Friday, October 21, 2011

Dreamer vs Player

Writers are dreamers. We live in other worlds, in other people's heads (characters are so people!) and in a constant state of "what if". I love to be some place else than here. Not that here is a bad place. My here is awesome. I love my here. But when I drift and explore, which is only too often, I find answers. I find hope and courage and passion. I find gut wrenching agony and despair. I find the truth.

I love writing. It's like a drug. I feel high when I'm in the zone. I am brought to places, situations and people I could never hope to meet in my real life. There is no limit to how far I can go, or where I can wander. It is the ultimate freedom. Alone in a room with nothing but my dreams and a keyboard.


And then somehow, that same dreamer (me), has to become... a player.

Well, if I have a hope of selling anything, then I do. It's a game. I'm not saying that I have to become an insincere twat. The opposite actually. I have to become personable. Good with people. Good at being concise and interesting. Good at selling. And develop a ginormous amount of patience.

I am heading off to LA in November for three days of meetings set up by screenwritingU for their alumni. It's a seriously amazing opportunity for 22 of us. We will meet with 20 producers, and hear their take on the industry, what they're looking for, and other golden nuggets of info. I'm so excited, and kind of shitting my pants at the same time. I'm out of practice at the game of interacting with other players. I've been living in my quiet lovely secluded life, and in my dreams for a while now. Time to dust off the cobwebs, get out of my jammies, and polish myself up.

I have been getting into the game slowly. There are an amazing number of online opportunities that I have been exploring. 

I'm a member of the new and exciting "Production Arts Group" which has been set up from the fine folk at The Page Awards. They have (for a fee, but so worth it!!) three managers/agents a month that you can pitch to. They do interviews with each manager/agent so you get invaluable info about what the industry is doing, what they individually are interested in, and tips and tricks about how to hook someone with a logline and one page. I'm telling you, this is the bee's knees. I have learned so much already just in two months. I've gotten some amazing advice, and I even had a request for one of my scripts. Woot! ( if you're interested.)

I've also joined Stage 32, It's a social network (free) for anyone in the movie making business. It's very cool. It's new, and it's growing. They have a blog of other cool players and their stories.

I continue to get InkTip's newsletters. And send out queries and scripts when requested (waiting for one reply now). I have purchased the CS directory. I joined a group called "She Writes" a site for women writers. And so on.

I am trying to be a player.

The problem is, I'm getting confused. I'm switching between player and dreamer so much that I don't know which foot is in front of the other! I just finished a big rewrite on my sci-fi script, and I now face the decision of what to tackle next. I'm continuing to work on my marketing docs (logline, one page, pitch, etc). But I am feeling anxious. I haven't been dreaming in a while, and I need my fix! I have a rewrite looking at me on another script based on some great advice from a manager. It's going to be great. So why aren't I chomping at the bit? Why aren't I diving into it with my usual gusto?

Here's the thing... the thing that is paralyzing me at the moment. At what point do you let the work you have be, and move onto something else? At what point do you take on board everything you've learned so far, and simply just go onward and upward from there? Marketing can be a full time occupation, as can rewriting. And there's talk of branding, that you should pick one genre, and master that one, and brand yourself as a "__" writer. I have two comedies, one sci-fi and a drama. That is so not branding.

So, I could do some rewriting. I could do more work on my marketing. I could submit more queries, and (catch this) I could write my sci-fi script as a novel to help with marketing (it's been suggested several times).

OR I could just start something new. Something that will help with my sci-fi branding (at least that's one decision made! What genre to be in!). Oi! I need three more days in a week so I can do it all! That or I need a manager to just tell me what the hell to focus on.

I guess the trick to being a successful dreamer, is to know when to dream, and when to be firmly planted on the ground. And how not to let the reality of "business" kill the joy of writing, but instead guide and enhance it. 

I'd hoped that this blabbering on my blog might bring some clarity. Nope. I guess I'll just pick from a hat. (this too has been suggested.)

No WAIT!!! The blog blabbering HAS helped!!! Oh happy day. Decision made. Just like that.

Quick rewrite on comedy, just so I can feel good about that.
Then onto a new sci-fi that's been brewing.
Novel writing will have to wait. Putting a pause on the marketing/player business.

I'm heading back into my happy place.

Oh yeah.