So a couple of weeks ago I get this email. And I know it’s not a typical email, like from my friends or sister or mom. Those have the usual subject headings like, “yo” “hey sandy” or “hi it’s your mother you never call me anymore i love you”.
This email had a different subject line and was from an unrecognized email address. It was my professor’s. She’d contacted me to say that, yes, my script (you can read about it here) was received, read and judged by the committee, and that, yes, it had been short-listed. (SHORT LISTED!) But no cigar.
At first I was like, “what the balls! I suck… why do I even bother writing at all. God!” But that lasted for like, 10 seconds (who really has the time for self-deprecation anymore), because when I stepped back for a breather I realize that my script – my first go at a screenplay – made it all the way to a short list, which means that people actually liked my work, which means I’m not totally useless at the keyboard, which means that maybe I sniff a new career here, which means that it’s only a matter of time (what, six months maybe?) before HBO sends me an email (which I know will not be from my mother) asking me to write their next blockbuster series, which means it’s only a matter of time before I’m hob nobbing with the likes of Alan Ball, Diablo Cody and splitting a cigar with Speilberg. Right? …Right?
(I really need to stop drinking before I post.)
Anyway, the point is that I gave screenwriting a shot, a hit of what I had, and it came back to me with pretty good results for a first-time around, even if it didn’t win a chance to be produced, which was the “prize” all the screenwriters were chomping at the bit for.
I got another email from my professor (she is the lovely woman who first encouraged me to enter the contest). She told me that not only did I make the coveted SHORT LIST, but apparently my little number made it all the very top of at least one judge’s list. ONE WHOLE JUDGE. THE TOP OF HIS LIST.
Now that’s pimp.
So why am I sharing this news at the risk of sounding like oh, I dunno, I’m a big face, tooting my own horn, injecting my ego with a dose of pompous loser? Because giving myself credit at all is actually a big, big step for me. I’m working hard on this during this reinvention of mine. Also, I share this news because I’m hoping you get inspired to hook yourself up with a little flattery, too.
People just don’t give themselves credit for anything anymore, do they? Not a pat on the back, not a high five, not a slap in the ass for doing a fucking awesome job. But then again, have we, as a modern society, ever done that? (Oh hell, did I just use the word “society”? Hang. Me. Now.)
But I do have a point, I swear! Read on.
Why is it so hard to throw ourselves a little well-deserved credit every now and again?
I mean, if a friend told me her first-time-ever screenplay made a short list, I’d buy her a drink! I’d tell all my other friends! I’d congratulate her until I was blue in the face and her cheeks were a rosy hue of “aw, shucks”. Why? Because that’s what you do when someone does something fucking awesome.
So there. This is my high-five, way to go, ass-slap, double-cheek kiss for having the balls to try something new, something I was afraid of, something that left me having to expose a once guarded side of myself… and then making a short list for it.
So, spill it. What awesome thing(s) have YOU done lately? Give yourself props in the comments box below.
(hey, and don’t be shy either.. um, I can see stats back here you know, and way more of you are reading, lurking, stalking and not commenting… spread the love now y’all)