I don't have to come up with every plot point, every character flaw, every theme on my own. I don't have to second guess every idea I have and every line I write because he does it for me. We bounce ideas off each other and they get better the more we bounce them. Since we're such good friends, I can tell him when his ideas suck and vice versa (though the former happens much more often). We're both clever people, and I think we're more clever together.

I'm very glad Jason asked me to help with his untitled movie project. It means a lot to me that he thinks highly enough of me to let me in on it. It feels good to be writing again.

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