My First Play Script

At the Beginning of this year I had to go back to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to write my two exams because last year there were strikes about Fees must Fall and many of my classes were missed and cancelled. As students we were given options to either write all your exams in December or write some exams in December and the remaining in January the following year (2017) or write all your exams in January (2017).  I decided to write two in December 2016 and the remaining two in January 2017.

So I came and wrote my two remaining papers and for that time I crashed at a friend’s place. After a while waiting for my results all I did was browse Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because I literally had nothing to do. One day I was going through my Facebook and I came across The Herald live Port Elizabeth post about a writing competition.  The competition was about play scripts which is something I have never done before…something I had no idea about. So I figured oh well why should I be worrying myself too much about this I don’t even know where to start… at the time I was on my last chapter of my upcoming thriller novel THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET.  It was my only focus, but all of a sudden as I closed my Facebook this epic idea came into my head… everything connected in my mind. It shocked me that it was this feeling I just couldn’t explain. I ignored it at first but it kept coming to me and the idea became bigger, I could see it right in front of me but I kept telling myself I’m no playwright.  Two days passed and the idea of that epic story was still there and sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night because the idea woke me up… literally it was just pushing me to start typing.  Right then I woke up and checked the Herald live page again. I read it couple of times and the submission date was like the 12th of February and I only had a few days to write a full play script and submit it.

That night I started googling the basic rules of writing a script.  All I had was Google and this epic idea in my mind.  I spent almost 3 hours learning the rules of play writing. Then I started typing and everything just came together.  I was surprised at how everything connected.  I kept writing and the whole script came together. I wrote every day, up to 8 hours each day.  Each an everyday I hoped my story was making sense and the structure was good.  After writing each Act I would ask a friend to read and give me feedback.  He did so and gave me an honest opinion. He was brutal some days and I would feel horrible, like what I wrote could never win anything but now I realize his critical eye helped make me a better writer.  I listened to his suggestions and continued writing and editing. The day of the submission came and I was reluctant to submit.  I kept thinking maybe my script wasn’t good enough.  Who would be interested in this type of story?

But then again I thought what could possibly go wrong if I submit this… nobody will ever know.  I needed to do this for me and no one else, to prove I could. I opened my email and attached my first ever play script.  I looked at the send button for a while and finally I pressed it and submitted.

After the submission I had all sorts of feelings like what the hell did I just submit… oh maybe I will make it to the next round… oh no my play is too short… dang I finished this in such a short time does that mean it’s horrible?  All those thoughts came at once.  I waited and waited and finally went back home to Botswana so I would stop thinking about the whole thing because I was getting so anxious. A couple of weeks passed while I was in Botswana and in mid-March I still hadn’t heard from the competition people.  I gave up on waiting and wanted to forget about the whole thing. But then I received a text from the coordinator saying my play script has made it into top 3 finalists who will have their plays compete on the 1st of April 2017. This was unbelievable news! How on earth did I become one of the finalist was all I asked myself? I had so much self-doubt but I guess it was legit. I was one of the three finalists! My first time writing a play and my play script was breaking through.

I have plans to write more scripts because my ultimate dream is to see more of my writing become alive. I want to write TV shows, movies and series. It only takes one decision to completely change your life.  We often forget God has a plan for us and give up too easily on ourselves. This experience has taught me we all have to believe in ourselves more.

To be continued… More about my amazing experience seeing my script come to life for the PANSA competition!IMG_3772

Self-doubt?

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt – Sylvia Plath

Self-doubt destroys dreams, hopes and creativity. It is basically not having enough confidence to come out of your comfort zone and become that person you have always wanted to be.

We all grow up wanting to become someone in life, someone better and at some point believes in themselves and be able to raise their heads high up. But as we grow up certain things become a challenge, like a very huge challenge that just stops everything. A challenge that just blocks you, literally blocks you. It becomes that road filled with deep ditches with no ladders to help you get out. Sef-doubt being one of those demons that stand between you and that person you know you can be.

