There's nothing worse, as a writer, than those moments when you do not know what to write about. It's like waking up one morning to find you are blind. A lot of writers, especially new ones, experience these moments of creative paralysis; they don't know where to go and therefore don't know where to begin. Nothing is clear.
I've always considered myself lucky to have no shortage of ideas and stories usually come fairly easily to me. The story pops up in my head as clear as day and I just have to spend the time getting it out on paper. In the end, it may not be very good, but it's something. Lately, however, that vision, if not blind, has certainly been blurry.
Since I feel like I've gone as far as I can with my latest script, at least for now, it seems like the right time to start something new. Or at least start thinking about starting something new. I have a few ideas but each one is so distinctly different and challenging that it is simply proving tough to focus on one. It's like having three girlfriends when you know you only have the time and strength for one. To take this ridiculous analogy further: to continue dating all three will only be to the detriment of all three relationships. In other words, the result is three somewhat satisfactory affairs rather than one extended, deeper, more fulfilling relationship. When it comes to writing, it is simply too hard to juggle. You have to pick one and go with it for awhile.
So I'm faced with three, no, four prospects. First, a potentially gripping, controversial and utterly uncommercial story that would require a lot of research but is proving to be fairly vivid and compelling in my mind. The kind of "edgy" project you can be respected for if you actually get it made after everyone turns it down. Second, the high-concept Hollywood comedy that I developed a few years back that I am sure could be a solid script if I just put my mind to doing it. (This is probably the one my agent would prefer, since she needs something she can sell, and fast!...). Third, the fairly personal story based on my own experiences with at-risk youth; a tale of redemption that I hope would inspire others to embrace the joys of volunteering. And fourth, a drama about my generation, with a high-concept, "Breakfast Club"-like setting.
The problem is I like them all. And I see each of them with the same amount of clarity and the same amount of fuzziness. None are jumping out at me but none are saying "forget me, I'm not worth your time." It's pretty annoying.
So, to make my decision, I am still "dating" all four. I'll take one out for "mulling" over tea, another to the beach for an hour of solid "pondering," etc. Nothing too serious for now. I'm not sleeping with any of them yet. I have to give each one a chance, to really find out which one is the perfect match for me. Like "The Bachelor" but with a laptop rather than a big mansion, a room full of women and a handful of roses.