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Monday, August 10, 2009

Nurses on the Battlefield of Life

So over the weekend I had to review the notes and files for every single entrant for the Silver Screenwriting Competition - I'm talking about hundreds and hundreds of loglines, Wavers. As the loglines and scripts flew by, I found myself smiling. It was like a scene from A BEAUTIFUL MIND: the loglines flying by with a soundtrack of clicking and clacking keyboards and murmured voices...Look at all these writers. Look at all these ideas. Some were crazy and ridiculous, some were profound and serious and some were everything in-between. The collective energy that led so many writers to work so hard for weeks and months to write a script swept over me and I really got a bit choked up.

How wonderful it is that we write. How beautiful and awesome the energy that compels us to make stuff up and in doing so entertain others and provide catharsis for ourselves. Thank you, writers everywhere, for writing. You sit alone, in cafes, at home, in the car in your driveway (as Raymond Carver did) and you bravely face the blank page. You put your heart and soul onto paper knowing the odds are terrible, knowing there may be no payback or payoff or even any encouragement. But you do it anyway.

You make me laugh, you scare me, you make me cry, you make me think and your sheer creative energy renews my faith in the human spirit. I don't care if you advanced to the next round or didn't - you're all rock stars in my world. Thank you. You make my life richer just because you are out there, you crazy writers. Never stop. Do it for me. No, do it for every person who needs a laugh, a scare, a new point of view or just a distraction on a Friday night when their own lives are too overwhelming. Like nurses on the battlefield, you writers administer hope, candy and distraction from the toils and troubles of life.

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Ryan Covert said...

No, I thank you, Julie.

I wasn't an entrant to this particular contest, but I'm totally your audience on some others, and I offer a most sincere heart-felt thank you -- a thank you for taking the time to read them, and for taking the time to take the time. Especially for this article, as it's so warm. Endearing. Compassionate, and sincere.

It's seldom anyone really ever gives a shit. Sadly, myself included. All we want is the undiscovered diamond. The golden ticket to take to the boss. And yet, no one can blame us. But it's rare to champion the collective work itself, and that to me deserves its own recognition.

And I too, have been in similar shoes working development and all too often as a gatekeeper we're usually (but unfortunately,) crushers of dreams.

So it's nice such sweat and hardship, i.e. blood on the tracks, or ink on the page, hasn't gone unnoticed. The best part, your whole post lacks the ubiquitous and heartbreaking, "UNFORTUNATELY", or its little sibling, "regretfully", of which I'm certain you're all too acquainted with the usage.

As I type this, I'm sitting in my motel room, following a sudden whim for a writing sabbatical, in which to fight back against accumulated rejections, and after many hours in the trenches, I've found that encouragement those damned bastards tried to steal.

Just when I needed this most.

Thank you for understanding.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Julie. Just what I needed to hear this morning.

Julie Gray said...

Ryan - that is about the nicest comment I have ever, ever received. You like me, you really like me! No, I'm being serious; I was really touched by your words. It's so gratifying when what I write really touches someone. Right now I'm embracing this time in my life when I do not yet view writers as annoying chattel but rather as creators of magic that I hold dear. In Hollywood, everybody gets jaded eventually. I'm staying ahead of that ugliness by reminding myself why I do what I do in the first place: I love writers and I love story. Period.

Ryan Covert said...

How about that? A couple of writer's writing, created a simpatico synergistic ouroboros. Certainly, this is a first for me, as we rarely know who, when or how, that which we say and do, (or write) happens to affect. Again, the importance of being kind to others, as the myth goes, you never know when you're in the company of angels...

But as a result of this post, on this occasion, we are aware...

Ergo, your finely tuned Hwood instincts should be all spider-sense tingling right about now, and therefore, yes, it's appropriate for me to say -- you should feel a pitch coming on. And as such, I am certain, you shall be pleasantly surprised.

I'm aware you're slammed, but will be in touch shortly.