You know how they say you’ve got to endure a whole lot of ‘no’s until you get that single magical ‘yes’?
Well, another ‘no’ was added to the pile this week in the form of a “Pass” rating from an industry professional regarding my western spec. And to make it that much better, the “Pass” was applied to both script and writer. Apparently my skills didn’t pass muster, either.
They didn’t have many positive things to say, and I’m not going to say their comments were right or wrong. There may be a lot of helpful info in their coverage, but in the end it’s just their opinion.
A few people offered up a similar reaction: This is ONE PERSON’s opinion. People will always find fault with your work. The next person may think it’s great. Keep trying. Don’t give up.
Point is: you never become completely immune to criticism.
Was I being a little delusional in my hopes that they’d really like it? I knew they wouldn’t claim it was the best script ever, but even a “Hey, this has potential” would have been nice.
Was I laboring under some false sense of optimism? Was I letting my excitement and enthusiasm get in the way of being totally objective?
Even more so, despite reassurances from friends and trusted colleagues, have I been fooling myself all this time in thinking I actually have talent?
How could anyone in this situation not think along these lines?
Let’s consider my confidence shaken and definitely weakened, but not totally gone. It still stings a bit, but I’ll survive.
And almost as if exactly on cue, later in the day came these two totally unsolicited comments from online connections:
“With the credibility you have with contest wins and that fabulous blog, I’m astonished you’re unproduced.”
“I wanted to say a big fat THANK YOU for your comments on my script! I couldn’t have done it without you. THANKS AGAIN!”
Maybe there’s hope for me yet.
2 thoughts on “Trying times, indeed”
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write script coverage.
Before 10,000 angry replies are written, I paint with a broad brush to make a point. When you remove the impossible, ie, that you have no talent, the probable that remains (with apologies to A.C. Doyle) is a sour grapes coverage writer who can’t plot his way out of a phone booth, and there you are, somebody not even living in LA like all the other writers, how dare you, plotting rings around him.
I may be making an easy argument, and you haven’t specified what kind of “industry professional” replied, and if you find anything of value in the comments to which you refer I encourage you to implement the changes. But having read three of your scripts, sometimes twice (as with Dreamship and Lucy Steele), I can only say that anybody not amazed by your imagination and storytelling ability has an ax to grind.
We always assume people are playing fair with us. We’re not out to do anybody wrong and we expect the same from others. However, experience has (painfully) taught me that such assumptions are not always the case, and sometimes you have to tell the effing effers to get the eff out of your face and take their effing effed up failed lives elsewhere if they want to be so effing miserable. What you describe sounds way overboard. It’s one thing to say a story is “not for us” and we can respect that, but to attack the writer personally is out of bounds.
DO NOT REWRITE TO MAKE ANY CHANGES. Put the script in a new envelope and send it out again, to multiple places if you can. If you get the same coverage twice, then we need to have a different conversation, but not until then.
Grind at writing or grind at something you hate… Walk in your purpose, not the world’s. Don’t stop writing…