THE SCREENWRITERS FAMILY PRIMER

(Twin Towers 1970). Shield v. Faith

Okay. We’ve spoken to your loved ones.  They understand.  They’re with you on this thing.  Now here’s the same information for you.

Loved ones have uncanny radar. They will sense when your concentration has lifted you off the planet.  They will know the exact moment.  Even the dog will know.  Especially the dog will know.  And they will want you back.  They will try all manner of subterfuge.  Understand this: your creative powers are so mighty that those who live with you will experience an actual hole in the air where you once were.  You’ve left a vacuum.  Do not fight the loved ones.  Do not ever fight the loved ones.  Embrace the fact that they want you back.

How to grow into yourself

When you are growing, you are brand new. But there is a lag time here.  Though you are brand new, your spouse and friends will be responding to you in the old way, at least until they see the new behaviour and respond to that.

Have you ever seen a teenager throw a child-tantrum, shouting, “I want to be treated like an adult”?

The way to be treated like an adult is to act like an adult. So the way to be believed as a writer is to believe it yourself.

The way to change your loved ones’ response to you is change your behaviour.  When you believe you are a writer; others will believe it too.

The how-you-need people – multiple-choice love-life quiz

Do you need people to believe in you and tell you that they do?

Do you need to not tell anybody anything and go about your writing privately?

Do you need for them to believe you are doing this, while at the same time you don’t want to include them in your day-to-day feelings?

Your people are there to be anything you want them to be, you just have to ask them.

Feast or famine

Remember the story of Chicken-Little, who pleaded, “Who will help me plant the corn?” Nobody would.  But when the seed grew and the corn was harvested, everybody had time to eat it.

During the darkest, gloomiest day of Act II, when you think you can’t go on, you’ll call a friend and the friend will be no help whatsoever. Somehow you’ll manage to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and finish your script.

The first one to come around will be this same friend, who will say, “I knew you could do it.”

When you have no confidence and you need someone to talk you into yourself? Call a friend.  Say this:

YOU: I have no confidence.  Will you please talk me into myself?

THE ENTIRE – WOLD POPULATION: (in unison)  We know you can do it!

What to say to your spouse when you can’t come to bed

Don’t say anything. Give a huge, warm, long hug.  Make rich, deep, meaningful love at your workspace, if that’s were you are at the moment your spouse asks, “Are you coming to bed?”  You may think you are sacrificing yourself for another.  This is not true.  Go ahead, ‘Embrace’ each other.  Then, tuck your loved one in – happily.  Now go to your work space.  You’re going to write great pages.

©Dodgsons, 1971.

 

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