I promise: this one is going to be short today because I want to get back to working on my story, heh.
So I Went & Saw Super 8.
Big deal, right?
I’ve got mixed feelings about the ending of the movie, but overall I have to say…
IT WAS A LOT OF FREAKIN’ FUN.
You can’t really tell how much fun this movie is just by looking at the trailer, but trust me, it is. It was also scary at times (I’m telling you, the sound effects had me going), and the kid actors were great to watch. (Elle Fanning did an especially wonderful job, imo.) I think I was reading a review on Rotten Tomatoes that said something like, “Super 8 reminds us why we love the movies.” (Oh no, here it is.)
It was like this legit old school way to tell stories (there was a certain way about the stunts and characters), something I haven’t seen since I first saw The Goonies on TV (which, btw, was maybe six-or-so months ago). The characters were so Steven Spielberg. It was great.
And if you have no idea what I’m talking about then you are totally missing out!
What I Took Away From The Film As A Writer
It’s pretty simple, really.
Watching Super 8 reminded me of why I started writing this
monster-of-a book: I wanted to write an adventure story that was fun to read and even more fun to write. (I can only imagine how much fun J.J. Abrams had making that film with Spielberg producing.) But when you’re kind of a perfectionist…sometimes “fun” can go out the window in pursuit of, well, perfection.
I have a bad habit of slipping into this mode when I’m not watching, when I’m working on the novel or anything else requiring serious effort, though it usually only happens when I spend less time writing the thing than I do thinking about it. Once I turn on the conscious critic, it’s over. Now, usually some really great ideas come out of these morose periods, and in many ways I find it absolutely necessary to go there every now and then, but the danger is that one can stay in this place for way too long.
Don’t let that be you.
You know what I do now when I’m feeling depressed about how far along I still have to bring my story so that it’s at that shiny place I want it to be? I watch a really good movie–not read a good book (because I’ve come to realize that I’m too likely to get depressed, to be honest) but a movie. I also listen to really great music, the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard. I am a highly visual-auditory learner, so when I see and hear the best being played out before me it always reminds me of why I want to tell my own story, and by the end I simply cannot wait to get back to what I’ve been wanting to do all along: tell the best story I can.
I’m inspired by the best to produce my best. I wanna can that bit of awesomeness, take it home, crack it back open, mix in some original ingredients and serve up my own greatness, thank you very much.
Of course, you can fall into the trap of always watching movies or listening to music and then never get anything done, but that’s true with just about anything. In moderation, though, these things can inspire.
So Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
…or else you may lose your joy of writing!
Oh, and here’s the movie trailer for Super 8 if you haven’t seen it yet (ha!):
What do you do when you find yourself taking writing too seriously?