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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Time to Reflect

As the days grow darker and the smell of turkey and pine trees and burning leaves permeates your house or your memory (if you live in LA) it is the time of year when we often look inward and reflect upon the year.

It is the Wave-inatrix’s wont to say something funny about parking lots, shoppers and irritating shopping trips but not today. Today I am feeling reflective just talking about being reflective.

When my children were young they went to a Waldorf School and I came to look forward to and love the Advent Spiral – a spiral of pine boughs with candles in apples placed intermittently and a large candle in the middle. In the same way that walking a labyrinth is a meditative and contemplative experience, the children would walk the spiral and place their candle in the middle, signifying bringing light into the darkness of winter, then they return from the spiral to the welcoming arms of their parents. It’s a hero’s journey that even Joseph Campbell would love.

As you reflect this autumn, during Thanksgiving and the Christmas and Hanukah holidays, take a few moments to think about where you are as a writer. How did you do this year? Did you make the time to write that you swore you would last year? Did you make any good new habits? Break any old ones? How many scripts did you complete? How many great ideas did you generate? How well did you make use of your time and more importantly – did you feel the necessary freedom to take time for you, as a writer?

So often, if you have a family and a day job, the demands of others encroach upon us. It can be guilt-inducing to close the door and enter the necessary isolation to write. Somebody needs to go to the grocery store, wash the car, pay the bills – and yet you are sitting, alone, doing something that may never pay one red cent. It’s insane. But we need to do it.

So take stock, Wavers. Where have you been this year as a writer? Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? Did you really spend the time writing that you said you would? How much material did you generate? Did you take the time to continue your learning curve as a writer by seeing as many movies as possible, reading screenwriting books, networking and taking classes? Be honest with yourself. Time is the only real currency we have. Use it well.

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Christian M. Howell said...

I think I did pretty well. I began this journey officially in May of this year. I've written one full screenplay with three drafts, 2 shorts, began about 50 stories, got 5 rejections, one read and an invitation to send more scripts.

I've met several agents and managers, managed to get my blog listed on a few writer sites and read 4 books and about 20 books worth of articles blog posts.

I totally got torpedoed by the strike but things are starting to look up again.

I think I've grown tremendously as a writer as now my early drafts look 100% better - I'm working on 5 scripts right now. I know, I must be crazy. Crazy about the cinematic arts.

I've learned what every person in the credits of a movie does. I got to edit my first trailer and I think I will try to write a script with no dialogue.

This has been the most fun 6 months I ever thought I'd have. I just came up with a doozy of a comedy idea. Hopefully I can make it work.

I've even learned about cinemtography and f-stop, focal length, depth of field, etc.

I was due to take a two day seminar on filming scenes but alas, demand for such a class in NYC wasn't great enough.

Wow, all that in six months, don't you sleep? Not really. I am also working on two websites and have a full time job.

I must be masochistic. Either that or serious about being a paid writer.

The choice is yours.

Jake Hollywood said...

I got to go on strike. Hellova year.

I've done everything I've set out to do, but the strike has trumped it all.