I’m a TV writer who’s hit the snags lately. Luckily, some “producer/networky” people want to see my recent good idea spec-ed out. Unluckily, after half a page I’m ready to choke myself on Puppy Chow. My question is, how do you take the enthusiasm for the idea in your head and hammer it out in the trenches of execution (both definitions could apply)? —Chris Brown, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
My reason for hammering it out: so I can share it with other people. Maybe you’re being too self-conscious. You have to get yourself in the physical and emotional space to write—writing is what you want to do, and it’s what they expect of you. Don’t worry about what they will think of it. After all, they liked your initial ideas enough to give you the opportunity to flesh them out. Just get the ideas moving and worry about the details later.
If you’re having a hard time moving those ideas along, take a breather: Go for a walk and get some fresh air, go to a museum, read a book. Take something else in, and it will likely push something else out.
Inspiration leads to thinking, which leads to execution. Editing leads to formatting, which leads to presentation. After that, you’ve got to defend the work when necessary, revise the work when necessary, repeat and rinse until the check clears. But if all this fails you, perhaps the original inspiration wasn’t all that great. File it away and start again.