July 24, 2012
If you’ve read this blog in the past, it’s no secret that I’m slightly terrified of showing people my screenplays. Considering I haven’t finished a feature length script in a while, you can imagine the unneeded stress I put on myself. It’s scary to put so much work into something hoping people will like it. Eventually your work will reach the eyes of someone other than you.
XTRA | Screenwriting vs Anxiety
It’s a moment between terror and excitement. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been scared to allow people to read my work. You spend so much time wondering what people will think. What if they hate it? Most of the time, my scripts reach my family and close friends and then I retire them.
But times are changing for me. Now that I’ve regained a little confidence in my screenwriting abilities, I feel the need to find out where I stand. Can I write something that a producer will like? Is it possible to attract an agent? I don’t know if this is the proper story to showcase my work but I’m getting closer. I’m getting excited.
Still, somebody has to read this one! Basically, I need to stop whining and summon the courage to put myself out there… Since that day has yet to arrive, I gave my script to my good friend Eric. He is a massive film fan, an award winning director and an honest critic of my work.
He’s read nearly every screenplay I’ve ever written and has no problem telling me the truth. Which is why I wait to hear his thoughts before expanding to the rest of my inner circle.
For someone like me, who has trouble sending work out there, having a friend like Eric is vital.
Obviously, the true test is a reader who doesn’t know me. I think that’s a test for the final draft. Until that draft is complete, I think the first reader should be someone you know. Someone you trust. There are a couple areas in my screenplay that I have doubts about. I like to bounce ideas and potential changes off my friend. This allows me to gauge whether or not my concerns are justified.
Then it’s back to rewriting and refining the script.
When that work is done, I expand to others but this script scares me. I’ve never written anything so personal and thus, my fear will be doubled once people start flipping through the pages.
Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure he’s reading the script as I type this. Months of work and someone is finally reading it.
I’m excited… And scared.
WHO READS YOUR SCREENPLAY FIRST?
I’m happy to report that Eric liked the script. I’m not as thrilled to report that I haven’t sent it to many people since then. I got stuck on the idea that I need to complete something else. If you were to ask me how many screenplays I have worth reading I would answer: One.
The scripts I wrote in the past aren’t as good and I need to prove to myself that I can continue to produce pages I’m proud of. Thankfully, I’m in no rush. I just like to write. The Summer of Screenwriting taught me how to eliminate needless pressure I put on myself.
Maybe someday I’ll sell a screenplay. Scratch that… Maybe someday I’ll submit a screenplay.
Until then, I’m having so much fun simply because I love to write. That’s enough for me right now.