Have any of you ever seen the movie Bruce Almighty?
In it, a frustrated Bruce Nolan (Jim Carrey), a TV reporter dealing with career setbacks--as he sees them--and being passed over for an anchor desk position in favor of a pompous co-worker (Steve Carrel), takes a swipe at God for "smiting" him. In one scene, he asks for a sign from God and gets this:
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that God communicates with us in the manner in which we're most likely to notice--whether it's nature, another person, a song, a story--once, years ago, I was talking to a man I didn't really know while waiting at a bus stop. He told me a story, ending with, "How would you feel if you had traveled that far and turned back just as everything was about to turn around?" That conversation led me to take a chance I'd been resisting for some time--and indeed, everything did turn around.
Recently, I've been thinking about taking another risk--a big one, I think. In one week, I got two very similar messages from two completely different sources:
Am I nuts to act on this? Maybe. But if I don't, I'll never know if it was meant to be.
For years, I've wanted to be a screenwriter. At first, I resisted because it's an even harder career to break into than novel writing. And even if you sell a script, odds are by the time the film gets made--if it gets made--you won't recognize your own work. But I've mellowed in my old age, and the market for screenplays, like novels, has many more options available than writers had twenty years ago.
And I don't read much anymore, but I watch a lot of movies. When I write, I write as if it's a movie. When I was initially pitching Chasing the Wind to agents and publishers, I was told, "This isn't a novel, it's a movie."
So maybe I am a screenwriter. It's worth a try. And if it doesn't pan out, I can always go back to novels, right?