Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This post here written by Craig Mazin basically spells out the reasons I stopped blogging with any regularity a couple years ago.

I set this up to learn how to write. To think things through. And ultimately, it was a place I could visit to express myself that REQUIRED me to write.

See all these words.

But after a while it became a distraction. I would spend more time looking for a new topic, or trying to make sure all the links on the blog worked, and what YouTube videos would go with my posts.

That takes up time. Time better spent writing things that would actually accomplish that goal of becoming a screenwriter. Every step to maintain the blog was just one step farther away from my goal.

So I stopped.

And I've written 4 spec pilots and 7 feature length screenplays -- and currently have 4 new projects on my plate, and a host of other projects that are just an inkling of an idea at the moment.

To add to that, I am also doing something I never thought I'd ever do.

I'm writing short stories that I am submitting to magazines.

I also write every day.

I don't know how to explain this without sounding arrogant, but I created this blog to learn the craft of screenwriting. I now understand that craft inside and out.

I have bigger obstacles to tackle in my pursuit of a screenwriting career.

I am shy.

I have never submitted my work to an agent. I'm too afraid.

I have gotten some of my work out. But not by my doing. Generally, it has been a friend that wants to pitch somehting they like to someone else. I've ended up landing managers by doing this. Getting meetings at prod cos.

But it's really hard to push forward from there when you are as shy as I am.

I've never really taken control of my career. Never done anything and everything to get my work out to people. And a lot of people who put in the hustle, who maybe are a little more raw, are putting together some pretty damn good projects through sheer will power.

I envy them. I have a hard time talking to others. Specifically, when it is dealing with my ideas in a one on one manner.

But this year, all that is changing.

My goal is no longer to be able to write a great script. With as little ego as one can have when saying this -- I consistently do.

The problems standing in my way of my career no longer have to do with my ability to write.

They have to do with me.

They have to do with my fears.

Luckily, I have run in to a handful of people that are incredibly supportive. With their help, guidance, and direction I am feeling more confident than ever before.

Who knows? Maybe one day I may actually send a script to an agent all by my lonesome, rather than having someone else do it for me.


The Kid In The Front Row said...

Dude - I totally hear you.

Shyness, and fear of rejection, they're tough, man. But take strength in the fact that anyone who was ever any good at anything, was at some point told that they suck. The history of the world, and film in particular, supports this view.

I hope you can get to the point where you are able to take the rejection and carry on, because inevitably-- that's what all writers do.

The real thing to fear is if your scripts meet apathetic indifference. Then you know your writing needs serious shaking up. But if people slam your writing or tell you you're talentless, it's a good thing - it means you've written something that touches a nerve, in some way.

Some of your very favorite films are probably films that hardly anyone in the world seems to like. And no matter how much EVERYONE SAYS "how can you like that piece of shit?", you know - deep down, that it's genius. The same principle applies to your own screenplays.

Life is short and we are all dying sooner rather than later - it's time to get your work out there into the world man! Your films may very well not get made after you send them out, but they DEFINITELY won't get made sitting in your bedroom.

You are talented. You know this. Go show your work to people. If they don't like it, that's one person, or two people, or five hundred people. There are billions of people in this world. There are people who need the very art you have been suffering to create.


Anonymous said...

that's like my alter-ego talking.