BELA LAMPERT

Yoga Instructor
Optioned Screenwriter

The Promise On Your Cover

If you go to a book store and pick a book, you will make a great percentage of whether you buy a book or not based on the cover. When you browse through Netflix, how do you decide which movie or series to pick? Again, I bet, your decision will (in part) depend a lot on the artwork and maybe the trailer. Why is that? Because there is a promise. The book cover promises a certain tone. So do the artwork on Netflix and the trailer. What kind of genre is this going to be?Who is the main character?Can I identify with the problem of the main character or, if not, am I still interested in seeing how it plays out?Is this a world I would like to be a part of for a while? These are promises you make to the audience. So, when you develop a story, it pays off to think about that promise. How clear are you on that promise? What is missing? What does your audience expect? Don't shy away from asking a few people about their opinion but keep in mind that YOU are the one making the decisions.  As soon as you get clear on your promise, refer back to it while your writing. Everything that goes into your story must have something to do with that promise. Of your audience will be disappointed. Don't know what your promise is yet? Go and brainstorm it without judgement. Just put down every idea that comes to mind and evaluate them later. Being judgemental throughout the...

What Being Overwhelmed Really Means

We feel it all the times. Being overwhelmed. There is so much to do. Get your writing done. Post on your instagram. Check the newsletters. Continue with that screenwriting or online marketing course (or whatever it is). Oh, and take care of the family. The kids. Maybe the parents. Read more than you do. Eat healthier than you do. See your friends more often. ...

Your Five Star Service

Imaging you invite guests that you like a lot versus guests you maybe don't want to have around you for longer than necessary. Which of those gets your five star service, meaning you take really good care of them, so they will be very likely to come back? I thought so. If you gave the same five star service to the guests you don't like, you'd run the risk that they like so much being at your place, they'd come visit again and again and again. It's the same with thoughts. If you give your negative thoughts your five star service attention all the time, they like hanging around. And they'll come back. Give your five star service attention to the thoughts and feelings you like having around. And don't even bother about the other ones. After some time they will realize that they're not welcome and they'll let you be in peace. Guess what, it's easier to be inspired at peace. How to learn to be at peace? [incta][inlink] ...

Don’t Hold Your Farts In

Don't Hold Your Farts In There is "stuff" inside you that needs to get out. Literally and figuratively. But too often we're afraid to "fart" because we're ashamed. Ashamed to be who we are, to let out what must go out, fearing the judgement (and the possible consequences involved) by others. There is a Mark Twain quote that comes to mind: "The people who matter won't mind, and the ones who mind don't matter." You're a writer. Let that voice out! Say what you have to say! Give a sh*$ about if others like it or not! Express your truth and do it with pride! How to stop fearing "farts"? [incta][inlink] ...

It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn

I love this line from "Batman The Dark Knight" although I'm pretty sure Christopher Nolan didn't invent the phrase. My interpretation of the phrase is that often things tend to get worse before they get better. The worsening is part of the healing so to speak. My yoga teacher used to say, "the spot gets bigger first". What she meant was when you have a spot on your shirt and you start to clean it, the first thing that happens is that it gets bigger. It looks like things are worsening, and maybe they are, but that's part of the process. You're moving in the right direction. Take your writing for example. Let's say, you have a draft in place and you give it to someone for feedback. That person points out something that doesn't work and now that you see it you totally agree. Now, having a new insight about your story, you see that you have completely new possibilities to make it better. But in order to do that, the first thing that you need to do is tear it apart. So, first you need to make a big "mess" out of it, brainstorm new possibilities how the newly found bits fit together in a dramatic way. So, it might look as you're moving backwards, as if it's "getting worse". Because you had the story finished and now you have a big mess. But that's not true. Sometimes moving forward means you must wade through the dirt first in order to come out shiny the other end. How...

Do You Accept?

You can't control your environment. Or at least, almost none of it. But you can control your reaction to it. If someone is offering you stress (bosses come to mind, …) you can decide if you accept it or not. It has nothing to do with the task. If you do manage to do a task stress-free you will be done even quicker because you focus on the task only, without thinking about what else you should do and about possible negative consequences that don't happen anyway. So, if your boss offers you stress and you don't accept it, guess who it stays with? How to learn not to accept stress from other people? [incta][inlink] ...

Be Egoistic

Being egoistic somehow has become something negative. "Oh, he's so egoistic, he's only thinking about himself." We hear, "be there for others", "be helpful" and all this kinds of things. Yes, be all those things. But first of all, you need a healthy dose of egoism. And here's why. If you take good care of yourself, treat yourself well and make sure you are emotionally strong and self-centered (in a good way), then you can help others. It's like on the airplane. When you lose cabin pressure and the oxygen masks fall down, what do they tell you to do? Take care of yourself first, get your mask, pull it on, make sure it sits tight and it works. Then, and only then, help people next to you if necessary. If you do it the other way round you are a helpful person for sure, but you might as well dying in trying to help the person next to you and if you don't succeed that person will die too. So, how does that apply to situations where it's not about oxygen masks? Some examples: Sleep enough if possible. Sleep and rest is always a good investment in your health and emotional wellbeing. And if you feel better you will be a happier person and you as well as others will appreciate it. Value your work. If you have a side project going (it may be your writing or something else) that you're passionate about, try doing it before you go to work, not afterwards. Use your best energy for your self...

How to Fail Often And Fast

How to Fail Often And Fast One of the things that holds many people back from real advancement is that they don't fail enough. Or not fast enough. Let me explain. On our way to finding out what works and what doesn't, what we like and what not, what we're successful at and what not, we need to try out a couple of things. Sometimes we want something, not realizing it's not the thing for us. And when it fails we're devastated. But in hindsight we're glad because it opened the doors for something else. Whatever it is you're failing at, the moment you fail it frees up resources for other things: mentally, emotionally, financially, time-wise, … So, if you want to advance quickly, don't be afraid to fail. Failing shows you the things that don't work. In fact, try to fail fast. Get that "No". That rejection. That note that says, "this doesn't work that way." It frees you up to go ahead so you're not stuck with things you don't want and that don't work. How to get rid of the fear of failing? [incta][inlink] ...

Getting Bad Notes

If you get back bad notes from a producer or publisher about your work. What does that say about you as a person? Nothing. As long as you don't identify with your work, that is. As in, connecting your self-worth with the opinion about your work of others. Why is this important? First of all, you are not your work. What you wrote was somewhere inside you, has to do something with how you experience the world and your opinion about it. And depending on how well that fits with something that a producer or publisher thinks he can sell you might get back "better" or "worse" notes. But those notes are nothing more than that: the opinion of another person under specific circumstances, looking for something specific on a specific day in a specific mood. Tomorrow, circumstances might be completely different. Another person might see it completely different. Being in another mood the same person might see it completely different. Do you see how volatile this opinion is? And even if, let's suppose you get back the same bad note from a couple of feedback sources that you deem trustworthy. What does THAT say about you as a person? Still nothing. What does that say about your ability as a writer? If you accept the feedback (if you get the same or very similar feedback from three different sources you should look into it), you've just found your next area to approve in. And once you've done it you will be a better writer than before. Don't link your self-worth to your writing...