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1. I know more about what makes relationships work than ever before.

2. I know less about what makes relationships work than ever before.

3. The world is a world of grace, not justice. Yes, bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. But good things also happen to good people and bad things also happen to bad people. The Universe isn’t out to get you, the Universe just doesn’t play favorites.

4. You create your own definition of success. It’s not going to be (nor should it be) the same as anyone else’s.

5. In defining your own success, only choose barometers that you actually have control over.

6. If someone is going through a difficult time, the greatest gift you can give them is to suffer with them. We all just want to know we aren’t alone.

7. Trying to be “great” can be a frustrating pursuit. Instead focus on being more “you.”

8. Don’t be afraid of change. It may be uncomfortable but I’m not so sure that ‘comfort’ and ‘happiness’ are related to one another. Even if it leads to failure, be proud, that just means you’re trying.

9. Just because it doesn’t happen when you want it to happen doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

10. The minute we think we know better than anyone else is when growth stops. Always be open to new thoughts, new challenges, new experiences.

11. Don’t worry about what the future might hold, envision what it will hold.

12. Take control of your life. Recognize what you can and cannot change. Make an effort to work on the things you can, accept the things you can’t.

13. Love more. Trust more. Accept more. Empathize more.

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Dick Van Dyke looks like he can pull it off, but he also had the benefit of a pre-recorded soundtrack.

Dick Van Dyke looks like he can pull it off, but he also had the benefit of a pre-recorded soundtrack.

I believe it’s very difficult to be successful at any one thing if you are doing many things.

And I get it, you’re creative. You’re talented. You can sing, dance, play guitar, act, draw, sculpt, and write. And it’s sexy to be a Renaissance (wo)man, a multi-hyphenate . But you’re not going to reach those 10,000 hours to be an expert at any one of these if you are splitting your time amongst all of them.

And the truth is no job is JUST that job anymore. Success means you also have to market yourself and network and be seen on social media. And more than likely all of that in addition to a day-job. There’s just not enough hours in a day.

So how do you choose your “one thing?”

1. Which one fulfills you the most?

Which one can you NOT not do? Which creative passion hurts the most to let go of? Which one do you find the most satisfaction, not in the results, but in the process? Which one do you dissapear into and find yourself thinking “where did the time go?”

2. Which one have you found the most success at?

There’s probably a reason for that success. Maybe it’s natural talent, or maybe it’s because you’ve put more time into it than the others. Either way, previous success is a good barometer for what you need to be doing.

3. Which one can you see yourself doing ten years from now?

Maybe playing in a band is something fun while you’re in your 20’s but do you wanna be doing it in your 40’s? Then why put so much energy into it now? We’ve only go so many hours on this earth, lets get to it!

It should be noted that I don’t take my own advice on this. I run a poster company, a freelance design business, co-run a production company, write essays for this blog, and write movies and comic books. But that’s at least just two industries – design & film. And the design stuff pays the bills, my day job. The writing also pays some bills, just much smaller ones. And I’m working on “slimming down.”

What about you guys? Did you used to stretch yourself thin? How did you focus in on your “one thing?”

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You work a day job, you come home, maybe you’ve got kids, a husband or wife, friends, a house to clean, a yard to keep, gotta keep up with the facebook, and by the end of the day you just wanna get wine drunk and watch some tv until you pass out.

Not a bad life, honestly.

Until it bites you.

That bug. The one that says “write.” Not a suggestion to write, but an order. You can’t live without it. It’s like breathing. And like being pulled over for speeding, by the time you see the cop, he’s already got you in his radar… You’re screwed.

Because there are only so many hours in a day. And there are some very important things to do with those hours like paying bills and spending time with loved ones and eating tacos.

So how do you find the time?

You’re not gonna like it.

The truth is no one REALLY wants to know how to be productive, because it means giving up some of life’s necessities like sleep or Breaking Bad.

1. No more TV.

You’ve gotta sacrifice “down time.” No more binge-watching on Netflix. It’s a time-suck. And you may say “but I’m watching to be inspired”. Did you JUST start watching TV? You’ve got a whole lifetime of entertainment to be inspired from. Pull from that.

Better yet, pull from your experiences. Don’t have enough experiences? It’s because you watch too much TV.

Maybe this is “quality time” with your significant other. But tell me one memorable night you had watching TV with your partner. Got any? No, because it’s too easy. No one remembers the easy times in life. Make your experiences more meaningful. I’d take one awesome day of kayaking or a concert or building a coffee table over 5 nights of Modern Family. It’ll grow you closer to your partner AND give you new experiences to write about.

