I applied for the Bang2Write intern position with about five minutes to the deadline. I figured I probably wouldn’t get it, but hey! What was the harm in giving it a go? Well, it’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I am genuinely sad to be signing off as intern. So, for my final post (SOB!), Lucy asked me to share 10 lessons I learnt during my time at Bang2Write HQ.
1) Say yes. This simple act has now become my mantra. I said yes to an online internship even though I started out not feeling 100% social media savvy. What the hell was I going to say week after week? But you know what? I always found something to write about. Always. It’s a bit scary, but saying yes opens you up to new possibilities. Give it a try.
2) Make sacrifices. So, I had my new fancy internship, was trying to finish my Masters at the same time and I also needed some cash. But I was determined to make my internship a priority, so I downsized my life in every conceivable way to save money. Success always means sacrifice, even if it’s little things like staying up an extra hour to work at night. Ask yourself, what are you willing to give up to achieve your writing dreams?
3) You are not alone. I feel like I’ve been thoroughly welcomed into the Bang2Write army with open arms. Pretty much everyone I’ve encountered has been incredibly supportive and friendly. They, and the good folks who run scriptchat, also helped me with my research for my Masters. People are willing to reach out and connect if you let them. So do. You won’t be disappointed.
4) People notice. If you’re involved in the online screenwriting community, your tweets/facebook posts are being read by all sorts of people at all levels in the industry. If you’re a Debbie Downer that moans about how unfair the industry is, you’ll be seen as the killjoy. And contrary to popular belief, misery doesn’t like company. Be positive and enthusiastic about your work and that of others. More Funtime Fanny, less Sad Sally please.
5) Not everyone agrees with you, and that’s okay. Do I agree with everything everyone says online? Of course not. However, one of the most important lessons I learnt was that as long as you’re respectful, you can agree to disagree, and sometimes even walk away having learnt a whole lot you didn’t expect. Keep your eyes and ears open to healthy disagreements.
6) Remember you are human. I have had some wonderful life experiences. I have had some terrible ones. I’ve certainly had my fair share of embarrassments. Many of them came in handy during my internship, especially when writing weekly blog posts. Why? Because people don’t relate to shiny and perfect. They relate to a bit tarnished and human. Remember this when you’re writing and show everyone what you are, warts an’ all.
7) Step outside your comfort zone. My first day as intern was pretty terrifying. At first, the passwords wouldn’t work properly, I misspelled a couple of things (URGH!), and I was just generally unsure of myself. But I loved every second of it because I was engaged and challenged. Within a couple of hours everything was fine and I was rattling away on my keyboard happy as a clam. So take a leap of faith. Try something new. Surprise yourself.
8) Age ain’t nothing but a number. I almost didn’t apply for the internship as I was convinced that at the age of (nearly) 34 I was too old. I was soon set straight by Lucy. But what if I hadn’t applied? This taught me that the only person concerned about my age is me. Nobody else is bothered if you’re not. So don’t let your date of birth stop you from picking up that pen or taking a course. My mum got her degree at 58, so what’s stopping you from writing?
9) WRITE! My time as intern has taught me many things, but I’ve been surprised at how much my writing has improved through the act of flexing my writing muscles every day. As I’ve said before, successful writers know the secret to writing a great novel/play/script is…..writing. It’s that simple, and that hard. But you can snatch time here and there. Just start. Why not today?
10) Do stuff for free. When I was a singer, I used to tell people they should never do anything they’re good at for free. What a terrible attitude to have! Nowadays, I take on projects because I’m passionate about them, money or no. I also believe that if you’re happy to do so, you will be rewarded in ways you didn’t expect. My internship is proof of that. During the last five weeks, as a result of my internship I’ve written articles for online sites, been on BBC Woman’s Hour, been asked to return to give a lecture at my University, and also made a wonderful new friend in Lucy. Money ain’t everything.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for being so darned lovely and welcoming, but the biggest thanks goes to Lucy, who, having never even met me, handed me the keys to the Bang2Write Queendom and allowed me to roam freely for nearly two amazing months!
I guess that’s largely it from me for Bang2Write, however you’ll probably be hearing from me soon in a different capacity as I’m off to work for the London Screenwriter’s Festival! I’m very, very excited at the prospect of continuing to work with Lucy and becoming a part of the LSF team, especially as I know exactly what the festival can do for budding screenwriters like you and me.
So, instead of it being the end of the movie, shall we just call it intermission?
Good. I’ll get the popcorn.
BIO: Daisy Martey is a screenwriter and academic from London. She has been short-listed for the Red Planet Prize and BAFTA Rocliffe New Writer’s Forum. Prior to becoming a writer, Daisy worked in the music industry for over 10 years as an acclaimed recording artist/songwriter and until 2005 was the lead singer for Morcheeba, who have sold over six million albums worldwide. She is represented by the JFL Agency.
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