Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Process of Learning

I’ve been working on my Nicholl’s semi-finalist script. It’s become one of those projects, like refurbishing a 1950’s car from scrap. Slow and meticulous. While I continue to work on other projects, I keep coming back to this one.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a model project - the script I’m supposed to put together, rip apart again, and put together, and rip apart again - over and over. I’m tempted to say until I get it right, but I don’t think it’s that. It’s about the process - THE PROCESS OF LEARNING.

I’ve been given this great opportunity to stay home and write. The old axiom - practice makes perfect. It’s not about perfection, it’s about learning. Just because I cut short my extremely, expensive education at NYU doesn’t mean the learning stops. I’m an education fiend - I got it real bad. I need my fix - daily.

I still continue to pack my bookshelves with books of every kind - screenwriting, theatre, fiction, nonfiction, classics, biography, self-help, history, politics, etc... I’m a writer - words are my thing. I love them - the way they look, sound - the emotions they evoke. I even belong to the Book-of-the-Month club (though they now send two books a month).

And movies. I live at the Hollywood Video store - and NO, I don’t rent - I buy. I want to own them so I can watch them over and over and over again. The moment I knew I was in love with movies was my 32nd birthday - I mean, really in love with movies. We had a housewarming/birthday party, and while we received a total of three blenders, a crockpot and an areobed, I received about five gift cards to Blockbuster and Hollywood Video - and this was BEFORE I had even written my first screenplay.

My husband and I speak in movies. We even have the kids doing it. One liners from our favorite films thrown in to drive a point home. When we purchased our first home, we moved with 36 boxes of books, six boxes of movies and three duffel bags of clothes - no lie. Clothes, we don’t need no stinkin’ clothes.

But I digress.

I still purchase screenwriting books and software, and I still read the advice blogs/interviews of many a pro screenwriter.

Why? Don’t I know this shit by now?

I don’t know, maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned - or maybe just too damn cautious. But in order to know what really works, shouldn’t I also know what really doesn’t? How could I dismiss what I haven’t tried and/or learned?

I learn it, try it - if it doesn’t work, I move on to the next. I tell you one thing, it teaches this impatient gal that little thing called patience.

The other thing is, I love being surrounded by the things I love. Movies and books - and, of course, my family. Not necessarily in that order... I don’t think.

A few of my favorite things.

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