Posted by: Brendan Wanderer | July 29, 2010

My 14 Day Screenplay starts on Sunday

THE TEASER
I have a thing about beginning on the first.

My last two relationships began on the first of the month.
The last time I followed through on something for 30 days I began the practice on the first of the month.

This is absolutely a fluke, or perhaps a willingness on my heart to see myself succeed when it feels somehow ordained by heaven.   It’s a pattern and an opportunity.

And when a month begins on a Sunday, in my little brain, it equals destiny.

These are the stories I tell myself.   Stories = uniquely crafted fabrications, trading fantasy for reality for a payoff.

With them, I cause myself to feel free.   With them, do I keep myself limited.

THE IDEA
4 years ago I read about something called the “14-Day Screenplay” Challenge.  The idea was to do the advanced prep. prior to the start date (which was June 6th) and generating enough of the structure, layout, characters, plot, etc. so that all the actual content could flow easily throughout the course of 14 days, keeping to a practice of writing 7-9 pages a day.  The theory is that a feature-length screenplay could be produced with persistent effort.  The reality is that it likely won’t be very good, but that it will be a first draft of material that’s ready to be revised, edited, and re-rendered until it could be something of decent quality.  (The website where I found this can be found here: http://www.14dayscreenplay.com)

The true payoff is that by the end of having written for 14 days, I will have gathered some data about what is actually involved in this process, and I will be able to measure something that I’ve always inherently “known” about myself but could never actually say with inner honesty: that I am (or could be) a writer of film.

THE PLAN
Sunday is the first day of August.  It is the first day of the week.   I have a summer schedule:

  • August 13th, a dear friend is coming to visit from far away.
  • August 22nd , I leave for Albany, New York where I will remain until the end of the month.
  • September 1st, I begin the journey home.
  • Soon after returning, I leap into the grind.
  • 3 months from now I may cause myself to say “Why don’t I ever write?”,  “Where does my time go?” and “Next summer I will plan to write a screenplay…”

For me, it has to be now.

To help me commit to this, I will also commit to blogging a little more every day on the matter.

I don’t plan to post what I’ve written. I love the idea I have too much and I don’t trust the world enough. Instead I will use this as an opportunity to blog about the experience of writing, and following this sort of persistent work.  I will write for myself, not for anyone else.  I will write to understand, and perchance to be understood.

And I will write to honour the questions.

THE CHOICE
I will cause myself to write a screenplay in 14 days so that my summer break will feel like time well-spent.
I may fail.  And it is the possibility of failure that gives succeeding its true value.

Do-able?  Absolutely.
A challenge, without question.

And if I fail, I will define myself and my limitations.

First step: buy a tape measure

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