What Drives You?
The other day I was having a delicious Caribbean meal and I reminisced about the time I was neck deep in pitching the networks at NBCUniversal. At the time I was developing my action thriller, Resurrection of Serious Rogers.
During dinner my friend asked me, “What drives you, Angelo?”
No one had ever really asked me that question so succinctly before. I’ve been asked what do I want to accomplish in life? How do keep going? But never have I been to discuss what drives me.
I sat and thought about it, but I already had the answer swimming around my brain. What drives me now is different. I’m older, hopefully more experienced, have more fruitful connections with people.
What motivates me is the knowledge that I love this business and I’m confident that a career as a writer, and all that comes with it, is my destiny.
What drives me, the thing that keeps me going one more day – day after day after day, is the fear that I will not be prepared to take advantage of an amazing opportunity when it presents itself. That is why I continually create stuff, and why I’m never satisfied with the amount of things I’ve created. It’s why I’ve written two books (three if you view the first book as a two). It’s why I have a heavy plate of screenplays and teleplays to write this summer.
My fear drives me, but if unchecked I know that it can cripple me. It is a double-edged sword, but a sword is a skillful weapon nonetheless.
I use this fear to push me to do things I am not comfortable doing. I used to hate pitching. In fact, I still hate it. My throat would clench at the mere thought of pitching to some snooty stranger. Even after 40+ pitches with network TV executives I still need two minutes to gather myself if I want to be good in the room. However pitching is a necessary evil, and now I envision every pitch as an opportunity to succeed rather than a chance to fail.
I fear not having pitches more than I fear attending a pitch.
What’s my greatest fear now? Phone calls. I loathe them. I get tongue-tied and stammer like an incoherent babbling knucklehead.
So guess what I’ve done more of in the last few weeks? I’ve made phone calls. Why? Because I fear not being prepared to take advantage of an opportunity as a result of my I refusal to call an agent or development executive more than I fear sounding like a dope on the phone.