Saturday, June 30, 2007

Anne Sexton





Because I'm a nut and I need something else to keep me busy, I've been considering taking up another project.


One of my favorite poets is Anne Sexton. I don't think I've written much about her but she's certainly been an influence on my work and works of the contemporary poets I seem to gravitate to. I've always thought her life would make an interesting screenplay, more than anything I've ever seen on Sylvia Plath or Elizabeth Bishop.

Sexton became a mainstay on the New England poetry scene, but really caused the literary community, as a whole, to take notice in the 60s and 70s. As a result, I think "confessional poetry" had to be taken seriously because her work, as well as the works of Robert Lowell, Plath, and Bishop was so unflinching.

But Sexton was such a tragic figure, suffering through postpartum depression, stints in mental institutions, and alcoholism. Her misdeeds got in the way of her legacy, I think, but her voice lives on in so many women poets today. I feel like I could give her story voice. But I've never taken on a project like this, and I've never, ever written a screenplay.

A project like this makes me nervous. I mean, this is a real test of my abilities. How long does it take to write a screenplay? If I do this, I think I'll work on it from September to April. That should be enough time to get through the summer, compile research, and write the darn thing. What if I can't do it? Or worse, what if it sucks? Well, I'm only accountable to me, right?

Again, I don't think I'll start this craziness until the fall. But I'm curious, have you ever taken on a creative project that terrified you?


4 comments:

laundrygirl said...

There have been so many times where I have thought about projects I'd like to take on, only to get scared and say to myself, "Are you out of your mind?" At the same time I have been able to convince myself to simply go for it, knowing that the worst that could happen is that I either quit or my project is a flop. No, actually the worst thing would be to deny the dream.
Most of the dreams I chase after are pursued in the midst of total shaking in my boots fear. The fear may come and practically tumble over you like a sheet of waves on a beach and yet just try to withstand it and move forward anyway. I keep moving forward even when the rest of me wants to flee.
You are so talented. I think this just may be your newest baby.

January said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Yeah, that's what I need, one more baby!

I'm actually kind of excited about the prospect of doing this. But I've never worked on a project where I've researched someone's life like this.

Bug said...

All the time! I think that's what artists have to do though. You can do this! I took some screenwriting classes in college. It's been a while, but I'd be happy to brainstorm over drinks some time!

January said...

Bug, any opportunity to get together with you is a good one--you're on!

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