Life lessons on a Saturday afternoon

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem

Assalam alaikum wr wb and greetings, writers and the loved ones of writers!

More than ever lately, I have felt like I’ve needed a shoulder to cry on and some stern but loving advice.

A support group, in other words.

Something like Fight Club for screenwriters, maybe.

I found it recently at the Introduction to Screenwriting panel.

Michelle Nickelson, producer extraordinaire, writer/producer Shina Ahmad and TV veteran Mohamed Youssouf shared their insights at the session (extended bios at the link above).

The biggest lessons I took away from that afternoon:

  1. The usual self-help speak which, oddly enough, is true: “Never give up. Believe in yourself. There’s always a way.”
  2. Keep knocking on doors. I need other people to make movies and the more people I meet, the more chance I’ll have of meeting the ‘right’ people for my project(s).
  3. Get rid of that “I’m a really shy person” belief. I started asking myself, “What would I do if I wasn’t a shy person?”
  4. Write like it’s going out of style.
  5. Think outside the box. Innovation always gets attention. Not just with my writing, but with my networking and job-seeking tactics.
  6. Always have 5-6 projects going at a time – be they plays, TV pilots, web series or films. When I get asked that golden question, “What else do you have?” and my heart leaps, “They love me, they really love me!” I should have a basket of loglines!
  7. Leverage every human resource I have, from my neighbor to my pizza delivery man.
  8. Adapt to my environment.  I need to play by the rules – and then Insha Allah, break them and see whether they still love me.

I’m feeling fired up and it’s just what I needed. Thank you God and thank you Women and Film in Television Dubai!

May God’s Grace follow you wherever you go!

The Happy Muslimah.

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