Since posting this, I have journeyed to an exotic faraway place in order to deliver the inimitable Ms V to the next phase of her education.
And she’s not the only one entering a realm rife with unexplored potential.
I’ve had a lot of time to think things over the past few weeks, especially in terms of my writing and pursuing a career at it.
I can’t help but look around and see my peers achieving the well-earned success I’ve also been working towards and feel more than just a pang of jealousy. Some days it feels like it’ll never happen. One can only take so many hits, knockdowns and setbacks before the motivation to keep going starts to strain against the pressure.
As much as I love my scripts, the feeling isn’t exactly mutual from the film industry. All of my attempts along traditional methods have yet to yield their desired results.
Contests are more or less a money drain, especially with the ones of significance receiving entries numbering in the high thousands.
Queries yield a miniscule fraction of responses, let alone read requests, with an even smaller number of those leading to anything. A constant hearing of “thanks, but no thanks” can really take its toll on one’s confidence.
I’ll also admit to being a bit heartbroken from the steady announcement of yet another reboot, reimagining, or recycling of stories that have come before, especially when there are so many new and original ones out there. And yes, I’ll include mine in that latter group.
Never fear. I’m not giving up writing. I could never do that.
Think of it more as readjusting my approach – just a bit.
Rather than focus all my energy and efforts on “breaking in”, it’s now all about keeping things simple and working on projects I enjoy.
I’ve got a queue of scripts all needing a rewrite. If one or three turn out to be of exceptional quality, maybe I’ll put it out there see to gauge if there’s any interest.
If not, that’s okay. I’ll at least have another script in my catalog.
And after much delay, I’m actively looking into filming a short I wrote. This has activated something in my creativeness that’s resulted in ideas for several new short scripts, as well as garnered some interest from filmmakers looking for something to shoot. Why beat myself up over lack of progress for a feature when I could make some headway with having an actual short film (or films) available?
I’ve talked to a few writing colleagues who’ve been in a similar situation. Just about each one agrees that it’s better to work on something you control, rather than beating yourself up and stressing over something you don’t. Not that making a short is easy, but you get the idea.
One of my favorite hashtags to use on social media is #notgivingup, and that remains my plan. I’ll still keep at this, just with a somewhat different approach. Everybody’s path to success is unique; mine just happens to be undergoing some minor modifications.
Whether or not it works out in my favor and gets me there remains to be seen, but at least I’ll be enjoying the journey a little bit more.
5 thoughts on “A new chapter begins…”
Congratulations on the new direction, Paul. With your work ethic, I’m sure you will succeed. Best wishes.
too kind, my friend. much appreciated.
These detours can (insert often, nearly always) get us to where we’re meant to be, with the folks we are meant to play with. Years ago, independent producer Paul G. Hensler tried hard to get my script sold for a movie of the week. Eventually, we both moved on but he told me this: Just because the script doesn’t sell now, doesn’t mean you can’t write or it’s no good. It means with right people aren’t in place to do it properly. Have faith.
Thank you. I really appreciate that. Good luck with all your projects!
I sense you’ll be moving in a direction with greater potential-to-effort ratio. About four years ago, I was running into writers who had moved on to novels. These were people some successes. They said there were way too many feature scripts being written and fewer places to send them. The situation hasn’t improved. Writing is a tough business, one where people make more money off writers than off writing, and film is one of the worst genres in that respect. I still write for film and take occasional screenwriting courses. It doesn’t hurt to write novels with a camera running in my mind. I even enter one or two contests a year. But I prioritize for the long haul: script consulting, novels, and works for the stage,
Press on! And good luck, Paul!