I had thought, when I wrote about my last moment of breakthrough, that that was it: I'd cracked the project. I'd found my way in.
It seems I was too hasty.
I'm coming to realise that this project (and I'm sure it's the case for most) is not one steady climb to completion. In fact, it's just when I experience a breakthrough on one problem, that I discover that there's another even greater challenge to overcome.
A series of hidden peaks.
I had thought that getting to draft one was going to be the hard part—once I had the broad brushstrokes on the page, it'd be easier from then on. In fact, getting from draft one to draft two has been incredibly challenging.
But it's not the actual writing that's been hard.
At VCA I've been fortunate enough to have had some very comprehensive one-on-one development sessions with terrific industry professionals over the last few weeks. They gave me a lot to think about. I felt like they broke my brain with all the big questions and issues raised—about the nature of the film, its intent, what I want it to be and how I'll achieve it. Really important questions but a lot to process.
So I spent the last few weeks stewing and knotted up, trying to get my head around and through these questions and issues.
I sat down with my supervisor on Wednesday for a chat about all the (sometimes very conflicting) feedback I'd received. It was the conversation I needed to have—she told me not to throw out all the work I'd been doing but to take it further, keeping in mind certain pieces of feedback that were more important than others.
Then I wrote my second draft in 36 hours. It seems to be the way for me: think, process, examine, question, stew, despair, walk around in circles for a while, then just do it and do it fast.
Obviously it's still very much a second draft and already I can see some of the work that needs to happen in the next draft, but it felt like another breakthrough. The project has become clearer to me, as it hopefully will with each draft to come.