Sometimes the words don’t come. Or you have the words but not the attention span. Some days, the ideas flow and typing fingers fly, and some days its like pounding on the same piano key over and over—it’s noise, but it’s not music. Tonight, my husband and I are curled up on the couch, watching the 2002 Charlie Kaufman film “Adaptation“. I adore this movie because I totally relate to this writer’s inability to organize his thoughts and focus his attention towards the task of writing. Charlie Kaufman struggled with the adaptation of a book into a screenplay, and so he wrote a self-deprecation version of himself into the script.. This characterization of Charlie Kaufman is my worst nightmare. As he struggles to write the script, he doubts himself, resents himself, is surly to all those around him, and generally gets in his own way. Kaufman created a fictional twin brother to establish a true opposite. He seeks out the company of others, wishes to better his craft, lives positively and with good humor…which, of course, is totally annoying.
It’s frustrating when success seems to come easier for others, but in this film it proves that attitude is everything. What bothers me most about Charlie Kaufman is that he is missing his life. He imagines a great life for himself, but he then retreats from the reality from his fantasies. Imagination is easy, ideas are fantastic, but it’s structure, order and follow through that’s the real bitch.
I’ll finish with a quote from the film as Charlie Kaufman sits in front of the blank page: “To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. So I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana nut. That’s a good muffin”.