Monday, April 26, 2010

The Stress

As some of you may know, I'm not only working for Dances With Films, but I'm also have a novel I'm trying to sell, which is going very well. I'll keep you up to date on it as events happen.

I bring this up because I realize that submitting films to festivals is a lot like submitting queries to agents, and then publishers. As I have readers that are both authors and autuers, I'd post something I wrote a while back about the unique type of stress we have in the entertainment industry. So here you go:


It's very subtle, the stress of success in this business. It's not the stress of the last second shot for a championship game. It's more like the stress of tactonic plates in the earth - a slow build up that will occassionally be relieved by a snap of activity, only to start building again.

And the closer we get to the prize, the more the stress.

Submitting queries to agents is easy at first. There are hundreds of them. Shoot 'em off ten at a time and expect not to hear anything. In a few weeks, pick ten more. Maybe revise your query.

Suddenly, you get a bite. An agent wants a full. So you send it off. You pause on your querying if this is your first full, 'cause you think you'll have an agent and a book deal by the end of the month. The stress is high, but fun. You're like a sprinter at the start of a marathon. "What's all this talk about pacing yourself? This is easy."

If it's your 3rd or 4th full, you try to forget about them the way you do queries. Doesn't work, but you try. Have to keep up a good, steady pace.

Several fulls out. Agents are interested. They're giving you notes. You're working like mad to not lose your mind while you try to adapt your story. The stress is high, but again, you're on your sprinter's pace. You can see the end of the race. Once you sign with that agent, you can slow down.

Finally, you sign with an agent. You've crossed the finish line. You're panting, leaning on your knees, trying to control your breathing and sweat when your agent comes to you, points to the top of a mountain in the distance and says, "Let's go."


Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like fun! And stress! And exhaustion! But at least it sounds like fun :)

Jeskid said...

Have enjoyed reading your blog man. Gl getting it sold. Will be rooting for ya.