Throw Out the Buttons

It happened to me after my youngest daughter came into our lives.  A re-awakening of sorts.  Up until then, I was pretty good at maintaining my façade of perfection.  Some might argue with this, but I felt like things were pretty darn orderly and organized with two kids around.  I initially expected the status-quo to continue once the third child came into the picture.  But once I was faced with the commotion of three kids, something liberating happened to me.  I guess I mellowed.  I know I prioritized.  I realized I could no longer hope to be perfect.

I didn’t fully grasp the evolution I was undergoing until one day when I looked at a pile of buttons.  Actually, a pile of little button bags.  You know the ones.  The mini bags holding matching buttons that are so conveniently attached to new clothes.  Just in case you lose one and need a replacement?

Well, those “convenient” button bags had begun to torment me.  They were lying everywhere in my house angling for organization, just another thing on my long to-do list.  One day, I had the bold idea to throw those button bags out.  Right into the trash!  Instantaneously off my to-do list.  What a freeing experience.  Sure, the concern that I might someday need those buttons nagged at me a bit.  But I knew, in the grand scheme of things, this was not a huge worry.

All this is to say that the no-saving-buttons attitude is also what allowed me to start screenwriting.   To risk something. To try something daring, new and exciting with my writing.  To use a  free and fearless approach to putting words on paper.

So in light of this, my advice to someone starting out in screenwriting would be to throw out the buttons.  Take a leap of faith and don’t be afraid of mistakes.  It takes a few mistakes to get where you want to be.  If you find that you’re missing a button, you can always run to the nearest store.


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