I’ve been perusing and occasionally posting on The Black Board – blcklst.com’s forums and had the pleasure of meeting writer Sutinder Bola. We were discussing the idea of success and dealing with rejection in screenwriting and he posted the following inspiring statements. Reposted here with his permission:
I was at the London Screen Writers Festival in 2010 and Tim Bevan of Working Title Films was doing a Q&A. He’s produced some of the biggest films in the last 20 years. Check him out on iMDB.
Even he said life in the movie business is a struggle. Every picture that gets made has to overcome “No” after “No” after “No”. But every “No” is one step closer to the magic “YES”.
You’ve just got to keep going, rejection is part of the job, it’s just like rewriting, you learn to live with it and eventually get better at handling it.
I also went to a Q&A at the British Film Institute featuring Simon Beaufoy (writer of The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 hours). He said one of the specs he feels most proud of is sitting in his drawer at home because nobody ever wanted to make it. Sometimes thats just how the cookie crumbles.
I graduated from Business School with a BA in Marketing and an MSC in Strategic Marketing and have worked in marketing for nearly 15 years. I’ve had a really good career, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.
But I can honestly say I never felt anywhere near as good as I did when I finished the first draft of my first script. Or the 2nd draft. Or the latest draft that is being polished for The Black List.
I write because I know deep down it’s what I am supposed to do. Sure, I want to make a breakthrough and make a career out of it. And I am determined to do it. But if I don’t, I will always write. It’s what makes me feel good, it’s the best way for me to express how I see the world and what I feel about what I see.
I consider myself to be one of the few people in the world (but one of the many on TBB) who actually know what they want to do with their lives because 95% of people don’t.
Whether you sell a script or not the fact that you showed the confidence, discipline and perseverance to write one means you have already succeeded. I know I have.
You can find Sutinder on twitter.