2. No more sleep.

This next point is arguable, because I’m pretty sure sleep is proven over and over to be good for you. But I’ve been my most productive when I sleep the least. If you’re running out of hours in the day, the only other place that’s offering free hours is late at night or early in the morning.

Wake up two hours early. Write.

Stay up after everyone else goes to bed. Write.

It comes with the bonus of having no distractions.

I wrote the first draft of my script Creature Seekers with a newborn. He’d wake up around 3am, I’d get up, feed him, put him back down and start writing. I’d write until about 6am when he’d wake up again, and his mom would get up with him and I’d sleep for another hour or two. I did this for two months and had a finished draft at the end of it (bonus that his mom was happy she didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night).

This is the kind of crazy life you have to have in order to write. But I tell you what… when you’re typing away at 4am and you’re in the zone, inspired by the worlds you’re creating, it’s gonna increase all areas of your life. You’ll be more alive. More creative. Happier. You’ll be doing what you’re meant to do.

Obey the bug.

What about you guys? Am I wrong? What works best for you and your schedule? How do you get you’re writing done?

 

 

 

 

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Ryan Ellis Boyd recently asked me to share a writing technique with him over on his fantastic blog, The Empty Page.

Here’s what I came up with:

FIND A COLLABORATOR.

It doesn’t have to be another writer, but it can be. On my wall, I’ve got 6 current collaborators listed. Two are artists that I’m working with on comic book projects. One is a producer that I’m working with to option a book to adapt. One is a co-writer on a screenplay. One is a co-author on a self-help book project. And one is a local director who gives me notes on a feature he wants to direct.

I list these projects above my desk so that I’m always working on one of them, and I keep in constant contact with these collaborators. They give me notes, they meet with me regularly and keep me on task. I can assign a deadline and have to stick to it because someone is always waiting on it.

And how do you find these collaborators?

All of the above were friends before they were collaborators. Though, some I sought out because I liked what they were doing. I think this is an important thing to keep in mind – look for a friend first, a collaborator second. It also helps to know that someone is going to be a pleasure to work with before you’re stuck working with them.

All are massively talented at what they do and most are at or about the same level of success as myself. They all bring something to the table that I can’t (and hopefully vice versa).

And most importantly, I tailored my work to their sensibilities and involved them very early in the process to give them a sense of ownership. They’re not employees, they’re partners. You want them as excited about the project as you are.

What about you guys? Any collaboration success stories? Or for you loners out there, what helps you stay on task?

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In the past year, I have been read and rejected by a major studio, a dozen agents & managers, two production companies, and failed to place in two screenwriting competitions.

So what did I do after all this rejection?  I had a drink (or four) and started on the next project.

No girl wants to date the guy that complains about being single all the time.

SplendoraHeader Hey gang, been a while since I updated this.  So what have I been doing with my time?  Writing, of course!

Thought I’d tell you about my latest spec script…

SPLENDORA.

Here’s the logline: For her 18th birthday, a sheltered teen just wants to kiss a boy. Instead, she gets supernatural powers, a kidnapped mom, five deadly sisters to battle, and the disturbing news that her dad is the Prince of Darkness.

The script was recently in the Top 15 Uploaded Scripts at The Black List and it’s enjoyed a lot of attention as a result.

What people have been saying:

“One of the best un-repped scripts I’ve ever read.”
– PDFScreenplays.com

“The script is a fun blend between action, fantasy, and comedy and has a very original premise.  A consistent string of comic and thrilling sequences, Splendora is a well-written script that isn’t too far from being production ready.”
– Blcklst.com

“[The] writing style is already industry standard.  Confident and strong.  Not too many Black List finalists give a reader this much old-timey rollicking good fun.”
– 10ptt.com

If you’re an agent, manager, producer, or executive and would like to give it a read, shoot me an email HERE.

As the readers of this site continue to grow (hi everybody!) I want to make sure I never allow you guys to turn into numbers.  My goal has always been to build relationships, not to collect readers.

With that in mind, I’d love to get to know you a bit!  Whether you’re an old friend or a new reader, take a look at the questions below and respond in the comments.

1. What’s a favorite non-social network website that you visit daily?

2. If you had to be stuck in a fallout shelter with one person (alive or dead, famous or friend) for a year, who would you choose?

3. What’s your favorite super hero movie?

4. Name one song I should go download right now. 

5. What types of posts would you like to see more of on here?  Essays?  Original comics?  Best of lists?  Interviews?  More opinions on comics, film, or writing?  Inspirational type stuff?  Practical, “breaking-in” type stuff?

Thanks guys!  Look forward to hearing from you!

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