I’ve been hanging out with a lot of writers. Or, those who want to be writers. As a somewhat-writer myself, I understand. The process takes time, the navigating making it a career, and in this, LA and the film industry, just about everyone has a screenplay. So I’ve been told. No one ever lets me read them.
But, the goal shouldn’t be to sell a screenplay. To sell anything. Yes, that is great ambition, and honestly, it’s going to be the thing that most people will say is their goal.
You know what, though? The goal is writing. Just writing. Or just acting. Or just showing up, doing your best, whether or not it even gets noticed.
You hope it does. And I hope it does. I hope that for me, and for you, and for everyone trying to do their best out there. Because just doing it, just showing up. That’s the most important thing. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
I could write about travel, which I admittedly do from time to time. Though I am not confident in the amount of insight I have into a place that I can write about it intelligently. Take Los Angeles, for instance. Someone once wrote about it, in 1923, “Los Angeles is a white bull terrier. His hide is a little soiled and his voice is a little raucous. He dives in among the automobile wheels, upsets all the garbage cans on both sides of the street, gets into a few friendly fights by way of entertainment, and is all wrong most of the time. But oh, how he does love life! He just loves everybody!”
It’s a simple analogy, and the start of the piece was in comparison to San Francisco, and how it is like a Russian Wolf Hound. I’ve not been to San Francisco. LA, though, and bull terriers. That’s a fun bit of writing. And I don’t know that I’ve ever compared a place to a breed of dog, whatsoever.
I haven’t left the country in over two years, though I’ve been to several states during the pandemic, and now call North Hollywood home, at least until the vagabonding spirit takes hold of me again.
At one time, which now seems like so long ago, I posted daily. I did it in batches, scheduled them out, but the posts would update every day. Sometimes they were short. Mostly, they were short.
Occasionally they were longer. But, the nice thing about an every day posting schedule is you don’t have to feel that what you say needs to have much weight.
What that means, is, if you post everyday, some days are going to be toss aways. It may be just a little bit that someone doesn’t get anything out of. That no one does. But there’s always tomorrow.
You’re also more current, even if it’s written and scheduled in batches.
But with weekly posts, or monthly, or whatever, there can be an added pressure to write something worth writing. For someone to spend their time reading.
Sure, you can fail at that as well. I mean, absolutely. It just means that there’s more pressure, for better or worse.
I often wonder what shape this blog should take. Even though I sometimes let it morph into what it wants before realizing that it’s gotten away from me. For my part, I just like writing. It helps me focus my thoughts. In my head, they go quickly, all over the place, down winding roads and up Escher staircases.
But where is it heading…
Going through a stack of notes, and not sure what has made its way onto the blog and what was just early stage thoughts. I’m sometimes very good about keeping track, and other times, not so much.
I periodically sift through, seeing what it was I was thinking about at a certain time. Where my head was at. Because, even now, I feel an overriding need for direction in my life – direction which I may or may not currently possess.
But isn’t that true of most everyone?
Seth Godin once wrote that we may have a supply, but it doesn’t mean that there’s necessarily a demand. That could be a supply of capital, or intellect, or a product, point-of-view, etc.
So of you’re sitting there, thinking how to drum up demand for your supply (whatever it happens to be), the first question you’d better answer is whether you yourself would want it. Because if the answer is no, you’re probably going back to the drawing board.
There’s a certain level of commitment needed to maintain a practice. This can be a writing practice, or sports, exercise, relationship-building, whatever. The simple act of showing up is often enough to get the ball rolling.
I’ve written a lot about routines, scheduling, time management, and organization. Trying to create a life worth living.
As I write this now, I’m looking at where I’m at personally, professionally, and geographically. Where I’m at in the world. I look around to the issues facing us – all of us.
That’s to say, I’m not sure where this is going. Where my writing will take me, and how my work will shape it. How the world around me might end up shaping it.
But I know that maintaining this is an important first step.
We are vessels, giving of ourselves. It’s human nature to provide, in one sense or another, and it’s something most, if not all of us, relish.
Of course, it’s easy to exhaust the supply. Exhaust ourselves. If we’re not caring for our self, how can we care for others?
From time to time, it’s important to step away. To refill the cup.
There’s a lot to be said for friendship. Having people around you that you care about, and who care about you in return, is incredibly important. It’s satisfying, it’s stimulating, and it’s exponentially rewarding.
It can also be a bit of a challenge at times.
I heard once that most people will stop making new friends after they graduate (either from college or, should they not attend college, high school).
The possibility for work friends exists, as do members of social groups, churches, multiple-participant hobbies, etc… But these are exceptions, and not the norm.
Not looking so much at how to make friends, though, but how to be a friend – and how to accept someone’s friendship in return. You would naturally think that it would be easy. Two people who share some common interest(s), enjoying talking with each other and spending time together, a mutual understanding should grow and become comfortable, thus cementing a friendship.
And yet, so many adult friendships (or friendships that could be), seem to fizzle out or disappear. Probably not from any lack of fondness, or even a lack of trying. But the basis of friendship is communication. Without communication, friendship will fall apart.
I feel that the most successful people are the ones who can focus the bulk of their attention on the task at hand. An unwavering attention to what matters most. A driving force towards that pot of gold at the ned of the rainbow.
Those whose interests frequently shift, they struggle more. They may work as hard, or harder, than those with a singular vision, but being spread to then, their dreams may never come to fruition.