For those of you who may think the screenwriter’s path to be one of ease, you got it all wrong. It’s not easy. It’s torturous. You walk in there without a light and choking yourself. It’s not a death march. You’re already deadish.
So why in Heaven’s name do you want to get in there?
Well, I don’t know about you, ladies and gents. For me, this mental suffocation is something I’ve started about a decade ago.
Sure, it wasn’t scripts. Sure, it wasn’t for a sale in mind. It all started with poetry, song lyrics and little essays. These, in turn, became short stories. Writing became much more than a self gratification tool, it went to more than just friends and family. It went to people I had no clue existed and through a media I couldn’t care less a couple of years back; the internet. There, through the web,people I didn’t know turned to be online readers and after awhile, they were called friends.
A screenwriter starts, imo, because of a drive he has to tell a story. Sometimes, the author’s name is lost and all that is left is a good story. I’ve been told many times to use my imagination. I’ve also been told I was a daydreamer.The most important nod to me came from readers who claimed that I was a story teller.
I believe that. I am a story teller but the difference with me is the goal. I don’t want my name to be forgotten. I wish for people to remember and link those stories I told back at me.
Is it fame then? Is it the life of a Hollywood writer I want?
I’ll be blunt. If I wanted to just please myself and jerk off some paragraphs, I would have stayed with poetry. It’s a drive. It’s now much more than just a need to tell a story and to share it with a circle of friends. This, dear readers, is what I want out of life. After all time writing and pouring myself into stories, it would be a shame to let it all go to waste.
Don’t think I am blowing my own horn here. I understand I have some way to go before I get to the gold. To touch that way of life I had secretly craved for.
What do I have to help me out? Friends and connections linked to writing? Sure but they are right now all online. I want them to concretize into reality. Read this, friends, I used want. Not desire or need. It’s TO WANT and even CRAVE all of it.
At the beginning, I thought to have wasted a decade, writing anything else but scripts. Now, I see it as an investment. Nobody else did it for me. No one can take that away. It’s my path. I learned a great deal from it.
So there you go… What? What do you mean it’s not enough? Heard of the saying:
“Faith can move mountains”?
That’s where I am. Steaming away on faith and it’s not only thanks to readers and friends believing in me. It’s a matter of believing in me. Time after time, scripts after scripts, I am building myself. Maybe I would not be in shape to show those first scripts to anyone but the beauty of it all is they can be rewritten, polished, revised. The skills evolve and tease my craving.
Stop right there, mister. You haven’t sold yet.
That’s true. Very true…And like an amazing meal I would go for, it will take time and dedication to get there. This is no McD’s. This is not Burger King. When you want a truly palatable food, you take the time to cook it. You take the time to save enough so that you can get there. Silly metaphor or comparison but hey, if it gets the message across, it’s fine by me.
So how much do I believe in my writing?
Ask me if I smiled not that long ago… less than a year ago when I decided to take on the craft of screenwriting? I would have turned and fell on my knees in despair. I knew nothing of the craft. I didn’t even know what a script looked or read like.
Friends, I am smiling while writing this. I am not going to lie. I’m not even a long shot close to where I see myself in skills and in life. There’s plenty still to learn but at the very least, I can have a very good understanding of the basic. From outlining to drafting, from notes to structure, I continue to absorb it all. I am not fronting. I don’t need to. I don’t even want to. This is my life. This is not some frakking fantasy I only dream about.
I am building it. This fantasy. This life. This world I want to be into.
Blah, you’re just pumping some false confidence in yourself.
After all I’ve been through in the past couple of years, this confidence is nothing if not true. The little Chinese guy that knew nothing of English will be heard sooner or later. I feel nothing but drive to get to the blink blink la la land. It’s not a question of wishing. It’s a question of survival for me. IT’s do or die. There are no doubts it will only become a matter of time instead of just a possibility. I sweat from that dream every time I type onto my script or when I talk about writing to the point of dehydration.
I will improve because I must be there. I want to be able to smile and share my experience as well as my stories.
It’s that story teller in me. Had to start somewhere.
And word to the wise:
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF IF NOT, NO ONE WILL
(of course that doesn't mean you got to do nothing...)
Now pass the water bottle. ;-)
PS... And a hello to my possibly new blog reader: Amy.