Happy April Fool’s Day!
Criticism is just someone’s opinion.
I’ve been lucky enough to be spending two weeks in Fire Island completing a final revision of The Naked Tango. I sent out queries because I want a bigger audience than I reached for my first novel, The Book of Zev. As a result, I’ve been asked to submit my new manuscript to an influential and powerful agent.
Not surprisingly, I’m extremely nervous about getting the work that I’ve killed myself to create for two years out there. That’s why I sent out queries before it was complete. I saw myself delaying, and I understand that I suffer from the same fear of rejection that many writers do, but I decided that I’d had enough of criticism and self-doubt. I reminded myself that I solved the problem of how to write better, so I could also find a way to stop writers from injecting themselves with the ongoing poisons of self-doubt and fear. I work with a great counselor, and I asked him if there was a new way to deal with all of my negative stuff? What he said completely changed my life:
“Just reframe all criticism and self-doubt as someone else’s opinion.”
This paradigm shift applies to all that free advice everyone is so interested in giving you as well. The next time someone asks to give you some advice, say, “No, but you can give me your opinion.” This attitude creates a level playing field so that you remain in control.
Writing The Screenplay in 8 Weeks
In the fourth class of Writing a Screenplay in Eight Weeks, I was thrilled that all of the students had created an outline from which they could actually write. The outline structure in my writing system allows the writer to number each scene and methodically determine each day’s work. Working this way eliminates the tyranny of the page count and bolsters confidence. Creating scenes with a beginning, middle, and end is fun but mechanically turning out pages is not. Fun for writers doesn’t mean hanging out on the beach; it’s having a challenging writing project that one can succeed in.
The Scripting Writing Room
My bi-weekly Scripting workshop is hosting a writing contest based on using the scripting techniques to create a short story or script based on a memory.
There are three prizes: a one-hour consultation with me, Elizabeth Wiseman, who handles the time management elements in our scripting process, or Paula Landry, who co-wrote How to Sell Your Screenplay in 30 Days with me. She teaches business at several prestigious universities.
The second and third prizes are copies of my books:
This particular contest is closed for new submissions, but there are two more sessions before we do any judging, and if you are interested in the techniques, I recommend that you sit in and get the benefit. There’s no charge, and the class runs on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 8:30. The next class is on April 13. Send me an email if you want to attend.
Hope to see you there!