So what do we do in that situation…we tend to corner and get way too comfortable in that corner. Thoughts of not being good enough  fills up your mind. You feel like you are imprisoned but you can still see that beautiful, rich and greener view just on the other side. You keep telling yourself, “Im not good enough for something like that” which is where you get it wrong, ALL WRONG.

We keep forgetting one thing as human beings, that the brain is a very…very powerful organ we have. What we tell our brain is what we stick with. So below is a few ways to help you overcome self-doubt. Remember its all in the brain.

  1. Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will : Tell yourself that every day when you wake up and before you go to bed. Stick to it no matter what and see how your life changes because self doubt is literally a dream killer.
  2. Whats the worst that could go wrong huh? I mean what could possibly be worse than not bringing out your full potential. Well NOTHING, so go for it! Tell yourself you got this no matter what happens, remember you kicked self-doubt right in the balls.
  3. Totally forget what people will say about you. Just dont care and DO IT! We all have different destinies, why should you care who is going to say this and that.
  4. Take things slow, at your own pace. What the next person might be doing that works out for him or her might not necessarily work out for you. So get to know yourself more and what you really want for yourself and take it slow.
  5. Remember even the most powerful people in the world at some point had self-doubt probably still do but they dont give it that respect and power. They slay it like that viking from VIKINGS series…whats his name…yah that dude who just doesnt care. He kills everybody. Just use his style and dont give self-doubt that power.

Self-doubt only stops you from your next greater thing. Next best seller author, next famous soccerstar, next amazing singer, next Michael Bay (Oh yah thats my favourite movie director). So you might be my next favourite movie director.

Remember wake up and just tell yourself today I’m doing something thats going to bring me closer to what I really want to be. Also it is very important to find what you love and enjoy the most and just follow it. If your dream is calling you then listen to it and GO GET IT.

Get up from your comfort zone, tell self-doubt ‘its been real pal. NOT TODAY OR EVER!’

YOU CAN DO IT!!

FEAR OF FAILURE?

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” Johnny Cash

Those are my favorite words from Johnny Cash. They have always helped me close the door on my past and use failure as a stepping stone.

I’m currently working on my first novel which is thriller. I’ve worked on this novel for almost 3 years now and nothing but fear of failure had always held me back on my writing. This fear made me corner with all the written papers of my novel. At first I had no idea why I felt this need to just write then not publish any of my work, but I just kept writing. Nobody knew I was writing, I kept it a secret because of fear of being judged and criticized which all built up to that fear of failure.

That fear of failure took the worst turn as I started pulling away from writing which was the only thing I just loved doing. It became a distraction, a big wall which stretched 20 feet  around me and no way out. I stayed away from writing completely not because I couldn’t write anything but because of fear of seeing my dreams crumble in front of my eyes before they become a success. I started making up excuses to not write at all, convincing my self for pulling away from writing.

This went on for years since my Junior school days. I found no reason to write at all until sometime in my Senior school days, my mother found my piled up papers of my novel. I got really mad at her for bringing out such, I didn’t want to see them but in her side it was a different perspective. She convinced me to keep writing, soon or later I will get over that fear. Honestly I was done with writing, I didn’t want to hear anything about it. I kept running away from it even though my mind had all these great ideas I could turn into short stories and novels but I was literally running away from it because of fear of failure.

“Why should I risk being the laughing stock of the world with my crappy writing? What if I fail at it?” that was the only thing I kept asking myself and forgot why I wanted to write. Not too long I had troubles with my studies at tertiary, pursuing my pharmacy degree started weighing so much on me, I was getting depressed. I started looking at my work, all that I’ve written so far, watched some videos on fear of failure and how to get over it. I learned fear of failure only made things worse because it means not willing to try and not willing to try brings with it regret and all other things that would even make it harder for you to believe in yourself.

I learned so much about getting over fear of failure, I wrote down my reasons for writing and I’m talking now with a full manuscript of my thrilling suspense novel (THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET) in the editorial process and will be published soon.

