Go get some:
Go get some:
If you ask my religion at this exact moment in time, I'll tell you I'm working at becoming a Radical Optimist.
Maybe the true Radical Optimist sees suffering and has empathy. Maybe the true Radical Optimist is the person who is charging towards the best solution and fighting like hell for the best outcome. Maybe it's the embrace of suffering to realize there is something more. Something better.
Peter McWilliams wrote You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. I haven't read this yet, but I've always been intrigued by the title and the idea that negative thinking is something only the idle have time for. This isn't always true of course, but how many times have you heard someone say "I succeeded because I didn't know any better.... I just put my head down and did the work."
The inverse of that title is All I Can Afford is a Positive Thought. In this age of noise and discourse, it might be the best action we can take. It might propel us to do the work we are meant to do.
And perhaps be a radical, and a revolutionary, in the process.
The world likes to separate us.
Into classes, politics, religions.
We're stratified and defined based on algorithms or data or....
We see 'other' often before we see ourselves.
But empathy is the greatest gift. Turning 'you' into 'us' our greatest skill.
Something to try today.
The biggest challenge I have is chasing shiny objects. In my own frenetic mind, there are a 1000 things I should be doing at this exact moment.
I'm trying to kill the myth of multi-tasking. But t's a crazy zombie that always resurfaces, blood on it's lips, whispering sweet nothings in my ear. Faster.... faster.
Speed is the enemy of quality. And quality is the repetition of making the Best Next Move, over and over again. A few misses will happen, for sure, but focusing on the next choice, the next fork in the road, the next concrete thing that can be accomplished - this is how goodness is achieved.
I'm working on ignoring the squirrels that want me to chase them in a all directions. I'm doing my best to put aside the emails that are trying to set my agenda. I'm focusing instead on the one thing, the ONE thing, that will get me closer to the who, what, how, and why of the person I want to be.
Be present. That's a good place to start.
There are lessons to be learned from story-tellers. Even the ones you might not appreciate.
Because, at the very least, they raised their hand and demanded to be heard. They may have been afraid, but they got over it.
Boldness is needed. Audacity is mandatory. If not now, when?
Still blissing out to the new Bladerunner soundtrack. You should too.
Want to read the first chapter of my novel? Email me.
This is the time of year when I start getting resumes from filmmakers just graduating from college and wanting to break into the biz.
I give a full breakdown of how I think you should approach the job search over at my company site, Hand Crank Films. Check it!
One of our intrepid Production Managers at Hand Crank Films, Avielle Heath, forwarded me this article about multi-tasking that rang a very familiar bell. Five minutes ago, multi-tasking was all the rage. If you weren't responding to your email, fielding a call, ordering a cappucino and having a conversation with a co-worker while planning your next vacation, you were not working fast enough. Plain and simple. Job postings everywhere made 'multi-tasking' a pre-requisite to success.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the brass ring. I for one have come to realize that the thing lacking from my work and my life is pretty straight-forward: focus. The ability to dig deep into something and take the time to understand it. To listen. To understand. And then, perhaps, to act.
The resistance tells us we need a 'to-do' lists a mile long. That we are measured in quantity. That speed is a virtue. That check-marks are our most important asset. I've believed it, and lost many opportunities because of it. And that's too bad.
ACTION ITEM: One thing I've tried to do is take some time every Sunday to outline my 'Model Week'. During this outlining process of the Model Week, I mark the 3 big objectives I need to get done in any given day. That may include something as simple as 'Start :30 Script' on Monday and 'Finish :30 Script on Friday, with all the necessary steps in between. If I get my 3 things done everyday, then the rest is gravy. I try not to rush to look for the next thing I can spit out the door. I try to use the in-between time to understand the job at hand. And, most importantly, to Think Bigger.
It's tricky stuff to be sure, but try it next time. Living in the weeds makes you think smaller. No exceptions.
That's the beauty of great film, fine prose, poems that are music. These things pull you into the moment. Grab you. Force you go deep as well as wide. You can live your days like that too.
And that very well may include a phone stack or three in your future.
If you're doing anything worthwhile (and I mean anything), you're going to hear 'no' a lot.
No - it's not what we're looking for.
No - the timing isn't right.
No - we're not ready for this yet.
No - you are out of your flipping mind.
You can be crushed by No. It seems so permanent and heavy. Immovable.
But maybe we can look at it a different way. Because life really is about odds and oddsmakers, maybe every No helps build the ladder to Yes. The roulette wheel spins, but only if you're at the table.
Which means it might be good to give thanks to the No. Just moments before trying again.
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Many of you know I finished a novel, Devil's Candy, about a screenwriter who sells his screenplay to a producer, the producer gets murdered, and the screenwriter gets framed for that murder.
So I've started to email a few agents about it and have found out a few lessons the hard way:
That all said, it's a numbers game. You have to do the outreach and the work. Writing the book is only half the battle.
I've reached out to 11 agents so far. 1 has agreed to read my first 50 pages.
I often share the tools I use to get my one hour of writing a day in the can. Here's one I've found I can't live without;
I've experimented with a few timers in the past (and time trackers like Toggl), and this is the best one I've found so far.
PROS: You set up an Interval (I like to do two 25 minute intervals with a 5 minute break), hit Go, and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. An alarm goes off when the interval is over, then gives you 5 minutes to surf the web or do one armed push-ups, then you're back in the saddle again. Boom. You nailed it.
CONS: I wish you could set up different intervals for different projects. Plus, I wish you could set your own custom alarm. That way, I can blast the Game of Thrones soundtrack every 25 minutes to pump me up (and thoroughly annoy those around me).
Got any tools you're using right now you love? Lay them on me.