It's my third anniversary, which sucks for my wife, because she's married to the most miserable man in the world. I submitted another screenplay to The Black List and got my first of two evaluations yesterday. Although the tone was largely positive, the score was decidedly mediocre and was more than enough to send me into my current psychological tailspin.
I won't bore you with the details. The evaluation matters less than my terrible and unmanaged reaction. As soon as I saw the score and read the feedback, I went numb. I don't feel bad, I feel empty, and that's probably worse. I uprooted my life and switched coasts on a gamble, and I've always known the odds were against me succeeding. They're against anyone hoping to be paid for creative work. But knowing that fact in the abstract is very different from having the reality of it poured over you like boiling oil.
I think this stems from my shitty relationship with failure. I like to imagine terrible consequences for my failures in order to motivate success. This works pretty damn well as long as you never actually fail, because when you fail, you are forced to call your own bluff. So now I have to admit to myself that not only am I a worthless-piece-of-shit-failure, I'm a naive-and-delusional-worthless-piece-of-shit-failure. I know this all sounds like self-pity and maybe some of it is. But maybe I'm just being realistic. Many thousands of screenplays are registered with the Writers Guilds every year and only a tiny fraction of those will ever be produced or even lead to actual work for their writers. To believe that you belong into the film business is either crazy or stupid. Sometimes crazy is right, but stupid is always stupid. It's impossible to say with any certainty which one I am, but, at the moment, signs point to stupid.
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