Welcome to Year Nine.
It’s been on my mind a lot lately — I moved to Los Angeles 9 years ago. I have been at this, the trying to break into Hollywood, becoming a paid writer (consistently paid writer) for NINE YEARS. In a lot of ways, it feels like the pressure is really on now. Why, you ask?
Because I gave myself 10 years to make this happen.
Ten years — that’s what most people say it took to have success. The ten year overnight success, is a very common story. Anything less than 10 years feels like you are half-assing it, not being realistic about your goal, but ten years, that feels like a lifetime, SO much time.
And yet, here I am, facing down year nine…and it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
And there’s all the time I’ve spent meeting people, figuring out “the system,” and then figuring out the system is broken, and then figuring out that the system doesn’t really matter, and then learning the craft, writing my early, horrible scripts which I look back on and laugh, but recognize that they were essential to my learning… but I’m still writing horrible scripts. And there are people who are whizzing past me on the Hollywood Freeway, getting agents, getting managers, getting deals.
I’m always happy for them. Always. And then I go drown myself in my own truths.
I still don’t have a portfolio. I have nothing to show for this 9 years.
People ask why I don’t have a manager by now, or why I don’t have an agent, and that’s pretty much the reason. “I’ve got nothing to show them.”
When I did an assessment of last year, it felt like I had accomplished a lot — I got a job assisting a writer — a REAL Hollywood writer! I finished writing a new pilot, and then, I wrote a new spec.
And now I’m rewriting the pilot. The spec will soon be unusable for the competitions and fellowship/program entries. I’m writing a new pilot, which will go through the rewrite process, eventually. I’m writing a feature spec, which will also go through the rewrite machine…
It’s a never ending process. Welcome to the reality — “making it” in this business is non-stop work. Once you climb one hill, all you will really see is the next hill, and the one after that, and the one after that… in biblical terms, this is good — you should want to see the hills. If you see a valley — well, they don’t call it the “Valley of Death” for nothing.
I’ve noticed a lot of my fellow screenwriting bloggers, the ones who started recording their journeys around the same time I did, have come back to their blogs, feeling like they have something new to say. I count myself among them. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to consistently blog again, but lately, I’ve felt a lot more like I did when I started this blog; I feel like I have something to say.
Still ‘shouting.’ Still very windy.
Posted under randomness
This post was written by Shawna on April 2, 2012