This week's Answer:
My advice is to get out of the
business, Jerold, then see how it feels to be out of it
(the business, that is) and how less nervous you are.
If you do that, you may discover how calm and
collected you are now that you’ve finally made the
decision to stay clear of this pesky and often irritating
vortex of narcissism and greed, and then you’ll venture
forth into an entirely different field (not the one nearby
outside your home, which could have strange varmints in it
that could bite and sting and even tickle you when you
least expect it, which could definitely make you nervous).
Or, you may find, now that you’ve finally removed
all traces of your life when you considered yourself a
screenwriter who believed in his vision and was willing to
do whatever it takes to get that vision on the screen and
earn a pretty penny (a 500,000 or more one) in doing so,
that you’re STILL NERVOUS.
And, if that be the case, you might
decide that, even though you’ve moved to a remote
tropical island where the indigent population has never
ever seen a good movie (maybe some poor ones. I think native, tropical island folk don’t get cable, so
their choices are quite limited.) and you’re still
nervous, you might have some sort of epiphany (a word a
lot of people are throwing around these days, which means
they must be having a lot of them.
So, why shouldn’t you have one, too?) and say to
yourself, “Hey, if I’m still nervous in this serene
environment, why not be nervous where I can at least blame
it on something.
I know: I
can blame it on the pesky and often irritating vortex of
narcissism and greed, the film business.
I’ll be a screenwriter again!”
Thus (a good word to use when you’re wrapping up
a rather lifeless paragraph that you want your reader to
think is profound), feeling good about yourself and
sensing a new “you” emerging, one with a revitalized
vigor and zest for life and an indomitable spirit prepared
to face whatever challenges come your way on your road to
being a successful screenwriter (with lots of pretty
pennies and statues to your name), you fly home, you call
your agent and announce with a strong and direct voice
that you’re back in town and ready to do whatever it
takes to get your vision on the screen.
This is your moment.
The new “you” has returned.
There’s a pause on the other end.
Something supportive and encouraging is coming; you
can feel it. Life
and your future are bright once again.
In a microsecond, you know why you had to leave,
face the dark night of your soul, and be reborn to return
to what you’ve always truly loved.
Your agent now utters those words that will remain
with you for the rest of your screenwriter’s life:
“I didn’t know you left.”