Woohoo! I entered a contest!
This is a BIG THING for me. I managed to produce a 10 scripted pages of comic (this translates to 16 pages of text and associated reference pictures) and a two page treatment for Stan Lee’s THE SEEKERS. I did it on my original schedule, even though the contest has been extended through September 23rd.
I thought for a while that I could take the extra time to do a rewrite or two.
I’m glad I didn’t. You see, I have megabytes of stories and scripts that I’m going to rewrite someday. Let me tell you, in my case, someday never comes. When I finish something, I’m sure it’s the best thing ever! It needs no rewriting, because why would I have put down a word that isn’t perfect? But years of hanging out with serious writers and taking college writing classes have made me doubt myself.
So now, I finish something, and I put it in a folder on my hard drive, thinking “I’ll just give it some time to ferment. Then I’ll fix the problems I can’t see right now.” And I never go back.
That needs to change. Not because I’m not putting much out there (though that’s true), or because I don’t actually make mistakes (I do, believe me), but because I’M LIVING MY LIFE IN FEAR.
That little “Submit” button? Clicking that was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. What if I don’t win? Is it good enough? What if people don’t like it? Am I a failure? It took a long time to push that button. But you know what? After I did it, I realized that I just don’t care about those questions anymore. If I don’t win, I have ideas from that script that I can use elsewhere. If MTV and Stan don’t think it’s good enough, well, that’s their loss. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to like my work. But I’m not a goddamn failure.
Dean Wesley Smith has some fabulous articles on rewriting (Part 1 and Part 2). He’s more or less against it. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I tend to still do a second read through to correct the little stuff, but he’s really on to something.
And I refuse to live in fear anymore.