They say you can’t make it in television without being in Hollywood or New York.
They say you can’t sell a self-published series to a literary agent because it’s a known product.
You won’t get past the gatekeepers. You won’t be picked. The cards are all stacked against you.
What story could you have that they haven’t thought of before? What gem could you offer them?
The fear creeps into your brain when you read the words they write, or listen to the dissenting voices on podcasts or various media outlets. Fear puts you in their box, clamps down around your head, and crushes your spirit until it’s a broken nub of the powerful image you had. In your dreams you’re standing on that stage, above the well-dressed people, taking in your accolades with a bright smile. The moment burns in your mind everyday you go to your nine to five job, it keeps you going, pushing you faster and faster through the long nights of toiling. That one moment will justify all the years of sacrifice. The writer’s voice comes in so many forms, but yours is a shouting symbol of who you’ve always seen yourself as, and he won’t be coddled in a corner or shut out.
You hate the voice, but the beatings it gives are like a warm blanket after a while. The truth that comes with them, is that you need to be pushed to be the thing you want to become, because that sad rust belt town you were born into isn’t handing out any free tickets to stardom. This is where dreams come to die, to wilt on the vines of a local oligarchy, and you must be meant for something more than the fatalistic end they have planned for you.
So you begin to push back on their ideals, their doctrine, and without fail the detractors come out from the woodwork. They want you to go back to the start, or go to their local overpriced college where you can sink deeper into debt and find yourself permanently stuck within the fiefdom they’ve devised. You rage against the chains as they slap them on, keeping that burning desire in the center of your mind. In your free time from work, you hammer away at the keys or destroy paper with pencils and pens, all in a desperate attempt to prove them all wrong. You can make it. You will make it.
This month I start a new personal journey, Screenwriting. I’m headed back to class with the intent on learning the proper formatting for television and movies. This isn’t to say I’m done writing books – I’m not – but before I wade out into the waters of a new storyline I feel The Mythos Division deserves a spec script or two. It’s been my personal literary vehicle for the past three years, and I figure it deserves the extra mile of effort for what it’s done for me.
There’s a good mix of excitement and trepidation in this new venture, enough to make me question if it’s the right thing to do at this point in my career. In the past few days I’ve looked at forging a new storyline and preparing query letters for agents, which I still plan on doing. Flexibility has always been the key for me, and the days ahead will require me to lean on it even more.