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One thing I have discovered on this journey, and not just this screenwriting journey, but on this I-love-film-and-I-want-to-do-something-with-it journey, is that because it’s an art form and not a straight I-can-see-you-making-money-with-it-easily job, is that support is hard to find, or harder to find I should say. Immediately your family and friends start to show their true colours. You immediately find out who dares to dream with you and supports you for 100%, who is simply worried for you that you won’t make it and who, and this last group is the worst, is envious of your dreams, because they themselves want to dream but don’t or have given up and do not wish you well, haven’t succeeded in what they want and don’t want others to succeed either. I have all these people in my family, circle of friends and acquaintances.
As much energy it takes to keep myself afloat with all my doubts about whether I should keep on pursuing this and whether I am cut out for it as well, it takes even more energy to stand up against that last group of people. I have come to the conclusion that those are not worth my energy of trying to explain anything and how I am sure (which I am not of course) I will succeed on this journey. On one hand they are good to have as well, because they stir you on as well to want it even more. And these are not to be mistaken with the friends with good advice, who are simply a bit worried for you and want you to succeed. But people who literally say to you ‘I am not going to make it there and neither will you and you know it’, while knowing nothing of your capabilities or have read anything you’ve ever written or watched anything you’ve ever made. Those are exit. And no re-entry allowed. I feel for those though. But I do think, just because what happened to you and your lost dreams probably, there is no need to discourage someone who does still have that dream of making it. Sure, paint the picture of how you are experiencing it and tell me the cons. But never ever say to someone that they won’t make it, simply because you think you won’t and therefore you do not wish that for someone else either.
And coincidence or not, I was sitting at the film museum (which is build by the water) with 2 friends today, we had just watched the documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) there, and just as I was mentioning my doubts whether I should continue with this or not, to one of those friends, a ship passed by with the name ‘perseverance’. Talk about timing. Those are the encouragements you can use on moments like that. These friends are pretty encouraging by the way and dare to ask critical questions. Not because they don’t believe in me or my dream, but because they want to help me succeed. That’s the difference.
I have decided that I want to invest in those kinds of friends. And be more critical myself of which people to spend my time with OR and maybe even more important, share the story of my journey with. You know how it is, you’re at a birthday party and ‘what do you do’ comes up. And you share some things and soon enough you find out, by the way they respond which of these people they are and whether this is a case of ‘throwing your pearls to pigs’. I used to keep on talking and trying to convince the person. Now I don’t do that anymore. I simply change the subject or ask them what they do and one thing I always do, ask them why they do what they do, how they came to that decision. Not to be cruel, when they have what seems like a very boring job, but I just want to understand why people do what they do and how they got to where they are now. For myself. To learn. Also from the ‘good’ stories, you know, the position you want to be in. How did they get there? And also to avoid being jealous, but simply realize that their story, their life is completely different than yours and you shouldn’t compare.
I have decided to keep at it, keep going as long as it’s possible, but especially go in depth as much as possible. And see where it goes. I have ‘tried’ to do stuff with film a few times, but never felt I went for it completely or maybe I just didn’t go about it the right way. And maybe I simply wasn’t ready for it yet and I was still in the testing the waters phase. Yep, I think that’s what it was. And that phase is necessary too.
When in doubt, keep going at it as much as you can, get the most out of it, make sure you have researched and really tried it as much as possible, before you think it’s not for you. There.