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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

Dhc, do you think positive thinking helps sell scripts?

TWD Minnesota


This week's answer: 

Positively Neutral

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 thinking.  

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 thinking.)

Those positive thoughts are all well and good.  But do you think maybe you could use one like:

I see myself actually writing a screenplay.

DcH


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