Logo, part 1
Logo, part 2
The Naked Truth
  Wednesday   October 15, 1997




The Usual Suspects

Hi there, it's me again. That sound you hear is the shattering of my silence, and the sound I hear might be that of your jaw hitting the floor in shock at seeing a new entry here. Let's both try to keep it down, okay?

I've been in a strange mood for the past week or more, basically since I stopped posting entries regularly. I've been irritable and nervous and generally all wound up. I'm finding it hard to sleep at night and hard to get up in the morning. I'm not writing. I just don't feel right. Now, I'm not the most emotionally aware guy on the face of the earth, but things eventually got to the point where it finally dawned on me what the problem might be.

I'm depressed.

Yeah, yeah, I know: poor widdle me. I'm as contemptuous of that statement as you may be, but I'm going to delve into this anyway. It's been knocking around my head for the last couple of days to talk about it here, but I've resisted it because it's not comedy and it's more personal than I feel comfortable posting for the perusal of complete strangers -- or acquaintances, even. It's not exactly what I had in mind when I started this journal, after all. This is supposed to be amusing, entertaining at the very least, not a soul-baring exercise. God knows there are enough "Woe is me" journal pages out there, so we certainly don't need mine to take that route and add to the sucking black hole of self pity. What's the big deal anyway, you know? Get over it, that's what I always say. Well, I'm not getting over it, so I'm writing about it here. Maybe it'll help, and even if it doesn't it'll explain why I haven't been posting. And if you don't like it...get over it.

So I'm depressed. It started with the DreamWorks thing I mentioned, but I don't know why. Something about it just doesn't feel right. It's not that it's not a good opportunity, or that it's a lousy idea or anything like that, but something about it feels queer. I think I wrote something here that night about not feeling right about it. Whatever it is, that's when I started going down. Now it's spread to encompass my fears of not making it as a writer. I look at the specs I've written and they suck. I look at what I'm working on now and it sucks. I look at what my agent's doing for me and he sucks. And, as I'm sure I said in the DreamWorks entry, I'm not doing what I should be doing: writing a Frasier spec. That sucks. Staffing season starts in February, five months away, and I should have a Frasier in my arsenal by then, but I'm diddling my time away writing pilots like a rank amateur.

Huh. Five months. It feels like February is just around the corner, but it's not. Figuring it up like that just now made me feel a little bit easier. Maybe stress is what's happening; maybe I have too much on my plate. I already feel like I write at a snail's pace -- I feel like a bum about that -- and having so many irons in the fire (pardon the mixed metaphors) makes me think I'm not going to get it all done in time. Considering my snail's pace, maybe I won't. With that in mind, maybe I should clear that plate a little bit, scrape off a few of the entrees. Beginner's Luck is too close to being finished to dump, but the Finnish thing has been weighing on me for months now with half a script scrapped and not even word one written on the new concept, and the DreamWorks thing is an idea I'm not in love with in the first place. Then there's the Frasier I, to call a spade a spade, have to write, and another Spec To Be Named Later I should write after that -- both by February...

"And the blind shall see." Is it just me, or does it look like I have to drop a project or two? I'm not going to make the decision right here and now, but it is something to mull over. I'm not so dense that this hasn't already occurred to me, but working it out here like this is making the choice clearer for me. Maybe it's a macho thing, but I keep thinking I can handle it all, and that makes it hard to consider deciding not to write something. Frankly, that's why the Finnish thing has been hanging around so long; I've been telling myself it's a piece of cake when obviously it isn't. What I'm doing now isn't working, though. Something to think about...

...and I'm going to have a good chance to think about it for the next week and a half while I'm in New York. Past experience has taught me that no matter how firm my resolve I just don't get any work done when I go out of town, so I'm not even going to try this time. We're leaving Friday for a Saturday wedding in New Joisey, then we'll be vacationing in Manhattan for the next week. I'm not packing a notebook, I'm not taking any scripts, I'm not going to wish I had a laptop. Instead, this time around I'm giving myself permission to play without guilt. I'm going to see the sights and eat the food and spend time with my wife and daughter, and I'm going to try not to think about story arcs or act breaks or anything sitcom related at all. My one nod to work will be to untangle this full plate thing, but beyond that it's going to be playtime all the time. Ahhh... I think I'm feeling better already. If not, New York can only help.

(A brief security aside: Friends will be staying here while we're gone to feed the animals and shoot intruders, so all you Internet burglars can consider yourselves warned.)

Oh yeah, I'm also not going to be working on this journal. No laptop, remember? That's going to mean another big gap here with no entries. I apologize for that, but them's the breaks. When I get back I'm sure I'll be back on track, journal-wise, so I hope you'll check back then for resumption of regular entries.

If not... Well, I guess I'll have to get over it.





Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins