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09/22/2003 - Find Solutions 2
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The first two steps in finding solutions were quite simple: Go in believing you'll succeed and always have an open mind. Pretty easy, huh? But what else is there that can help you find solutions? Lots of things. But the final two items I want to discuss are:

Study the masters. For every art, craft, career, or technique there is someone out there who knows how to do it better than anybody else. These are the masters. How do you get good at something? You learn the craft; you study the masters. If you were studying to be an artist in the same vein as Picasso, your task may be a little difficult. Picasso is dead. And even if he were alive, there's a good chance he may not give you an audience to see how exactly he does what he does. In screenwriting, it's quite easy to do that because most of the great screenplays are posted freely on the Internet. All you have to do is read them, study them, and dissect them as you would if you were a medical student dissecting another organism in order to figure out how it works. This is also frequently called "backwards engineering." And if it works on bodies and motors, and it does, then why shouldn't it work on screenplays as well? Guess what? It does.

All you have to do is take the time and take apart screenplays, word-by-word, line-by-line. Figure out the patterns. Ask yourself questions. Find similar structures, then discover why it worked, and more importantly, how it worked. Do this with dozens of screenplay, over and over and over again. Do this until it absolutely makes you sick to your stomach. You'll find that patterns show up again and again in almost the exact same places.

The last thing you need to do is set goals for yourself and follow them through to the end. I cannot stress the importance of this. It is critical that you make goals for yourself, every single day. When you start to realize these goals, no matter how small they are, things will begin to open up in your life and career. Solutions will present themselves in abundance. But you have to stick to this every single day. Make goals a part of your everyday life as you would eating or sleeping. Make it a habit, not a chore.

These are just a few days to find solutions in your screenwriting career, and life in general. There are many other out there as well. However, I guarantee that if you practice and follow each of these steps/guidelines, you'll be well on your way to a successful career in whatever field you choose to pursue, whether it be screenwriting or underwater basket weaving!


Until then...

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