Holy crap.  It’s June.  I go offline to focus on finishing a project and the next thing I know almost 9 months have passed.  Friends of mine have babies and I don’t even know it because everyone expects you got the tweet.  (I have the opposite problem and assume no one is listening until something innocuous I say pisses someone random off and I am reminded of the fact that people still know how to read.)

So where did I go? People in the entertainment industry are constantly chewing my ear off about how I need to focus, focus, focus….blah blah blah.  So I do.  I take their dumb advice and focus on finishing 2 television pilots.  Then, I focus for six straight months on finishing a screenplay.   Which brings us to January 2010…

I focus on the next step in the process—the business of writing.  I focus on agents and managers.  I focus on pitches and meetings.  Here at these meetings, I hear the same damn, thing.  Do you want to write for television or film?  Are you a writer or a director?  You need to focus…

So I do.  For months.  Things get ugly.  Fast.

Suddenly, I don’t know what’s wrong.  I can’t get my energy up.  My body is revolting, my back hurts, I twist my ankle…all signs to me that I need to slow down and take a look around.  When I do, I find myself in a k-hole of despair.

None of my usual tools I’ve gathered over the years seem to work in fending off the blues.  Not yoga.  Not meditation.  Nothing.  Not even Coachella, which normally kicks my winter doldrums to the curb, makes a dent in the depression.

I start reading a lot about the end of the world.  I go on dates and find myself sounding like Debbie Downer.  "What the Hell is the matter with me?" ...so begins my journal entry after not writing a word for 2 months.  I write 15 pages. 

Ohhhhh….now I see. 

I've been so focused on becoming a writer, I haven’t been writing.  The one tool that has never let me down.  The one thing that, no matter how dark it gets, will always make me feel better.

I realize something:  I need to make a choice.  Focus on becoming recognized and paid as a writer, or, focus on getting as much of it out of my head in whatever precious time I have left.  Yes, it would be lovely to get paid oodles of money to write scripts--but I am also privileged enough to have extremely rewarding jobs that pay the bills.  And yes, it would be amazing to see any of my projects on a screen.  But again I find myself in a position of either running around, trying to get people to make projects for me—or figuring out ways to make the projects myself, for Phetasy.  I am a writer.  I don’t need a book deal or an agent to know that.  I just need to take a look at my state of being when I don’t write.  And lemmee tell ya'--it ain't pretty.

As it turns out—I am focused—on writing.  Whatever form my writing takes is of very little consequence to me.  It just needs to come out.  Or I go to Crazytown.  If I focus on anything other than getting words to the page, that’s exactly where I’ll end up.  And I don't look very good in a straight jacket.