What Kung Fu Panda 3 Taught Me As A Writer


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So, with Easter just gone and summer around the corner, it’s time for the obligatory annual Kidfest in terms of movies. Le sigh.

Look, I like movies and I like kids, but there’s only so much a parent can take. I don’t remember if I watched the other KUNG FU PANDA movies (apparently I have, according to my nine year old). I suspect I was thinking about other things at the time. You know, like the mortgage, childcare, how to get through ninety minutes of cutesy animals without chewing my arm off. Y’know: GROWN UP STUFF.

So imagine my surprise when I actually enjoyed KUNG FU PANDA 3! It was funny, plus the animation was fantastic. Whilst Pixar will always win for me hands down on story and character, I don’t think Dreamworks can be beat on their running gags, nor their actual animated movement and backdrops, which truly are epic in this particular movie.

However, it’s this moment in KUNG FU PANDA 3 that really resonated with me:

“If you only attempt what you can do, you can only be WHAT YOU ARE.”

What I liked about this snippet of dialogue was its emotional TRUTH. I don’t know if it was in the other movies and it’s a recurring element, but it immediately got me thinking about what *I* am AS A WRITER:

  1. Once, I was not a writer. I had to decide to be one, so I had to take that leap of faith that I COULD do it.
  2. I was not simply *born* a writer, so I had to find out what I needed to be one, ie. craft, contacts, knowledge, professional development. I had to develop and work on my screenwriter’s toolbox.
  3. I had to find my tribe. We can’t create solely in a vaccuum if we want to be professionals, we have to get out there and create allies and be with our people.

So next time you’re teetering on the edge, nervous, wondering if you CAN DO IT, here’s a thought — JUST DO IT. You’ll never be more than you are right now if you don’t!

Want to write a guest post *like this* for LondonSWF?

This is a new series for the blog, “What [TITLE/NAME/THING] Taught Me As A Writer”. Write a short, to the point article and get your message out to the LondonSWF network! 

  1. Pick a movie, TV show, screenwriter, object, event – whatever!
  2. Write up to 250-350 words on what it taught you as a writer AND WHY.
  3. Don’t forget your 1-2 sentence bio, plus links to Twitter, blog, etc.
  4. Send a pic (jpg only) if you want us to include a particular one, but do make sure it’s rights-free.
  5. Send it to Lucy V  or via Bang2write@aol.com.

Looking forward to reading your posts!