“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
It's no secret that I'm probably the worst blogger in the world. My posts are often so few and far between that I wonder frequently why I even keep this up. Nevertheless, it's here - and I've finally got something to post.
So, back in January, I completed a screenplay titled 'J.S., I Love You'; in a nutshell, it's the story of two besties whose friendship is put to the test when their common obsession suddenly becomes available. A cross country race begins, calamity following them every step of the way. It's the ultimate in fangirl flicks, and I see a market for it - there are more "J.S." fangirls out there than are willing to step forward! Either way, the story's got legs and I'm sure it would be a huge box office draw, given JS's identity. Long story short (too late!), I submitted the screenplay to Amazon Studios.
The 45 day evaluation period ended yesterday, and I promptly got an email at the end of the night. Amazon Studios chose not to extend the option on my screenplay. Does it hurt? Sure. Am I going to bundle up the screenplay and place it at the bottom of my big blue bin? Not a chance.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
I'm trying really hard not to get caught up in the pity party that comes with getting a rejection letter. In fact, I've gotten two this year so far. On the heels of my most recent, I began looking up some quotes about failure so that I can better motivate myself to move forward. The quotes I've placed in bold in between these paragraphs are the ones I've chosen as my favorites. Failure should be our teacher. We should fight to learn from every single rejection so that a) we may better handle the ones that will inevitably follow and b) possibly learn how to block as many as we can.
I've got no words of wisdom. I don't write that way. The things I write are often silly, sweet, or over-the-top in one direction or another. I'm saying to myself (and to you), don't give up. Don't ever stop. Because when you hang your passions up to favor the road that's easy, you lose. And I don't want to lose. I'm tired of standing on the edge of success, wishing with all my heart that I wasn't so afraid.
“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” - Richard Yates
I promised myself more than a year ago that I would stop being afraid to put my work out there. I swore that I would swallow my fears and take the plunge, regardless of the circumstances. How can I accomplish anything if I hold back? No good comes from allowing things like rejection, fear and negativity to run your life. So I won't. It hurts like hell when my work gets shut down, but I won't let it control my emotions.
This blog post helped more than I thought it would. I apologize if my thoughts seem all over the place or incomplete. That's me. And I hope that, whatever you do, fear of failure does not control you the way it used to control me. Do what you do best, and enjoy it. And, to quote a wise boxer, "...it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."
One of my favorite inspirational speeches lies somewhere in between the back and forth between Sly Stallone and Milo Ventimiglia - "If you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits!"
I won't stop. I can't stop. And neither should you.