In January, I went back to work, after almost three years writing and producing. I went back to the day job. As grateful as I was for the steady employment, it was a tart pill to swallow. Even with two produced films under my belt and a completed novel, I still didn’t have the goods to make it as a professional writer. For me, success was another produced movie and a book deal.
As it turns out, going back to work was the best thing that ever happened to me. The gainful employment allowed me to do something that I hadn’t been able to do in ages: not
think, not obsess over THE WRITING.
Yes, going back to work was like eating an enormous piece of humble pie.
The play I worked on for over a year never saw a stage light. The book I slaved over, never heard one “Yes.” The movie I worked on for, lets not count the years, never heard “action.”
It was time to call it. It was time to put on my pantyhose and dust off the resume.
To my surprise, ten resumes yielded three job interviews, and two job offers. It was nice to be wanted again. But still, that little voice in my head still doubted. The little voice in my head kept taunting me with …
But I’m not a quitter.
But I’m so close.
But I just need to hang on for one more … FILL IN THE BLANK.
So, I went back to work. I bought a new dishwasher. We went to Disney. I finally got my Mouse Ears. I hugged Chewbacca and cried like a baby in his arms. I bought a new printer. I hired an editor to assist me with my novel. I hired a trainer to pound my butt back into shape. I went to the way too expensive sushi place for dinner that I always wanted to try. I was building a life that I had put on hold for so many years all in the name of THE WRITING.
And what surprised me the most, in the midst of working and living, I found my way back home to THE WRITING. With the guidance of my amazing editor Annie, I finished my novel. I re-worked my query letter and synopsis. I went to writing conferences. I networked. I pitched my novel. I had two agents request the full manuscript. And moreover, it’s now a story that I believe in. That I can stand behind.
On the movie front, we (my writing partner who I also happen to be married to) entered the 2017 Sundance International Writer’s Lab, and are finalists. We spent many months re-tooling the story and it is now this little gem of a story that I am so proud to say that I had a hand in.
In the end, I became a happier person, and a better writer. Right now, as I write this, I no longer have a definitive definition of success.
Growing up, my YiaYia, after I would tell her of my latest job, adventure, trip, boyfriend, would always ask me one question, “Are you satisfied?”
Not are you happy, but are you satisfied.
She spoke in a Greeklish. I never for the life of me understood what she was asking exactly. I’d always nod my head and say, “Yes, of course.” Thinking duh … I just got the ONE THING that I wanted!!! Of course I’m happy!!! How could I not be happy? Right?
But the one thing age has taught me is that there is a big difference between happiness and satisfaction.
Happiness is fleeting. Satisfaction is sustaining.
So yes, YiaYia I am satisfied.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
By day, I am a PR pro. By night, I am a screenwriter, producer and founder of Corn Bred Films. In addition to working on my novel Delilah: Recovered, I am working on my third film project Oriole Park. I am a finalist for the 2017 Sundance International Writer’s Lab. Oriole Park is in pre-production, and won “Best Pitch” at the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival. My other film project, Other Plans is a romantic comedy that I co-wrote was released on video on demand last summer. And the documentary, that I produced, directed and wrote, Love Under Fire: The Story of Bertha & Potter Palmer aired on PBS and was selected for the 2014 Women’s International Film Festival.