Another Bout with Doubt

The past few days have been hard ones: I’ve been doubting my profession.

But first, let me walk this back a bit.

I’d finally listened to the Scriptnotes episode: “This is Working“, where they read their first “Full Script Challenge” by K.C. Scott also titled “This is Working.”

This was the first off-shoot of their usual “Three Page Challenge.” I know… lots of challenges.

These episodes are user-submitted script samples that the hosts John August and Craig Mazin read then break down using criteria such as: grammatical correctness, use of the page, clear visualization of the film, and the ability to display an unique voice.

This script was fantastic. It was clever, funny, and definitely displayed an unique voice not heard in Hollywood. Suffice to say, John and Craig said he could be working in Hollywood right now.

And I couldn’t agree more. But as I’m sure many other aspiring screenwriters also thought of their own work, it made me question if I was good enough to be at this level, ever.

We’re our worst critics, and at times I let this voice in the back of my head get to me. I know with proper practice I can become well-versed in the craft of scriptwriting, but that’s not what it takes to be successful.

A strong unique voice has to shine through offering the reader words between the words to give each character a personality that paints a picture of who they really are. To the point that this character is someone that every reader has encountered in real life before.

Scriptwriting takes time, and I plan on giving it time, but this past year has been a rough one for me, and I’m not myself currently. I still work on my scripts, but the time spent on them has diminished.

Craig’s voice is always in the back of my mind: “Maybe you just aren’t good enough, maybe you don’t have it.”

As with thousands of other writers out there, I’m subconsciously trying to avoid working on the script. This is something I’ve mentioned before, so why is today any different? Why must I be hard on myself, when I haven’t been hard on myself yet?

It’s time to become my own boss. And threaten to fire myself if I don’t get my ass in gear. I need a new deadline. You want out, lowly employee? Bullshit. It isn’t over yet, not by a long shot.

Follow K.C. Scott as his well-deserved career takes off @BlackSitcomDad.

And for more on my ever-present struggle, follow me on @GuyOnAWire. My Twitter name always speaks of this constant balance.

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