Hamlet 2: What Inspires Your Writing?

Barbara Vey -- September 6th, 2008

Hamlet 2
Yesterday I found myself at the movies, standing at the ticket counter trying to decide what was worth the price of admission.  Someone suggested Hamlet 2, so I thought, "What the heck?  How bad can it be?"  Well, it wasn’t bad, but I wish I would have waited for the dvd.

The story is basically about a frustrated actor who’s not very good and takes a job teaching a high school drama class.  He and his wife have to take in a boarder to make ends meet, he’s a recovering alcoholic and gets from place to place on roller skates.  Even though life has handed him lemons, he’s determined to make lemonade.  Then he picks up some kids in his class that are taking it for an easy grade and the movie starts to become Mr. Holland’s Opus meets Shakespeare in Love by way of Leaving Las Vegas and could have been a Christopher Guest movie.  Whew!

Anyway, the scene I want to talk about is when the actor decides to write his own play.  He stares unblinking at the computer, talks to himself, cries, the cat just sits there mocking him, he plays music, swishes around a sword and questions his ability to write. 

I don’t suppose any of you ever go though any (or all) of these emotions/actions/thoughts while writing.  Did the director get a good sense of the writing process or are you one of those who just sit down and know exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it?

Bottom Line:  At least I don’t have a cat mocking me.

What is your writing experience?
I plunk my butt in the chair and the words just flow.
Lots of coffee and inspiring music.
Pictures of hot men to inspire me.
Notes on a napkin while at McDonalds with the kids.
Pounding my head on the keyboard.
Other…Please post comments on Beyond Her Book blog.
  
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101 thoughts on “Hamlet 2: What Inspires Your Writing?

  1. Julianne Daggett

    Barbara, I really don’t think that any writer could pluck herself down in a chair and write 100% of the time. I’m writing my first novel right now (crosses fingers hoping to get published) and most of the time I can sit down and write, but right now I’m having total lack of inspiration, whenever I sit down to write I just stare at the screen. So in sum, sometimes you can write wonders for pages and pages and sometimes you can’t, and just end up having a staring contest with the computer screen.

  2. Diane Whiteside

    Linda Howard said in her recent SF Gate interview that there’s two parts to her writing: the thinking part and the writing part. I’m personally extremely fond of going to a baseball game when I’ve got a bad case of writers’ block. (In other words, thinking about what the characters want to do.) As for the writing part, I believe in BICHOK – Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. It’s the only thing that really works for me. As for everything about writing, YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary [Extremely]

  3. Clea Simon

    Definitely on the cat. And as I (think I, meant to) post on your poll: Well, some days it just flows. But today… well, it’s a little after 5. I’ve bought cat food. I’ve fed hairball treats to the cat. I’ve gone grocery shopping and planned dinner. And here I am commenting on your blog. Goal for this fall is 1,000 words a day (that’ll give me a first draft by the New Year). Words written today? Wait – are you counting my comment here?

  4. Clea Simon

    We all must be in “back to school” mode. I actually blogged about how hard it is to get started writing yesterday! If you’re curious – cleasimon.blogspot.com – and see my new cover, too.

  5. janepdx

    Barbara, I can’t think of a more perfect way of depicting the writing process. I’ve been searching the entire Internet to find that clip to post to my Facebook page, which is how I found your blog entry six months after you wrote it. It is so spot on. While I definitely have good writing periods, I feel like I spend have my time staring into space and having the nervous meltdown that Dana’s wife thought he was having. I think the writer’s really got this right.

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