Really check out your goals, and if you don’t have any….

Recently I attended a very large convention for screenwriters and the industry folks who interact with them. What surprised me more than anything was the lack of goals screenwriters had… or did not. The ONLY thing on their minds was the sale of the screenplay they held in their hands. But what happens after that, whether the screenplay sells or not, what’s beyond that?

A while ago I started a short term “bucket list”. I wrote down everything I wanted to complete in a 5-10 year period. Realistically, not dreams that may or may not happen, but things I know for certain I can accomplish. There must be a psychological impact with having written them down and looking at them every time I sit at my computer (the sheet is taped to the wall by my computer screen).

Now while you read this you may think, “oh yeah another guy with this “write it down” philosophy”. Well let me tell you… look at all the successful people around you. I will bet many, many of them wrote down lists, kept lists, looked at lists… every day, every moment… you get the drift.

The most exciting thing in life (other than my mother’s cooking) is to cross off each item as you achieve them. You must write them down!!! Otherwise they stay dreams in your mind. Goals that you will never reach.

Try it for one week. Write down a weekly goal, that you know is within reach, that you’ve wanted to achieve. Whether it’s as small as painting the wall in your living room, starting a diet, going back to school… or as large as moving to another state, or getting married.

You need to navigate your way through life not dreaming about the things that one day may happen, but taking action on the things you can make happen right now. I’m telling you… writing them down and looking at them every day makes a difference.

Repeat after me… I love my life.
Cheers from New York City!

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Comments & Responses

3 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks Jeff, I write down my goals constantly in a word file journal on my computer. Your post reminds me of the importance of going back and reading those goals every day. Thanks for the reminder and the inspiraton.

  2. Drew Jacob says:

    Hi Jeff! It really interests me that most screenwriters don’t have big goals beyond the next script. I’ve been delving into screenwriting a lot lately as I work on the script for my graphic novel (scripting a visual piece – the techniques translate remarkably well). I wonder, do you feel that established screenwriters feel the same way? Is this tunnel vision just a newbie thing, as they struggle to make their first break?

    • Hey Drew, I’ve been meaning to comment on my mention of “change” but have been so darn busy lately… I guess I’m thankful for that though.
      My take on screenwriters I’ve spoken to is that there is such intensity and focus on the current screenplay that it’s hard to see beyond that.
      Now speaking for myself when I write a screenplay the right side of my brain is buzzing away with creativity, but my left side (and I don’t know if this is true for all screenwriters)
      is constantly thinking: Can a celebrity play the role, is it a good “money shot” (an awesome location or frame that is used for marketing), and who are my demographics…
      So I do think commercially when I write, but it’s my creative side that is the dominant.
      I always think about my script in movie form and in theatrical form when I write. But again, I’m so focused on whatever current screenplay I”m writing that it’s hard to think beyond that.
      Along the way ideas may come up for another screenplay, but I jot those down & stay focused.
      Hope that answers your question!