Writing Past Rejection

Years ago when I was still a scripting newbie, I decided to enter a fairly well known screenplay writing contest.  One of the perks of coughing up the $50 entry fee was receiving an evaluation of your script by a professional screenwriter, so I was pretty excited about that. I envisioned that even if I didn’t win, the person critiquing my story would tell me that it was hilarious, engaging, unique…and, with a few tweaks here and there, virtually Hollywood-ready.

A few months later, when the winners were announced (and none of them were me), I received my evaluation via email. I was nervous as I opened the document, but still eager to receive some encouragement from a pro. Instead, my eyes jumped immediately to these words:

“I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did.”

So much for Hollywood-ready.   Try dumpster-ready.

The rest of the review wasn’t much better, and it left me doubting not only my writing ability but my own judgment. Was I so delusional that what I thought was a solid story amounted to 120 pages of “nothing happening?”

So, after a brief stint of ignoring my writing in favor of a pity party, it was time to get over myself and get back to the page. Because the best way (for me, at least) to soothe the sting of rejection is to write past it. Leave it in the dust. One person’s “no thanks” isn’t the end of your writing life, nor proof that your talent is non-existent.

So, write on. And on. And on.

When have you had to write past rejection? How did you do it/handle it?

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  • Reply Kel September 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    This is such a great introduction to your website! It looks amazing and I can’t wait for others to discover you!

    • Reply Mary Derosa Hughes September 21, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Thanks so much for the kind feedback, Kel! I will do my best to make this site worthy of return visits! : )

  • Reply Michelle September 24, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Great job Mary! As always your true self shines through your words, this bold move of yours will no doubt inspirer many to follow you. Love and blessing,

    • Reply Mary Derosa Hughes September 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Michelle, you are too sweet…so glad you liked what you read so far! Love and blessings to you, too..xo

  • Reply Elaine F French March 3, 2017 at 6:14 am

    I’ve only just joined your blog so am starting at the the beginning- hence commenting on this in 2017! My first attempts at writing were a novel in about 1990 which I abandoned because I decided my vocabulary wasn’t varied enough. I decided to try scripts. Eventually after rejecting numerous idea’s because they wouldn’t win me an Oscar. By 2001, I decided to just write the kind of thing I enjoy – which truth be told is a bit of a chic flic. I had a reasonable job so paid an LA script analyst to critique it. He said “don’t give up the day job!” It was too wordy, etc etc. However with his help I went through two more versions and eventually it meet with the approval of numerous people in the BBC – it wasn’t made – but at least they liked it! I came to look forward to people’s feedback as I know it helped me grow. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog todate!

    • Reply Mary DeRosa Hughes March 9, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Screenwriting has always been my first love, so I applaud you for sticking with your script and getting it in front of the BBC! That is a huge deal, and something to be proud of! 🙂

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