A few people have asked me what was going on with my novel. Nothing. Every book agent my literary manager and the film agent he teamed-up with sent it to, passed. Some said they like the writing but they couldn’t sell it. The commercial fiction market is brutal. Except of course for Lauren Conrad from THE HILLS who just scored a multi-book deal.
I know I should let these things roll off my back. However, when someone says, “She’s a good writer but I don’t care about this story”, it stings. Then yesterday the first thing I saw in the morning was an email from my manager regarding a producer passing on one of my scripts.
I tried not to spiral into the “I’m going to end up a bag lady. Why did I leave my job? Will I be broke forever?” malaise. I had been writing all morning. I finally walked over to Trastevere to run an errand. It felt good to get out.
That is until I started watching some show on the Discovery Channel about British people who buy houses overseas and renovate them. I starting thinking about if I don’t sell a script in Hollywood I won’t be able to pay my rent, much less buy a house. This led to the whole “I can’t believe I’m this old and I don’t own a home.” That led to “Why am I still single? Will I have a boyfriend this century?” Then I was glad I didn’t do drugs and wasn’t an alcoholic because I would have gotten messed up.
My manager and I had our weekly conference call last night. He told me to keep on writing and moving forward. He said I don’t want to become one of those bitter, jealous, struggling Hollywood screenwriters. Those folks don’t last.
He’s right. So this morning I got up and went to work, instead of wallowing in self pity. I owe the Italian film company another draft of my treatment. I took a break, went to the park (now it’s too dark to work out before I start writing) and will get back to work after breakfast. I had a cold all week. This was the first morning I was able to work out. My mood is much better.
Writing is a strange profession. You have to be sensitive enough to put pen to paper yet have tough enough skin to not let rejection break you. This dichotomy is the one of the reasons why many creative people are freaking nuts.
How do you deal with professional setbacks?