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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

DcH, I just put in so much work on a script and got it to a major studio and haven't heard one, single, word back from them.  I feel such an uncomfortable hole in me every time I realize there's been no response, not even an acknowledgement.  Have you been through a similar situation?  If so, how did you handle it?

Sarah James 

This week's Answer: 

The "Hole" Picture

Sarah, I truly appreciate your question and insight.  I believe, to one degree or another, we all go through what you described as the "hole" when we don't feel acknowledged or responded to.  And, yes, I've been through the "hole experience" (it's never half, always whole) many a time, and here's something that might help:  It doesn't get any easier.  I mean the hole doesn't get any easier.  What gets easier, though -- and this is the hopeful part -- is how you handle the hole.  (This sounds a bit odd, truly, but let us proceed with this metaphor until it gets too uncomfortable -- as holes are want to become when you've been in them too long.)   What I've learned is that this hole must be acknowledged.  If someone doesn't acknowledge you and then you don't acknowledge the hole that's caused by his or her lack of acknowledgement, then you are continuing the "lack of acknowledging" continuum (LOAC), which I've heard can be deadly to our planet as we know it.  And to you as a member of this planet and human race.  So, the first step is to acknowledge that discomfort, acknowledge the hole.  But -- and this is where it gets tricky --

don't fall into it!

The hole, that is.  That's all you need to do.  That doesn't mean be in denial about the hole.  You're going to feel yourself falling in just like Alice when she went after the white rabbit.  Just be aware of when you are making that rather speedy descent and, as soon as you do, as soon as you are aware of yourself falling, the miraculous thing that happens is that you'll find yourself no longer falling.  Try it.  The pain will no longer be there.  And do you know why?  Why?  I'm glad you asked.  Because the hole is caused by your thoughts.  Thoughts such as these:  "Why didn't they get back to me?  It's such a good script.  Why can't they just see that and buy it?  They're a bunch of *&#$#@!  Can't even take five seconds to send me back an e-mail.  Those *&%@#@*!  I hope they all wind up in Producer Hell!  When is someone going to finally see my genius and pay me for it!? I deserve at least six figures on this script.  I'm so good.  Why can't somebody see it for once!?"  And on and on.  These kinds of thoughts regenerate, re-stimulate the hole.  It's as if they are what push the button that activates the opening of the hole.  But, as soon as you notice these thoughts, simply look at them.  Don't try to repress them or pretend they're not there.  Just look at them.  And feel that hole that seems to be in you.  See it all from a distance.  As though the difficult thoughts and the hole are outside of you, not a part of you, not you.  Because that is the truth:  they're not really you.  Without effort, you'll find yourself finding it hard to find that hole.  Why?  I'm glad you asked.  

Because it was never there to begin with.

(I hope I picked enough of an esoteric and mysterious font to give you the impression that I have tapped into some ancient wisdom.) 

So, Sarah (yes, sew and sow and whatever else you may do), face that hole.  It has absolutely no power over you.  Now you can write and submit more freely, knowing that hole is only a hoax.

I hope this has helped you and other readers.  And, everybody, if you've gained from my experience and wisdom, please send me an e-mail acknowledging that very truth.

Or, I swear, I'm going to drop through my hole and never come out again.



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