Over the past couple of days I’ve seen two very inspirational pieces, brought to my attention via social media.
One is the story of David Mack‘s first steps into screenwriting (he’s written for the Star Trek TV series and is a novelist as well) where he recounts how, at the tender age of 14, he phoned You Can’t Do That On Television‘s producer Roger Price asking if he could submit scripts for the show. Roger not only surprised him by saying OK, but also took the time to explain how to write and structure scripts so as to have the best chance of being accepted.
David’s scripts were rejected, but the exchange gave him a lot of confidence to keep going and follow his dream of being a writer. In his Honoring Our Creative Debts blog post, David goes on to explain how we should be thankful for those who kindly help us along our journeys. David did this by writing a thank you letter to Roger, and when he was recently contacted by a fan asking for advice on developing his own novels David delighted in paying forward the favour.
I too believe in this – I wrote this recently on twitter:
It’s not just business but networking & kindness. We’re all in it together in this industry; support one another & get more out of it
I actually set myself off on the road to becoming a script reader when, back in 2009 and keen to learn, I encouraged Lucy V. Hay of Bang2write script consultancy (whose blogs were always very helpful and informative about the industry) to do a course in how to be a script reader. To my surprise, she was up for it and before I knew it I was sitting in her class, scribbling notes on my uber-organised and post-it colour-coded course material and eagerly working on my “homework” afterwards which, to my delight, Lucy saw great potential in. Lucy later went on to do a workshop on the topic of ‘how to be a great screenwriter and what we learn from the script reader’ with London Screenwriters’ Festival director and film-maker Chris Jones, with whom she has formed a good working relationship.
Lucy, now a script editor and novelist as well as organiser for the London Screenwriters’ Festival, and I have gone on to become good friends and colleagues, and have supported each other in our industry endeavours. Had I not taken the plunge and contacted her about my course idea, we might never have crossed each other’s paths in such a meaningful way. Honouring my own creative debt, I thank Lucy for believing in me and for continuing to be a wonderful mentor and inspiration.
The second inspirational piece was a picture posted about why we should remember Kathryn Joosten, Emmy award-winning actress. It highlights the fact that you’re never too old to go after your dreams. We’re not all lucky enough to realise what career we want to pursue at the age of 14, like David (I discovered screenwriting when I was 23). We may discover a passion a little, or even a lot, later on and feel a bit dejected by it.
But it’s not too late. It’s never too late. Go for it!