Doubting Doubt

I wish it was that simple…that I could just uninstall the self doubt that often lingers inside of me.  But it’s not and that’s okay.  The key is don’t give doubt too much power/credit/control,  etc, etc, etc…  Don’t let it stop you from achieving what is burning inside your heart, soul, mind and spirit.  We all have a little voice inside of us that craves to be fed and life can sometimes shut down that voice.

2017 was not a year I will look back on too fondly.  It was filled with a fair share of rejection and disappointment which I had to reconcile with.  This past year I wrote two new scripts (Let It Shine and Break Away) and I re-wrote two other scripts…screenplay – The Living Water and my play Animal.   The Living Water was submitted to the following fellowships/screenwriting competitions:
















Except for a semi-finalist showing in We Screenplay, The Living Water (and another script, The Great Surrender) did not advance past a quarter-finalist showing in any of the above.

In other news this year, my screenplay Who is Molly Steele? made it to the semi-finalist in the Screenplay Festival, but did not advance further.  And my new screenplay Let It Shine did not make the semi-finalist of the Karios Prize.  So, if anyone is keeping count, that  is 10 different places where my screenplays didn’t climb much up the ladder or leave much of an impression on the judges.  (Ouch)  Yes, it’s true, it is very much a subjective experience reading scripts.  What one judge loves, another does not.  However, screenplays that advance to a finalist position (or are a winner) are usually liked by all the judges.  There is something special/universal about these scripts.   My screenplays this year were not embraced in how I had hoped and dreamed they would be.  As 2017 ended and the calendar flipped to ’18, I feel the weight of discouragement and self doubt.

On a bright note,  just as the year was concluding, I get a call from the Alumnae Theatre who informed me that they have chosen my play Animal to be included in their New Ideas FestivalAnimal will receive a public reading and be performed on Saturday March 24 @ NOON on the Mainstage at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street).  To learn more about the reading, click HERE. I have written many drafts of Animal over the years and have stuck by the project because I believed in the story.   It takes that kind of belief to continue.   It takes courage to not get caught up with what feels like failure (instead of forced growth) and to keep putting yourself out there, to keep submitting your work.  It takes patience to remain focused.  It takes faith to doubt the doubt and to just show up day in and day out.

Failure is when you don’t show up and that’s when self doubt can get a hold of you.  After receiving an avalanche of not so positive results in ’17, there were times these past few weeks where I didn’t show up.  And that’s okay for awhile,  just don’t let it own you.  Dig deep.   Get back to work.  No one will do it for you.  Let each setback be a springboard to your next step up the ladder.  Muscles only grow and get stronger when you work them…and that doesn’t always feel great.

I leave you with a quote from inspirational writer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Regina Brett – a simple bit of advice that smacks self doubt square in the face:






  1. Thanks Romeo. These are words we all need as we press into the New Year!

  2. Josie Beylerian says:

    Glad to see that you are moving on Romeo. It takes a lot of chuppa to get out of bed , get a pen in your hand and carry on. You turned over a page and Animal is being included in the New Ideas Festival. Congratulations! Each day brings new challenges. You are up to it so keep moving on. There are so many possibilities down the road. You never know what a new day will bring forth.

  3. Linda Lyons says:

    Hey Romeo – what a great quote by Regina Brett! Although sounding “simple”, to get up, dress up, and show up are all steps which help one on the way to not giving up. It takes courage to take those steps. Your comparison of failure to “forced growth” is great. It’s so easy to just fail and not see the opportunity to carry on and learn and grow.
    So great to hear the news about Animal being included in the New Ideas Festival. All the best, Romeo!

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