Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Writer's Lament

For the last six years my work, screenplays, novels, television scripts and concepts have been picked apart by experts. The bright spots have come with caveats of criticism. Sometimes well meaning and constructive, sometimes with eye rolling contempt, as experts shout at me in print, bemoaning how I could commit such a simple, obvious travesty of form or content.

Click to read                            Click to read

Others love my work, then ask for it to be changed completely into their story, using my premise and characters.

Commissioned work has thinned as my enthusiasm to recreate similar scenarios over and over again waned.

Well placed competition entries have come close, but never elicit contact from judge or jury.

Novels have been read and lauded on popular review sites, but 99 cents has proven too much to ask those many five star readers to pay for something they enjoyed so much.

Agents and Managers have asked to read, required release forms, then never called.

Of the hundreds of rejections coming my way in the past six years, being ignored is the response I least like and it is now the most common in this age of electronic mail.

I have written for twenty five years. For twelve years I made a living, sometimes a very good living, sometimes just scraping by; then six years ago I decided to write for myself, my own words, my own ideas. I had grown restless and discontent at coloring in someone else's design.

I don't regret that choice - I would have been more regretful if I'd never tried and gone to my grave wondering what if? I am still inspired in so many ways by so many people doing so many exceptional things with words. But my days of running shows seem over. My days of winning awards a distant memory. I am driving a public transport bus to pay my way. Even my driving is harshly reviewed, now by the unemployed. They don't bother to buy a ticket, so they also critique my work for free.

I cling grimly to the belief I have something of value to offer. I still think I have worth as a writer, but it is hard to prove without opportunity.

And hunting for, waiting for, searching and striving for that opportunity becomes harder each day.

If there were some way of knowing for sure where my work stands in the scheme of things I would feel better I think - even knowing it didn't measure up would be easier than constantly wondering and questioning myself. Then I could proudly say I gave it all I had and walk away with my head held high.

How many people truly go after their passion, their dream and give it everything they have and leave not a regret or unaccepted challenge behind on the table?

My biggest fear is that only luck and a lack of opportunity has kept success from being realized. That would be a tragedy. To be a Susan Boyle who never left her council flat - how sad.

We would live in a far poorer world if people accepted rejection without ever fighting on to prove their worth.

That's what keeps me going.

Read Scott Norton Taylor's first novel - FOR FREE!.

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