Have you ever felt like you're on this planet to do something? Has there been a gnawing feeling in your stomach, one that, no matter how hard you try, you can't ignore?
When I was six, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. By the time I was sixteen, I was telling everyone I was going to Hollywood. When I was nineteen I had offers from film schools in Los Angeles, New York, and the Netherlands. Up until that point, all I'd wanted to do was make action films. That was it.
Then it all came crashing down when I was raped.
That one moment, that single night, killed something inside of me, crushed my spirit and made me forget my dreams. The film school I'd chosen offered to put my place on hold for a year but I couldn't do it.
I finally did go to film school, albeit in the UK but, by then, it was too late. I was desperately trying to forget my past and, in doing so, started to destroy my life. I was argumentative and uncooperative. I most certainly wasn't in the best head space to be at school. I began drinking and taking drugs as I desperately tried to prove that I was still a human being, a creature with a soul and a spirit.
But that spirit had been crushed. It was withering and dying and I was becoming an empty husk.
You know how the story goes next. I was told I needed to quit drinking as, if I didn't, I'd be due a new liver in a matter of weeks. Then I overdosed.
That shit had to stop.
For the next ten years, I pulled myself back together, bouncing around the country from place to place and job to job. Settling wasn't an option as, in the ruins of my soul, there was this inkling that I needed to be doing something. I couldn't survive doing the regular 9 to 5 routine. I didn't want to have a house or a car or any of the other trappings of life. Not until I got to this unknown destination.
I started writing again. It took time and it took effort. I had to battle through the haze of medication I'd been given in the wake of my overdose. I had to learn to discipline myself into putting words on to paper.
|Writing screenplays 101: Make new "friends".|
So I did and I got lucky. I've had a few things published and picked up a couple of awards along the way. I'm very proud of everything I've done in these past few years and I thought that was it. My books were getting into peoples hands and I was happy.
Then the gnawing started again. My feet became unsettled and I found myself stressed for no reason other than being stressed. I got shouty and angry. My moods were swinging and I began to question life. Was this all there was? Was I going to spend the rest of my life in a tiny town and occasionally leave to go somewhere nice for a few days?
In June 2014 I had an email from a friend who religiously reads everything I put out. “This needs to be written as a screenplay. Do NOT do anything else with it. Screenplay first.”
This needs to be written as a screenplay.
Those words whirled around my head. Could I? Should I?
Suddenly that gnawing went to a whole new level. It began to take over me until I couldn't ignore it any more. So I got to work.
It took several months of going through notes, rewriting ideas, and generally making friends with my crippled soul again. But, by the end of it, I had a passable first draft. And, for the first time in years, I felt at peace. Suddenly the stress had melted away and I'd stopped caring about so many things which, quite frankly, didn't need my energy to care about. I stopped worrying so much. It felt as though my body was singing a different song. It felt as though I was on the right track again. My gut feeling says that it is. Over the past few months I've learned to listen to that sixth sense a little more so I'm going to do it now and follow this path. Let's see where it goes!
|Next stop, Los Angeles?|