“Winning isn’t everything… it is the only thing!”
Vince Lombardi built a legacy of excellence with that quote. In case you’re not a sportsfan, Vince was the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 60s. I bring this up because I like winning and I think second place is really just “first loser.” No throws a parade for second place. Third place won’t get you on a box of Wheaties. In fact, anyone who says that trying is as good as winning never won a goddamned thing in their lives. Poor saps. So, yeah, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
Sure, bumper sticker philosophy isn’t deep, but quite often it is infuriatingly correct. I’ve got one screenplay in a contest and while I haven’t heard anything yet, no news is good news. I have been working on another one, a comedy in fact, that I’ll be submitting to another contest in March. I’m doing this even if my first submission doesn’t yield the desired result and not because I have delusions of my screenwriting ability. I do it because I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you finish a screenplay and submit it for professional consideration. If you’re not impressed, try writing something of any length outside of a typical blog post. Heck, write a 1200 word article on hair replacement strategies and then tell me it was easy.
For me, a 1200 word article IS easy, but a full-length screenplay is an uncomfortable experience. Showing a completed screenplay to someone else is downright painful. Having never given birth and quite honestly having no intention of being present during a birth in my lifetime, I can’t quite say that writing, finishing, and submitting a screenplay is akin to giving birth. But if by that analogy you mean that you grunt, bleed and suffer to squeeze out something you created out of whole cloth, then yes, I’ve given birth on two separate occasions. Perhaps passing a stone through my urinary tract would be more appropo, but birth it is until a female screenwriter corrects me.
I do most of my best work late at night while the red queen is asleep. I think it might be because I get easily distracted, which is also why writing a complete screenplay is rather difficult for anyone, including me.
Do me a favor, write 10 pages of a screenplay. That’s 10 minutes of screen time. It doesn’t matter where in the screenplay those ten pages are or that they’re out of context. Just write the ten pages. When you’re through, if you have it in you, write ten more only this time, they should be the ten pages directly before what you have written or the ten pages after what you have written. Then, keep going in a similar vein. Before you know it, you’ll have 120 pages, which is the standard number of pages in a full-length script. The things you’ll go through in the process of producing those 12 ten-page increments will give you an idea of what I go through. Of course, your exercise doesn’t have to yield anything worthwhile. My efforts are aimed at becoming a represented screenwriter with at least one screenplay being optioned.
With that, I’m back at it.