Category Archives: Supporting Other Writers

Celebrating Success – Not Yours

I don’t remember exactly why he was at a table talking to the authors pitching their scripts, but I remember what the successful screenwriter said:

I don’t even like writing. It’s just such an easy way to make lots of money.

I may use that line some day as the spark that pushes a desperate writer over the edge into violence. Personally, I refrained from choking the life out of him. I don’t begrudge him his success, but his attitude infuriated me. I love writing. It’s selling it that’s hard.

However, in general, it’s important to celebrate the successes others have, even when they seem to fall into it. Our Gold Country Writers have a member who didn’t really want to write a book, but over a period of decades it evolved. The unique story caught the attention of someone who passed it to a major producer, who decided it would make a great film and optioned it. Sure, there was a twinge of jealousy when I first heard this, but every writer who succeeds is an example that it can happen.

I went to her website. While she made it sound like this all just fell into her lap, the full story showed me something different. The initial contact may have been luck, but, without consciously planning to create anything, she gave the initial contact time out of her busy live over a period of decades. Then when she decided to write a book about it, she planned and executed a great deal of research to provide the full, unique, story. Then she did a good job writing and promoting the book so it’s not surprising it caught the attention of someone in the film industry.

While luck is always part of success, usually there’s a long history of work behind it. So smile and offer genuine congratulations to others when it’s their turn.

Sheri2012RGB2inch

www.sherimcguinn.com
www.amazon.com/author/sherimcguinn

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Affirmations for Writers

Our inner dialogue has enormous impact on how we see ourselves, which in turn is reflected in what we do with our lives. The power of repeating positive affirmations has been documented and if you search “affirmations” you’ll find all kinds of lists of positive affirmations recommended to improve your life.

I wrote here previously about having balance in our lives and how, several years ago, a group of close friends gathered regularly over several weeks to look at where we had been, discern what we wanted in all areas of our lives, and then plan actions to make those things happen. This included an assessment of our strengths, which we each put into a personal affirmation to be repeated daily.

By making the affirmation personal, it has more power than a generic statement that may or may not be a good fit. At least, that’s how it works for me. I know I’ve done serious introspection and discovered these positive things are true about me – I just need to be reminded of them on a regular basis.

There are several good habits I let slip from time to time and this is one of them. I do keep a copy of my affirmations posted on my motivational board, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing them daily. I have to thank Hope Clark’s Funds for Writers for inspiring this blog and a renewal of my affirmation habit.

Hope’s weekly newsletters always have good resources and inspirational messages – I strongly recommend subscribing if you are a serious writer. The one I just read, from 2/16/18, had quotes from Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks about not letting fear make our choices. After reading it, I added two new lines to my daily affirmation:

I make choices in hope.
I plan action with purpose.

These two lines are also personally true, but repeating them daily will help me keep that action moving forward and stifle fear and self-doubt.

Take some time to look at where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished (small things count), and what skills you’ve developed along the way. It helps to do this with people who know you, for they may see things in you that you’re overlooking. Then decide what you want in all aspects of life as you move forward – a year from now, five years, ten, twenty. Determine what steps you need to take to achieve those goals, look at what skills or attributes you have that will help you get there, and write your personal affirmation.

The time taken for introspection will be balanced out by more effective actions going forward. The few moments daily affirmation takes will focus your energies for the day.

Sheri2012RGB2inch

www.sherimcguinn.com
www.amazon.com/author/sherimcguinn

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Quick note of support

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/who-will-remember-a-short-film-survival#/

Barbara Erysian, the screenwriter for the above project is the grandchild of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. As a teenager, her grandmother survived, taking care of her little brother, with the help of Armenians, Turks, Greeks… It’s the story of survival from a child’s point of view, a worthy project to support human rights.

She’s a bit stiff, asking for money in front of a camera, but she’s an excellent writer  and, if you scroll on down below her video, she’s got some real pros working with her.

The current project is a short film that she hopes will generate support for a feature comparable to Schindler’s List. Even more important than raising funds for this short film, gathering numbers of supporters will demonstrate there is an audience, so even a few dollars can help.

$25 will get you into the credits.

Note: I had trouble getting the site to take my donation while using Edge, but it worked fine with Firefox.

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