When “Strangers” Support You More Than People You Know

So, you’re someone who has decided to break the monotony that is everyday life by going for something and making a change in your life. Whether it is looking to achieve a lifelong dream or even something such as wanting to lose weight; you know this move is going to be something big.

Eventually, you begin to let others know about it. Thanks to social media, those people could be friends, family, or even “strangers.” As for these strangers, that means even if you speak to some of them often online, chances are, you haven’t met them in person yet.

If you are one of those people, have you strangely noticed that in many cases, it is the “strangers” or the ones you haven’t met in person who often seem to support you in what you’re doing more than the ones you’ve met or have known for a long time?

I can’t speak for everyone else and often don’t really like to anyway, so I will speak about how this applies to me. I am a screenwriter working very hard to do this professionally one day. Over the last few years, I’ve talked about it a LOT on social media.

The good thing about screenwriting is the only real “support” I need from anyone is in the form of moral support. I’m not selling anything or need anyone to buy something from me. Even if I were to post any of my work online (as there are a lot of writing sites out there that would allow me to do this), I wouldn’t even need to beg anyone for “votes” or anything like that. Truthfully, that wouldn’t help me anyway. It isn’t like those “vote for my baby” sites where people post it all over social media and ask their friends to vote for their children to win the “cutest baby” award or what have you. If I were to post my work, it would be mainly for executives, producers or other writers to look at and give me feedback on.

So even though I’m not really even asking for support, in my case, I think it would be pretty easy.

However, I’ve noticed this here also. I’m sure that it may change a bit after some of them read this, but that’s not why I’m writing it. I have mentioned this to family and some friends I’ve grown up with and some act as though I haven’t said anything. Then, some of my biggest and what I feel are my most genuine supporters are ones I’ve never even met in person yet.

As for talking about screenwriting and people skimming over it, one thing I find kinda funny is this. I’ve blogged about writing very often. I also talk about it on social media, as I said above. The funny part is that sometimes, I would write a lot about writing and then add something else in there, and that “something else” is the only thing some folks would address. It’s like I haven’t said a word about writing at all.

I get that not everyone knows what screenwriting is, because it’s not often addressed that way. It’s exactly as it sounds; writing for the screen as in television and movies. A screenplay is a play on the screen, mainly in terms of movies. A teleplay; a play on television. A stage play is a play on stage, which of course is what the others are based from. Every single television show or movie is written by a screenwriter or collection of screenwriters first. It has never been done any other way. Everything you see has been written before it is acted out by the actors and actresses we adore so much.

So, for me to want to write for television and movies? I’m not exactly the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but still…it’s kind of a big deal. It’s a wonderful, amazing career I’m trying to get into. While I don’t expect that everyone would go ga-ga over this, it’s still fascinating to as to who has show me genuine support and who acts as if I’ve said nothing at all. There are people who have literally never said anything to me in regards to my writing and trying to accomplish this, despite how often I’ve talked about this.

And again, I’ve noticed it more often from those I know well or have met than those I haven’t.

Even though I’ve largely taught myself how to write screenplays, I still need a ton of help and I am very openminded to this. Some of the biggest help I’ve received have come from other screenwriters I have never met and have known for a short amount of time. One friend of mine by the name of Tracie Jules is an actress and a screenwriter, and she recently read a script of mine and gave me a ton of help, but from the actor’s viewpoint, which I absolutely needed. I had one scene going on for much longer than I should have and I didn’t realize how long it would take to film a scene that went on for that many pages. It was something I overlooked until Tracie told me from experience, the length of time it takes to film scenes and all that goes on to explain why it takes that amount of time. She mentioned that it’s common for a two-minute scene to take a few hours to film. The scene in my script was eight pages long. So you can do the math there and imagine how the actor or actress who reads that would want to punch me in the face after seeing it.

But I’ve met Tracie on Twitter and have only known her for a short amount of time. On top of that, Tracie gave me so much detailed help and didn’t even charge me for it. I even offered and she turned it down. Even though it wasn’t detailed page-by-page coverage, there was still quite a bit of it that coverage contains that I would otherwise have to pay for. But again, this is someone I don’t know all that well, but am sure glad I do now.

So back to the support or lack thereof…why does this happen?

There could be any number of reasons “strangers” seem to support us more than our friends and family do. The quote posted at the beginning of this  could be a very big reason and I very much believe this, as a few of the people in my life have proven this. I’ve had to let go of childhood friends who have made it clear as to their displeasure (aka, jealousy) about to me going after this.

The truth is that many times, this is sadly the case. You and your friends and family come from the same “place,” but the minute you start moving up or look to improve your life in any way whatsoever, they take it as a shot at them and because they know they’re not doing much themselves, it bothers them. That’s really all there is to it. Many are in a certain place in their lives and expect you to basically “stay” there with them. Otherwise, you “think you’re better than them” or “high and mighty” and all that other good stuff. It’s insecurities on their parts.

Again, I’ve seen this in my own life, so it’s not a surprise. But at the end of the day, that’s their problem, not yours. There is NEVER anything wrong with doing whatever it is you need to do or feel you want to do to improve your life in whatever way you see fit. People who call themselves your friends or your family should be behind you more than anyone else rather than reacting in that manner, but we all know how it can be.

Of course, many of these are the same people who, once you do reach where you’re trying to go in some cases, would be the first ones jumping on board. For example, with me and looking to be a professional screenwriter. Most say little to nothing to me right now. But I’m willing to bet that once I’m listed as a writer of a popular movie or television show, the very same ones will boast about “knowing me” as if they’ve been on board since day one. They’d even pull the whole “I knew him before he became big” nonsense as if my success would mean less because of that or as if I would owe them something.

But that’s a blog post for another day.

This entry was posted in Friends, Screenwriting, Strangers, support, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When “Strangers” Support You More Than People You Know

  1. Jes Clemente says:

    Relatable. I look forward to following your journey and supporting morally.


  2. Kim Brooks says:

    This is a great article however I’d like to offer a different perspective. It may be that you receive more support from other screenwriters or other people in the industry because they know what it takes to successfully write a screenplay; they know the hard work involved, the late nights, the diligence, and if what you have written is good, they take time to celebrate you, because they know it’s not an overnight thing whereas, everyday people who wake up and go to the same job everyday and may not know what it takes, to them it may seem like something anyone can do, because they’re not in your shoes. So I would say support and celebrate those who celebrate you, and eventually everyone else will catch up. Love and Blessings from a fellow writer.


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