A few people have asked for an update on what is happening with my screenplay, and I'm coming to terms with the fact that it's a long process, filled with exciting moments, panic-inducing ones, and many dull days in between. I think the best part is that it is proceeding, albeit at a tortoise pace instead of with hare-like speed, but I'm trying to be okay with that.
I'm on my seventh draft, and for three months I have been trying to find an agent. Most of my e-mails hover in the stratosphere, unattached to anything concrete, and I don't ever hear back from anyone. I've sent a few letters by snail mail, to directors or producers whose work I admire, and have accepted that I probably won't hear back from them, but find a certain satisfaction in trying.
Recently, I had a friend visit from out of town, and she read my latest draft for me, after being one of my first readers for my initial draft, which was about as abysmal as anything ever put on paper. Of course, she was more than gracious in her feedback the first time around, and I'm thankful that this seventh version bears little resemblance to the drivel that she first read for me. She was significantly more enthusiastic about this last draft, and kindly offered to show it to a friend who is an actual living, breathing, functioning screenwriter in LA.
He took it, read it, and sent me back a long e-mail with many helpful suggestions. He put way more time into his feedback than I expected, and after my initial burst of disappointment that he didn't love it, ask to show it to his agent or possibly Steven Spielberg, I realized that his advice was the best I've received yet, and I was immediately flooded with ideas on how to improve it. At a certain point, you get stalled out when revising your own work, and you need new eyes, and his are the most knowledgeable yet on the language of cinema. His advice is going to end up helping me immeasurably.
Almost every day I remind myself to hold loosely to the outcome of this process. I need to focus on the writing, and not waste too much time daydreaming about the paycheque and the glory of the screenwriting career. Without a finished product that has value in the marketplace, I have no real starting point. Writing and re-writing is my job right now, and I'm so glad to have new directions for the story and the dialogue; a burst of fresh air to breathe new relevance and excitement into the script.
I'm still at the beginning of this exciting journey. Any time I try to get ahead of myself in the process, I become discouraged. In the meantime, I'm branching out and writing a memoir, and articles for magazines and other publications, and I have had several short stories published this year in online magazines and printed anthologies. There are plenty of milestones to celebrate as I put one foot ahead of the other to make my screenplay as strong and as noticeable as possible, before trying to position it in the marketplace.
While I'm extending gratitude to those who have read my script and taken the time to give me their feedback, I'll thank my blog readers, one more time, for all that you have given me. Knowing that you are reading every morning means so much to me, and lifts up my spirits when they are low, and encourages me to keep improving in what I write. As I'm hoping to attract editors and publishers who know I have a built-in audience, I'm requesting that you create a Google profile to follow my blog if you haven't done so already. If you read everyday, please take a second to become a follower, and while comments on Facebook are much appreciated and mean a lot to me, if you comment directly on my blog, then all readers can interact with what you say. Thank you again. Your support is incredibly inspiring.