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This Month in Success & Failure

Originally published at Quantum Matrix Scribe. Please leave any comments there.

The good news is, I submitted my entry for the DC shorts screenwriting competition yesterday. It was probably not the best I could do, though I had been fiddling with it off and on for the past month, and I decided that it was time to submit. Supposedly, Leonardo da Vinci once said “Art is never finished, merely abandoned,” and I feel that is quite accurate. However, part of the competition is getting feedback, and since that’s all I really want to obtain, I already consider myself a winner.

The bad news is that I failed to finish the ScriptFrenzy script I was working on. I had to have 100 pages by today, but I think I have somewhere between 20-25 pages. Why? Why did I fail? I think the sole reason was because I did not work on it constantly. I got myself into a position where if I wrote six pages one day, I felt I could take off the next day and not feel bad, but that was a mistake. Seemingly every day I got home from work I would feel wiped and unable to write. On the weekends when I would shoot for big gains, whatever I produced was marginal due to multiple reasons (which I won’t really dig into here.)

Ultimately, the lesson I learned is that you must write every single day. Any pause and there will be major issues.

I will continue writing it, however, because the idea that I’ve had for this has been in my head for years, ever since middle school. And I think that, as long as I put my butt in the chair and write–even if its only 3-5 pages a day, or less than that–it will work. It’s all about routine. It’s Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break The Chain” concept. And while to me it seems like a cheap cop-out, I think, after looking back on this, that its the truth.

So I will continue to write and finish this thing, hopefully over the next couple of months. There are already big changes in my life that should help me with that–I’m changing day jobs soon (my current gig is having me bring work home with me and keep it stuffed into my head, which is not fun), and since I recently reinstalled Windows on my home computer (bringing it from the ancient age of XP to the relative modernity of 7) all of my games are gone.

Except for Avernum. Just let me solve that one and I’ll be good, I promise…