Thursday, August 7, 2014

Begin Again and Again… And Maybe Again

Sometimes it’s all about the tenacity to begin again. Have you seen the newish film Begin Again with Mark Ruffalo and Kiera Knightley and a rather decent performance by Adam Levine (whose pretty boy looks  are mostly submerged in a variety of unfortunate facial hair choices)?

The basic plot is this: Mark Ruffalo is a music producer whose last hit was too many years ago. He’s divorced, washed up, drunk a lot and in need of a miracle. Kiera Knightley is a song writer/singer who has deferred her career and life to follow in the shadow of the limelight of her boyfriend, the new ‘it guy,’ complete with mega bucks contract, spiffy apartment, and star status. Only then he cheats on her. (Levine) Another miracle needed. At which point, their worlds collide, music happens, rejuvenation happens, and in the end, everyone lives at least mostly happily ever after. Including telling Adam Levine’s character to go f himself.

Not exactly the real world for more reasons than I’ll bother to name here. But a pleasant two hours in the movie theater with my popcorn.

Still.  There’s a truth under there. Sometimes you have to begin again. And sometimes again after that. And after that. And maybe more. A lot of people don’t have what it takes to keep following the dream. But if you do, the tide turns eventually. I really believe it does.

As I’ve documented in various blog posts over the past few years, in publishing, it’s always about the willingness to do it over until you get it right. The ability to suck it up when you get overlooked or not pitched for an event or just plain fall on your face for whatever reason. When you get promised stuff that never materializes or when you write a story you love but which not enough people get or hear about or whatever. You can whine up a storm.  Bemoan your lot in life. Change your name to Job. Or you can begin again. Simple as that.

Fall is my favorite time for this, although it’s not the only time. School is starting. Weather is changing. (well, not here in Texas where September is called ‘still f-ing summer’) It’s my birthday. ( Okay, this one only counts if you’re me. Or a Libra. Or a Scorpio) It’s Jewish New Year’s. (Okay, this one only counts if you’re Jewish) But you get my point. For so many of us, it’s not just January 1 when we press our restart buttons. It’s right now when all things feel possible.

Shall we begin again?
I say yes.


  1. Great post. You're so right, Joy. They (or Tom Petty) say waiting is the hardest part, but beginning again is harder. Thanks for the Begin Again trailer. I've been wanting to see it.

  2. Personally, I like to whine, bemoan, AND begin again. ;-)

    Great post!

  3. I loved Begin Again, especially that scene where Mark Ruffalo's character sees Keira Knightley singing for the first time and he imagines a band accompanying her. And I loved how they did a good job depicting the creative process and showing what life was like for people who loved writing and music.