SCREENWRITERS WRITE SCREENPLAYS
May 29th, 2012
2012 has been an evolutionary year for me creatively. Before the calendar rolled over, I had spent years taking on way too many projects for my own good. Towards the end of 2011, I felt an overwhelming sense of pressure to finish every project and give myself more time for my passion. I wanted more time to write screenplays.
So I set out on a mission to finish my latest (and last) directorial effort. A short film called The Climb. It was a short film I wrote, directed and edited. Not too mention the constant updates I was publishing on this blog. That meant graphics needed to be designed and various marketing materials had to be completed.
My second mission was to redesign 17 West’s website from the ground up so it could be updated easily. I followed up that project with a complete redesign of The Athletic Nerd. Both of those projects included updated graphics and a ton of work fine tuning the designs.
Finally, I went through all of my old screenplays and finished them. I had no intention of submitting many but for my own peace of mind, I wanted a true clean slate. So I rewrote the scripts I had finished, polished others and filled in the pages of the scripts I had yet to complete. The result was a catalog of short screenplays that I was incredibly proud of. They range from romance to comedy, action to horror and everything in between.
I was caught up.
It had been a year since I finished my last feature length screenplay. It was time to start something new. I spent the next month or so developing a brand new story from the ground up and before I knew it, I had launched Final Draft and begun work on a new screenplay.
A few weeks went by and I was making phenomenal progress. The first act was nearly completed and it was a really fast read. I loved it. More and more, I found myself wondering how much I could accomplish if I stepped aside from the blog and really focused.
THE SUMMER OF SCREENWRITING
That’s when I decided to take three months away from regular blogging and finish the screenplay instead of dragging it out. June 1st to September 15th. As I type this, it is May 29th and I’m about to embark on a screenwriting journey unlike any I’ve ever attempted.
This post represents a challenge to myself. A way to keep track of my goals. What are those goals?
1. WRITE SCREENPLAYS
Note the careful selection of words I used. I’m not looking to sell anything. I’m not looking for an agent. Truthfully, I’m not ready for that because I’ve only written two features in the last few years. No, I aim to write screenplays. Nothing more for now. This summer, I plan to finish my new feature in addition to a couple shorts I’m excited to attempt. These new projects are in genres I’ve never tackled and I’m nervous. But that’s a good thing.
2. DEVELOP MY NEXT FEATURE
I’ve accomplished so much in 2012 already but I won’t consider it a successful year creatively unless I’m holding 2 feature length scripts on December 31st.
3. WRITE SCREENPLAYS
I’ve had my share of stressful moments in the last few years but screenwriting has always been there to calm me down. I need to write more. I need to capture the passion I have for the craft on a daily basis. I need to write more.
XTRA | Screenwriting & Anxiety
4. MAKE A PLAN
In step 1, I mentioned that I’m not looking for producers or agents to showcase and sell my work. That doesn’t mean I never want those things. Just not this summer. By the time September 15th rolls around, I want to know exactly where I stand as a screenwriter. Do I have what it takes to write something that people will want to see?
Can I write a successful screenplay? What kind of stories do I want to tell? What does the future hold?
These are questions I plan to answer throughout the Summer of Screenwriting. So today I challenge myself. On September 15th, I’ll publish this article and relaunch The Athletic Nerd. In the weeks that follow, you’ll be able to read all about my personal screenwriting journey. It’s going to be an honest portrayal of an aspiring screenwriter and the emotions that accompany the need to create. The need to tell stories.
I love movies. I love screenplays. I love to write.
It’s going to be a fantastic summer.
It’s hard to believe I wrote this post over three months ago. Looking back, it’s a joy to read because I accomplished every goal I set for myself.
- I finished my feature length screenplay.
- I wrote two shorts.
- I developed a new feature and started writing it.
- I have a plan moving forward.
Honestly, it’s actually strange waking up in the morning without a giant list of tasks to complete. I put so much unneeded pressure on myself. The work I’m finishing now feels so much more rewarding AND I have time to watch movies again. I can take afternoons away from it all.
I’m a much happier person thanks to my Summer of Screenwriting.