Today I attended the first meeting of a new screenwriter's group in San Francisco. There were nine writers in all, including myself, and at least three who have optioned movie scripts to independent studios. I am not the only published author of the group, but perhaps the only novelist. Some are journalist, others have produced other works.
I found it thrilling to be exchanging ideas about scriptwriting with these knowledgeable people. My script has been sitting on the shelf for the past six months…waiting…because I had taken it as far as I could on my own, and didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of or to offer constructive criticism. But that has now changed in, hopefully, a big way.
Best of all, my husband, Herman, has joined the group, as well. He’s spent the last few days feverishly working on the script he started last year. This will be something we do together, and I couldn’t be happier. Last summer he joined me in a scriptwriting class at the local community college. The class was not all we had hoped for but it did give us the basics and it made us collaborate, which turned out to be tremendously satisfying. For two people who have lived closely for fifteen years, we often have long periods of silence (sometimes several days), but during that class last summer, we were constantly chatting, exchanging ideas, supporting each other. It brought us together in a most creative way. I’m hoping we can recapture that closeness working in this new group.
So my task for his week is to pull my script off the shelf, dust it off with a careful reading to become reacquainted, then send out the first two opening scenes to the group for next week’s discussions. I can’t wait. I feel so energized.
I must confess, I’m a little frightened that, by being so jazzed about this new workgroup, I’m setting myself up for a let-down. There is always that risk that it will fail to meet my high expectations and I’ll eventually drown in disappointment, but then isn’t everything in life like that? I think it pays to get excited by life’s possibilities, take risks and to set high expectations for the things we care about. Don’t you?
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