Every once in a while, we’ll re-post one of Blake’s inspirational blogs. This was first published on June 19, 2008. Its message this June — in fact, every June — still resonates.
Every “no” is one step closer to a “yes.”
That’s a little motto my producer father taught me. And he knew. He proved that “get up off the mat and hit ‘em again” works.
My dad’s motto is more than a lesson in persistence; it is a mathematical certainty, and a spiritual one. It means there are x number of “no’s” between you and victory, so why not get through them?
And do so with a smile?
Why not look at that “pass,” that “no thanks,” that “sorry, we already have something like it” as getting closer not farther away from your goal. We are closer every time we even assay the field.
I love this philosophy. It helps me stay in the game when a string of “no’s” urges me to quit. We are indeed getting closer each time out.
But we must also ask an important question: closer to what?
You say you are closer, but what does that mean?
What is your goal for today? What is your goal for this month? What is your goal for this year?
Are you getting closer to these goals, or do you have to re-tool, change goals, and figure out a new way?
We are half way through your best year ever! This is the year you succeed wildly. This is the year you become what you always wanted to be. This is the year, 2008, when all your dreams come true.
What does that look like?
Do you have a clear picture of what you’re wearing when the phone call comes? Have you picked out the pool that will be in the backyard of the house you buy with the proceeds from your amazing spec screenplay sale that everyone in town is talking about? Do you know what charity you’re going to give to with the money that comes flooding in your door — and maybe it’s not a bad idea to start tithing now?
The routine of pursuing our goals sometimes becomes exactly that — routine. We write x number of pages per day, send out x number of email queries per month, attend x number of meetings with our writers groups. All good. It’s the process.
Yet occasionally we must take a beat and look around. As we push toward our goal, let’s pause and assess exactly where we’re going.
Failure is not an option for us. We are here to succeed. We are here to get closer to our goals by becoming better in the face of a “no.” And that alone is a “yes” I can proudly claim every hour of every day!
How is your year progressing? What is your assessment of how you’re doing — and what changes do you have to make either in your goals, or your approach to them, to make this year the best ever?
Mostly, what can we do to help? That’s also why we’re here. If you need help, ask for it. If you want feedback, get it. Ask for help. And ask for success. Say it out loud, and every “no” will become a “yes.”
Next week’s blog: The Tangled Beat Sheet
I knew I was going to win a screenwriting contest this month. Oh! I submitted such a good script. I did not win. Imagine that, Where was I when I needed me? Thanks to Blake’s words and thanks to the cats I get another little boost.
- Bob Conder
I find it interesting that Blake is still the bigget cheerleader/life coach I have ever met! I was blessed to meet him and blessed to hear the echo of his words.
Thanks for sharing,
- Maria Alexander
I love this philosophy! It’s so true. Tim Powers was saying the exact same thing in the talk he gave at my office two weeks ago. A rejection is just one “no” closer to an acceptance.
This also reminds me of my first screenwriting mentor, Sam Scribner. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0780122/) He’d say the exact same thing: we’re here to succeed. Rest in peace, Sam. Maybe you and Blake are now comparing notes at that script meeting in the sky.
- Matches Malone
I didn’t get a call. I got an email. Was sitting in front of this here computer when I was told my option was going to be picked up….
- Lisa R Waite
Great reminder and also a great inspiration.
We miss you Blake! You were not only a great teacher, inspritation, and motivator. You were one of a kind. And it’s so great to be reminded of your message to us in these revived blog posts.
- PK Hrezo
Hi, Mr Snyder! I just finished reading Save the Cat and it was such a huge help. I write teen fiction and I knew the “Golden Fleece” draft I just finished was good, but lacking something. After reading going thru your BS2 sheet I nailed down what was wrong.
Thanks so much for an awesome guide! I’m recommending it to all my writer friends. :)
- John Rogers
Trying to connect with Captain Bob Conder – former Commanding Officer at SWOS. Is this you, sir?
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Blake Snyder is the most passionatly positive and patiently persistent person I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting…
His words are still reaching and teaching throughout the world…
Rest easy, good friend…
Tim Malloy — New Jersey