Diverting your attention in a forward manner

Look closely and you'll see a lot of potential out there
Can you see all the potential out there?

I’ve been in contact with a few writers over the past couple of days, and several have mentioned their anticipation/nervousness over the pending announcement of the quarterfinalists in this year’s Nicholl competition.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve been occasionally thinking about it as well.

And it doesn’t help that the folks at the contest have been posting positive anonymous reader comments on Facebook over the past few months. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably read them and thought, “Whoa, that HAS to be my script!” or at least “This could be interpreted in such a way that it vaguely applies to my script.”

I think the number of entries this year was somewhere in the 7200 range, or probably higher. So maybe it is about your script, or maybe not.

The point is: There’s nothing you can do about it now. It’s out of your hands, and obsessing about it won’t do you any good.

Apart from just stepping away (or even actually going outside, where the fresh air will do you good), the best way you can counteract all this hand-wringing is to redirect your focus. Channel all that nervous energy into something more constructive, writing-wise.

How about getting your script ready for upcoming competitions? (Just Effing‘s absolutely final deadline is August 15th, TrackingB‘s late entry deadline is September 28th, and PAGE International will start accepting entries for 2014 in December.)

Or maybe take a closer look at those notes on your recent draft and see what you can do with them, or dig up that killer story concept you came up with a few months ago and fleshing it out a little.

It really doesn’t matter what you do, but it’s important you do something. Your work will be further along than it is now, which always works in your favor.

No matter what your plan is, set yourself up in your ideal writing conditions and have at it.