One year ago I undertook a Gallant and somewhat Delusional Quest to become a screenwriter. It’s an “Impossible Dream”, according to Robert Goulet. Accordingly, I chose the Knight-Errant Don Quixote of La Mancha as a sort of totem to represent my Journey, which is rich in Ideals and not particularly steeped in”reality”. Reality likes to impose limitations on people. Heroes hate limitations.
And yet, all Heroes have them. Whether it be their circumstances or a physical/spiritual or other weakness, the Hero must overcome themselves before they can even think about Defeating Dragons and winning the Boon.
My Achilles Heel, my Kryptonite is a raging case of adult ADHD. It hinders everything I do, from work to parenting to my marriage. It makes writing a considerably frustrating challenge. Because of the Curse of Shiny Objects, I have started, but never really finished, dozens of stories, scripts and essays. This has made my Quest a daunting, uphill challenge. Add to that a crippling self-doubt and world-class procrastination on my part, and you have a lethal cocktail for Heroisms.
All Heroes need to face their own limitations, so I started by seeking treatment for my ADHD. This year I finally found a medication that has worked for me, and I have worked hard to take ownership of my habits and behaviors.
I also used this blog to share lessons and draw motivation from real life Heroes such as Diana Nyad, Wallace Stevens, Fauja Singh, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Orville Wright and Sylvester Stallone, all of whom persevered until their Dreams became fact.
Most of all, I have found inspiration in my Muse/wife and three Magic daughters. Rachel has helped release me from all manner of self-made tethers and encourages me everyday. She is a Heroine in her own right. She helps me see the world as it should be.
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
Yet despite much efforting, as the year came to a close, I felt defeated. It seemed as if I had failed in my Quest. No producers or agents came knocking. And I was mired in a slump as I slogged through rewrites of my script. It felt like I was just tilting at windmills instead of slaying Giants.
This is why we take the opportunity to reflect on a passing year; to see the big picture and see the world as it should be. And looking back, it was a life-changing year for me. In 2013, I was pretty prolific for a Knight with a day job. I’ve written several short scripts and stories. And, while I haven’t sold any scripts, or won any contests, or been contacted by an agent, I am a screenwriter. I have completed my first script, tentatively titled From Beyond, which I am rewriting to submit to production companies, talent agencies and writing contests. This would not have been possible before this year. In fact, it is truly miraculous, the stuff of Myth. A grand Adventure.
The graphic below (click image to enlarge) shows the progress I have made in just one year. Viewing the big picture, I am energized to plan for 2014.
Thanks to all who have supported me in this Quest, which is only just beginning. I hope that others will join me in pursuing their Dreams, and overcoming their limitations in 2014.
Maybe you want to start your own business, or change careers, or run your first marathon. Whatever it is, there’s no time like today to start.