Unhappy Writer

Feel free to skip this. It’s just me letting off some steam.

I’m frustrated because we’re told all our lives that hard work will pay off. But it doesn’t really.

And I’m frustrated because people tell me I have talent, as a writer, but . . . I can’t seem to get anywhere with that. Despite all the hard work.

So maybe I don’t really have talent. It’s easier, I suppose, to say nice things to someone than it is to be honest with them. Right?

But am I wasting my time here? Am I destined to be always disappointed and frustrated? To never reach my goals or attain my dreams?

Because if that’s the case, I’d like to save myself the trouble. And some money.

I’ve used a pitching service to help get my scripts in front of producers, managers, etc. The results have been mixed. Of 13 pitches (at $45 a pop), 7 have requested scripts to read. None of those requests has turned into anything more substantial. I’ve actually done better on my own networking and getting indie directors interested in my scripts. Not that any of those have gone into production, or even pre-production, but at least there is interest. Well, and I do have that one short film currently in post-production. Again, all my own doing.

But I’m tired. Because I have been working so hard to try and line things up, and it seems like the Universe is set on knocking me around.

And of course that pitching service would gladly help me clean up my scripts . . . For a price. Sure, I get they’re a business, but most writers can’t afford that kind of thing. It’s not like we rake in the dough. If we did, we wouldn’t need a pitching service anyway.

I assume, of course, that if I were to use their editorial services as well as their pitching services they’d maybe go the extra mile to put a nice word in for my work with all these big shots, thus getting me more reads and more chances at production. Funny how that works.

Then the pitching service asked me to write them a testimonial. Really?! Get one of my scripts optioned—hell, just get me a meeting—and then we’ll talk testimonial.

But honestly, I just don’t know. Am I not meant to be a writer? If not, what? This has always been my goal and dream. I don’t have anything else. (Don’t give me that, “You have your family” crap, either. Yes, I know I have them and they love me, but they cannot be my reason for living.)

I feel like the Universe is closing a big door in my face. But I look around and there are no other doors, no windows. Nowhere else for me to go.

8 thoughts on “Unhappy Writer”

  1. Here’s the thing, nothing will happen if you do nothing, so you’re already ahead of the game because you’re actually doing something. And they are being read which means you’re even further in the game than most which means you do have talent.

    We all feel this way every now and again and with good reason. Earlier this year, I got a rejection from a pub that told me to add in more setting and less dialogue. Same week, same MS without any changes, I got a rejection from another pub that said to come back with more dialogue less setting. I was ready to give up, because what the heck do they want from me? In the end, I trusted that I knew my craft and I am very happy with my decision to keep at it.

    Best of luck, and wonderful meeting you.

  2. Sounds like the pitching service is more of an editing service that uses pitching service as bait. Maybe that effort is better spent going to writer conferences that have pitch sessions. Or going after representation yourself. Personally I don’t believe in the agent-for-hire model that this pitching service seems to be offering. And I do know that I am looking at hiring an editor for my novel, and it will not be a pitching service. If I’m footing the bill, I want more control, or concrete results.

    You write wonderfully here on your blog. Frustration, fear, insecurity are things that all writers have in common. We have to learn to ride out the shaky periods and persevere. (Chuck Wendig had a good post on this last week. A month ago I had my own rant about fear. It gets the better of me more than I care to admit. I just try to ride it out, knowing that it will pass. Only when free of fear can we see clearly.)

    You were blogging about the SFWC sessions on self-publishing. What if you changed tack? If your own efforts are yielding the best results, is it worth considering expanding on thatโ€”as a means to open doors elsewhere, if nothing else?

    Don’t quit! Please!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement, ladies. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m feeling pretty beat down and unmotivated. Hopefully it will pass.

  4. I feel like I hit this same feeling of frustration in cycles. I feel good; things seem to be going well; nothing happens; I get frustrated and wonder if it ever will. I know this isn’t super comforting, but I have a feeling that this is just all part of the journey. Being a writer, I think, takes tremendous patience – writing itself is a long endeavor, and then the act of publishing can take even longer. Hang in there. Believe in yourself. Most of all, don’t stop writing.

  5. You write well and your time will come. Trust that. and I’d seriously think about paying $45 a pop, though it did result in interest. Consider writing conference with pitch sessions for screenplays. I attended such a conference last year, and though I’m not a screenwriter, I saw some big smiles on other faces. Give it a try.
    And you do have an entertaining blog. That can get you more notice, too, so make sure you are visiting the blogs of those in the movie business. Direct them back to your blog.
    Cheer up. You will get there. Your writing shines.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

    1. I do attend writing conferences, including one last year specifically for screenwriters. I did the pitchfest there, too, and got a couple nibbles. But again, they came to naught. Which is why I’m starting to believe I’m not meant to be a writer . . .

  6. I know this frustration. Makes me wonder why I’m giving myself gray hairs. You’ve come a long way, though. I love your posts where you’ve reflected on what’s happened. You’re doing wonderfully. The marathon is long from over, but you’re really talented. You’re going to get there.

  7. I know what you mean. I’m very realistic about it all, knowing it won’t happen overnight. But little by little all those friends are getting published. Even the people that are not really friends. When I think about all the writer blogs I’ve followed off and on since I started writing–which probably isn’t really that long, 4 years, it feels like most of them writers have gotten into publishing. Yes, some are self, but still.

    I guess it’s like Tanya said above about nothing happening if you do nothing. It just sucks it takes so long. And I don’t want to be that one that it takes 15 years before anything happens. Patience sucks. ๐Ÿ™‚

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