Because of emails like this!
My name is Matti Pasanen and I’m a 22-year old student from Lapland, Finland. I study media, specializing in TV and movies at the wonderful school of Keski-Pohjanmaan Aikuisopisto. I’m currently a freshman but I have previous experience in the movie industry but to be honest with you, it’s not much. I’ve been reading your blog every day, often several times, for at least over half a year, though I’m not a follower. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s just that I have tried to kept myself distant from social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Which is certainly ironic considering my chosen path of studies.
The point of this email is that I want to… no, I need to, thank you personally. (c what i did there?) I’m a struggling writer and a full time daydreamer. I’ve been working on two projects for close to four years now and I recently had a breakthrough and much of it is thanks to you. I like your casual approach to teaching the basics of screenwriting and the Hollywood tales you post from time to time. I feel like I have a chance, you know? It’s hard to explain but your blog has a very encouraging vibe to it.
Merry Christmas Mr. Myers, from Rovaniemi, Finland, the “official” home of Santa Claus.
We all know the odds against success as a screenwriter, playwright, TV writer, and/or filmmaker are long. That combined with the fact there are many practical considerations involved in carving out a career in the field of entertainment is why I devote as many posts as I do to the business side of things. It’s a competitive environment and all of us need to be reminded of that.
However, there is no point in pursuing a dream if you don’t allow yourself to dream in the first place. And the positive energy I put out on this blog is part of my DNA as well as personal history. I left a safe career path (academics) to pursue my own dream: seven years as a musician, two as a stand-up comic, the rest as a screenwriter and now writer-educator. It would be a total lie if I didn’t embrace hopes and dreams because I myself was a complete Hollywood outsider who wrote and sold a spec script that began a decades long career in the movie business.
So when I get emails from people such as Matti, I am gratified to know that this part of what I do — provide inspiration to readers — is somehow getting through.
Yes, it’s a fact Hollywood is extremely competitive. But it’s also a fact that Hollywood is constantly looking for great stories, writers with a distinctive voice, and new blood.
Here’s another fact: Variety calls people who write a spec script and break into the business by selling it “first-timers.” And I’ve heard from some writers who follow this blog who became first-timers this year. They are living out that dream. They wrote a spec script. They sold that spec script. And to hear from writers like these that what I do on this blog contributed even a little to their success… well, that’s another reason I keep doing what I do here.
So my Christmas wish for all you dreamers out there is simple: In the year to come, you nail that script. You write a great one. You sell it. You break into the business. Whether it’s in Hollywood or any of the other filmmaking centers around the world.
Keep dreaming the dream. Hoping. And of course, keep writing.
To Matti: Merry Christmas to you, too, my new young friend in Lapland, Finland, “official” home of Santa Claus.
And to all Go Into The Story readers: Merry Christmas to each of you as well!
[Originally posted December 24, 2010]
Why I keep hosting this blog… and a Christmas wish for you was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Author: Scott Myers