Oh what wonders a week away from the usual routine can do! I had a great time visiting with family at my cousins wedding and getting to make goo goo faces at my new little nephew, and then, bam while sitting in the airport waiting to board the plane back to LA, inspiration struck.
I should back up just a little and let you know that I have been feeling like I am floundering a little bit lately. I know most of you would say that I am nothing if not goal oriented but the truth is it takes a tremendous amount of internal inspiration to get up everyday and go after a dream as big as the one I have set for myself and the things that work to keep me going and excited one week seem to hold no steam the next so I am continually having to find new ways to inspire myself. With dreams this big, no one is going to do it for you, you just gotta keep on keeping on.
And then it hit me, right there in that overcrowded terminal. It’s time. It’s time to write another movie. It’s time to write a story that’s a little more personal, something I can relate to right now in this moment in my life.
The idea came like all my best ideas come where it feels like a good friend is whispering in my ear and this time she said “you should write about a character not unlike yourself who actually achieves all the things you are setting out to achieve and all the things that happen when she does. At the very least it would be a great exercise in staying focused on what you want to create for your life, that whole “if you build it they will come” kind of thing and at the greatest you will have created another perfect part for yourself to play that you dont have to audition for because you will promise to give yourself the job.”
“That is a brilliant idea!” I said to the invisible best friend in my head and she said, “but you havent heard the best part…” “what’s that?” I said and she said “you’ve already written it” “What in the world are you talking about invisible best friend? You’re crazier than me!”
And then the excitement started to rush in. She was right. I had already written it. I had written it 20 years before. It was my very first screenplay “What If They Laugh?” I never did anything with it because while it was good and I was proud of it for a lot of reasons I knew deep down it wasnt good enough. The plot, the formula and the fun were there but something was missing and I didnt know how to fix it. But right there in that busy airport terminal I suddenly knew exactly how to fix it, the answer was 20 years in the making.
See in its bare essence its a story about a closet writer who gets outted in a big way by her overly ambitious daughter and at the time that I created it I was writing the story from the perspective of the daughter, but the truth is the most interesting part about this story is what happens from the perspective of the mother. Making it the mothers story makes everything work and guess what, 20 years later I suddenly have a whole lot to say from the perspective of the mother and a whole lot to say about what it feels like to be a stifled or closeted writer. I guess I just had to wait to grow into my own story.
I bought a notepad right then and there and started reworking everything from this new point of view. I was so inspired I wrote 15 pages before I even boarded the plane and have been working on it ever since. I am hoping that by the end of next month I have a completed and brilliant rewrite, something I am sure I will want to go ahead and get produced.
So I guess the moral of this story is to remember that everything has its own timing. Just because something appears to not be working how you want it to one day doesnt mean it wont turn around and work some day in the future. You just never know when something simply needs some more marination time in order for it to turn out even better.