“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off your bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Writing is a career I’ve chosen to pursue, so to navigate this life, I must sail away from the safe harbor. The voyage involves stepping out of my comfort zone. Risking rejection. Rising to challenges. The trade winds beckon and grow stronger. There’s no going back.
For now, I explore script and short story writing. Dreaming of possibilities, I devour books on the subjects, take classes and write. The bowlines are thrown off.
I’ve submitted a short story to an paying online gardening journal I discovered some time ago and wait for a response. The process of market research, submission prep and job search doesn't end, though.
Last summer, I was part of a local nonprofit’s movie production crew. Hours were spent crisscrossing the state filming various scenes, while I learned how to operate the camera, tended the lights, kept actors’ makeup in check, held the boom mic. Soon there'll be post-production film editing. I’ve attended a couple of screenwriting classes too, analyzing film classics such as ‘Psycho’ and ‘Chinatown” along with current films like Oscar-nominated ‘Winter’s Bone’ and “Devil Wears Prada’. We read aloud from the scripts of these movies, saw the corresponding movie scenes. Lively and fun lecture and discussion followed. These experiences allow me to see both sides of filmmaking, beneficial as I develop my own scriptwriting skills.
Thing is, I don’t want to look back twenty years and see I’m anchored to the same harbor, trade winds sweeping by. Afraid to try new genres and styles. Afraid to further my career.
Take a chance. Throw off those bowlines, leave the safe harbor behind. You'll never know where your writing journey may lead. Book deal, perhaps?