Why Am I Writing THIS Screenplay?

Why Am I Writing THIS Screenplay?

I’ve been addicted to screenwriting for a long time.  I grew up writing and making movies with my friends.  For the better part of two decades, I’ve been a student of the craft and I’m still learning more and more each day.  It’s what led to the creation of this website.  I love sharing the inspiring resources I’ve collected over the years.

However, when it comes to ‘actually’ sitting down and writing screenplays, I’m afraid I’ve fallen behind.  Just over two years ago, I began writing an action screenplay.  Since development began, a lot has happened in my life.  I got married and we welcomed our first child into the world a year ago.  When my daughter was born, everything changed but I found myself more inspired than ever to write screenplays.

XTRA | Fatherhood, Screenwriting & Inspiration

While I was definitely excited to continue writing my action screenplay, I had to set it aside to focus on my family.  So yes, I fell behind but it was for the best possible reasons.  I thought I had it figured out in November but I couldn’t seem to carve out enough time to make any real progress beyond rewriting what I had already written.

Now, more and more time has emerged to write again.  As a result, I set some pretty ambitious goals for myself in 2015.  First and foremost, I want to finish the action script once and for all.  The thought of revisiting the screenplay after such a lengthy absence brought an interesting issue to light.

WHY THIS SCREENPLAY?

It’s THE most important question you can ask yourself when you start writing a screenplay.  I found myself wondering what kept me focused on this particular idea. I could have scrapped the entire project and started fresh.  But I love the idea too much to abandon it.  I HAVE to write this screenplay.  I’m excited about other ideas but this is the only idea I’m truly invested in at the moment.  I missed these characters.  It’s not their fault I’ve been busy! After all this time, I can’t help but feel like I owe it to myself (and them) to finish.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT IDEA?

I believe many people who experience writer’s block are simply having trouble deciding the right idea to focus on.  You could have dozens of solid concepts bursting with potential.  Choosing one is almost like deciding which child you love best.  You love them all in different ways but you’re also a screenwriter so decisions must be made.

Is this a story worth telling?  Are the characters interesting?  Will this screenplay showcase your unique voice and talents?

How do you decide? 

Instinct is my driving force.  I trust my gut and focus on the idea that inspires me the most.  Most of the time this decision is made easier by a character I love or a specific moment(s) I can’t wait to write.  There has to be a unique element that calls to me.

I feel compelled to write this screenplay and I have to trust that it’s the right choice.  Thankfully, my feelings were confirmed when I dusted off the latest draft a few weeks ago.  I was excited all over again.  I flew through the 67 pages I had written.  I referred to my notes and remembered all the amazing moments I have yet to write.

I’m almost there.

I can’t help but envision the final draft even though it’s still far away.  I suppose I probably spent more time dreaming of a finished screenplay rather than actually writing it.  It’s tough to admit to it but it’s true.  You have to write to call yourself a writer.  It’s easy to dream big but ambition will only take you as far.   Passion depends entirely on your commitment to execution.  On your dedication to the blank page in front of you.

I haven’t finished a feature length screenplay in a few years.  There.  I said it.

So…  I have a lot of work to do and every word is worth it.

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