Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Taking Risks

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?


JerryR said...

hi Alan,

We're members of Dorien's gay writers group.

1st I want to ask if you'd like to blog on my blog. It's the one Dorien just posted to. For now, guests bloggers post on Tuesdays. Some can post weekly if they want & have the time.


I'm glad a class could exchange those ideas.

Btw, I'm a new author. Red Rose Publsihing accepted my very 1st book, More Than A Stud an erotic romance paranormal vampire GLBT MM story. Stud is suppose to be released this year. I'm also adapting the story to a screenplay.

Um, if things work out I plan to return to San Francisco in June. If I do I'll do my best to be at your reading.

C. Margery Kempe said...

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?Yes, absolutely! Playing it safe is no way to live. The only way to really fail is not to try. It's so wonderful to hear that you and your husband both are excited about the possibility of screenwriting. Enjoy the process. Goals can prove elusive, but if you give your all to the process, you will regret nothing.

Enid Wilson said...

I think the experience is more important than the result. So as long as you enjoy the class, that is enough. But I do hope to watch your movie one day. Go for it!

Steamy Darcy

Alexis Grant said...

That's awesome that you and your husband can learn/enjoy this together! Writing can be a very solitary experience, and it's nice you get to share this.

Karen Walker said...

How wonderful for you and Herman. Enjoy! As for "I think it pays to get excited by life’s possibilities, take risks and to set high expectations for the things we care about," I have to gently disagree. I do think it's important to get excited by possibilities, and to take risks, but as for setting high expectations, I learned a long time ago that it's better for me if I have no expectations about results. There's a slogan from the 12-step programs: Take the action, let go of the result. Then I don't have emotional highs and lows based on things I have no control over.

Karen Walker

Patricia Stoltey said...

I recently started a new critique group and found all of the members, none of whom had participated in a critique group before, were scared to death at the beginning. It's natural. Just remember there are a few unkind jerks in the world. Don your crocodile hide so they can't hurt you.


KK Brees said...

Shared interests are what keeps relationships alive and growing. The fact that you're both writing is wonderful.