I just finished a movie called The Words. It starred Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde. It was so many things. Mesmerizing. Moving. Motivating. Magical. It had this question to pose: Which do you choose, life or fiction? Because, as Dennis Quaid so emotionally says in the movie, the two, while very close together, never actually touch. The movie is without an ending, it just leaves the question hanging. Questions about parts of the movie…is Clay Rory? Is the old man real? Did any of it happen? Where is Dora? And the last line of the movie is Olivia Wilde asking Dennis Quaid: Which do you choose? Life or fiction?
This was so intriguing, I literally got up off of the couch, came to my desk and started this entry. How fitting that I should watch this movie on Christmas eve. The start of the last week of the worst year of my life. The week I’ve earmarked for reflection and exploration. The week that I hope to truly find within myself what I want. And it hit me as the credits rolled on this movie before I was ready…what I want…is fiction! I want to write fiction! I love books, and I love movies, but what I really like about movies, if I’m totally honest, is the writing. A good script is everything to me. The speeches in movies that move me, while always brilliantly performed by talented actors, move me because of the words. The words someone had the wisdom to write down. I thought I wanted to be the actor saying the words, and maybe a part of me still does. But what I want is to be the one writing those words.
I want to be a writer. I want to write all things: novels, plays, screenplays, and yes, even blogs. I want to write. I really really want to write. I want to write a movie that can do to someone what that movie just did to me. I want my words to be so profoundly moving, that when a great actor like Irons, Dench, or Hopkins picks up the script, they HAVE to play that part because they WANT to say those words.
Words. They’re everything to me. How did I not see it before? True I’ve dabbled in writing novels, have completed two, am halfway done with two more, and have even written a play, but I’ve never focused on it. Never devoted myself to it. That’s going to change in 2014. I’m going to focus on the words. All the words that live inside me and are dying to come out.
I think back on the movies that have moved me recently…and all had wonderful writing. The sacrifice speech in Beautiful Creatures. The discoveries articulated in the Perks of Being a Wallflower. The conversation between Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons in the greenhouse in The Words. The ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ scene in Good Will Hunting. And as it’s not always drama that moves, but comedy as well, the brilliance of the script for The Ground Floor or Dads, two new series I hope don’t get cancelled. What I’ve loved about all of that art is the words.
Words. Yeah. Words. I want words. My words. I want my words to be read by others. And if, just if, I get lucky enough to motivate, inspire, move, or make laughter for someone, well, then, won’t that be something to smile about.