When Do You Let Dreams Die?

Before Working Author I ran another writer’s blog. Those were fun times because I was a lot looser with my thoughts and language. I miss that freedom to a large degree. These days I have to always be cognizant of political realities. Who exactly is reading this, and how might they react to it? Before my old blog, however, I used to publish missives via email to a select group of people who endured my ramblings. Now those days were free! That was actually some of my most experimental writing…ever. I got to plumb the depths of my mind without a care in the world. If one of my readers took issue with what I wrote, oh well! They could ask to be removed from the list any time they liked. Most of what I wrote was trite garbage, but I occasionally churned out an inspired gem here and there. This is all to say that I miss blogging, so here’s a quick one to keep this section of the site alive.

For those who don’t know, I never intended to be an entertainment journalist. This was never a career goal. I wanted/want to be an industry screenwriter. Unfortunately, the walls to the inner sanctum are tall and wide, and the traditional ways in have been collapsed seemingly for good. So how could someone like me, with no contacts, get my material in front of people who could do something with it? I decided I would cover the entertainment industry to hopefully get my face and name to the right people.

My success as a would-be entertainment journalist exceeded all of my expectations. I’ve sat down and interviewed some of the biggest names on the planet, which isn’t bad for a guy who just started his own site, with nothing to offer publicists but excellent writing ability. Yet, while I’m proud of the great strides I’ve made in this capacity, this isn’t the path I wanted to travel this long. Despite all of the connections I’ve made, I don’t think I’m significantly closer to my goal of becoming a professional screenwriter.

I started this endeavor in 2004. Unhappy with what was coming out of Hollywood, I set out to improve the films being offered. Now, eight years later, working a full-time day job as well as a full-time night job managing this site, I have so far failed in my task, and I am exhausted. As with everything in life, there is a window of opportunity, and I wonder if my window has closed already or if it will ever open? As I burn out just a little more every day, and as I steadily grow physically sicker every moment, I have to wonder how much longer I can blindly grope the perimeter wall of the entertainment industry, hoping I find some crack that I can exploit.

There was a time that I felt a singular satisfaction in being an entertainment journalist. I felt like a privileged individual, given access to elite people and exclusive locations. Those days I could tolerate the freeway traffic and the long, sleepless nights trying to make a deadline. Now that these people and places have lost their luster, and my health steadily diminishes, I’m beginning to dread the rigors of running this publication if I can’t see it helping me achieve my original goal.

The other fear I have is that if/when I do make it, that my work will be distorted into something horrible, a shadow of its original form, relegated to a January release. For every film I’ve walked away from satisfied, how many have disappointed me? The odds aren’t good that my films will turn out well, no matter how wonderful the writing is. The script has to pass through several layers of other people with their own creative input. Who knows what the final product will be?

And so it comes to this: Is it time to walk away from all of this? Do I focus on other things, like my corporate writing career or a relationship? I’m a creative guy; I’m sure I’ll think of fulfilling ways to pass the time. I could leave all of this behind tomorrow if I had to, but I’m still having a hard time believing that I can let all of this hard work simply go to waste.

But maybe I just need a little more convincing.