I gave a one-day workshop teaching my book, How To Write A Screenplay in 10 Weeks, this weekend. 18 people rolled out of bed early enough to be present at 9:30am. I was impressed at the level of accomplishment and level of experience most of them had. They were all deeply involved with their writing even if they hadn’t begun a specific project.
The first exercise was to write the speech they would give when winning an Oscar and every student wrote with great concentration for several minutes.
The second exercise I gave them was to stop using the word, “try,” unless it was in the dialogue of one of their characters.
Should we be trying harder? What if I told you that this idea of trying harder was part of the inaccurate thinking we bring to our writing and our lives that really slows us down?
As Yoda told Luke: “There is no try, only do or not do.”
The next time you feel like you’re not making any progress in your writing, make a conscious effort to stop using the word try and I guarantee you will move ahead immediately in your writing, because you will understand on a gut level that you are doing and not just trying.
The secret is that if you don’t see yourself as a writer, no one else will. So to most of you reading this post: Fess up, you are not trying you are doing.
Keep up the good work!