What if you knew the script you’re working on would be the last script you’ll ever write? How might that change what you choose to write? Every time a writer begins, they believe their next script will be their best. Do you believe that? Do you tell yourself that? If we believe we are forever growing as writers, it follows that our next script will be the best thing we’ve ever written.
So the script you are writing right now is the best thing you’ve ever written.
The Best Idea
Let’s say you have a bunch of ideas. What if this was your last idea? Which one would you pick? Would you pick a new one? If you’re a writer, you can take any of your top ideas and they will all work. Ideas only go so far. They guarantee nothing. The writer always makes the idea a good one.
Now you’ve picked your idea and you know it doesn’t matter which idea it is. If you’re working on it, it’s in good hands. And as this is your final script, you’re writing the best script you’ve ever written. Every choice, every line, and every letter contains all of you. This script reflects everything warm and beautiful you have ever felt as a writer, because you have brought everything you know to this script in front of you. You love every character, you tell the truth, and you remember why you ever started writing on every page. This is the last stand.
The Road There
Soon you will spot the horizon of despair in the middle of writing your screenplay. You will recognize this feeling of frustration, this disappearing of faith in your powers, the charm wearing off of everything you’ve written up until now.
Writers meet this fork in the road in every great story. If this is your last script, you will see this humbling loss of the dream of what you wanted to create as essential to the process of making something completely new, completely different, and completely honest. You will meet this crippling feeling and smile because you are writing this script like there is no tomorrow.
And you will remain patient and quiet in your vigil until the story finds you again and you’re back on track.
The One Reason
We write scripts for many reasons, but there’s only one reason which delivers your best work. You need to know what this reason is. It needs to be bigger than everything else. Your purpose to write obliterates all practical concerns. Honor your voice every time like an ancient privilege and you’ll never fail to do the work you’re meant to do.
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