Just 1%

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!

Hope your day of love has been more enjoyable than mine. For a euphoric kind of holiday, this day’s kind of the pits. At work I didn’t get several email responses I needed today, and got a couple I really didn’t want. Bleh. And to top it all off, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve only JUST arrived home to my hubby. (Good thing I wrote this ahead of time!)

Also, the Scriptapalooza TV Contest winners and finalists (and semi-finalists and quarter-finalists) were announced today, a day earlier than expected…and my name was nowhere on the list. *sigh* Sure, there was a bit of a sinking in my stomach, but a few deep breaths and a “chin up, soldier” pat on the back, and I’m good. As ready to get back in the game as an eager second stringer who took an elbow to the nose in his first minute on the court. Ha. Put me back in coach!

What I realize is that the timing of me reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” is no coincidence. Did you know that King nailed his first rejection slip to the wall above his desk when he was a teen? And when the nail couldn’t hold anymore slips, he replaced it with a stake? I smiled this afternoon, reflecting on the image, understanding that every writer—good, bad, great, successful, flop, hack, doesn’t matter—encounters rejection. It’s as much a part of the life-long creative process as finishing your first manuscript. The writer I will be in 30 years thanks Scriptapalooza today.

Part of me wants to pull out the projects I submitted to the contest and immediately start tearing into fixing whatever issues they possibly could have. Instead, tonight I’m pressing on with the knowledge that my best in September is not my best today, nor will my best today be my best in 6 months. I’m learning so much every day, applying the Japanese philosophy of Kaizan. Check it out via Scriptwriting U here. Basically, it says if you improve just 1% every single day in your craft, in one year, you will be 365% better than you are right now. I embrace that whole-heartedly. I can manage 1% a day and I love the idea of 365% improvement. From now until…well, whenever, I am my own student—reading like a fiend, writing as unclumsily as I can manage, connecting with other better writers, and practicing life balance. Just 1% a day. Now that’s a New Year’s resolution I can handle.

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