My most recently completed play, Stacks, is sitting in a couple inboxes for New Play competitions – the prize is usually a reading and a shot at production, depending on the venue. Another copy is going out today to another competition.
It’s tough to get a play or screenplay to the point of being ready to submit, mostly because I have a day job. My day job is demanding, rewarding, and supports my family very well. It’s not what I would have imagined myself doing, but it’s what I find myself doing and I’m very fortunate to have it.
I would trade it away for writing success in a hot minute. I don’t need to be Stephen King. I just need to keep the roof over my family’s heads and food in their gobs. Granted, only one is still fully dependent on us. The oldest is mostly cut loose (I still keep her on my insurance and cell plans because, hell, it’s way cheaper that way) and the second is moving in that direction (thanks mostly to the oldest, with whom he’s living, and whom we’ll probably never be able to properly thank.) But living is expensive, and living in California, or at least in a part of California that reminds you that you really do live in California, is very expensive. So the day job is not going away.
Not only is it not going away, it requires the first and best part of my attention.
So when the sun is going down and I can pull away and I pour myself a bourbon or glass of wine – okay, bourbon, it’s always bourbon – it can be really difficult to summon the energy and attention I need to write creatively and effectively. And weekends are distracting in their own right, sometimes for just the same reason that I want to soak up rather than put out.
In light of all that, sliding that script into an envelope, or even just hitting send, by itself gives me a sense of accomplishment. Maybe it took me five times as long as it would a full time writer. Maybe it could have used another coat of polish from someone whose only job was to polish it. But after writing, getting feedback, rewriting and rewriting, it seems ready to show, ready for outside eyes.
That’s a win.
I figure every time I send one out, my chances of making this my day job increase, script by script. And if it never happens, at least I’ll come to the end knowing I didn’t just let my dreams run about in my head.
I reached for the moon, and found myself enjoying the view among the stars.