Writing, reading and researching helped me realise its not about fear of failure but what comes with not trying. That scared me the most, the thought of not giving it a try was weighing me down more that that fear of failure. My process of getting over the fear of failure started by creating that space for critics because as a writer there will always be critics around your writing.

Use fear of failure to achieve greatness! Remember fear causes more damage than failure.

Like Johnny Cash said, You build on failure. Failure is inevitable but it doesn’t mean you have to sit down on your dreams because you fear it. It only means be ready for failure at some point and use it as a stepping stone to achieve your dreams. Understand not giving it a try is worse than fear of failure. So go out there, work hard at your goal and believe in yourself no matter what.

FEAR NOT TRYING…

REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Not trying is worse than fear of failure
  2. Believe in yourself
  3. Work hard
  4. Don’t hesitate to talk to someone you trust if you are going through a hard time
  5. Be ready for anything
  6. The road to success is filled with trials and tribulations

 

HEAVENLY SENT

By Mogomotsi Monnana

The little kid lived in the floor above mine, she stayed with her parents. A young pretty girl with big eyes and black curled hair. She never said anything else other than “good morning Mrs. Garret” every single morning before she went to school. She loved playing with my husky puppy on the first floor as my floor was ground floor. The ground floor was just ideal for a grumpy old woman who only loved her flowers and puppy.

One morning she said “good morning Mrs. Garret, can I come over to your place after school?” Even though I loved my alone time…I was shocked that she had said more to me so I couldn’t say no to the little girl. Interested at how she wasn’t scared of me while most kids her age on the same street were. I grinned and said “yes of course just don’t damage my flowers okay.” The little girl chuckled and looked at her father, she looked peaceful and disciplined but I hated children. They always reminded me of the fact that I couldn’t have one.

Hmm…Oh what was her name? It starts with a T I think…Tessa or Tasha. I think it was Tessa, she was the only kid in the whole apartment. She looked lonely sometimes but most of the times my puppy Charlie kept her busy, at least that kept him away from my flowers.

Later on I started reading a novel, for the 5th time since my husband got it for me as a gift 3 years ago. It reminded me of him every time I read it and his one wish he told me to do for him before he died in my arms, which still haunts me to this day, God bless his soul. I wish things were different, I wish everything was different that I gave him what he wanted, children, but I couldn’t because of my abusive father. The thought of kids made me emotional, angry and sad at the same time but I knew how my late husband loved children he would have loved the little Tessa from the floor above.

Charlie couldn’t stop barking at the window, so typical of him but this time he was acting a little bit more excited than most of the past days. I have never seen him act like that unless he saw his favourite old squeaky duck toy.

I shouted his name and told him to shut it, strangely he kept barking for a while. I had to get up from my little comfortable chair to go see what made him cause a ruckus, Tessa was becoming his favourite person. Charlie was excited to see the little girl with both her parents walking inside the building, but something didn’t look right. Both her parents looked sad.

She must have got herself in trouble at school, kids! Sigh. I went back to my comfortable chair to read the next chapter but Charlie started his whining. He jumped on me and rested his head on my lap, “come on now Charlie I got to read this chapter” I said. He got off and rushed to the door, then started barking again. Charlie was starting to annoy me, I got up from the chair again it took me the whole 10 minutes to finally get up and on my tired feet to make him something to eat but he still acted weird, pushed his plate away, all my effort thrown in my face.

Charlie was seriously getting in my nerves I made myself a cup of coffee and he was still standing at the door looking at me funny “you want some coffee?” I said and he didn’t move a bit but this time around he was whimpering. I went back to my seat and just when I sat down there was a knock on my door, my goodness it took me another 10 minutes to get the door, so unhelpful of Charlie sigh. Oh well look who is at my door! I thought to myself, the little girl with the black curled hair looking pale. “Hello Mrs. Garret” she said and smiled broadly but I could see the looks of despair on her parents faces and it made me wonder what bothered them.

