Having faith means to not stand still, not to worry. Take control and get it done.
Respect the grind because it’ll get you to where you were meant to be.
I always marvel at the fact that we, as writers, can conjure up practically anything we desire with our writing. We come up with the most creative stories, the most enticing screenplays, the most eloquent poetry and the most humorous prose.
No two stories, poems, blog posts or screenplays are alike. Yes they may have the same idea or premise but the way it is executed on page and presented to the reader is very individualistic. Our inner voice comes through our choice of words and how we arrange them and the reader is fortunate to choose which voice he or she best relates to.
We really have a gift if you think about it and we choose to share it with others in hopes of educating them, inspiring them, entertaining them and even provoking critical thought among them. Our passion has no bounds.
The world, our experiences, our family, our friends and random conversation overheard is our muse. We get a spark and it gestates in our subconscious mind until it is ready to flow freely onto our computer screens.
AND some of the stuff that we come up with is totally mind-boggling. As writers, we choose to ignore the plausible and go with what our inner voice is screaming at us to write. Just imagine if we put limitations on ourselves and our creativity, you know how boring our concepts would be.
Every day I thank God that I’m able to write something that at least someone, somewhere would enjoy reading. I might not be the most creative, eloquent or concise writer but I write how I feel and that’s all that truly matters; I think that this is the common thread that is prevalent among all of my fellow peers.
Writing is our craft, our voice…and our desire to share it with the world regardless of the outcome is admirable don’t you think.
When I started as a writer, I came across a poem that really spoke to me. Unfortunately it was written anonymously and I lost my only copy of it. But I remembered a portion from that particular poem that I took to heart and I want to share it with all of my fellow writing colleagues – all you screenwriters, poets, bloggers, story tellers:
“Writing is a gift
given to few,
Don’t ever give it up
or you won’t be you”
I not the best writer in the world, but I’m certainly not the worst; after 25 years of writing poems, children stories, short stories and screenplays, I believe that I’ve at least developed my craft of writing to the point where I’m able to express my thoughts.
I always make an attempt to write every day; no excuses whatsoever. As a writer, I make it a point to write in a succinct manner where my thoughts and words are easily understood by the reader and frames the piece of writing with my unique voice, style, heart and soul.
It doesn’t matter if my words are eloquent or simple, as long as the reader connects with what I’ve written then that’s all that matters. Good writing is something that’s both memorable to the writer and reader alike.
With all that said, my one downfall of being an aspiring writer is when I have to correspond with a fellow co-worker, friend or family member via e-mail.
Every time I’m trying to send a message to them, my writer’s mindset kicks in and it feels as if I’m trying to compose something that should be considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
What I’m writing could be a response for a party invitation, updating what’s been going in my life to a friend or family member or telling the co-worker a status of a project. It should be simple to reply back, right?
HELL NO!!! For me it’s complete anxiety to the infinite degree!!!
I’m brainstorming what I should write, selecting words that must be perfect, constructing sentences so that it’s a bit creative and humorous and making sure that brevity is enforced.
“Why can’t I write it like I speak it?! Isn’t that good enough?!” For the rest of the world – YES! For me…it’s just not sufficient enough…sigh.
I type something down and then I rewrite it to the point of exhaustion; to top that off, before I hit “SEND”, I have to carefully read it to make sure that I conveyed what needed to be said correctly.
I take something that’s super simple to do and turn it into a monumental task of outrageous proportions. It’s totally, freakin’ ridiculous what I go through. (Don’t get me started on Birthday, Sympathy or Wedding cards…that another beast in itself.) Again, maybe it’s the writer’s mindset or maybe it’s just me being a bit too anal, I kinda like to think it the former.
Anyway…anytime I’m tasked with writing anything I, subconsciously or intentionally, am trying to make sure my words come across to the recipient in a way that makes them realize that a “writer” wrote this.
There’s this misconception amongst some people that they’re not good writers; that they can’t write at all. They feel that in order to be a skilled scribe, their vocabulary must rival that of a person with an I.Q. of 130 or above.
These people feel that they can’t string together the correct words and phrases to convey their thoughts, ideas, instructions, stories or feelings. These individuals see writers as a special breed of people that sequester themselves to a room and sit in front of a typewriter or computer for days on end frenziedly pounding on the keys of their devices creating their masterpiece.
