Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Year of Fear and Comfort

So I realized a while ago that I don’t much like the whole Happy New Year thing.

It’s inane to celebrate, as LBB at Suburban Panic puts it, the arbitrary division of our solar orbit.

It seems like the new year should happen some time in the Fall. Maybe it’s the perpetual schoolgirl or the ancient pagan in me, but I’ve always felt that Halloween or, better still, the equinox makes more sense.

That said, I do have one resolution for 2009: Do Not Be Afraid.

It’s sort of the end-all, be-all of resolutions.

Think about it.

What keeps us from being who we’re really supposed to be? What keeps us from keeping those promises to eat right and take care of ourselves and finally write that fucking screenplay that’s been rattling around in our brains since 1993?


I dunno, Hed. We get busy and distracted. We’re lazy, not afraid.

No, no, no.

What’s the white twin of fear? It’s that dangerous, evil magnet: Comfort.

This couch sure feels good. These potato chips sure taste good.

Lazing through a weekend with someone else’s stories (even if they reek like a backwoods craphouse on a hot summer day) is easier than writing something that actually might be worth reading.

I’m comfortable here. What if I trip and fall? What if I lose 30 lbs. and am faced with finally wrestling my deeper demons?

What if I actually tried writing something worth a good goddamn? What if I fail? Or worse, what if it changed the lovely, comfortable life I’ve created for myself?

Here’s a silly example: This new fantastic job comes with a membership at a fancy-schmancy big city health club.

I started working here in June. I went to the health club for the first time yesterday.

Because I was afraid of being the chubbiest girl at the gym. I was afraid of being semi-naked in a locker room with my co-workers. Afraid of what the world would think of me.

See? Fear. It keeps you from doing things that are good for you.

So this is the Year of Fear & Comfort.

If it’s something that makes me comfortable, it’s suspect. If it’s something that makes me afraid, I’m going for it.

And if there are ways that I can make others comfortable by doing things that make me fearful, well, those are the things I’d like to do most of all.
I am listening to: Erasure – A Little Respect
I am reading: Nothing until I write something worth reading
And I am: Not afraid and not comfortable


Posolxstvo the First said...

I'm a fan of starting the new year at the vernal equinox. Which really seems like a time of rebirth to me.

So, I'll take your challenge. I *will* finish writing the three stories that are currently stealing 5% of my memory space...

Anonymous said...

Don't bother wasting your time writing a good screenplay. The American public (89% of them anyway) has been so dumbed down as to be incapable of absorbing any thoughtful story. Give them 'reality', mock drama and six large tits. That's what sells cars and that's what Hollywood wants. A good story only stirs the masses and creates chaos and confusion. Enjoy your life and be glad that you are probably the most aware person in our neighborhood. Hollywood is not the 'dream' factory it is the 'dream' trash heap.
Didn't you see "They Shoot Movies Don't They?" on IFC?
And nobody writes screenplays to 'pitch' anymore. Hollywood 'deciders' don't like to read. If you want to sell your story just write a treatment. It is one page that summarizes your tale. Speaking of your tale... back to the gym. Your health is all that matters anyway!!
Now I'm going to go and sit by the heater duct.

jude said...

LOVED your post today. You really hit the nail on the head, Hed :)

Susan's Snippets said...

Hedy - Ditto...


Posolxstvo the First said...

Grom --

Be a Do-Bee, not a Don't-Bee.

The purpose of writing a screenplay should not be about getting it made into a movie -- although that would be nice too. It should be about the process. The DOING of it.

Luckily, the "it" you're doing doesn't have to be writing. It can be anything. Sculpting. Running a marathon. Planting a garden. Sneaking off to Rio with $1,000,000 in embezzled funds.

So don't tell me not to write a screenplay, simply because no one will ever read it. That's not a good enough reason, and it adds to that fear that Hedy was talking about.

Sit! Stay!

Anonymous said...

Listen up Kat. Why in the world would anyone desire the process of writing a screenplay? Is it the 'Cut To's' or 'sluglines' that are appealing. All I'm saying is if one chooses to write one should consider writing something that is actually readable. Screenplays are a design developed to facilitate the shooting of a film. Reading a screenplays is like enjoying music by reading the notes on paper. If you must write... and why that is important is beyond me... but if you must write, write something that is readable. And if you have a great movie idea write a 'treatment'. Otherwise write in story form... fiction... short story... poetry... etc... these may also lead to your desired film production.
And as to your orders for me to sit and stay... I say this.
Purrrrrrhaps you should regurgitate a hairball!

miss kitty said...

Dog.....what is this "Listen up Kat" crap to that weird Posolxstvo guy? My delicate little paws hurt from just typing his name.

When Miss Kitty comments to you...there will be no doubt!!

Boy, you a dumber than I thought.


Anonymous said...


hot_stuff said...

"And if there are ways that I can make others comfortable by doing things that make me fearful, well, those are the things I’d like to do most of all."

Do me to make me comfortable??

Posolxstvo the First said...

"Why in the world would anyone desire the process of writing a screenplay?"

Clearly it ain't for you, Dog. So be it.

Some people just prefer the short hand style that screenplays afford you. Sometimes it's just that people are narcissists who want to picture themselves as screenwriters. No matter what the reason, why are you trying to crap all over it?

That's just mean.

Anonymous said...

Okay... I give... write a screenplay Hedy. He's right - I have no right stifling your cockeyed dreams...
Fill my water bowl!

LBB said...


Rah, rah, rah!

Go, go, go.

You could always try writing a comic book script. They can be just as rewarding as a screenplay, and a lot less expensive to turn into a final product.

Dave said...

I'm staying out of the dog/cat/anon "discussion."

My initial reaction to the post, and still is, you aren't all that bad a writer. Prose with a lilt.

You aren't there yet; but, try Richard Russo. He does what you do for a page or two for the length of a novel.

Hedy said...

Thanks for all the great comments.

Grommie: I see your point on creating something other than a screenplay (short story, etc). I guess that's a post for another day, the challenge artists/writers have of executing their Big Idea the right way (Is it a poem? Is it a short story? A song?) That said, you're awfully jaded for a pooch whose biggest thrill is going to grandma's house on Sundays.

Hot Stuff: Yikes. Welcome. I think.

Dave: Thanks again for the recommendation on Russo. Can't wait to dive in.

xoxo, everyone.


so true.

but I still want to wish you a Happy new Years..
(I'll remind you in October or rather Sept when the Jewish New Year arrives and then you can celebrate it with all of us-have some bagels at the household of Harris? Lol.)

I know what you mean though on the fear and comfort..you couldn't have said it any better!

molly gras said...

The Year of Fear & Comfort
What’s the white twin of fear? It’s that dangerous, evil magnet: Comfort. -- HEDY

HOORAY! I have new Hedy quote to add to my growing list!! Thanks :)