Friday, June 2, 2017

Don't kill the joy!

This story happened a long time ago when I was a young lad looking for romance.
I was at an industry gathering where lots of young people were invited.
I was mixing with the crowd trying to act confident and important.
I found a small group with a very attractive girl discussing, what else the movies.

I listen for a while then I commented something like this:
-          It looks like today's movies are written by mentally retarded people.Anybody with a half brain could write a better script.
-          How many scripts have you written so far?
Asked the young lady.
-          Well, none but I got lots of ideas.
Was the best answer I could come up with.
-          You and a million losers that think they can write a script.
She said sarcastically and walked away.

I was insulted and furious.
 I went to my friend Danny and tell him the story, hoping for some moral support but to my frustration, he told me she was right. I couldn’t take it anymore. I said
-           I will put down on paper one of my brilliant ideas and prove you all wrong.

Times goes by and of course, I found all kinds of excuses not to write my brilliant screenplay.
But there was a little inconvenience;  my friend Danny. Every time when we met he would ask:
-          So how is your script coming?
Of course, he will laugh and make all kinds of jokes at my expense.
I couldn’t take it no more or I ran out of excuses, whatever the reason one day I sat down at my computer and start writing.

It was a long and painful process. Obviously, I didn’t know what I was doing and had to go to the library get some books on the subject. Rewrite everything again and again but finally, I got a script.
It was a disaster!

One good thing came out of my story. I started enjoying the writing process.
I joined a writing group. I bought the proper writing software. I kept on reading and learning about the art of screenwriting. And so the years went by.

It was my 5th full-length script when I decided I was good enough.
 I decided to take my best work to the market. I entered several screenwriting contests. I submitted my query to several production companies and waited impatiently for the feedback.

The feedback came and it was a blood bath. I can usually handle rejection fairly well but this was more than rejection, it was nasty.
The result; I stopped writing.

A long time after the events I remembered the joy I had writing, the satisfaction of filling the pages with words. I decided to go back to writing but the joy was gone.  Now I dreaded writing.
What happened? Who killed my joy?

Well, it was me. By setting up expectations to my writing outcome I killed the joy of writing.
You see, when you do some for fun without expecting anything but just to have fun, you enjoy the experience 100%. The moment you attach expectations, a certain outcome your task becomes a chore, you start killing the joy.

Theoretically, everything we do should be enjoyable. Take for example “learning”
Learning is such a joy when you are a baby. To learn, to explore to find out, to do.
But then we go to school. Learning becomes a chore. The joy of learning is slowly killed and we start dreading school and learning.

We do that all our lives. We kill the joy of doing things to the point we have nothing enjoyable to do. We just sit in front of the computer orTV expecting joy from what other people do. We are just killing time.
We have become spectators not actors to life.

So here is my advice: If you have something you enjoy doing, don’t kill the joy. Do it for fun and if anything comes out of it, fine. But do not kill the joy by setting up any expectations.

Also, you can rekindle old joy you have lost. Like me writing for this blog, making writing fun again and hopefully one day going back to my screenwriting.

1 comment:

Inner Practitioner said...

Thank you so much for this heartfelt life lesson advice! Don't kill the joy! I should remember it. Namaste :-)