I often look at days between my blog entries and wonder where they’ve gone. But then I remember… they’ve been spent writing. Since I last checked in, I, along with my two wonderful co-writers, have been able to get “Big Sister” in fighting shape, write a new screenplay (we can’t divulge the details yet), start mapping out a one-hour dramatic pilot, and make notes on one of our earlier projects, “Mend,” which we know needs a good polish. I was also, somehow, able to revise and update my first book, “Freelancing in Tokyo” — although, looking back, I’m not sure where I wedged that all in.
The amount of hours and days spent at my computer, alone and in meetings with my co-writers, does boggle my mind. But the results, for me at least, have been worth it.
Are there sacrifices? Yes. And perhaps the biggest one for me was letting go of my regular “job.” I put quotes around it, because it was never a regular job. You see, I happen to be a professional pianist and accompanist. I have made a fairly good living this way for most of my adult life. But it was becoming painfully obvious to me that if I really wanted to commit to screenwriting and make a go of it, I could no longer continue.
For years I was somehow able to juggle multiple freelance jobs and survive on 4-6 hours of sleep. I’ve always been a person with excess energy, but when that energy starts to dissipate, things don’t get done. And I was not able to devote the time and energy to my writing projects… and I didn’t like it.
What happened, in essence, is that the writing started to move front and center. It took precedence and demanded attention. Making the decision to leave behind my musician days was something that troubled me for months, but finally, it just became obvious that I had to do it.
My “success” is the time and energy I am now able to devote to something that has taken me by the shoulders and shaken me up and said, “This is what you are supposed to be doing; this is what you must do.” I could not argue with something so strong. My “last night” of performances was a scant two weeks ago… and while I have pangs of bittersweet memories, I have done the right thing.
The point of this post is to encourage you NOT TO WAIT. I should have done this years ago, but, frankly, I was afraid. A friend told me once, “Jump and the net will appear.” I understood what it meant, but I wasn’t quite ready to stand at the edge of the cliff. Well, here I am; I stood, jumped, and survived, and I’m writing this to you as someone who’s “been there.”
I have many dreams and many passions and they are almost all connected with the written word. This was the right move for me… and I hope you will let my experience inspire you to pursue your dream, whatever it may be.