Here’s what’s scary: the fact that you let people know you’re trying to do this thing, that there’s a learning curve of course, but that you publicly recognize that you’re working on this thing that can possibly fail. It’s a risk. Whether or not it happens, well, it doesn’t have to come down to you… I mean there can be a million reasons. And you’ll cling to that “other” reason instead of taking it personally. Except you just don’t know. “It’s not you; it’s me,” they might say.
I spend my time thinking positive thoughts, knowing, really that I’ll be known for writing this brilliant, amazing, romantic comedy one day. I just know. Or I did know. I had a moment where I knew. Now I question it all, though. What if I put all this time and effort into this show that goes nowhere? I write an incredible script, one my agent will tell me is considered b+ or better, only what if it’s not? What if he just says that? Everyone in LA says things. I don’t think anyone tells you that what you created isn’t good enough. They don’t tell you they felt medium-warm about it because no one uses the term "medium-warm." If anything, they say it’s too similar to something else they’ve already committed to. They tell you focus groups didn’t like the talent, or didn’t respond the way they thought. Or it doesn’t even get to focus groups. They tell you it’s a problem with their boss. I don’t know what they’ll tell me.
I can’t do anything to protect myself from disappointment. But there are moments when I’m alone and say to myself, “Okay, think good thoughts. Be positive. Put it out there.” I believe in the power of positive thinking, in setting goals for yourself, in not giving up. Though I’m much more likely to complain a lot, and then, in my own private moments, I’ll just wish. I think it would certainly help if I was entrenched in an additional project, though. That way, I wouldn’t be leaving this one decision to be so win/lose. It would be nice, but it wouldn’t be everything. And right now, it’s so much of my everyday work life. It’s a lot of thinking, of notes, of revisions, of comparisons. And a lot of questioning myself.
But if nothing else, it’s learning. I’m learning and growing, and I love doing it. I do recognize though that I should be working on my next book as well. It’s like dating a pair and a spare. Juggle three projects at once, that way you’re not too upset when one leaves you for the next new hot young thing.
I never know how a call will go, if it’s simply notes and specifics or if there’s more general talk about differentiating the show from the others that are there and have been there, from the ones that have failed, and from the ones that became part of our vernacular. What I do know is that I love storytelling. I love the idea that if this show happens more people will know about the book. Because Straight Up and Dirty is the kind of book that changes lives. It really does. For all the talk about it being Sex and The City-esque, it’s still a book that goes beyond laughter and quips. It’s a book with heart and strength, and who couldn’t use more of that?
I want to be real to the struggle of it. To the pain. You know what? I was a zombie when it first happened. Yes, I was off and running, dating, but when it first happened, I still couldn’t sleep at night. I slugged through work, a shell of a body, empty and alone. There was a sadness that hung on my insides. But I didn’t want pity, and I didn’t want clichés. I wanted time to fast-forward. I wasn’t some woebegone chick crying in public or to anyone who’d listen. I was updating an online dating profile. I was chasing what I thought I had. I was lost and didn’t believe that meant there was even more to discover. I was scared and didn’t see it as an adventure. I wanted to bitch-slap people. I wanted to cry to my dog and to smile at boys. It was hard. Rebuilding a life always is. In the end though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’d rather risk and fail than never try, for sure.But mostly, I’d rather risk and succeed. The truth is though no matter how much you succeed, you never stop taking risks or being scared. Instead of "I want to make it" it just becomes "I don’t want to lose it."