- One step at a time.
- Discipline over motivation.
- There is no shortcut around hard work.
- When in doubt, write.
- Enjoy the process
- Write something you’d want to read
- 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.