June 29, 2012
One month ago, I announced that I would be scaling down the content on The Athletic Nerd for the summer. In doing so, I gave myself 3 months to relax, get married and write new screenplays.
Well… It’s been a month and looking back I’m happy to report it was a worthwhile decision. Before I decided to put my side projects on hold to write, I was still finishing scripts. I just wasn’t finishing FEATURE length screenplays. Banging off a couple short films every month was fun but I felt like my screenwriting journey had stalled.
28 years old. No writing credits. No screenplays optioned. No agent. Most importantly, no new screenplays to even consider submitting.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE
I feel like this last month has taught me just how much screenwriting means to me. No matter what the future holds, I love to tell stories. Nearly every morning, I wake up and write. It’s like I just discovered screenwriting all over again.
To think, all I had to do was ACTUALLY write screenplays. I’ve written a TON of articles about screenwriting on this blog but I only have 1 feature in 2 years to show for it. Granted, I also produced a bunch of short films and launched 5 websites. Those projects were fun but writing screenplays is my passion.
Not only am I making progress on my new script, I’m also thinking ahead. My screenwriting goals have been reorganized. I now have specific milestones to reach and the determination to reach them.
In short, June was a fun month.
I’m now about two weeks away from completed the first draft of my new screenplay. I know the where my story is headed and it’s just a matter of getting the work done. If I’ve learned anything in the last month it’s this:
LOVING SCREENWRITING IS NOT THE SAME THING AS WRITING SCREENPLAYS
True, you need both to write something you can be proud of but there is a very clear difference. I spent way too much time professing my addiction to the craft instead of practicing and improving my skills. These are difficult things to admit to yourself but seriously… Who was I trying to fool? I certainly wasn’t fooling myself. Quite the contrary. I felt guilty about not writing yet never sat down to write anything.
I know what you’re thinking…
This guy is nearly 30 and he’s just realizing this now?
Absolutely right. This is something I should have figured out years ago but I was preoccupied with other things. I’m just a screenwriter now and I’m loving every minute of it. And so, a month into my SUMMER OF SCREENWRITING, I now have a tagline to add:
SIT DOWN, SHUT UP & WRITE SCREENPLAYS
Time flies. That first month was easily the most productive screenwriting month I’ve ever had. The momentum has definitely continued as I’m still actively developing my next script. I started writing certain scenes but I’ll be honest, I’m stuck.
The concept I have in mind extremely challenging to pull off as my main character is completely unlikeable and selfish. It’s my job to redeem this awful person. That’s the challenge I’ve set out for myself but every time I think I’ve made progress, another character reminds me of what he’s done in the past. My character tumbles back to the lonely pit that is rock bottom.
It’s sounds like I’m frustrated but I’m actually having a lot of fun trying to create character moments that show he’s trying to make amends.
Months ago, I challenged myself to write screenplays and it worked. I followed through with a meaningful promise to myself. Now it’s up to me to keep this momentum going.
XTRA | Screenwriting vs Anxiety