I read an interesting article yesterday over on the “Go Into The Story” blog. In the post, Scott Myers talks about a time where he was rushed to put out a draft of a script and then had to wait a long time to hear back.
All that focus and energy. All those debates and decisions. All those pages written and rewritten. All that damn hurrying.
And now… we wait.
In Hollywood, the phenomenon is known as “hurry up and wait.” It’s utterly maddening.
News flash, that phenomenon isn’t unique to Hollywood.
Hollywood often seems like this bizarro world where things move their own way. It seems like it’s beyond the comprehension of anyone not actually involved in it. That it’s some microcosm unique onto itself. But articles like this remind me that it’s not. It’s business, just like any other.
I take solace in that. When I’m rushed by a client to get a proposal out, and then have to wait weeks to hear back about any issues… it’s nice to know that professional screenwriters are going through the same thing. While “hurry up and wait” isn’t a fun experience to go through, it’s nice to know it’s normal. Sort of keeps the concept of being a writer grounded in the real world.
Myers has three suggestions for writers for when they have to deal with the “hurry up and wait” phenomenon, but I want to highlight the most important one:
Or third, the most advantageous approach: you can have another project ready to go. … If you don’t have another writing assignment, it’s a great idea to have a spec script you’ve busted, all ready for you to type FADE IN and go.
That’s pretty sound advice regardless of what you’re waiting on. There’s always something else you can be working on. We all know this is true at our regular 9 to 5 jobs. You finish one task, you pivot to the next. Same with writing. Sent a draft out for notes? Then start a new project while you wait to hear back.
But regardless of how much time to you have write, and how much throughput you can accomplish when you do write, just know that the world of Hollywood likely isn’t that much different than yours. It’s just more expensive, better looking, and has it’s own awards shows. Okay, so maybe it is a lot different.