So I met with my old screenwriting lecturer from uni and asked her for some Mentor March advice. She’s a very inspiring teacher and her advice was very simple:
Q. What are you good at that you can pass on to me?
A. Blazing my own trail- not trying to mimic someone else’s.
Q. How do writers improve?
A. They get older.
And then came the challenge: “ask a stranger for a secret.”
It was a pretty daunting thought, but as it turns out surprisingly easy. I headed to Melbourne today, and while waiting for my overpriced airport bagel, a man offered me a seat at his table.
So I asked him, and he was incredibly obliging. He bravely launched into a tale about a girl he loved, which ended in an awkward threesome. I wont go into all the details, but he’d loved her for a long time and she had gotten together with someone else. Then he met her at a party years later and they got talking about plants.
She interjected, and he found out all was not quite as it seemed… I liked the detail he’d added about talking about plants so I took it for my story today:
“I tried to grow a pumpkin from the seeds once, but it didn’t work.”
“Maybe you didn’t spend enough time on it?”
“I started out watering it every day. I’d heard plants respond well to music so I even sung to it. I liked to imagine a little pumpkin embryo dancing under the soil. But after two weeks I gave up, I knew it wasn’t going to grow.”
“You were too impatient. If you’d stuck by it, maybe it would have seen how much you wanted it to grow.”
“I can’t spend all my time singing to potential pumpkins.”
“It wasn’t potential, it was real, you just didn’t notice. It needed you. You could have eaten pumpkin every day if you’d just looked a little harder!”
“I dreamt of pumpkin every night. No one wanted it more than me. I’ve even left the garden bed empty all this time.So don’t tell me how to garden.”
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