It's been a good week for TV writing. I'm happy to report that the words for my new pilot are flowing -- over 30 pages worth. I even have a title for the episode: "Twouble." I have big plans for this pilot. I'm going to produce a trailer for it and submit it to the 2012 New York Television Festival. This is a big deal for me. It will force me to stop hiding behind my computer and really make something, add an actual thing to the creative cosmos.
If I had to sum up my show by way of comparison, (picture me in a short skirt pitching 15 HBO execs) I'd say it's The Office meets Gossip Girl meets Sex and the City. While I normally dislike these kinds of comparisons, thinking about my own show this way has served one important purpose: it reminds me when I'm getting too close to what's already been done.
I don't know about you, but when I'm writing -- a novel, a movie, a tv show, anything -- I normally steer clear of its "peers," meaning any book, movie or tv show that resembles my own even in the slightest. It's a method borne out of fear, mostly; my fear of being compared to someone else and falling short, not my fear of ghosts.
When I'm in between projects, I fuel up on as much of my "peers'" work as I can. But during my own creation phase? No way. I was reminded of the importance of adhering to this method of mine -- the "How to Avoid Eating the Contents Of Fridge" method (HAECOF) -- when I did something really stupid yesterday and watched the pilot for the maddeningly amazing BBC series Pulling. And now, because I did not follow HAECOF as my protégés pictured above have been doing, I am in need of a larger HBO pitching skirt.
What about you? When you write, do you look to the works of other "similar" writers for inspiration and creative, um, lubrication? Or do you feel dragged down by their amazingness?