I know it's wasteful and kills trees, but I initially write most of my reviews in longhand. I really enjoy the feeling of a nice pen on paper, and I would like to think that the intimacy finds its way to the writing.
Plus, it's wonderful have a new perspective, aside from a blindingly white Microsoft Word document and an office whose window looks directly onto a strip of grass and a tarp-covered barbecue.
Sometimes, however, the process leads to what you see here.
There's nothing more frustrating than writer's block. I know it will pass--I just have to work a little harder for the words--but it's a major inconvenience. The clock is marching forward, the deadline is not changing, and your brain is not cooperating. It's an awful, interminable wait.
What's baffling is that I had plenty to say about J.J. Abrams's "Super 8," but I didn't know how to express it or where to start. Everything sounded trite or pompous or boring. So I wrote and scratched. I watched TV. I read a book. I called my mom. I cursed Abrams and his vivid imagination.
After three hours of struggle, I finally wrote a lede that I was satisfied with and moved to the office to put together the rest. I finished at 2:30 a.m., awaking at 8 a.m. to revise it.
An hour or so later, I filed the review...and I lost another chunk of my sanity.