16 Steps for Planning and Writing Your Script: Step 5

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Step 5: Think of your journal as an external hard drive of your memories

Good evening. My name is J.O. Booker and I am the producer, writer, cinematographer, director and editor of my first upcoming short film called L.O.V.E.: A Four Letter Word.

Welcome back and I hope that you have been journaling today. If not, journal now and come back when you are done.

Otherwise, let’s pick up where we left off from yesterday, or rather, let’s build on the foundation we laid last time. As you write in your journal, don’t worry about trying to account for every little thing.

Maybe someone said something to you today that stuck in your head, some truth that went off like a light bulb in your head–describe this moment and how it made you feel. Or maybe you were on your bike or driving your car and a song brought back some cherished memory you had in a relationship or from your childhood.  Maybe you smelled something that triggered a thought or an impulse.  Or maybe someone smiled at you and you felt something when they did–write this down.

By writing about something everyday — regardless of how small or significant — we accomplish 2 things: 1, we learn how to make written words extensions of ourselves, our thought and our feelings; 2, we learn to find value in every moment of our lives. 

How many of us can recall with clarity everything that’s occurred in our lives over a 3 week span?

You remember what you did and thought today, you remember most of what you did and thought yesterday, but the further back you go the foggier the images in your mind become. Every so often, like a flash of light, something will leap out of this fog — a birthday, an anniversary, the birth of your child, the death of a loved one, a kiss, that play you saw, etc. — but these instances are separated by intervals of time and space.

Journaling fills in these intervals and give them value in our memories.  Looking back in your journal will seem like a novel in itself.  Think of your journal as an external hard drive containing memories that would have otherwise been lost, or changed as our minds do when creating connective tissues for memories that aren’t as clear as others.  Or think of each entry in your journal as a snapshot interpreted in words. 


Anyway, hopefully by now you’ve come up with some ideas. Good!

For now, pick one and summarize this idea in your journal under the word “idea.”  In a couple of days, when we begin our brainstorming, you can select the idea you want to develop and place it in its own folder. Until then, keep writing!


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