2012, you did me right. I got engaged to the girl of my dreams. My sister had a beautiful and healthy baby boy. My brother married a wonderful lady. I wrote a bunch. I worked with cool friends on a job I really enjoyed. I visited Seattle, Portland and Connecticut, and I partied in Vegas and Disneyland. I watched some awesome and inspiring films. I shared a lot of nice memories with family and friends. And I’m still alive. All in all, I’m happy and thankful for how it went.
I have a lot to look forward to in 2013 (like actually marrying that dream girl), but I’m struggling with my writing direction. I know I’m not alone. With New Year’s resolutions comes pressure to change and make shit actually happen. Maybe I’m just in my head, but I can’t seem to get my feet planted to push forward. I’ve spent way too much time on the internet hamster wheel these first couple weeks and not enough time doing the real work. I even grew a mustache. If that’s not a cry for help, I don’t know what is.
Currently, I have three completed specs, two pilots and a novel. I also have two scripts I’m revising. Response to one has been positive, and the other one needs work. I have a couple scripts out to a contest, and I’ve got a couple more up on InkTip. I’ve also been sending out queries. I got a nibble today, but it’s been otherwise quiet. Some days, I might as well be folding letters into paper airplanes and tossing them into the Grand Canyon.
I know I need to revise my current scripts, and I will. I also know I should keep querying, despite the seemingly futile emptiness of it. And I will. But should I keep writing new specs? What’s the point of writing specs if no one reads them?
Should I be focusing my energy on treatments instead? Should I double-down on queries? Should I get back to prose? Write shorts? Buy a camera and shoot my own thing? Learn to draw and create a web comic? Should I?
I know the answer: I need to keep doing what I’m doing. Not to say that I shouldn’t try other things, perhaps broaden my portfolio a bit, but that doesn’t mean putting aside my current projects and past work. I will keep writing because that next script could be the one that kicks open the door. Even if it doesn’t, it will be a little better than the one before it, and I will continue to learn and grow as a writer. I saw small progress this year; I have writing samples I didn’t have before, and I even made a couple worthwhile contacts. I just need to keep working and building, and more good will follow.
This is an almost impossible business to break into. I often imagine a city dotted with glowing screens across from screenwriters who are smarter, more educated and better connected than I am. And they’re not just here, they’re spread across the world. How do I compete with them? How do I stand out? I keep at it. I keep on. I write, and then I write some more.
And I shave off this ridiculous mustache.