Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a person saying or even feeling that they are the “best” at what they’re doing. Confidence is never a bad thing. You don’t necessarily have to actually be the best in order to say that you are. A lot of people out there would rather a person say that they ‘re the best, even when they’re not, because they love that confidence.
However, it is not something I will ever say myself. Here is why.
I am a very shy and very humble person. Even things I’m very good at, I would never consider myself as “the best” because I want to constantly seek improvement. The minute I declare to be “the best,” then comes the time where I start to relax…
…and we all know how that turns out for some people. I’m not that kind of person to just “relax” to much even if I felt I was the best, but it’s just not something I care to say.
As a screenwriter (who is not yet a professional screenwriter, but I won’t use the dreaded “a” word in front of it), I am very confident in my writing talent and ability. However, I will especially follow this mindset as I go on this journey to become that professional screenwriter.
The main reason I never want to say that I’m the best is because as long as I don’t say it, as I stated above, I will continue to seek improvement. I do understand that to not say that I’m the best is a turnoff to some people. It will convey to them that I lack confidence and they may not necessarily want to work with someone who isn’t confident in their abilities.
Once again, it’s quite the contrary. I’m extremely confident in what I can do as a writer. However, I’m also confident that I can learn a lot from others and I want to keep my mind wide open for that. I’m not going to approach people who have been doing this for longer than I have been and pretend to know more than they do. It is possible that I may do this or that a little bit better, but that’s different. My mind always has to understand where I am in this journey, especially as I will hopefully progress and begin to meet others in the business or area of screenwriting.
Speaking of which, very fortunate circumstances have allowed me to have a chance to meet and maybe work with my favorite professional actress. I am nowhere near certain as to what she will think of me having this mindset, but what I would love for her or anyone else I work with to understand is that I have a strong desire and passion to keep getting better every day. This actress I am speaking of has been in the business for more than twenty years. So I’m pretty sure it won’t impress her much that some fool off the street thinks he’s the best at something. She has surely come into contact with people who have believed they’re the best, only to find out that they may be just a few degrees past hot garbage. And that’s on a good day. So I won’t BS her about this. I’m sure she will be more concerned with my work than my words.
I also understand that it may be risky to convey this mindset often, especially to someone who is a professional actress and has been doing it for that much time, because it could also send the impression that I will need to be “taught” everything, and I can understand why that would be a turnoff to her or anyone else. There isn’t always time to stop and teach someone to basically crawl when you’re already running marathons.
However, I still feel better in thinking this way, because I know I am relatively new to this. I’m not going to approach her or anyone else I may be able to meet and pretend to be otherwise.
I absolutely love to write scripts. I am honestly so in love with this process right now and everything about it. I can’t even imagine that people actually get paid to do this. I have so much fun doing all of it now, and this is forcing it into my already busy schedule as a soldier, a father and husband. When I watch movies or television programs, many times, I take notes. I love it. I also do a lot of research and reading about screenwriting. I love to read scripts. I am truly a student of this and I want those I work with to understand that. I am not someone who will be difficult to work because I will think I know everything. I do not at all, and I would love to learn more. In understanding that I could meet my favorite actress or a few others like her, I honestly feel that humility is my best bet. They certainly will not have to “teach” me everything or bring themselves to a crawl, but they won’t have a difficult person on their hands, either.
Another reason I don’t care to pretend to be the best is this…what happens the first time someone I’m working with disagrees with me on something? Well, in believing I’m the best, that may be a bit of a problem. We’ve all worked with that person who feels they’re the best and the minute we question something, that person doesn’t want to hear it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and agree with everything everyone says. But I’ve always considered myself as a very open-minded person. I’ve sent my scripts to several contests, but mostly to receive feedback. That alone is what made the costs of these contests well worth it. In all the feedback I’ve received, I certainly have not agreed with it all. Some of it just plainly did not make sense and I have no desire to change my work based on that advice. However, a lot of it did make sense and I’ve been applying it. I know that to be successful with this, I can’t necessarily agree with every single thing someone else tells me. Everything does not work for everyone. Many are sharing personal opinions rather than what will work and what won’t. I have to be intelligent enough to know the difference.
I always want to challenge myself, especially in the area of screenwriting. I want to be certain that I put myself in the position to continue to want get better each and every day. For me, the only way to do that is to never believe that I am the best. No matter how good I become or how many years I work as a professional once I do make it there, I will never say I am the best. Because once I say that, I feel there’s nothing left to accomplish or there is nothing I can learn from someone else. When I think about meeting my favorite actress, there is a lot I can learn from her and I would love to even have that opportunity while working with her at the same time. If I am fortunate enough to work with other actors, executives or writers, it’s the same thing. I want to learn constantly. There is so much wonderful knowledge out there and I’ve made it to where I am today by keeping my mind open and soaking it all in. I don’t know everything, but I am very intelligent person to know what I do know, understand how to find out the things I don’t know and to have the humility to accept the things I don’t know as well.
As an Army soldier for the past eighteen years, I’ve noticed that while some people have been turned off by me not believing I am “the best” at something, what has happened much more often is that people have had a lot more patience and a respect for me to be humble enough to want to learn, to want to constantly ask questions and to not feel I am the best. I’ve had many people tell me that they’ve enjoyed working with me just for that reason. I hope, more than anything, that folks in the screenwriting business, actors, executives and so on, will some day feel the same way.
Not saying I’m the best doesn’t mean that I’m not confident. Again, I am very confident in what I can do and my talents as a writer. But I am even more confident that I could become much, much better if I realized now that I’m not quite there yet.
The more I realize this, the more and harder I will work in order to get there. And I can’t imagine anyone seeing that as a bad thing.
Thanks for reading. I hope everything is well with you all.