In two large corrugated cartons stored in the corner of my office, there are many stories, which will forever remain, not found, and most likely never again to be read by anyone but me. Scripts that began with a dream, and ended in two nondescript boxes in the corner of an office. It took all of five years to fill the two boxes, probably around forty pounds of paper, eighteen hundred and twenty five days of an immeasurable journey. The worth of the trip is only a selfish value. I’ve talked to other writers who cop the plea allowing how they were only writing for themselves anyway. If they happened to get paid for their labors, it would represent icing on the cake. To them I would offer, “What good is icing when you don’t have a cake to put it on?”
The younger writer brings enthusiasm. The older writer finds his or her enthusiasm turning to cynicism, without willful attempt. The younger writer tells a story with his or her passion for the truth being enthusiasm for the life and times being depicted. The older writer may bring forth a truth cloaked in cynicism regardless of the time period they’ve chosen to write about; happening without a willfulness to be downtrodden.
Many of us have given in to following a heart whose choice for joy is far less indiscriminate than should be allowed; our choices are not without limits. Personally, I admit, not necessarily to poor judgment, but too often to no judgment at all. I doubt if many young people enter into a pursuit of a dream, by first really taking heed of their dreams’ limitations. If you’re dreaming about your dream not coming true, the result will be just that. The question becomes, why in the name of good common sense did I fill the two boxes in the corner of my office? My writing was a day and night never-ending pursuit. The words hit the paper with reckless abandon. Days, weeks, months, and finally five years of damage had to be accounted for.
While I was never guilty of deliberately conjuring defeatist’s thoughts, my dreams of success at the heights of the literary world had come to a sour end. Sound the trumpets; reality had set in. What does remain in my minds’ eye, and perhaps will stay with me forever, is the stack of rejection letters I received during the course of my travails as a struggling scribe. At first I found the letters shocking, mainly because much of what the reviewers had to say about my work didn’t jive. It often came across as if they had sent the rejection notice to the wrong writer. I actually found myself wondering what in the world they were talking about. But the turn-downs that remained with me were the ones that were just outright cruel. One review was particularly nasty. It came in at the end of my professional writing career.
Note: I had already made my mind up about the futility of my continuing pursuit of a career as a writer.
The reviewer attacked me with a vengeance. Line by line, she pointed out my obvious ineptitude. That became it for me. The time had arrived. The cartons were sealed. However, not all was lost. Her review provided me with two pluses. It improved my vocabulary. Nothing in the review was the least bit conversational. It wasn’t a tutorial. It would be a much better descriptive if I referred to her assessment of my work as a verifiable documentation of my inability to communicate at even an average level of intellectuality. And secondly, after rereading her assertions of my literary clumsiness, I laughed uncontrollably for the balance of the afternoon, most likely a form of temporary insanity.
The amazing part about all of this is how many years ago it all took place. Everyday we hear someone remark about how fast time is flying by. “I can’t believe it’s Christmas, or New Years again. What happened to the summer? Your daughter is how old?” Probably one of the most agreed upon terms in all of humanity: Race, creed, color, religious preference, men, women, friends and enemies. The universal cry for all is agreed on: Time flies by, “As Time Goes By”
So, if we all agree about how short life really is, why do so many of us waste it? Why do we usually do just the opposite of what should be done in order to slow things down?
The other day I gave an actor the note, “Romance it a little.” His look wasn’t one of complete understanding, because the script wasn’t calling for any degree of intimacy. I added,
” Read in the present as if you’re relishing the moment, and recognizing the satisfaction you personally are experiencing.” And the key to all this is not merely asking the actor to slow his reading pace, but rather slow because of a pertinent reason to do so. What better reason could there be than creating the romance of what once was commonplace? It may have been a fleeting moment you’re reflecting on, but in the instant it takes to recreate it, your thought process will bring into play the missing romance aspect required.
- Is the vast number of words in our world ever read?
- If every discarded script in our fair city was solicited for a paper drive, would there be enough space in our city o hold them?
- Is there anyone in Los Angeles (Hollywood) who doesn’t have a script in his or her possession that will be the next blockbuster sensation?
Leave a Reply