Monday, September 3, 2007

Six Month Recap

Here we are, six months into my little plan. That means time for another recap.

I've got to be honest with you - these last three months have gone by a lot quicker than the first three did, and I was a lot less productive with my time.

Here is the recap.

  • Not A Prodigy

If you remember, at the tail end of my first three months, Annabel and I had finished our first spec and were getting feedback from various friends. I honestly thought we would hit it out of the park on our first try.

Turns out, that didn't happen. I wasn't a prodigy after all.

The good news was that it wasn't a complete failure. I made some great contacts, and learned a lot during the process. Lessons we would hopefully incorporate into the next script.

  • Wrote a Short

I was having a bit of writer's block and thought that perhaps a small exercise would help get me back into the groove of writing.

It did.

I set up a short exercise on the Artful Writer Forums, and my entry (Fly Ball) received quite a bit of praise. While very flattering, more than anything, the feedback served more to remind me that maybe I can write after all.

  • The Query Letter Game

Before I came to the realization that I wasn't, in fact, a prodigy - I sent out over 200 query letters to various agents and managers to get them to read our first spec.

I got a whopping two read requests. Neither of whom I ever heard back from.

In retrospect, this was a good thing. The script wasn't ready, and we were better off not getting the reads. Still, the indifference was shocking. I was beginning to yearn for some sort acknowledgment that I existed - even if it was rejection.

  • My First Contest

Just before I dove head-first into query letters, I sent off our script to the Austin Film Festival. I may have missed the Nicholl deadline, but fame and glory would be mine in Texas.

We received our rejection letter from Austin just this past Friday. We didn't even make the second round.

I never liked Texas anyway.

  • The New Spec

This one would be much better than our first attempt. Guaranteed.

We had a killer idea for our second spec, but were having trouble finding the story. It was like having a word on the tip of your tongue, but not being able to say it.

After several weeks of brainstorming, we finally hit the nail on the head. We had our story.

And it was great. We started outlining like madmen, and loved every second of it.

  • I'm an Undisciplined Primadonna

Annabel turned in her first draft to me several weeks ago, but I've been dragging my feet getting my part of the work done.

It's a really great concept and deserves more of my attention, but between the realization that I wasn't God's gift to screenwriting and my looming 30th birthday, I couldn't focus on the task at hand.

So more than anything, the last three months have taught me that I can't always just sit around and wait for inspiration - and that even when I can't seem to focus or am uninspired, I just need to sit down in my chair and force myself to write.

  • Turning 30

Today, September 3rd, is my 30th birthday. I'm officially old.

It's been a tough three months with this birthday looming over my head. Beyond just being an immature fuck who never saw himself turning 30, there's been a lot of internal pressures associated with this birthday.

I never thought I'd be taking a year off to pursue a new career at this age. I thought I'd already have one that I loved.

I never thought I'd be breaking up with yet another girlfriend at this age. I thought I'd be married with children.

No house. No white picket fence. No American Dream.

The reality of all this has sat pretty heavily with me.

I'm dealing with it.

  • Looking Forward

As you can see, the last three months haven't been as productive as the first three were.

Such is life. I can only learn from my mistakes and work harder from here on forward.

But on Friday I got a call from a former advertising client of mine, asking for my help with a new product launch they have coming up. It would only be for one month.

Taking into consideration how out of sorts I've been and the extra financial cushion this would provide me, I've decided to take a month off from writing and agree to help them with their launch. Who knows, doing a quick bit of advertising work might help me remember why I decided to pursue this career change in the first place.

I'll still be blogging, and it's only a month. So no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

More than anything, I hope I clear my head.

9 comments:

The Moviequill said...

I am 42 now, I got over being 30 twelve years ago man...ha

Matt Hader said...

Happy Birthday -- and enjoy the paycheck.

IQCrash said...

MQ, just because you're an old fart, doesn't mean I can't mourn my gradual death.

Matt - Gracias senor, on both counts.

annabel said...

Happy Birthday, IQCrash!

That was completely depressing, but we will make the next six months count! ;)

Nicklaus Louis said...

I turned 30 in July. I've since been diagnosed with a herniated disc, which makes me feel even older. But, I learned this weekend that my great grandmother will be turning 95 this Novemeber -- not feeling so old now.

You're only as old as you let yourself feel. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and from what I see you have no reason to feel old (cause you seem to be having a kick ass life) and you are a gifted writer. I loved the post on Heartbreak.

eddie said...

I wanted to say something positive, but 30... that's just so damn old.

Sorry, dude.

Christina Shaver said...

What is going on here because you're starting to sound like Woody Allen mourning your eventual demise. WTF! Smack. Smack. Snap out of it!

Seriously though. Happy Birthday!

Matt Hader said...

I didn't want to mention this earlier but CNN has been reporting that, for what ever reason, the sun actually rose at a strange angle today -- and that the Danube is now flowing in the opposite direction, and that in Peru cats are sleeping with dogs...

It could be because IQ turned 30...

Gee, I hope not.

Fuck, I hate change...

Jim Endecott said...

Happy birthday and shit.

-Jim