Friday, March 11, 2011

Inspiration Hide & Seek

So I feel like I've been playing cat and mouse with the book and inspiration lately. As soon as I try to get myself on a writing schedule and committed, I freeze - much like myself with men. I can't force it. My mind rejects being told when to write. And can I just say, that is one seriously frustrating mind game. As soon as I told myself this year would be it for me - the year to finish the book, the year to find a lit agent, the year I make this writing thing official - inspiration said screw you McLean, I'm out. Insert sigh here.

But once I let go and backed off, things started coming back. I found reading other works helped. So here's the deal. I am not going to say I'm finishing the book in the next few months. I'm not saying crap. I'm not holding myself to anything, I'm just going to let it come to me. When it's finished, it's finished. Because when I let it come naturally, that's when I get the good stuff. Force it, and my writing is shoddy at best. So with that, screw my last few posts. This is a new day of Carly finding her way.

I am going to do my best to blog as much as I can, but I can't promise it'll always be about writing. It may be about a rando day, my trip to London, my hatred of dog walkers and love of Kentucky basketball. But I find that in continuing to write, even if mundane observations, I keep my thoughts going. And as my client would say, "that's a good thing."

Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio, er Carly McLean?
So I have been writing for the past month, just not on the book. I focused my time on a "Family Guy" spec script I recently submitted to a contest. It was quite amusing to write, full of random flashbacks (we're talking Superman 2, an evil Mickey Mouse, Werther's Original commercial, Bill Clinton speech and Grandpa Jones skits). Essentially the script focused on Meg rising to an inappropriate fame after joining "Teen Mom." This of course led to other girls at James Wood's High wanting to get pregnant so they could be on tabloid covers. Peter was stoked to be a "grandpa," but Lois was furious, and ended up acting like Dina Lohan. It was comical.

The thing is, I rushed the ending, and I'm mad at myself for it. But it turns out there's a similar contest that I think I may go after as well. So now I need to beef this guy up - it needs a better ending. I'm thinking all the children of the pregnant fame-chasers could be adopted by Angelina Jolie or Madonna. Something stupid like that. We'll see.

Oh and the thing about writing a script - I had no freaking idea about the format. All "self taught" - though I will only claim that if it turned out to be correct.

How Stella, I mean, Carly Got Her Groove Back
So I did do a tad bit of writing for the book last night thankfully. I could have done more but was too tired to get out of bed and type. That's the thing - inspiration loves to hang out with me around the time my eyes are closed, cuddled for a good night's sleep. Boom. Wake your ass up McLeaner, we've got some things to say.

I will leave with you an excerpt I wrote last night (yay for figuring out how to paste into this template!). It's set during a conversation between Harper and Oscar after they run into each other in New York. Oscar is complaining about the place where they had met and fallen in love. I'm really excited about it because while I was writing the script the last few weeks, I was frustrated with my novel writing. I felt in comparison to works I like, it was lacking and immature. The writing wasn't strong and the way I was telling the story was missing something. I haven't figured out all the kinks, but I like this excerpt. It gives me hope I'm headed in the direction I want to be headed: Me.

"I wondered how my memories of Lexington could differ so much from his. We had once thought so similarly. It boggled my mind to look back and remember a past so unlike his. To me, Lexington was opportunity, a new found freedom and independence. It was gooey derbie pie, fizzy Ale 8 and two dollars bets at Keeneland. It was midday country cruises, vast horse farms and Dave Matthews. It was summer weekends at the lake, great friends and dancing in hot rain. It was proudly blue, rabid with Wildcats and relentlessly mad in March. It was innocence, a first love and green shoes. It was everything."


  1. Carly! So proud of you... get back on the horse and be the amazing writer that you are!

  2. I feel as though I should publicly comment that reading your excerpt made me smile, go Roomie, go!