What feels like a million years ago, some Hollywood producer thought I was funny and encouraged me to write a television pilot. Lifelong feelings of inadequacy lead to a crappy piece of work which I abandoned for the first excuse I could find – my “real job”.
My “real job” kept me too busy to write.
My “real job” kept me too busy to create.
My “real job” kept me too busy to follow my childhood dream of eventually publishing a novel.
My “real job” laid me off over a month ago around the time I started multiple writing projects, pooping rainbows being one of them, and found my creativity again.
I came up with a better television pilot idea today.
Actually, I came up with the idea last August while telling a completely bullshit story to some guy hitting on me and one of my best friends during a 24 hour trip to Vegas……where we didn’t get a hotel room. But, that’s a whole other story.
Maybe I’ll tell it next month.
Anyway, I started writing my pilot today. My creative process for larger projects involves (re)reading works I love, finding inspirational lists and quotes, and writing down a lot of quips from conversations with my friends. During this process I found an interesting list. Emma Coats, a Pixar story board artist, posted 22 rules of storytelling she has learned during her tenure at Pixar and#4 on her list made me really think.
#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
Instead of what story I would fill in those blanks I started wondering, what if at the end of my life I had to fit myself into that sentence.
What would that look like?
Once upon a time there was an emotionally stunted girl. Every day, she was self sabotaging and pushed people away. One day she started drinking excessively. Because of that, she became an alcoholic. Because of that, her life spiraled out of control. Until finally she died alone.
Once upon a time there was a talented girl. Every day, she wrote and wrote and wrote. One day all her hard work paid off. Because of that, she was a success. Because of that, she got to be on Chelsea Lately and meet Neil Patrick Harris. Until finally she had everything she ever wanted.
Once upon a time there was a completely average girl. Every day, she tried her best. One day she realized everything she had was pretty good. Because of that, she was happy. Because of that, the people around her were happy Until finally she realized having a happy mundane life with good people was better than any fame or success.
What do you think yours would say?