Screenwriting Survival Tips: One Egg In One Basket

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem


Assalam alaikum wr wb,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about disappointment.

I’ve spent much of my life trying to avoid it. I’ve noticed that I try not to take risks and I definitely don’t put my faith in anybody.

The few times that I do, I go all in. I give it everything I’ve got and expect to get something equal in return.

The first short film project I was involved in never got made. For a long time, I wondered if I was to blame. I looked for the reasons why.

I wrote a few shorts and got a few takers over the years. None of them have as yet come to fruition. Again, the question – why? What have I got to learn from this?

A pilot project I worked on was arguably the most fun exhilarating thing I’ve ever done. Also no takers. So no full-time job in filmmaking for me. Why?

Some time ago, a short film I was involved in finally got made. My name might be somewhere near the credits. But I’m not proud at all. Though I was asked to help as a writer, I had very little to do with that blueprint and of course, even less with the finished product.

I’m not even disappointed anymore. I see what I did wrong and I’m getting right back up.

I’ve been putting all my eggs in one basket.

No one would be able to tell me for sure why those projects failed. Any number of reasons jumped to mind – the recession, the hubris of the director, desperation – and for sure, a lot of lessons could be learned from those experiences.

But what I’m really looking for is comfort. And the question, “Why?” is not going to give it to me.

Once again, it’s a desperate question.

The only thing that’s going to comfort me is making something great. And that means making something okay first.

And that means writing. Quite a few different projects at once.

Stacking will keep that basket from falling apart, especially if it’s made of hopes and dreams.

A few different projects means the same energy but less desperation.

An egg in each basket.

But not too many in one.

If one basket falls apart, another will hold. If not that, then another.

That’s what I’ve learned this week.

Much love, peace and God’s protection with you.


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