Monday, February 19, 2007

Here We Go Again -- Sort Of

Every year, thousands of people enter the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting competition in hopes of -- what? Validation? Motivation? Making the quarterfinals? The semifinals? Or, do they really expect to be one of the select few to actually win?

If I'm being entirely honest with myself, I think I would have to admit that last year, all I really hoped for was to make the quarterfinals and I was bitterly disappointed when I didn't. That was the extent of my goal - the quarterfinals. That was the height of my dream - the quarterfinals.

My plan was to make the quarterfinals one year, then I'd shoot for the semi's the next and the finals the next.

Well, that's crap. Shame on me. I'm not ashamed that I finished in the top ten percent but where would I have finished if I hadn't aimed so low? I'm not aiming low this year. I want to win.

Yeah, I feel stupid saying it.

The truth is that I've worked so hard, studied so much, and reworked my screenplay for so long that it terrifies me to even verbalize such an unrealistic goal -- I want to win. It terrifies me to such an extent that I'm almost afraid to even enter.

Won't I feel like a fool later when I DON'T win after announcing to the whole world that I plan to?

Who am I to think that a nothing writer from Noplace, Texas, can compete with people who have been at this for years and years?

I don't care. I want to win.

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it. Michaelangelo


ECHenry said...

With or without a Nicholls win, you ARE a winner Marry Ann. You're funny, charming, and can blab on about thinks like someone from the deep south.

Keep rockin'. Hope ALL your dreams come true this year.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Anonymous said...

good luck this year...

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Ditto. You're entering, aren't you, Todd? Wanna do a swap read?

Tracy said...

It's Nicholl time again. There's something about this particular Fellowship that's extremely motivating. It seems to wipe away procrastination... well, not completely.

All the best to you, MaryAn, and happy writing.

Eddie said...

"Fencing With the Fellow" has a nice ring to it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I pulled a massive dismemberment of last year's entry, got some pro-notes on it, separated two elements and concentrated on just the one, and I dodn't think I'll have it done in time to enter... the other two I am working on (look at me, got 3 going now) probably won't be done either, but I'd love to read yours... I really enjoy your style

jon radar said...

I think the key to pyschologically prepping yourself for any of these contests is this: as soon as you send something in, ask yourself 'what's next?'

A new script, another contest. Just keep writing and entering.

Personally, I never feel any sense of relief when I send something off.

Aim high - aim to win. But keep going.

Great blog, btw. Always entertaining and interesting. Good luck!