Years ago I wrote a book and I sold the movie rights to FOX studios. They wanted a screenplay written. I had never given much serious thought to writing a screenplay for the big screen or the small screen. After writing a book and being approached about a screenplay, I thought, “Hey, that’s what I want to be in life – a screenwriter!”
They asked me to write it with an Academy Award winning writer. The writer invited me to lunch at their home. It was an informal lunch eaten around the pool with the producer of the project and myself. I was grateful to have the opportunity to learn from successful Hollywood individuals, so I thought the best course of action was for me to keep my mouth shut and take it all in.
I learned the writer, like me, had never gone to school for writing. I learned the producer had built up an international production company in Scandinavia and sold it for a huge profit, then moved to Hollywood and started a new company in a new country. Instead of retiring, he started over and continued to work hard.
During my time working with both of them, I was given a crash course in writing for a studio. It was like a private lesson in screenwriting. Looking back now I can see that I was already losing interest in writing for Hollywood, the more I learned about the business. What I thought I had wanted, I was realizing was not my passion.
Even though I was unsure about my next steps in life, I learned valuable lessons and kept pushing forward. In the end, my show was not picked up by Fox, but I learned enough to write my own western screenplay and sold that to History Channel.
Through my contacts on that project, I was able to secure a writing/consulting job for a movie production company in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up immensely while going through this Hollywood period of my writing career. The screenwriting work was a chance for me to work with people from all walks of life.
People like to talk about overnight success. I learned that successful writers toil away for years before they get an opportunity to shine, and even then, they may end up losing it all.
Projects will come and go, but the people you work with along the way are important, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Work hard on every project, big or small, and always go above and beyond.
We each have our own paths with unique wants and needs. If we follow someone else’s path we may have limited success, but it is fleeting. We are all on our own journey, and as long as you keep learning from every opportunity and developing your skills, no project is a failure.
Opportunities often come in life when we least expect it, and they often come from unexpected people or places. Work hard, keep a positive attitude, treat everyone with respect and pursue the passions that God has put in you – and you too will fulfill your purpose in life, even if you aren’t sure what it is right now.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: