Mark Evanier, one of the biggest writing talents in TV, comic books, and blogging has been writing a series of articles on the subject of rejection as faced by all creative people.
Here’s Mark’s latest installment on the subject. (To be precise, it’s Part 25):
by Mark Evanier
This is a series of articles I’ve written about writing, specifically about the problems faced by (a) the new writer who isn’t selling enough work yet to make a living or (b) the older writer who isn’t selling as much as they used to. To read other installments, click here.
It’s been a while since I posted one of these…so long that the 50-year anniversary of my career as a professional freelance writer has passed. I’m now closing in on 50.5 years of supporting myself as a writer of all sorts of things but mainly comic books, animation for television and live-action shows for television. I have occasionally been paid as a director, producer, editor, artist or letterer but I consider those adjuncts to writing. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I say with no evasion and absolutely no shame, “I’m a writer.”
Here’s another lesson I’ve learned: Don’t get mad at the folks who could hire you and don’t. No matter how incompetent you might think they are…no matter how blind to your talent they seem to be…no matter how they run you around and dangle you and avoid giving you a straight answer, don’t get mad at them. I have met some great, benevolent and wise editors and/or producers — and I’m not saying that because they hired me because some of them didn’t.
Most of those who didn’t didn’t because I wasn’t useful to them. We discussed being “useful” in the previous installment of this column. Now, let’s discuss being cautious…
Try to remember this about that person in the hiring/buying position: They usually aren’t spending their own money. They were hired to buy scripts or hire writers so they have a boss. They may have numerous bosses and they don’t want any of them to say, “Why did you waste all that dough on that lousy script?” One of the reasons that credits and experience matter is that they provide a dandy excuse for those who hire you.
Let’s imagine for a second that I’m in a position that I never want to be in: Developing screenplays for a big movie studio….