Distracted by business in the real world and a huge pile of scripts to read to deadline, a return to my own beloved laptop was a bittersweet experience this week.
I felt like one of those people who returns home from holiday to discover – horror! – that they’ve been burgled, only to realise that they’re simply one messy bastard.
I booted-up – do computers still boot up, these days, or do they simply switch on? – to discover my desktop plastered with files. From the top of the screen to the bottom.
First drafts, seconds drafts, fragments of drafts, final drafts, second final drafts, final final drafts of numerous projects. FDRs, PDFs, DOCs, DOCXs. Scripts, novels, play fragments, log lines, treatments, scene-by-scene breakdowns.
All sitting there on the desktop just so I know where to find them. All there because I don’t have the patience to file them properly. And now look, I can find them alright, I just have no idea which version I should be working on. And, oh my christ, look – half a dozen flash drives full of updated work. But which are the most recent?
I’ve no idea, so I reach into my bag, and onto my shelves, for hard copies.
They’ve all been scribbled over, with various stuff underlined once, twice, three times – just so I know, you see, that that was absolutely my last word on the project – and then, oh shit, four times. Bits of paper, receipts, newspapers, post-it notes, various notebooks, folders full of old scripts plastered with copious thoughts, all mixed up with other business. Old ideas mingling with new ideas. Yes, I was very much his favourite once upon a time, dontchaknow, until you came along.
And I think, this really can’t go on. It just can’t. So I’m going through it all, bit-by-bit, so I can sort the old from the new, the work-in-progress with good notes from the work-in-progress with the extra bad notes.
The waste paper bins, both virtual and real, are gaping. The shredder is at my feet. I’ve chosen one loyal notebook who shall travel by my side until I lose him or he strays too far, and I’ll be forced to pick up another.
Tomorrow, I’m going to five serious consideration to picking up my clothes from the bedroom floor. But, better not get ahead of myself. After all, tomorrow is another day.