“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
― Nelson Mandela
If it seems like Heroic storytime has become a little more infrequent, like waiting two years between seasons of Sherlock, you are right. Keen deductive skills, Hero(ine)! My script is in the late stages, so all of my free time has been spent on it.
I am tantalyzingly close to a completed screenplay, but every day I fight negativity and the impulse to quit. Writing every night into the desolate morning hours has been taking its toll. I have been having hallucinations of a sweet, kickass hammock, rocking me into a delicious circadian rhythm. It’s so seductive, that sexy voice that beckons you to throw in the towel.
Coincidentally, and speaking of hallucinations, I just watched a TED talk by our old friend Diana Nyad, entitled Never, Ever Give Up! In case you aren’t aware, at age 64 Ms. Nyad swam from Cuba to Miami through shark-infested, volatile waters enduring jellyfish stings and hallucinations of the Taj Mahal. Turns out not long after, she saw the lights on the shore that represented the end of her Quest. No one would have blamed her if she would have said, “I have been swimming for 42 hours, I have puke in my jellyfish-resistant mask, and now I’m seeing 500 year old Mughal architecture. Yeah, I’m calling it.”
Lesson: Swim away from the sweet hammock, and swim towards the Taj Mahal.
If you want to see a Doer of Hard Things, a complete badass, check her out below. She’ll inspire you, by making you feel like a slacker crybaby loser weakling.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
― Thomas A. Edison
It used to be that the act of writing a feature-length screenplay seemed like an Impossible Dream to me. Historically, I have a hard time holding enough focus to compose five line emails about “next-gen/turn-key/plug-and-play solutions that optimize your ROI”. Cripes. Fortunately, I have developed a strong will to complete the Journey. In order to finish 120 pages of conflict and pathos, I’ve had to embrace Change and the Doing of Hard Things.
I’ve met Mentors (other writers, script consultants), obtained Supernatural Aids (ADHD medication, the Save the Cat screenwriting book), and defeated Dragons named Distractability, Hyperactivity, and Doubt. Now that my Finish Line is in sight, I have to admit that I have been Transformed by the Journey.
Joseph Campbell talks of a series of Thresholds in the Hero’s Journey. We are officially entering the Innermost Cave, where I am putting on my armor for the Final Ordeal. Or, In other words, Selling the Script. And even though it seems like a Goulet-esque Impossible Dream, it’s cool. For us aspiring Heroes, Impossible Dreams and the Doing of Hard Things are becoming our specialty.
In celebration of my first screenplay, soon I will post an excerpt of the script and outline some exciting next steps.