Screenwriting : Rejection by Michael Donohue

Michael Donohue


Rejections always sting, but this one took a bite out of me. Self-pity made me quit once; I won't allow it this time.

Catarina S. César

Hey, that's is exactly what we all need to keep in mind when we feel down... And, just in case that you need to hear this one day, ( I mean, I'm not sure if this will work for you but, here it goes:) What actually hurt me about rejection used to be that ugly thought of "I have nothing to say that I'm good at, 'cause I have nothing to show, publications or awards..only empty contracts or false promises from producers, yada yada"... and everytime I tried I failed and that darkness grew deeper and deeper. Until a writer I know told me that when he succeeded with his first book he was never thinking about his resume or his failures (who were not failures once he never quit). And as many professionals crave the thought "I'm in my 30s or 40s and haven't done anything yet", which can also be very painful in our (sub)consciousnes, so the Robert McKee's phrase helps which states "the most talented writers didn't find success until very late, as it takes a decade to make a good doctor or teacher, it takes more years of adult life to find something to say that ten millions want to hear and more 10 or more years n often many screenplays written and unsold to master this craft.

Gina Lawrence

Hi, yes never give up. If dreams were easily achieved, they would not be called dreams.

Doug Nelson

What's the difference between a dream and a fantasy?

Stephen Floyd

You wake up from a dream.

Michael Donohue

Ricardo Montalban

Catarina S. César

A dream can be(come) real.

Gina Lawrence

A dream can turn into a reality, whereas a fantasy cannot ...

Craig D Griffiths

I didn’t go out with everyone woman I asked, I didn’t marry everyone woman I went out with. I only needed one the that was a perfect fit.

Just like the people that curl their lip or laugh when you ask them out, there are equivalent producers (etc),

Dan Guardino

When someone passes on a screenplay doesn't mean they are rejecting the screenwriter.

Michael Donohue

All that we see or seem...

Catarina S. César

Craig D Griffiths my opinion is: It shouldn't be like you said. This industry is unnecessarily hard. We should be engaged with one person but write and create as many projects as we can and succeed. Not the other way around and both cannot be compared. An ideal world would have hubs (school, studio and office) everywhere to grow as an artist/creative and evolve within a family, instead of small productions that mostly thrive on exploitation or freelancers who can't find stability; more divorce and relationships being broken in the making of one film, etc.

I only think that instead of saying things like "it is supposed to be hard, this is a small industry..." we should start changing the mindset and work for a common goal and try to change it.

Stephen Floyd

But fer real, when rejection feels like a punch in the gut it’s best to not internalize it. There’s no benefit in fixating on what went wrong or what should have gone better. Ask what lessons there are to learn and move on—not because the rejection doesn’t matter, but because your next opportunity does.

Stephen Foster

pitch to 10 more places immediately. keep so much work out there that you have no time to notice the NOs.

Craig D Griffiths

I sold vacuum cleaners door to door once. They used to say “there are 500 no’s and only 1 yes. You need to get the no’s out of the way to get to the yes”.

Catarina S. César each project is a relationship. (to keep my metaphor going) Some script will never get married (no sale), some will have multiple partners (options), some will get married and divorce (failed production) some will have a great marriage (completed film).

Yes it is hard. That is what makes it worthwhile.

You only need one person to buy your script. Just like selling vacuum cleaners. Knock on 500 doors to get 1 yes. If that is not for you, that is great, you are self away. It wasn’t for me. I sold computers instead. That lead to my other careers.

I am used to rejection. It is not crushing. I am

confident in my writing. I just have to find a buyer.

People are working towards a common goal. But they are also not our parents. They do not have to give unconditional love. We must earn of meals.

Michael Donohue

Thank you for the support!

Ben Hinman

Don't take it personally. A lot of people "poison the well"... i.e. their opinion on your script is decided before they've even read it. And a lot of people get kudos just because the reader knows them and they want to put their friends script on the refrigerator just like mommy. There is very little objectivity in this industry. You hear all the time how award winning scripts got turned away by everybody except one. Doesn't that reflect badly on the industries ability to actually evaluate a good script? In my experience, most people can't see a good investment until it's already paid off... in which case they're not needed anymore. So honestly, you don't want some peoples approval. You might be getting it for the wrong reasons.

Stephen Foster

I try to pitch to 10 new people each day that way no ONE NO can f**k me over.

Charles K. Frazier

I think we "newbies" all know that feeling all too well. You could write the world's greatest story, but no one cares. But Tom Cruise could sell a script about his belly button lint. It seems like those who don't need it get all the help. I remember, many years ago, reading about Michael Jordan winning his 5 championship game and the sponsors wanted to include another free car as one of the prizes. Michael sent them a letter of thanks, but told them to please give the automobile to someone who needed it.

Tasha Lewis

In the entertainment business, look at it as an opportunity to improve. Just make sure you take notes and strive to improve. Visit my profile page and look at the projects and tell me what you would like to do.

Craig D Griffiths

Catarina S. César I don’t think it is overly hard. I think it is fatigue. There are a million screenwriters and far less producers/buyers/studios. Plus as writers we are a needy lot. We love positive reinforcement. Encouragement is our addiction.

Imagine how tiring it must be. Having to stroke an ego every time you say no. Not only that, time consuming. Especially when you consider 900,000 of that million will leave and never write again. So why bother.

We are self employed at the heart of it. We choose when to work until engaged. So we don’t have a boss to say “well done”.

We must learn our craft and develop a bullet proof ego. I have one. They are lovely.

I like Guillermo del Toro approach. He says he has very small rear view mirrors. He never dwells, just “**** you” and moves on.

Dan MaxXx

One Writer told me in 2018 he went to over 100 meetings, face to face sit downs at studio offices and big agency office buildings. He spent $$$ on car gas, dry cleaning, lunches and dinners, valet parking. 0 job offers. Year 2018, he reported 0 income on tax forms. Stressful for a married person w/ house mortgage and kids.

But he said 2018 was his best year as a professional Writer. He got a writer's credit for a Netflix movie in 2019 but his Agent dropped him. He's still writing in 2020.

Craig D Griffiths

Dan MaxXx yep self employment is hard. I just got a phone call with my friend who was $1300 a day IT project manager. Hasn’t worked in two months.

He is thinking of taking salaried employment.

That’s why writing is my side hustle until it can replace my main jig. Like everyone else I would imagine.

Donnalyn Vojta

Never GIVE up. This is a culture of "no," but there are "yeses" to be had!

Matthew Barker

Rejection sucks. If rejection doesn't get to you, does it make you a sociopath? I let myself feel it and grieve it for a few hours or a day or so, depending on how hard it is, then use it to fuel the engines. Take care of yourself Michael Donohue!

Craig D Griffiths

I must be a sociopath.

Elisabeth Meier

Just take a deep breath. Doing sports regularly is always a good advice - especially to forget frustration. You will still be disappointed, but no longer frustrated/blocked. Then, put the work which was rejected or got bad comments aside. Sit down and write something new and when finished re-write the first. Working like this you keep yourself in the flow. Plus, you get a distance between your and the rejected work. All the best and: Never give up!

Michael Donohue

Great advice from all and again, thank you. I found a 10-minute play contest with a deadline at the end of the month. I'm working on the characters now, well, now, I'm procrastinating... but one great thing about contests and festivals are deadlines make me write.

James C Lemke

Ha, I learned to expect rejection, when it's not happy. If it is, that's no surprise.

Damion Willis

Great! Keep up the enthusiasm! One thing I've come to realize in life is not to take things personally. That goes from rejection to a flat tire. It's all life and we all continue to evolve. My one solid piece of advice is to always make room for the things you love. Your passion will one day refine your craft and it's energy will become contagious.

Tasha Lewis

Home based businesses and virtual work can facilitate this. Here is my consulting page. lots of opportunities.

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