This post is being released a few days after the usual time due to my involvement with this year’s San Francisco Writers Conference. I got to be a panelist, moderated a few other panels and did my “Screenwriting 101” presentation. A very nice time all around.
And for those interested, I’ll be taking over the reins of the screenwriting track for next year, so the gears are turning regarding what topics to cover. Hope you’ll consider attending.
It was really nice to talk about screenwriting with some experienced pros, along with giving advice and guidance to a lot of writers just starting out.
Call it a positive end to a semi-negative week.
The quest for representation continues. I’d queried a literary management firm in early January and they were quick to respond a few hours later with “Yes, please send it!”. Two weeks later, got an email saying “Sorry, we haven’t read it yet, but should get back to you by the end of the week.”
That was a month ago. Radio silence since then, including my obligatory follow-up of “Had a chance to read it yet?” I’m assuming it’s a pass, which is disappointing, but c’est la vie.
I also found out my horror-comedy short script didn’t even make the quarterfinals of a horror contest. Also disappointing, but this script is a lot more comedy than horror, so might not have been to the judges’ tastes or criteria. Who knows?
Still moving on.
But there were also a few bright spots amidst the gloominess.
A trusted colleague had some very encouraging comments about the animated fantasy-comedy spec. Feeling pretty confident about its prospects.
Several emails came in with requests for appearances on the podcast I cohost, including one mentioning how much they enjoyed the show. We also started posting the video versions, available here.
The takeaway from all of this is that you never know what’s going to happen and to just roll with the punches. There’ll be days where everything falls into place and days where absolutely nothing goes right. The best you can do is deal with it to the best of your abilities and hope it all works out in the end. And if things don’t go your way, you accept the results, learn from it if possible, and move on to the next thing.
A lot of things are out of our control, so we do what we can to influence or at least steer them to working out the way we want/need/would like them to. Celebrate any and all positive results, (briefly) lament the negative, then redirect your attention to “what’s next?”
Last week is in the past, so now it’s time to focus on this one.
It’s also worth noting that I got to talk with some other writers – both in person and online – who were just frustrated about the lack of progress they’ve encountered. There was a lot of talk about “I don’t know how much longer I want to put myself through this”, which I can totally relate to. Who hasn’t felt more than ready to throw in the towel?
And these are all talented people. Any of their scripts would make for a great film or TV show.
This ain’t an easy industry to break into. The chances of success are small, and seeing others advance (especially those who haven’t been doing it as long as you have) while you feel stuck isn’t helpful either.
Despite all the shitty days and setbacks, I’m one of those writers who intends to keep at it. I like the writing too much to want to give up, and give as much encouragement as I can in the hopes that they eventually feel the same about themselves.
Fasten those seat belts, chums. This bumpy ride keeps on going with no end in sight.
*gif by Frederatic on DeviantArt