Just when I said “What trouble did you get yourself into today at school young lady?” she was already inside my apartment on the floor hugging and kissing Charlie. At least I will have someone around to make me more coffee, I closed the door and went back to my seat, why is this little girl pale? I wondered. She looked at me and caught me staring at her, awkward to have a kid in my apartment I didn’t know what to talk about.  “Do you like school?” I asked, she continued looking at me funny like I just said something wrong. “I don’t like school, my teacher says I am sick” the little girl said.

I thought to myself could she be, why is she this pale today? but yah kids get sick all the time. “Teachers always think their students are sick” I said to try to comfort her, I haven’t had a conversation with a 9 year old in a while It was so hard for me. “Are you afraid of me just like other kids around here?” I asked her and thought now I would never finish reading my favourite chapter. Tessa giggled, got up and walked towards me, shocked to see her randomly hug me and she said “No Mrs. Garret, I just think we are the same.” She hugged me for some few seconds, it felt good, it felt as if she knew I needed a little hug. “How are we the same?” my reply broke the hug and she sat on the floor, looked at Charlie, “we are both lonely and the only friend we have is Charlie” she said.

I looked at Charlie and I looked at Tessa, she looked at me as well but her eyes were now looking different from the way they looked seconds ago. Those pretty big eyes were reddish, this girl could be really sick I said to myself.  Concerned I asked “are you okay Tessa? should I get you some water?” This little girl was one happy free soul, she stood up and jumped twice, “see I’m okay and strong” she said and walked to my little kitchen to get herself some water. I remained seated the whole time watching her, “who is this Mrs. Garret?” She shouted from the kitchen, I instantly assumed she meant the old man in the picture just on the table in the kitchen. I kept quiet for a moment, “that’s my husband”, she also kept quiet for a while. “Where is he?” She asked, I sat there thinking mmh what an inquisitive little girl she was, she came to the living room holding a glass of water, almost too big for her tiny hands as she held it with both of her hands, and they were slightly shaking.

“He is not here anymore, he is in a better place now” I said. She walked towards me and stood in front of me after placing the glass of water on the table which was on the side, “you mean he has passed on, he is an Angel now watching over you” she said. I paused for a moment, who is this kid I thought. I looked outside through the window and looked at the sky, this little kid was making me cry I tried to hold my tears but it was like she could see through me. “Don’t cry Mrs. Garret I will watch over you too” she said. I wiped the tears with my hand and looked at her and thought how sweet, she made me giggle. She looked peaceful but her skin and eyes were saying something else about her.

“Mrs. Garret what is your worst fear? Mine is bees” she said. I noticed how she was looking at another picture of me and my husband while we were beekeeping back in the days, on protective clothing and a bowl filled with honey next to us. I looked at my husband on the picture, “my worst fear is leaving this world without doing something my husband asked me to do for him” I said. “What is that something?” She said.

“Let’s get coffee and I will tell you what it is okay…” I said as I got up from the chair to make more coffee, we both went to the kitchen and I made coffee for her and for myself. I could see how excited she was for that ‘something’ my husband wanted me to do for him. We both walked back to the living room. I took a sip, she took a sip and impatiently looked at me, “well uhm…my husband asked me to do this important thing for him before he died and it’s one thing I have to do before I die” I said “settle the problems him and his son from his previous marriage had, it’s a really long story and you are too young to understand, his son hated him because of his mistakes.”

Tessa looked at the picture of me and my husband, glanced at me, right at that moment I started feeling dizzy, my vision slowly started getting blurry. I looked at her, I could see she was saying something but I couldn’t hear what exactly she was saying. It was like a swarm of bees buzzing in my ear, I placed the cup of coffee on top of the table and held the side of my head, quickly thought I should get some water. Tessa’s lips moved again but still I couldn’t hear anything. I got up and that was it I fell to the floor and was unconscious.

