Five Firsts

Some scientific studies have discovered that if you talk to someone about an idea or a project before you finish it, and they get excited about it, you're less likely to finish it because you've already had the endorphin rush of "success". That's why this blog post is happening in the beginning of November and not the end of January. I've even teased this post at (seemingly) random intervals throughout the year to keep people interested, but I held fast in my rule of telling as few of people as possible about what I'm going to share today because I didn't want there to be any chance of me not finishing.

So here we go.

Every year, I set a goal for writing. Last year, if you remember, was the year of short film. The goal then was to write 52 short films in a year and I ended up finishing at the end of September. This year, I had a goal again. And at the beginning of the year, it seemed impossible.

The goal for 2013 was to write five feature length scripts. That's five full-length movies. And as soon as I thought of it, I also thought that I'd probably found a goal I couldn't reach.


2013 Scripts

That's what five first drafts look like.

84,468 words.

462 pages.

In 10 months.

Now, let's talk a little bit about reality. I wrote these scripts very fast, and I'm not saying that to brag. I'm saying that because the picture I just showed you is of five still very incomplete scripts. First drafts are a good start, but there's quite the battle ahead of me if any of these are going to be worth showing to someone.

I did it this way on purpose though. I believe that first and second and even 84,468th words are going to be my worst. That my writing will get better the more I do it. So I'm going to do as much of it as often and quickly as I can. To get the bad ones out of the way. To give the good ones room to show up.

84,468 words.

462 pages.

10 months.

I know some people who tell me about the things that they can't do. This or that just isn't in their abilities or it isn't one of their strengths or there are too many obstacles in their path. I don't know if any of that's true, but I am starting to notice that those are the people who don't. "Can't" may just be in their vocabulary, but "don't" is all over their actions. I wonder, without asking them, if the two are connected.

But I'm losing focus of my point. It's not to tell you to stop saying "can't," though you should. And it's not to tell you to set your own goals and then reach them, though you should.

It's because this is a good thing and we need to celebrate the good things as much as we wallow in the bad ones.

So let's celebrate. And then wake up tomorrow and start the hard work all over again. Because success once just makes us hungry for another.