Every writer will tell you that criticism and rejection comes with the territory and you have to suck it up and get on with it. Good advice.
But they are missing out the stage before sucking it up which is usualy along the lines of thinking 'What the fuck is this no -nothing twat on about'
But you say it to yourself, and then you suck it up.
Because unless you are talking to God's gift to screenwriting that should be your reaction. They are talking about a piece of work your heart and soul has gone into. Of course you're going to be pissed off if they don't like it. But it has to be a quiet pissed off that quickly passes and doesn't dent your confidence.
The important thing to remember is that much the same as two different writers will have different takes on the same scenario, so too will two different producers on the same piece of work.
Is it bad or good? It's subjective.
I have a script that I wrote years ago and pretty much not only got me started in the business but got me a lot of ongoing work over the years as more people read it. Recently some new bod at a major prodco read my latest spec. Okay without too much blowing of trumpets they fucking loved it. Couldn't do it because they actually had a programme airing with a very different but still too close concept. But if I had something else get it to them ASAP! [okay I know that's only one rung up from ''enjoyable read but not for us'', but bear with me]
My agents then sent them the killer script. The old faithful. The sure thing. The work getter.
Didn't like it.
Wasn't as pacey, or witty or dramatic as the one they had just read. Fucking twats!
Except they are absolutely right.
I haven't even looked at that script in 3 or 4 years. I still haven't. I'd probably be embarrassed to. If I wrote it now it would maybe be 30% different. But if I were a new writer trying to break in it would maybe be much the same. And would maybe still work on that basis. That's a lot of maybe's. But maybe that's what writing's about.
Anyhoo, I kept the wolf from the door off that script, but the old writer's adage says 'love nothing' That has to mean after you've sent it out, not while you're writing it obviously.
Some people will love it, some people won't. Suck it up, it's all subjective. Except when they are right. Always leave enough room in your ego to recognise it when it happens.
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4 years ago