I, for one, felt that way; I perceived writers as these “gifted beings” that could poignantly craft a sentence, paragraph or story into a work of art. Their use of words and grammar were flawless; it’s as if everything they inscribed on paper immediately became canon.
Every time I had to write a paper for school, I’d have anxiety because I was cognizant of the fact that I was NOT one of these “gifted beings” that could put my words into writing and effectively communicate my thoughts.
These shortcomings, and the fact that I dreamed of being a writer, drove me to improve myself in both words and sentence structures. I was obligated to become a master of my craft and not do a disservice to writers all over the world.
I enrolled in many writing classes, read many books, wrote many things ranging from short stories, children stories, poems, screenplays, business writing and reports. I voraciously wrote every day and even composed sentences in my head to sharpen my skills.
In all those years of writing I found one thing to be true…all of our writing, words, feelings, stories and ideas come from within.
Storytellers of old used to pass down their history, urban legends or culture orally from one generation to the next. One day someone had the solution to record them on paper; that paper soon was passed on and improved on by later generations.
Now if they could communicate effectively to another, they could surely write it down. The whole point of writing is basically recording down on paper what’s inside of us. If we could tell another person our idea then we could surely write it exactly as how we expressed it.
One’s writing doesn’t have to be eloquent with long words and grammatically correct, it just needs to get our point across to the reader. When we tell our story or idea, whether it be in a sentence, paragraph, page, or novel, as long as we’re able to get across what we need to say then we’ve accomplished what writing is all about.
If you have to compose a letter, report or story or dream of becoming a writer just always remember that it doesn’t take much. Just remind yourself of the fact that “if you can say it, then you can write it.” Speak out loud and then just write down what you’ve said on paper…that’s it. You’ve just take the first steps to writing.
Forget all that hogwash about long words and correct grammar; you’ll become efficient in that over time. You just need to WRITE! The whole point of writing is expressing yourself through your OWN choice of words; you’ll eventually develop a composition style that’s uniquely you.
We all talk, we do it every day. It’s something that is inherently in us. So go forth and write to your heart’s content. AND remember…you don’t need a high I.Q. or a vast vocabulary to write; as long as you can speak your thoughts then you can surely write it.
As a writer I often find that I’m my most productive at night. Call me a night owl but for some strange reason that’s when I do my best thinking…my best work. Just me and the computer…together as one. This is how I feel:
“In the darkness of the night…
where the sounds of modern things are at ease,
where bodies are lifeless and in slumber
It is here where time momentarily stops
feelings for loved ones are not thought of
It is here…
In the darkness of the night
where I find my peace,
the freedom to create,
a time of endless possibilities
where no on can see the true me
except for myself
In the darkness of the night
where solitude is valued more than wealth,
the chance to stand
on one’s own two feet,
this brief precious moment
Helps to give me strength and insight
It can only be here…
In the darkness of the night.”
There are a ton of challenges that come with being a screenwriter; the list is long and varied from person to person.
I’ll wager that for all of us the common denominator is just writing a screenplay; it can be painstakingly difficult and time consuming. Another most common, albeit monumental feat, is coming up with a high concept, fresh and original story idea.
Granted I encounter these every time sit at my computer ready to weave a tale, but for some reason my one arduous and stressful task is creating the names for the characters in my story. Can you believe that?! Coming up with a name is what I most dread about the screenwriting process. Go figure.
I can sit for hours in front of my computer switching out names for the characters in my story as I write. Having a cool name that embodies the character and all his/her flaws and strengths is a problem that I come up against all the time. You’d think it would be easy…WRONG! IT’S FREAKING HARD!!!
For me, it’s like doing higher levels of mathematics like combinatorics, hyperbolic geometry or algebraic topology…sheesh just saying that sends a cringe down my spine.
Why can’t I come up with names for the people in my story?! It’s sad that I have this same problem over and over and over again. You’d think that I’d be good at crafting names by now but alas it’s a work in progress. And don’t get me started on screenplay “titles”…that’s a-whole-nother can of stress induced worms.
There were maybe one or two times, in all my years writing, that I can actually say that I came up with a perfect name for a couple of the characters in my screenplay. I was truly tempted to try and use them again in other stories but decided against it.
I’m just going to accept the fact that it’s another process that I must endure in my never ending journey of becoming an established screenwriter. Hmmm…maybe in the meantime, I’ll ponder the thought of becoming an expert in creating “great” screenplay names/titles and offer up my services for those in the same predicament as I. Now the only problem is, “What name should I call my service?”