I think that I often wrongly approach my own writing from a pretty negative point of view. My thing is usually to think about what’s on television, in film and in print that I think I can do better than, rather than look at the highest of high watermarks and think, “You know what? Maybe I can get there too.”
It’s partly self-doubt, partly a wish not to think I can run before I can walk, but it also indicates my frustration with people getting on in their writing lives who I don’t think are really any good, yet have somehow become successful regardless. Deep down, I know that “somehow” probably comes from them applying themselves far more than those countless thousands of people who’ve never quite had the nerve to push their boundaries, so it’s more of an attempted kick up my own backside than any real sullying of their abilities.
But tonight I thankfully came across the other point of view that I encounter from time to time, which is to see something so magical that I think, “Yeah, that’s what I need to aim for.” I refer, of course, to this evening’s Doctor Who series finale. Of which, more soon, but just as an initial reaction it immediately encouraged me to up my own game when it comes to the script submission I blogged about yesterday. For while it’s easy to get bogged down in thoughts about why rubbish ever gets commissioned, and how something seemingly ill-thought-out could ever get published, it feels a lot better to sit back and think about how Steven Moffat wove the tapestry of tonight’s Doctor Who together so beautifully, and managed to tick all the drama/emotion/sheer-ambition-and-cleverness boxes you can think of into the bargain.
I’ll get into this a bit more when I give my views on the season as a whole, but when Doctor Who works under Moffat’s tenure it now truly feels like “my show”, far more than it ever did under Russell T Davies. That has more to do with the way it’s written than anything else. And all of a sudden I can see my own script thoughts coming together – not aiming to better the mediocre, but blazing for the stars of the unforgettable. Which as attitudes go, is far more pleasing.