Monday, March 21, 2011


Greetings, friends!

Okay, I admit it. My blog looks a little rough. (I hit the wrong button, answered a question incorrectly and unknowingly erased my original template. The template I've used successfully for 3 years. Argh. Now my ads won't display correctly (or at all) and my blog just looks like it's fallen into a state of disrepair.)

But rest assured, I am here. Slowly patching things together.

Over the next two months, I'm going to try something different with my blog.

I have readers from all over the world... (I know this because I can "see" you in my Google analytics page)... but most of you have remained very quiet as you've perused my blog.

No worries. Really. It's my fault. I accomplished my goal of updating & transcribing an excellent article from Modern Maturity and now there's not much need to keep up with the blog.

(And, yes, perhaps it's time to start a new blog!)

(And, yes, perhaps after this little experiment, I will do just that.)

(And, yes, perhaps this little experiment will power the new blog!)

But, listen, forget all that! Here's the deal.

Thanks to Google AdWords, I've been gifted with $100 of free advertising. So I wanted to take this opportunity to turn the tables on my readers and let you know that:

For the next 2 months, I'm open to reading your original, unpublished screenplays and will provide feedback free of charge to anyone who is willing to share.

(Of course we'll have to work on a proper release form.)

And I definitely prefer to focus on screenplays for now.

I studied the form for years - I've practiced the form for years - and it's the form I'm most comfortable with. And yes, it's true I'm not a professional - but honestly, reading screenplays and giving constructive, useful criticism is something I'm pretty dang good at.

So -

This is the chance to get real feedback on your screenplay for the low, introductory price of FREE.

I ask that you please put your script into standard script format. (I'll find a link that will explain all the proper formatting tomorrow.) If you use a script formatting program, that'd be best. (Right now I can read screenplays in .FDR, DOC, .PDF & probably a few other formats as well.)

Then email me with "Screenplay" in the subject line, or leave a comment here (the preferred method) with your contact information - and I'll be in touch! (My email is

This is a good time to get feedback on one of your scripts. (Yes, sorry. One script per person please.)

Perhaps you don't have any friends you can talk "shop" with. Or perhaps you need more input than: "That was good, honey!" (with a friendly pat on the head). Maybe you need to know WHY your script was good. (Or maybe why it wasn't good, egad.)

Now, I don't want to crush your dreams of writing for the movies. I just want to give you more feedback than you may have received thus far. But I'm definitely suited to screenwriters who want real, down-to-earth, & HONEST feedback.

We'll figure out a way to discuss your script at some point. Perhaps in a live chatroom. Perhaps via email.

But that's the deal for now.


Let me know if you have any questions.

I look forward to getting to know you - and reading some cool stories!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reinvent Yourself: TRACK YOUR GOALS

Subtitle: Tracking Goals With The Writer's Store "Don't Break The Chain" Calendar

The Writer's Store sent this very handy 365-day calendar to the subscribers of their mailing list. Most of these subscribers are, of course, writers - but you don't have to write (or even know how to spell) to utilize the "Don't Break The Chain" calendar. The 365 numbered boxes
are small enough to fit on one page. But how do you use it? What is the philosophy behind it? Jerry Seinfeld knows! In a nutshell, it's a year-at-a-glance reminder that can be used to track any goal that needs to occur on a consistent basis. Here's the abridged original email. GTO

"This year, I'm gonna write more."

It's a popular resolution amongst our crowd. A great goal, but vague.

Maybe some of us promised to write every day. (That's better.)

But just like hitting a plateau at the gym, we sometimes lose the steam that once powered a new and exciting story idea. We take one day off, which turns into two days off; eventually, we find ourselves opening up a document only to realize it hasn't been touched in two weeks – or more.

Let's say you do write most of the time, but you take one or two days off each week for any number of reasons. That's still a lot of writing. But consider this: at the end of the year, that's roughly 10 weeks, or 2.5 months' worth of days that you didn't write anything.

That's where Jerry Seinfeld's productivity tip "Don't Break the Chain" comes in.

Years ago, when software developer Brad Isaac was performing stand-up at open mic nights, he received his best advice ever from the already-famous comedian.

Seinfeld explained his method for success: each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he had the exquisite pleasure that can only come from drawing a big red X over that day.

Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs. The idea was to never break that chain.

Not only does this approach program the body and mind to sit down and write daily – it also motivates you to continue that beautiful string of big, red Xs. If you don't write one day, you don't get to draw the X.

It doesn't particularly matter what you [do]. It can be anything, as long as you're actively and routinely pushing yourself.

[What are your goals? What can you accomplish - on a consistent basis - that would make you feel better about yourself or your life?]

Who is going to push you? For many, it's going to come down to self-determination. Your partner or parents or kids can encourage you too. Let them know about the calendar. After you prove you can keep the chain connected for a couple of weeks, they too will motivate you not to miss a single day.
 [I love the support that can come from our friends & family.]

[Source: The Writer's Store newsletter, January 2011. As edited by Greg Olszewski.]