All the cliches are right.
  1. One step at a time.
  2. Discipline over motivation.
  3. There is no shortcut around hard work.
  4. When in doubt, write.
  5. Enjoy the process
  6. Write something you’d want to read
  7. Writing something bad and rewriting is better than not writing at all.

So on and so forth go all the cliches and honestly if I could get them tattooed on me, I would. Over the years of me growing as a filmmaker and a storyteller, these have all become increasingly true. I would have liked if somewhere along the way I had discovered a shortcut that allowed to me to jump the queue to ‘success’. Something that allowed me to write my magnum opus (no matter that I have no idea what it would be about).

But it seems the only way forward is persistence and hard work. I have grown only in the areas I have put in time and effort into. For example, I am a better Dungeon Master after every session. I wanted to give up after the first few disasters, I almost did. But the love of the game kept calling me back. And even though before and after every session, I wonder if I am any good, during the game, and during the prep, I am happy because it is something I enjoy. My players reassuring me that their ‘expectations have been met’ certainly helps.

The same goes for writing and running. When I first began running, I could barely run 3 km. I was happy if I managed a pace of 7 mins/km. By the end of that run I was breathless and exhausted. Now I could do five km in 35 minutes and carry on if I so desired.

I started writing reviews in 2019 and only wrote some 42 film reviews the whole year and 12 book reviews. In 2020 I have managed 32 film reviews and its only May, and I’ve written a handful of scripts, games and book reviews to go along with these. They are not all gems, but I can tell that I am getting better with each one. I am tempted to write longer, more in-depth breakdowns because of this growth. But I could not have gotten here if I had not first started by writing short reviews as often as possible.

I started writing scripts in 2011 but was never regular, barely managing a halfway decent short film every six months. However, in 2018 I buckled down on becoming a screenwriter and now even though I write, what I think are sub-par ideas and scripts, every time I attempt one, I get that much better at them.

As you can tell from my previous posts, I am attempting to write a feature on spec right now. That is to say, a script that no producer has commissioned but one that I shall pitch out once it is complete. I do not expect this to be my magnum opus. I just want to write it and have fun doing it. This last week has been terrible in terms of progress on said script. Yet, today, I broke my tasks down and then just focused on doing two of those simple, small, tasks. I finished them and therefore am that much closer to finishing the script.

So yes, the cliches are true and I believe them all. If you have a secret to success, you can keep it, I am committing to the long haul.

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