For those in the screenwriting know, this past Saturday was Scriptshadow‘s experimental TwitPitch. Basically, you tweeted your logline, and if it was deemed good enough, it made it through the first round.
It pains to me report mine was not among the select few. And I gotta admit: I was devastated. How could it not have worked? Not even a single mention of it in the comments section? This is a sign. I’ve got no talent. I’m wasting my time. Done before I even started. Might as well stop trying.
But rather than constantly berating myself and doubting my own ability, I recalled the words of a guy I met way back around the turn of the century. I had three scripts under my belt and wanted to get some professional feedback. His very first words to me about my work: You’re a very talented writer. Now you need to get better.
I’ve held onto that advice ever since. Every writer loves positive feedback. But in this business, there are a lot more negatives than positives, which can really beat you down. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged when all you’re hearing back is ‘no’ and things don’t go your way. Especially when you get your hopes up.
But this is a hard business. Some people struggle for years and years before achieving any kind of success.
The key, as my dad always says, is perseverance. Keep going. There will be lots of bad days, but don’t let that stop you from chasing the dream.
A lot of writers say they can’t imagine doing anything else. Count me among them. Like everybody else, I have good days and bad days. And it’s still hard to get past the bad days, but I manage.
And learn from my mistakes.
I try to see what I could do next time to change the outcome more in my favor. Just as an example, I’ve already rewritten my logline so it’s (hopefully) better than the previous version.
I write because I love writing. If I can make a living out of it, all the better. The important thing is I still enjoy the process. And no amount of ‘no’ is going to change that.