I had to wait one fucking year between my first conversation with a client and starting the project.
Did it suck?
Are you deef? Of course it sucked.
But oh my God was it worth it.
My client paid five figures. There are writers with book deals with presses whose advances aren’t even close to that. I received that from a dude.
My client is awesome. Not only is he a badass pilot, but he gave me everything I needed to successfully write what he wanted, without micromanaging my ass along the way. He knew I was a professional and treated like me a professional, not like his bitch.
My client’s project is awesome. A kinetic screenplay set in the world of counterterrorism and espionage. Uhh, fuck yeah.
Waiting a year, yeah, not fun.
But you know what, if you’re not willing to pay some dues, you’ll never break into the literary game.
You’re just not that important yet. If you act like a diva, you’re going to lose any opportunities that may come up.
I’m not saying to just hold fast and wait. You’re not passive (and if you are, knock that shit off), but sometimes things don’t go on your schedule, they go on the gatekeeper’s.
You damn well can try to speed them up, but never, ever, ever, EVER get pissy about it.
Unless you want to be a nobody forever. If that’s what you want, have fun.
The same situation’s come up again for me.
Through a whole bunch of weird and complex life events, I was connected to a New York Times bestselling author.
He read a screenplay I wrote.
He met with me.
And he told me, “Normally I tell people it’s a great accomplishment that you finished a script. Most people never complete one. But here’s what you should do: put it in a drawer, close the drawer, and never open the drawer ever again.”
Do you know how many assholes are constantly bothering a successful writer for a favor, or to front something?
First off, I know I have the luck of the devil himself to even get a read from this guy.
Second, when you have someone who sold over a million copies of their book telling you you’re good, it feels pretty fucking sweet.
Third, when the guy says he’ll connect you to an agent, and then chews you out for why in your early 30s you’re not already writing for Hollywood, then that’s almost surreal.
But then a year later, you’re still occasionally exchanging emails, trying to push him on to connect you.
It’s easy to be a loser and bitch and moan. Most writers would do that in a situation like that. That’s why most writers are wasting their time and should give it up.
But not you, right? You can see this for what it is, a test.
And you’ll pass it because you won’t give up.
If you’re an outsider, you need a leg up to break into the literary game.
Or the screenwriting game.
Or anything big.
If you want to blow up, or change the world, or get rich, or do something other than work as a barista, you damn well need powerful allies.
And your powerful allies are, by nature, more powerful than you.
They can make your career.
Or, if you alienate them, they can keep you doomed to obscurity.
What do you think’s the better way?
When you find your opportunities and your allies, make it happen.
And if you can’t make it happen quickly, then hang on for a long ride.