FIND OUT WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF
The last new screenwriting post I wrote for this site was posted on December 1, 2011. 2 months ago to the day. It was about the frustration screenwriters sometimes feel that leads them to furiously type FLKJFLSDDSJ:LF. I haven’t written about my passion since…
The reason for the lack of posts is simple. I wasn’t writing any screenplays. I decided that, once and for all, I would wrap up some big projects and start 2012 with a clean slate. I’m happy to say I accomplished that goal. We finished and released 17 West’s latest short film The Climb. In addition to that release, we put Playing Through online as well. It was all timed with the launch of our brand new website 17west.ca. Now I can start a new year with nothing left to do except write. (And get married in the fall)
All of the sudden I’m just a screenwriter. I’m not a web designer anymore. I’m not a director either. All my projects in 2012 involve writing in some capacity. Whether it’s blogging, picking away at my eBook or finishing up a new script, my mind is free to create new things. It’s an incredible feeling.
First up for me is a deeply personal story that I’m absolutely terrified to write. It’s a terror I can’t wait to explore. A demon I can’t wait to banish from my mind and onto the page.
Thinking about the new projects I want to tackle makes me wonder where I will be at the end of 2012. Mainly because I’ve been asking myself a very serious question for over a year now:
Am I a screenwriter? Or do I simply enjoy writing screenplays?
I’m not sure I can answer that. I’m an honest person so I don’t mind admitting that currently, I have no screenplays in production. I have no screenplays awaiting judgement in competitions. I do not have an agent texting me hourly for updates on my latest draft. There are no producers with a copy of my screenplay on their desks.
But that didn’t stop me from writing short screenplays entitled After, Lorraine, Maybe Not Today, Nathan’s Hoard, The Cold Spot, The Guardian, Caligari, The Blanket Fort and Droid. It didn’t stop me from dusting off a feature length script I started in college and finishing it. It didn’t stop me from developing treatments for 2 new features I plan to write this year in addition to a bunch of new shorts I’m excited about.
I am not a professional screenwriter in the sense that I do not get paid to write screenplays. I just love to write. Screenwriting is my cure for anxiety. It’s my calm place. It’s mine. But I’m 28 years old now and I just don’t think that’s enough anymore. I feel like it’s time to find out what I’m made of. Yet, I’m frustrated because I’ve said that before. I’ve even written about it on this blog.
“This year, I’m going to get my act together and find out if I have what it takes.”
It sounds great but that sentence won’t fill up the pages will it? It merely starts the engine but it’s pointless if the engine dies less than a mile down the road. What makes this year different?
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
What changed this year? I’ve simplified things. All I’ve got is screenwriting now. It’s just me and Final Draft. (Or Celtx on my iPad)
Above all else, I think the main difference is my main goal overall. Normally, I start a year thinking about all the screenplays I may or may not finish. This year, I’m thinking about the screenplays I’d like people to read. The screenplays that actors, agents and producers can get excited about. The screenplays that may become films someday. That’s a BIG difference in my usual thought process and it’s a ‘rewrite’ I should have done years ago.
Maybe I was afraid. Maybe I’m still afraid.
So… Am I a screenwriter? Or do I simply enjoy writing screenplays? I think I’d be happy with either in the long run because no matter what I’ll get to do what I love.
Have you rewritten your screenwriting goals lately?