Thanks for writing, TWD. (You didn't happen to
just recently take over an airline, did you? I was
just asking.) In answer to your question, "Do
you think positive thinking helps sell scripts?",
as the saying goes: It couldn't hoit (gangster
vernacular for "hurt"). I'm a big fan of
positive thinking, and an opponent of negative
But have you ever thought of neutral thinking?
"Neutral thinking? What's that?" you
ask. And I'm glad you did. Neutral thinking
(I just made up the phrase -- I think), is when you
don't try to make anything happen, don't wish for
something to happen, don't feel the need or urgency for
anything to happen, and, instead, enjoy whatever comes
along, knowing that's exactly what was supposed to
happen. Your focus is on observing rather than
manipulating. That doesn't mean you're not
involved in doing. But the doing is, as ancient
Oriental wisdom states, effortless effort. It's
effortless because you're not resisting anything and
you're flowing with the river and not against it.
How would one apply that to screenwriting?
Well, first of all, even if you want to flow with the
river, make sure
you don't get your script or computer wet. When it comes to screenwriting, itself,
have you ever noticed how sometimes your best writing
just seems to come through you with very little or no
effort? Effortless effort.
Of course, if "efforting" effortlessly
doesn't suit your fancy, you can definitely gain from
positive thinking such as:
1. I hear my agent's voice telling me that I've
sold a script.
2. I see myself at my bank with a big check
from the sale of my script.
3. I hear the applause as I step to the podium
to receive my Oscar from Emmy. Or my Emmy from
Oscar. (You have to be specific in positive
Those positive thoughts are all well and good.
But do you think maybe you could use one like:
I see myself actually writing a