The Next Thing.

I am convinced that my greatest masterpieces have been destroyed by the backspace button. I will write and rewrite and rewrite using my backspace button to obliterate a sentence just because I don’t know what the next sentence is. I’m good with storytelling. I understand character and structure on a level that no one else I know can even understand. The problem is where to start. As painter Jackson Pollack said, “I must apply the first stroke of paint. After that, I insist that the canvas do at least half of the work.” It’s that first stroke that’s the bitch of the bunch. 

So I have a story I want to tell, but I don’t know if it’s one story or three stories or both. I don’t know. I’m good with a lot of things, but really I’m guessing my ass off on all of it. It’s a lot like life. You have information and you use that information to make the best choice possible. There are a handful of rules. All of which can be broken. One of the more important ones is that an audience will forgive a bad beginning but never a bad ending. Another is that when in doubt, you can take your character and put him/her in the last place that character wants to be and the story will tell itself.  

Anyway, my problem right now is that I can’t see my way into the next project I want to work on. And there’s still this part of me wondering if I should avoid another project until I get Ruin Your Life to a better and more profitable spot. Or maybe I should work on getting one of my screenplays made into a movie. But as always, the next idea keeps itching at me.  I don’t know what to do. I’m somewhat used to that feeling. It used to be that I when I didn’t know what to do, I would do the ‘bad thing’. Because it is always easy to see what the mistake would be. What you should not do is always right in front of your face.

This is why I wrote Ruin Your Life. I figured I might as well write it all down if I was going to make the big mistakes.  And now, where am I? I’m exactly where I probably should have been ten years ago if I didn’t have this nasty habit of totally fucking up my life. I love where my life is right now. It’s truly amazing. A great wife, a good job, and I’ve published a book. Not bad.  

I’m 33. I don’t know what the next step is, but I know another step needs to be made. And I can see the wrong step right in front of me. I can see exactly what would be the bad choice, but I can’t do that because I actually don’t want to lose what I have. Maybe I’ve finally grown up. I don’t know.

-Jack

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