I see the date, but it doesn’t register. In my head, it’s November 2027 and I’m in post-JD California. This is where I live most of the hours of most days. It’s now the third week of December 2009. I’ve bought presents, prepared holiday food, visited with family — but the passion isn’t there this year. This year, my family–the people I think about most of my waking hours and not of few of my sleeping ones–are John Connor, Allison Young, Cameron Phillips, and a host of others who inhabit a place 18 years in the future.
This is one of the occupational hazards of long-term writing projects. You get immersed into the fantasy. You have to visualize the world and not only see the people you are writing about but feel what they feel. Unlike those of you who have read the scripts, devoting an hour or so of your imagination every couple of weeks, I’m experiencing them almost all the time.
Following the extra episodes that will be written after the season ends, I will face one of the worst parts of being a writer: the divorce. While it will be a bit of a relief to fully engage with the real world once again, I will be stepping away from very dear friends. It can be a snarky transition. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to it. But there will be an ending. Largely it’s so you all can say, “OK, then…the story has been told.” But partly it’s so I can emotionally feel that things have reached a natural conclusion. (My sympathies to all of those show runners and writers who don’t get to wrap up their creations.)
I am getting a little tired. Not mentally. Not of the story. But all of this visualization of very tense events, day-after-day for almost eight months now, starts to wear on you. Since April I’ve taken maybe ten days off…slightly more than one day a month, on average. While I don’t want to let go of my imaginary friends, I’m also looking forward to being free of the grind (for a little while, at least) of having to write**.
BUT…that’s not going to happen for a while yet. The season isn’t going to wind-up until the end of January. After that, I expect I’ll be pushing out the extra end-of-story scripts until the start of Spring. So, there are still several more months of writing and many episodes yet to come.
** I do want to remind any producer-type folks who are willing to throw money my way for words… I’m perfectly OK with that. Really.