The Muse Stream, as I pointed out a few sections back, is about writing without stopping. Not stopping to correct spelling, punctuation or grammar. Not stopping to edit. Not stopping to grope for the right word or format. Not stopping to worry whether a piece of dialogue is right or whether a piece of action is too long or too short. The Muse Stream is about always moving forward — to the next word, to the next piece of dialogue, to the next scene.
What does that have to do with Francis Ford Coppola? As Coppola works on a screenplay, he never looks back over what he has already written and he never rewrites until he is ready to start his next draft. He just keeps moving forward. George Lucas is said to work the same way.
“You have a lot of doubts when you read in unfinished fragments,” Coppola told Creative Screenwriting magazine in 2009. “There’s almost a hormone that secretes from writers to hate what they’re writing, so you get fooled into reworking and changing it.”
Surrendering to the Muse Stream means going with first thoughts, committing to the page whatever leaps first into your mind, however wacky it might seem. In fact, the wackier it seems, the more likely it is that your inner censor is interfering with your creative process.
“Wacky” is a judgment. It comes from that fearful, second-thoughts, second-guessing part of you that is trying to protect you from straying into dangerous territory, that is afraid you will be judged harshly for what you are about to write.
The Muse Stream — writing without stopping — is designed to bypass that inner critic and get your most creative thoughts onto the page before those logical, analytical, critical, cynical, doubt-filled or judgmental parts of you can stop them.
“It’s counterproductive,” notes Coppola, “to start judging it before you’ve allowed the whole trip to take place.”
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