The 12: Willingness
by The Writer
Step 8: Willingness
Taking responsibility may sound simple, but it’s not.
I must be willing to make amends with those who have been affected by my words, stories and illusions. Becoming willing to make amends for my actions is about accepting responsibility. My choice to be a writer means being accountable for the creation of illusions that evoke emotions– an extremely powerful thing. And with great power comes great responsibility. Those I’ve harmed with my writing are many, and I don’t just mean the executives, and agents who had to endure work that wasn’t my best. My friends and family have been affected also. However, I wasn’t fully aware of the harm I inflicted to others, and to myself. I didn’t really take in the scope of being a writer until it was too late. Although I perhaps didn’t consciously choose to be a writer, my decision to write things I’ve written, in the way I wrote them produced results similar to a pebble dropped in a pond. Carried across the surface, the small ripples produced change. The change was small and unnoticeable at first, but the more I wrote the more ripples I caused, forever breaking the stillness within. Good or bad, the change was unstoppable. Although I can’t be responsible for how my work is received, I can be accountable for the emotions I express– Whatever the emotion, whatever the message, whatever the intent, the one most affected was of course, myself. And by hurting myself with words, I hurt others. Incidentally, it also includes words and stories I think of. Conversely, empowering myself through words and things I create, empowers others, even if at first it is not perceived as such. The act of working in solitude has a potential for greatness, and the potential for disaster, but working ‘together’, has a much more powerful effect. Being inclusive and writing with a sense of togetherness means to allow exploration of my complete self, not just the part that wants to avoid external criticism. Taking responsibility doesn’t make me invulnerable to criticism, it allows me to turn it into something positive.
- Habits of Successful Screenwriters: Be Comfortable with Solitude (scriptmag.com)