GUEST POST on Good Books and Wine
Let me step into my time machine and take you back to the fall of 1998. I was taking a semester off from college, living in Los Angeles to pursue my dream of screenwriting. The Monica Lewinsky scandal was at its height, Felicity and Ally McBeal were on a first name basis with the greater public, and you couldn’t turn on your radio without hearing Alanis Morisette’s haunting theme song to the Nic Cage-Meg Ryan weeper, “City of Angels.” It was a hopeful time, filled with optimism and naivete.
Adam and I had started writing together earlier that summer. He was working as a Hollywood assistant while I was interning for writer-producer Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). In the evenings, when we were both finished with our 9-7 work days, we would meet at various coffee shops to work on our screenplay, sometimes writing until 2 am, when the owner would mop up around our feet and ask us to leave. Even though we were young and possibly even delusional about getting our scripts sold, the magical thing about that time was we didn’t have any reason to think differently. It wasn’t until after years of being professional screenwriters that the voices grew in our heads, whispering at first, then screaming all of the reasons why an idea wasn’t good enough or why the screenplays we were working on would fail.
Then we decided to write our first novel. We knew very little of the book world. And you know what? We found ourselves transported back to those early days of sitting in the coffee shop, dreaming big with no negativity weighing us down. It allowed us to write freely, straight from the heart. It’s a lesson to all writers. Don’t let the cynical, doubting voices creep in. They can be toxic. No matter how long you’ve been writing, or how many times you’ve been rejected, there was a moment when we all began and thought nothing could stop us from success. Go back to that place.