I woke up in a hospital the following day, my eyelids were a bit itchy as I started trying to figure out where I was. Just when my sight started getting clearer I saw a doctor standing just by my side, right at that moment I knew something was not okay. He looked at me, “welcome back Mrs. Garret” he said, I looked at him thinking what does he mean ‘welcome back’.” I was confused and couldn’t remember how I ended up in the hospital. My head felt heavy as I turned it to the side and looked outside through the window, the sky looked beautiful.

The doctor cleared his throat “Mrs. Garret I’m sorry to tell you this” he said and paused, my heart started beating so fast “you have been diagnosed with leukaemia, first stage.” I looked at the doctor speechless for a while, “leukaemia? You mean cancer?” I mumbled, the doctor nodded his head and said yes. “It’s good that it is still on its first stage, high chance for therapy to show great results and the little girl called Tessa was really brave.” The name Tessa grabbed my attention more. I stared at the doctor and right then two familiar faces walked in, Tessa’s parents. I noticed how sad they looked and wondered what made them too sad.

The parents looked at me, “where is Tessa?” I asked and at the beginning I could see his mouth slightly opening and closing not knowing what to say to me, they looked at each other, the father stepped a little bit closer and his eyes filled with tears. “Mrs. Garret, Tessa was diagnosed with brain cancer, stage four” he sobbed “she told us you needed the money more than her for your therapy and that you should accomplish your husband’s wish.” Tessa’s mother walked out crying, I focused my eyes on Tessa’s father, “what do you mean? What are you talking about?” baffled to hear those words. The father held my hand and said “Tessa died because she didn’t want to start her therapy and said her therapy finances should be used on you” he said “she said she is watching over you.”

This couldn’t be true, I refused to believe what I heard, I couldn’t believe a single word of what Tessa’s father was saying and it was all just words to me. I looked at her father who had his hand on my arm and tears falling down his cheeks. I could see how serious and real it was that Tessa, a 9 year old black curled hair girl from the floor above had made a decision for her destiny. I looked outside at the sky once again, I could see her pretty big eyes looking right back at me, I was completely moved with what the little girl did. She was too young and had so much ahead in her life but she decided to save an old woman like me who lived her life, just so she could fulfill her husband’s wish.

That beautiful little girl did something I still can’t believe to this day. It’s never just about how small or big something is but the kind of heart someone has. Tessa was simply Heavenly Sent!

We have angels living amongst us and they come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Someone is always watching over you, Always! Tessa showed her goodness through me so I do good for my late husband’s son, I guess I’m the one watching over him.

Mogomotsi Monnana

Author Of Upcoming thrilling suspense novel titled :THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET

Writing A Book While Studying

I have been getting a lot of questions about how do I possibly write a novel while studying pharmacy and even been asked why on earth do I even write.

My response has always been PASSION, FOCUS and DETERMINATION!

The passion is the reason why I write,specifically fiction. I just try to balance my studies with my writing and I would be lying if I say it was easy. It started off stressing and sometimes I would feel horrible because I would spend most of my time doing one (giving it more time than the other). At the beginning I couldn’t keep up with the pressure I was feeling, so much to do for both.

One thing I have always known about myself is that I really work brilliantly under pressure but all this wasn’t too brilliant when I started writing this year having to study and having to write my manuscript titled THE KILLER IN HER CLOSET. To my surprise all that brilliancy under pressure was not happening. I started researching more about writing, read books about it so I can have a better world to tackle the pressure, I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for but reading books helped me deal with the pressure as it also helped me relax my mind for effective studying. It took me a while to try to find a balance between the two, I made sure I did what I need to do one step at a time and making sure I don’t rush into anything.

To all the aspiring writers who are studying it is possible to write a book while being a student. Have a schedule including both your writing and your studies, and never neglect any, the truth is writing while still a student has really helped me a lot, it relaxes, improve grammar, and improves one’s confidence on how to approach questions and form a better picture in their mind. The passion should drive you to get it through tough times but the determination should help you balance the two.

REMEMBER : Writing will improve the way you approach your studies even for better studying.

Don’t give up, Stay strong, focused and determined and be that writer you always wanted to be.

Study smart and write brilliantly.