They came, they stayed, they conquered
Ask me to give you one word to describe the screenwriters who attended our first LSF Meetup and I will say COURAGE.
You might expect something more along the lines of "creative" (which they undoubtedly were, in bucketloads) but I believe that writing takes more courage than any other of the qualities you also
Here's how they were knocked-my-socks-off courageous:
- They showed up Seriously, when you're fighting the London transport system (specifically, on this occasion, a misbehaving Central Line with some cheeky roadworks thrown in for good measure) on a Saturday at 4 o'clock, that takes courage. Some came from Bournemouth and Wales - they did not take the commitment lightly.
- They submitted their work This takes immense courage. You pour your heart and soul out onto a page and then hand it over to be critiqued. It carries a huge amount of potential risk with it. But these writers saw the flip side - there was a huge amount of potential gain to be had. And the perceived risk paid off for them.
- They accepted critique We offered a very safe learning environment, but it's still difficult to hear someone give insight into how your work could be improved. I know this because it's happening to me right now, as I develop a script. These writers had the courage to put themselves in a position that some might view as vulnerable. What they actually did was open themselves up to new writing growth. That's not vulnerable, that's incredibly strong.
- They shared How much courage does it take to say you haven't quite got this writing thing absolutely nailed yet, in a room full of writers, filmmakers and actors? Yes, exactly. But in the right room it's the perfect place to share the struggle and begin to find the solution.
- They said thankyou I don't mean it's so great that they said thankyou to myself and the actors so that we felt acknowledged and appreciated. I mean they sat through (sometimes quite challenging) critique and they expressed gratitude afterwards because they didn't let their ego get in the way of their talent.
- They asked for more I know for a fact that some of them will have found a few challenges to their writing perspective, but they embraced the critique in the spirit in which it was given and it made them hungry for more learning opportunity. Now THAT is a writer with amazing potential.
These screenwriters all have Warrior Mindset. They're not just puttering along, hoping the writing will turn out okay. They're putting themselves in the firing line, battling all the reasons they really don't want to do this and doing it anyway. They are fighting for their writing and it's inspiring.
If you'd like to find your tribe, get inspiration, be stretched and challenged, find new perspectives (and have a laugh or two along the way) why not join The London Screenwriters' Festival Meetup Group and maybe I'll see you at the next meetup?