An Old Pursuit Becomes a New Pastime

I started this blog by talking about how I’d come to the sudden conclusion that I no longer wished to spend my time pursuing a long- but intermittently desired dream of being a paid screenwriter. That’s still true, in that I’m not interested in the pursuit. But I get ideas for new stories all the time. I’m not sure I’d want to spend time developing them into scripts. Sometimes, I think it’s just how I trained my mind to work; to look for stories or recognize them in our day-to-day lives.

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

Not long ago an alumni group from my college posted a request for scene submissions for a virtual reading. My last screenplay happened to fit the requirements perfectly. There was no cost to submit. And doing so required almost no additional work on my part. So, I submitted.

And my scene was chosen.

My reaction to this was so different than how it would have been a couple years ago. I would have stressed about it. I would have disproportionately fantasized what I could get out of it, career-wise. Instead, I looked at it like a new pastime. I thought it would be a delightful diversion—a tangent—from my everyday pandemic life. That I’d get to meet some alums in LA (albeit, virtually). And that I’d finally get to hear my characters’ voices come to life.

I think maybe if I’d had this attitude towards writing all along, I might have been a more disciplined and persistent writer. I wouldn’t have felt the desperation of not wanting to have a day job as I entered my late 40s. There would have been a calmness and confidence that went along with the pursuit, instead of an anxiety-driven race against time. Would I accept an opportunity to write a script if one were presented to me? If I wanted to work with the team involved, and if it meant being able to tell an interesting story with my voice, then yes—absolutely.

I have a day job, and I happen to love it. The relative stability of it. The regular schedule. That it involves a lot of writing, which, while not creative writing, is challenging and allows me to use my brain to problem-solve and craft a story about a product.

And I have time to write this, my blog. Which I long-neglected out of fear of writing the wrong thing. The good news is that the itch to write is back. I have more ideas for future posts. And while I may not be back to a regular posting schedule yet, you will see more from me. To be sure you don’t miss a post, please subscribe.

Keep doing what you enjoy. Stay safe. Be well.

Robyn Kern is the Tangentier. A long-time writer based in Los Angeles with a degree in screenwriting and an interest in mindfulness, many tangents led her here: a place where people can come to find and share inspiration, dwell in each others' passions, and learn how to surround themselves with what they love on the daily.

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