I went to see the new Cinderella movie at the theater yesterday with my mom and my little sister, and I really enjoyed it. It was a very sweet and beautiful film. I loved the way it combined the original story from the Grimm brothers with the classic Disney film, as well as adding many other small things that deepened and enhanced the plot from the original tale. The set, costumes, acting, music, and everything was superb. After those two familiar words had flashed across the screen, "The End" and the credits began to roll, we still sat there. Letting the story cement in our brains, listening to the music, and watching the seemingly endless list of names scroll by. We watched as first the actors, director, and producers swept past, followed by department after department. Everything from casting, to costuming, to catering. From music, to makeup, to medical. The credits just kept coming, and I was astounded. Sure, I knew how much work goes into a movie, especially since I had helped make several short films, but it never really hit me the massive amount of people and departments that were involved in one seemingly simple film.
It got me thinking. Thousands of people were involved in one film. Making one story come to life, took all those people, in all those departments. Yet as a writer, I set out on a journey of creating a whole new world, a book, a novel filled with many different characters, perspectives and beliefs I may not hold myself , places I've never been, foods I've never tasted, things I've never done or seen personally, and I do this all by myself. My point is, it takes that many people to create one simple fairytale on screen, but when you're a writer, you do it in a book, using only words, and you do it by yourself. You take on the responsibilities and duties of so many people. You write a world all by yourself, and yet it's not an unusual thing for me or for others. It's true that there's a lot more work involved in creating a movie, but it's still a huge undertaking to write a novel. And what's more, we do it by ourselves!
I love being independant and working by myself when I write is just fine with me, but I was thinking about the massive amount of people it takes to create a beautiful movie like "Cinderella", and wouldn't my novel turn out better if I reached out to people a little more? I mean one person working on such a big project alone, is actually a lot if you really think about it. Wouldn't it make my book better if I joined a writer's group? Interacted on a forum somewhere? Asked for help with the plot points I'm not sure about? Went to people who knew more about the historical background I need for my novel than I do and ask their advice? Find some trusted friends to read and give feedback on my novel? Wouldn't that make it better? The more people that I allow to help me, the better perhaps? I know it's easy for me to get stuck in the mindset that my novel is all mine and nobody else can touch it, but I'm writing it so that others can read it, aren't I? So doesn't it make sense that I should be willing to let other people help me along the way? Sometimes I can't do it all by myself, and though it hurts my independant pride, there are times when I just have to say, "Alright, I need some help." and be willing to accept the help that so many people around me are willing to give.
It always surprises me that there are so many people out there who want to help me, and I just have to ask them. Perhaps I should learn a valuable lesson from Cinderella, and the thousands of people who worked on it. Sometimes to make something the best it can be, you just need a little help, from other people, or perhaps from a fairy godmother, if you happen to be so lucky as to have one of your own.