life leaps

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It’s like I’m dating again. Courting a lawyer, a television executive, a production “package” person, learning the terms, navigating the reactions, all of it feels like an exercise in control.

When you’re sitting by the phone, really hoping he’ll call, you can tell yourself all you want that it doesn’t matter if he does, that you’ll be fine, that everything happens for a reason, but it’s all just talk, talk you don’t really believe. You don’t begin to believe it until the next happy thing happens. Then maybe you say, "Holy smokes, this is why that thing I wanted never happened." We try to make it math to soothe our minds. We’ve got silver lining rights.

You can’t just talk it. You need to feel it. But how do you turn talk into feeling? How do you make the leap from head to heart?

Every buzz of the phone makes you jump. You’re too eager, too wrapped up in outcomes, in things you can’t control. So with all your energy, you have to redirect every impulse and instruct yourself not to care. Not to want what you can’t have. And that, quite simply, never works. And it’s a good thing because it’s no way to live. If you don’t risk anything, you don’t get anything either. I’d rather leap than sheep. So all I can do, really, that works, is remind myself that trying counts for something. Risking, knowing I’ve got enough moxie to face a few failures is what makes me a success. I will still get impatient and want answers NOW, but I’ll remind myself that dealing with the waiting is part of the process. In the end, all I really can control is what I risk, how I follow it up, and how I lay it all out on the table again.



  1. Exactly — I started my own company and I had a dinner yesterday with a potentially really big client. That my new company could really use. I changed suits twice. It was way worse than dating because I've never been on a date that could derail my finances if it doesn't go well. But I got the account!

  2. I can really relate to this; I'm revising my first book with hopes to start querying agents soon. It's terrifying and wonderful all at once. Good luck! FWIW, I think you're very brave!

  3. Welcome to Hollywood. It's the Tango Maureen.

    It only gets worse from here.

    Wait until you get the call that they are going to rewrite you and bring in another writer who doesn't give a crap about you and your story/dialogue and takes a leak all over the hard work you've done.

    The best advice I ever got from anyone in the business was "enjoy it for fifteen minutes and then forget about it because the rest of the process will rip your heart out".

    When I heard that I thought to myself, "won't happen to me".

    It did.

  4. Agree with "fellow writer" up above me. They'll take your vision and eviscerate it to the point to which you won't want your name to be associated with what they've written. Of course, when you cash the checks it might make the deal a bit sweeter. Benchley did that w/Jaws. He wrote a respectable script, which was then completely re-tooled by Spielberg and Gottlieb to where it didn't resemble anything from the original. But…Benchley said thank you very much and cashed his check. The rest is history, I suppose.

  5. It's so exciting that you are creating your own television show. I've read your books and been following your blog for a while but this is the first time I've posted. I loved SUAD, and can't wait to see the show:-) Love to hear more about the ins and outs of writing in Hollywood.

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