Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And Exactly What Do You Do For A Living?

God, I’ve grown to hate this question, especially when it’s put forth to me right after having asked and discovered that my husband is a doctor with his own private practice. Ha! He practices medicine, while I actually write. Okay, I practice writing. Does that sound better?

I kind of like the question: what do you do for a LIVING? I mean, what do you do that makes you live, or in my case, come alive? I write. Now, granted, I didn’t say publish or sell - at least, not yet (unless you call this blog an actual publishing of my writing - then, well, I suck).

Anyway, I write. To be more exact, I write screenplays - movies. Not only do I come alive when I sit down with pen and paper, but I make entire worlds come alive. And, yes, I do actually sit down with PEN and PAPER. I’ve always been in love with words. And I’ve also been extremely fearful of them. I know the power they yield, and the hurt and pain they can cause. But it’s the beauty of words that comes alive when they are strung together in just the right way.

I didn’t always know I wanted to be a writer, but I always knew that there was a place inside of my head that I could go to and escape from the worries and hurt that the real world bogged down on me. A place where characters came alive to either confirm my feelings and fears, or protect me from them; a place where I controlled the outcome.

I remember exactly how I came to start on my journey of screenwriting for a living. One night, while my husband vegged out in front of the TV from his long day of “practicing” medicine, I asked him, “do you have long, continuous conversations in your head?” Well, after convincing him not to write the prescription for Paxil, and having explained in more detail the thoughts and ideas that ran through my head on a daily basis, I decided it was time to put these ideas to paper.

I’ve written a total of ten screenplays, placed in a number of screenwriting contests - including the Nicholl Fellowship - and attended NYU’s MFA in Creative Writing program (and as my son says - “she quit school”). I write for a living because it does exactly that - it makes me live. It is what it is, and I am what I am - an unemployed, unsold, unrecognized, unpublished writer - and I LOVE it. Okay, most days.

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