Last night, while cleaning through some old boxes I stumbled upon a large crate of keepsakes and you’ll never guess what I found inside! The very first screenplay from Long-Smith Productions. The film was a smashing success, but how could it not be. It was, after all, written and directed by me. If the film never made it to Sundance, I blame it on the actors.
Did I say that outloud?
It is wrong for the captain to abandon ship, so I must standby the incredibly tragic storyline, cliché dialogue and makeshift editing. So what if the acting was mediocre! It was a high school production after all.
I bring this up not just because I want to reminisce in the wonderful world of high school drama, but because it is a reminder that the one thing I have always loved is telling stories. And despite the fact that most of it was complete crap, there is a hint of passion hidden inside that screenplay. I can see the spark of creativity, the fire of a writer and the potential, which if nurtured and cultivated in the right manner will one day make a successful writer.
I’m not quite there yet. But there is still some benefit to looking back. I am a true Virgo. I plan virtually everything. If I don’t have a game plan I might as well be blindfolded. So it’s no surprise to the people who know me that I not only outline and plan my stories and novels, but that I have given great thought, detail and attention to my pursuit of becoming a fulltime writer. A career path for the non-traditional career. Something I don’t do as often is an annual review. Or perhaps a performance review. I just finished up one at my other fulltime job (the one that actually pays the bills) and it was a positive reminder that I have made a lot of progress over the year. So many times we focus on the immediate project, deadline etc. For me, I meet a deadline and I have to move on, very quickly, to the next.
So in away, I guess what I am trying to say is that I encourage others, whether they are trying to become a writer, a rock star, a politician, or a CEO…don’t forget to look back at how far you’ve already come. I was reading an article in Psychology Today and it mentioned that the most successful people are the ones who have the ability to set long-term goals and continue to work towards them for 10 years. TEN YEARS!!!! Because it’s not all about luck, or chance. It’s about being prepared and knowledgeable. One of my favorite quotes is “Success is when preparation meets opportunity”. It takes years for us to build the skills we need to be successful in our chosen career or passion. Sometimes, it is not about who crosses the finish line first but what you do once they get there.
So as the first month of 2006 comes to a close. I hope each and every one of you continues to pursue your dreams. Don’t get bogged down in the here and now. This is just a pit stop, just one of many stepping stones on the road to success. And if you’re not getting what you want out of where you are. If you take a look back and discovered you’ve taken a wrong turn (perhaps your too poor for a GPS device!) that’s oka too. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forwards. Regardless, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your life and make the necessary changes for future success and happiness.