From the Best of Blake’s Blogs: Are You Delightful?
This blog was originally posted on April 9, 2009.
“That was delightful!” I said to one of the writers at my workshop a few Sundays ago.
Honestly, I don’t know where that word came from. It just sort of slipped out.
But “delightful” was exactly the word to describe the final pitch she gave the class Sunday afternoon. She had worked hard on her story beats, and like others in the class, the gears in her mind were visibly stripping as the notion of the story she had collided with the new method she was learning that weekend.
And yet by the time she stood up and pitched out her story, she did so with enthusiasm. Beneath the surface of the plot points was a joy in telling it, and showing how the pieces all fit together. Isn’t this cool? I could almost see in her expression. And aren’t I good at doing this? And knowing that, isn’t this fun?
Delightful. That was the only word for it.
Are you delightful? Quite literally, are you filled with delight as you go about working out the beats of your story? You should be. This story you’re working on doesn’t have to be a comedy. It can be a deep drama, and it can feel like pulling teeth at times as you try hard to figure out what part fits where — and why you are even putting yourself through this!
But there must be a sly wink you give to yourself in the depths of this process that says: Yeah! I am mastering this! It’s slow, it’s tough, it’s getting better a millimeter a day, but by God, this is fun!
Conquering any story must be so. And no matter what story you write, I want to see the gleam in your eye when you pitch it, or sense the joy I can read between the lines of your script that says: That’s right! I’m baaaad! Because the delight you find is in our faces, too, as we listen to your pitch or read your story in awe.
Delight yourself. And you will delight us.
- Karen Packwood
Thank you so much for posting this blog. This week I prayed to Blake. I do this regularly when I am stuck with my writing. I imagine him sitting up in heaven looking down on those of us who spend our days muttering to ourselves such things as, ” give me the same, only different,” or ” what is your divine purpose for writing this script?” I remember his enthusiasm as he listened to our pitches at the end of the day, and I pray: Dear Blake, please help me. ” And then I remember him talking about falling out of love with your own plot and how, at those times, you have to ‘dig deeper, find the shard of glass….” And then I pray a bit more. This week I hit a really big challenge. My writing seems to be taking an eternity to edge forward so slowly. People are beginning to become a bit disbelieving as I spend day after day in my studio and still don’t emerge with a finished piece of work. I have become a bit disbelieving. My partner ( the biggest Aunt Fern of them all) has become impatient, even offensive … ” this will never be a commercial success….” And so, here I am, awake at 4am, pondering on the catalyst beat which is driving me just crazy at the moment. I decided to take a break and cruise my emails only to find this blog from Blake sitting in my inbox. I read it and I remember all he taught us and I know that I need to ‘reconnect’ with being delightful and delighted with my work and trust that this slowness, this struggle, this sense of isolation, is all part of the fun and maybe, just maybe, I am creating something beautiful. So, thank you Blake ( and those who posted the blog!) for answering my prayers by reminding me to retain a sense of humour about the whole thing! Also, thank you Scott for your comment, for reminding me that I am in a state of giving birth – now the pain makes sense! Happy holiday to Cats everywhere. x x x :-)
- Rachel T.
Karen, I’m going through almost the exact same thing right now. I’ve learned that these times are real-life Dark Nights of the Soul, and that the worse it seems, the closer the breakthrough. Don’t give up! :D
- Tom Reed
“Delightful.” To Blake, storytelling was Fun & Games. And not just comedies, though that was his forte. No, every story — and every aspect of storytelling — was an immersion in Fun & Games. That’s the big takeaway for me. His greatest gift to us: the artist’s attitude towards his/her art. Relentless discipline, yes. Mastery of craft, of course. But playfulness above all else. Bless you, Blake.
- Susan Eskander
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not only to Blake and to those who keep his spirit and memory alive via this amazing website, but to those of you who comment and put yourselves out there for the rest of us mere mortal Cats who are inching along through the “gestational” period.
You are all delightful!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
This is why we loved Blake so much and why we still love his message unabashedly. His enthusiasm was infectious. When I get all wrapped up agonizing over plot points, I remember the obvious twinkle he’d get in his eye as we struggled with the beats in his workshop. He knew simultaneously that 1) writing is not supposed to be serious, and 2) the pain you feel anyway gives birth to beauty and joy.