Life After Austin

Work

Last week I attended the Austin Film Festival Screenwriters Conference. I’m back to normal life now. But I feel different. I feel less anxious about my career path. I feel less anxious about my writing. It could be post-conference afterglow, but I think at least some of it will last.

But why? Nothing has changed since I went to Austin. I didn’t have a magical breakthrough on my script. I didn’t meet any high-level industry insiders. I didn’t discover a guaranteed path to success (because there isn’t one.) What I found at the screenwriters’ conference was bunch of other screenwriters. We met at panels and parties and had meals together. We bonded and commiserated and laughed together. I watched their faces and saw myself in their expressions. It seems like a small thing, but they listened to me and remembered details about our conversations. We talked about our scripts. We gushed over our favorite shows and movies.

What I learned is that my private anxieties and neuroses are not personal flaws, they’re just pretty common characteristics of writers. (I know, a neurotic writer, who would’ve thought?) Turns out I’m not the only “late bloomer” beginning a career in screenwriting. I’m not the only person making a crazy bet on terrible odds–I’m just the only person I know making that bet. Until now. Now I know a whole lot of crazy, hopeful, impassioned and inspired screenwriters.

It just feels damn good to have found my people.

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Processed with VSCOcam with a1 preset

A Weird Week

Personal, Work
A beautiful photo to get you through these last teasing weeks before spring. (Photo via Unsplash.)

A beautiful photo to get you through these last teasing weeks before spring. (Photo via Unsplash.)

It’s been a weird week. I’m waiting for feedback on my second draft and I’ve been a tad under the weather. So productivity was down, but only slightly. I re-read my draft a couple of times and I’ve found myself growing quite fond of the characters. You’d think characters would be like children, you birth them and immediately love them. But these characters came to me only partially formed and I had to build them into something interesting.

But are they interesting? That’s the question that nags at me. I’ve succeeded in creating something that I like. But I’m not one of those artists who’s just in it to please themselves. Actually, other people not liking my work would not be the worst thing. Other people being bored by my work would be the worst thing.

Progress Update

This week I read and edited my draft, sought feedback, and re-wrote the short film script that will accompany this feature length script. The good news is that I’m actually ahead of schedule by about two weeks. Oh! And I thought of a title. (That’s big for me.)

My Challenges

Being patient and figuring out how to fill the gap between finishing the draft and getting feedback. I brainstormed a little for my next script but didn’t feel like I could devote enough head space to it yet.