"I am a screenwriter."
I awoke in the middle of the night with those words reverberating in my head. Why? I mean I write screenplays and have for awhile (please don't ask how long,) so why did these four words feel so different?
Eventually I dozed, but the question kept nagging me awake. Why? Why now, why different, why at all?
As dawn crept closer, incredibly bright lightening flashed though my blinds, and my closed eye lids, followed immediately by sharp bursts of thunder. A heck of an alarm bell.
I wasn’t ready to rise and go to my part time job as a senior bank teller. I wasn’t ready to be treated by customers as the lowest of peons. I wanted to stay home and mull this persistent question. But a PT job with health insurance bennies was where I had to be and soon. But I don't like to be titled a "teller," because it's a simply a job, and while I'm pretty darn good at all the banking stuff, it's not my life, my passion.
When I get the opportunity to tell people what I do, I tell them I write, or I’m a writer. They’re intrigued especially if I tell them this while working at the bank, (I liken my job to a waitress working while she auditions for parts) as if meeting a real writer, let alone one working in a bank is as alien as one from space.
Their next question is what do I write and for the past 6 years, my response is "I write screenplays." Now they’re even more intrigued and excited for I live outside of Hollywood. So it’s been fun to say I write screenplays, but some how it must not be enough for me any longer as evidenced by this nagging question.
All through my hectic "first of the month" morning at the bank, through lunch, dinner and watching the Golden Compass...a very disjointed movie, I was still wondering why waking up to those words was becoming a literal headache, until it hit me that I really am a screenwriter, it’s in my bones.
I can’t imagine not doing this even though it takes up a huge amount of time, effort and discipline. I haven’t won an Oscar or an Emmy...yet, and I’m doing my best every single day to put words on the page that will translate into magic on the screen.
I am a screenwriter.
And that title defines a major part of me, pleases and thrills me. It makes me stand taller. Even my attorney husband loves to say his wife is a screenwriter. So now when people ask me what I do, I’ll proudly, yet simply say; "I’m a screenwriter," (not just "a writer" or "I write") and watch their jaw lower, maybe even drop, especially when I’m at the bank, behind the line and "teller" is seemingly written all over me.
So if you have a dream, go for it full throttle, then adopt the title that manifests that dream. And don't let anyone tell you differently.