I know JVCD is. He’s learned to control the sea with kicks, brother.
I’ve recently been working on this very problem in earnest. Going to the gym almost daily, eating better–the works. But even when I’m getting with the program in a serious way, it’s hard to see the results. As I was wallowing in my demotivation one recent evening, my friend Erik Kastner posted a message to Twitter with the following text:
Help me get my $%!^ in shape…ask me once a day: “Was today better than yesterday?” (nutrition / exercise) – today: YES!
When I read this I realized that it was the ticket to getting in shape. I recognized it from the big problems I have successfully solved in my life. The secret is to focus on making whatever it is you’re trying to improve and make better today than it was yesterday. That’s it. It’s easy. And, as Erik was, it’s possible to be enthusiastic about taking real, tangible steps toward a distant goal.
As Tony Robbins as the whole thing sounds, that’s the key, I think. And it is easy. In a country where television is just something you do, it’s tough to remember that you can be sitting watching Daisy of Love for a four-hour marathon (like, um, a friend of mine recently did), and realize “Oh. That just ate up a chunk of my life. Flex and Sixpack and London and Daisy just stole a piece of my life.” It’s gone. You’ll never get it back. Like a mediocre vampire.
And maybe you learned something from Daisy and her Patterned Pals, but more likely you f***ing didn’t.
It’s amazing how often I get asked how to write, or start writing. Which is staggering. Many people know I write. Most of them know I haven’t sold anything. I’ve been in development, but that doesn’t mean shit. “Start,” I say. It’s the toughest thing. Like learning guitar. Anyone can draw, write, play guitar. But most people think, “I’ll never be Link Wray, man. I’ll never be an Impressionist.” So they never start. And they never begin something, which, in the very least, could be a rewarding hobby for life.
If someone who had even a casual ambition of screenwriting wrote only 1/3 of a page a day, they’d have a first draft of a screenplay a year finished. One screenplay done. A third of a page of screenplay is equivalant to about a paragraph. That’s the bare minimum you need for a screenplay a year.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe
And yes, I just referenced Goethe, Tony Robbins, Link Wray, and Daisy of Love in the same post. Kneel before Zod. I’m the name-droppingest.