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Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
- Frank Zappa
You only fail when you quit. Until then, you are only a potential failure. I've been a potential failure for twenty years now. I don't have a favorite poem; I don't know if I even know anyone with a favorite poem. Perhaps it's because I learned to write by pounding out screenplays, but for whatever reason, I learned that if you aren't connecting with your audience you aren't doing your job.
Your friends won't read your book, you say. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that you're hiding your true taste in literature from your friends behind "Halo dust covers." I'm not a big fan of Robert McKee, but he did make a pretty good observation in Story - a good storyteller will keep you entranced with the tale of their commute to work. A bad storyteller will bore you with the death of their children. It's all about your ability to connect - and when you hold your friends in contempt you have no business requiring them to "watch you bleed."
There's a certain knee-jerk reaction amongst artists to soothe each other and say "there, there, it's okay that the world doesn't understand you." I'm more of a "toughen the fuck up" kinda guy. If I'd spent seven years writing something that nobody cared about, I'd be pissed off. Quit bleeding at the typewriter - Fucking sound your barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. You need to get people to read your book. To do so, they must pay $2.99. Each read is a validation - every sale a success. Look at the bright side, you could be a screenwriter - in order to be a success you must convince ONE PERSON that your ideas are worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Worse, that person must have access to that kind of money. Even if you do, the odds are infinitesimally small that your name will even be on the work when it's done, and even lower that you'll want it there. When you're faced with those kinds of odds, you learn that if you don't believe in yourself you have
expecting others to.
I'm a read your book. It's on my list. I'm busy right now, though, 'cuz I've got three screenplays and a novel to finish by June. I will say this: If you were tweaking on 248 pages for seven years you need to learn to let go. I've written 300 pages since April.
As one writer to another, I feel you, dawg. I feel you right here. But I'm also here to tell you that sympathy fucks are the worst kind of sex. Fuckin' grab that thing by the throat and shake it 'til it sings. My wife's engagement ring was paid for with my first screenplay option. They'll never fucking take that away from me. The WGAw did a survey a few years back - how many screenplays did you write before you got your first option?
The average was seven.
You have no business expecting others to believe in you if you can't believe in yourself. Now go write another novel. Blood spilled on anonymous internet forums is creative energy WASTED.