As most of you know — because I talk about it, obsessively 😉 — I’ve got a juicy, all-consuming passion project in my life, right now.
I’m embroiled in creating an original TV series. A political thriller with a supernatural twist, set in the 1940s. It’s HOT.
After several rounds of revisions with my screenplay consultant, I finally have a draft filled with intrigue, seduction, suspense and just the right amount of throw-me-against-the-alley-wall-and-ravage-me-right-here-on-the-street-ness.
Ohhhh yes. 🙂
And now — thanks to another savvy consultant — I’m learning how to pitch this baby to Hollywood execs, to see if any of them want to take a gamble and turn it into a pilot.
I literally have NO clue how to seal a TV deal, so I’m entering this new world with total openness and curiosity — hobnobbing with pro writers who’ve sold multiple pilots and schmoozing with casting directors, in between sunny beach days with friends and sunset walks with my dog Lily.
A month in LA, living out my fantasy of being a Hollywood siren? It’s simply the BEST.
I’ve been totally open about my little “side project” from day one, spilling every detail of my progress with people both inside and outside of “the industry” (like you!)
While oodles of support have consistently poured in, plenty of people have voiced some pretty heavy concerns, too. Friends have expressed how “hard” it is to break into “the scene.” Fellow writers have told me, in hushed, solemn tones, how difficult it is to “make it” in Tinseltown. People see my lighthearted attitude, and assume I don’t understand how difficult it is to get a pilot made, much less picked up by a network.
But here’s the thing.
I totally get that it’s challenging. Like, Olympic-level challenging.
I totally get that my chances of winding up onstage — accepting my seventeenth Emmy Award and thanking my husband, dabbing away tears cautiously to avoid disturbing my mink lash extensions, while my BFF Ben Affleck quietly sobs with pride in the front row, nodding and clapping — are very, very slim.
I totally get that I probably won’t make any money from this project. (Gasp! What?! Yes.)
I totally get ALL of that.
But none of those factors change the fact that I still feel like I’ve “made it.”
Even if this screenplay project doesn’t progress any further than it already has, I still feel like a major star. Because I’ve never had this much fun — or felt like such a creative badass — in my ENTIRE life.
I’m so freaking proud that I actually wrote a screenplay — instead of just talking about it — and that I’m ballsy enough to give it a shot as a newbie writer.
And if it never goes beyond my computer screen? I’ll rewrite my screenplay as an erotic novel and publish it myself. (In fact, I’ll probably do that anyway. 😉
Instead of obsessing over getting a network to say YES — an outcome that’s outside of my control — I’m choosing to focus on pleasure.
Savoring every little sequence of the experience.
And if that’s not “making it” … what is?
When I tell people that, they look at me like I’m high on some Breaking Bad-level shizz. Or delusional. Or just lying to them … and myself.
That’s because we’re taught, from a very early age, that we ought to be “ashamed” when we don’t achieve our “dreams.”
And we’re also taught that our “dreams” ought to be attached to rigid, specific goals. Otherwise they don’t “count.”
I think that’s the saddest, most ridiculous attitude in the world. It practically guarantees you’ll be disappointed with yourself + the world, 99% of the time. And I don’t know about you, but that’s NOT how I want to live my life.
So what if we all changed our ‘tude, right now?
What if your “dream” is just to CREATE + enjoy the process? No heavy expectations.
No strings attached.
Want to sing? Patch together a band and rock out in your garage. You don’t need a record deal to feel like you’ve “made it.”
Want to write Fifty Shades-tastic erotica, like my girl Alex? Just write it and self-publish every chapter, one by one. Or DON’T publish it, and instead, salaciously read every line to your girlfriends over wine and cupcakes. Equally yummy.
Want to act? Grab some friends and make a low-budget indie. You don’t have to waste ten years of your life auditioning to book the role of Random Woman #2 on a (boring) police drama.
Make art. Have fun. Seek pleasure. Live out your fantasies.
And you won’t even have to worry about “making it.”
You’ll already be “there.” 🙂