Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. – Doris Lessing

Go forth into the unknown, explore the caves of your unconscious, fear not your “dark side,” find the gold.

— Robin Hoffman (@AuthorAlchemy)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time to Wake Up the Boonies

This post symbolizes a come-back. Because last year I . . . gave up on myself as a screenwriter. Actually, that's not accurate. I gave up on myself as someone who had the guts to market her screenplay.

After the thrill of finishing the first draft of my first script in 29 days, after the hard work and learning curve of taking my screenplay through seven rewrites—and then coverage—and then two more rewrites, after the elation of making it into the top 25% of scripts in the PAGE Awards (see Tears of Elation), the one thing I couldn't overcome was my fear of pitching.

It wasn't for lack of trying. I read Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds by Michael Hauge. I wrote and rewrote my logline and pitch. I studied a video of screenwriters pitching to a movie executive. I memorized my pitch. I delivered my pitch in the mirror. I recorded my pitch on web cam and tried to do better each time.

I also optimistically prepared for the deal-making side of things by reading The Writer Got Screwed (but didn't have to) by Brooke A. Wharton.

Trouble is, the more I practiced my pitch the worse I felt about myself. I felt out of my depth. Besides my deep fear of things like cold-calling agents to pitch by phone, it was also clear that putting up a pitch video of myself would be a loser. I had absolutely no confidence in my delivery. My voice was monotone and lacked the infectious excitement I feel for my story. I did not even like my own pitch.

After about a month of self-training on the marketing end, I was sick of feeling so bad about being a screenwriter. The fun and excitement had been sucked right out of it. I sadly came to the conclusion that I would have to view my screenplay as a proud achievement but, as for marketing to Hollywood, I just didn't have the heart for that side of the job.

That was the summer of '09. I walked away and went back to something I know I can do: running the Fear of Writing Online Course.

November 2010. Enter my friend Andrew in the UK, who is currently showing my treatment to his producer friend. (see Writer Discovered While Waitressing) My screenwriting goals have been reignited.

I'm also getting help with my pitching skills from my new drama teacher. More about that next time.

So, let's wake up the Boonies and let's inspire one another! Because times have changed and I'm ready to go after success.

Stay tuned. And, meanwhile, post your own Boonies story in the comments section.

Better yet, write for the Boonies as a guest blogger. I don't care what level you're at so far (even if you're just dreaming of getting started). Anything to do with screenwriting will be considered.

----

RELATED TOPICS

Writer Discovered While Waitressing

Tears of Elation

----

Alarm clock image Copyright © Yury Shirokov | Courtesy of Dreamstime.com