That Time I Chose to Become Rachael C Marek

RCM4yrsIt was a little over four years ago when The Sis and I had a conversation.

We were living in Los Angeles, and I had been struggling for nearly a year to find a job.  No exaggeration, I sent out over 250 resumés and only received three responses in return.

I was miserable.  And while writing should’ve given me some solace, I was too concerned about finding paying work, so every time I was on the computer, I felt guilty if I wasn’t doing that.

I barely wrote a word that year.  One of the main reasons for moving to LA – for me to become a professional writer – and I was failing, spectacularly.

It was then The Sis and I had “the talk”.

She was making good money at her job, and she had already been supporting us, so instead of continuing on in such a futile manner, the definition of insanity, I should change tactics and do what I was meant to – write.

It took a little time to become accustomed to the idea that I was being given free reign to follow my dreams, but I realized that I probably wouldn’t have another opportunity like that again, and so Rachael C Marek was born.

I wanted to create a pseudonym, but I still wanted it to be me.  My name really is Rachael (Hi!), and the C is the beginning of one of my middle names, but the Marek, well, that’s thanks to a character I identified with in a book.  It seemed appropriate.

The above reminder popped up last week and it gave me reason to pause.  Had it really been four years since that pivotal moment?!  It made me wonder what I had accomplished in all that time.  I have some writing to show for it.  I still have big dreams.  I still have stories to rewrite, even more to tell…and although I may still be some distance from fulfilling my goal of being a professional writer, I’m in a better place overall and I think that a big part of that started when The Sis encouraged me to become Rachael C Marek.

She deserves a BIG Thank You for years of support of every variety.

And then there’s all of you.  You’ve been welcoming and encouraging, and although I’ve never met you, and maybe never will, we’ve been a part of each other’s journeys, the ups and the downs, and such a community is important to the lowly/lonely writer, so thanks.

xx, Rach

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Quote of the Week

PassionIgnore the working out aspect of this quote (unless you’re also into that) and think on what the words mean.  Where do you spend this kind of energy?

Is it on your writing (or other form of art)?

I know I don’t always put such passion into my work, as any artist knows, not all days encourage such intensity of emotion, but most days, we should have it.

As a “yet to be professional” screenwriter, I’m passionate about everything I write because they are the stories I want to tell.  It’s my hope, in time, I will have the opportunity to feel this same intensity on a professional level.  Because if we’re not passionate about our art, then why are we doing it?

It’s a thankless path for the most part, well, at least until we “make it”.  It’s hard and it’s lonely and nobody cares about our struggles – their concern is for the final result, so we have to have passion.

I spoke with a fellow writer once who wanted to give up.  They hadn’t had any success and just didn’t feel the drive to continue.  My advice was to take a break and see if they missed it.  Like a relationship, which is pretty much what it is, a little perspective via distance can help a great deal.  Hopefully, a little time away will reignite the fire, but if not, they won’t waste any more precious time on something that doesn’t spark such emotion.

Because I believe that this is something we all want to find – something that drives us, something that we’re willing to give up sleep for, and let our minds wander off to…

So tell me.  What are you passionate about write now? 😉

What is Saleable?

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately and this one word keeps popping up — saleable (which means fit or able to be sold).  This absurd sounding word is actually resounding throughout Hollywood right now, according to numerous sources, because your work should be saleable.  No kidding.  Isn’t that, in part, why we’re doing this?  As artists/writers, we write, and write, and write, sometimes for many years without any acknowledgment, let alone any monetary reward, but that is the goal.  So when I hear this word it sort of makes me laugh, because what they really mean is that they want something marketable, something that will bring in a large return.  Apparently production companies are a little nervous, and sales have been dropping.  I love hearing that and then seeing the weekend box office of films slated for release.  So many continue to come out that I can’t believe found funding; remakes, endless sequels, and reinventions.  It’s hard to be a writer with interesting stories gathering dust while a slew of “mediocrity” (this is not meant entirely as an insult, because who doesn’t love a bad movie from time to time?) finds its place in the world.

InsideMyHead

So what does “saleable” have to do in relation to your work?  My honest opinion is nothing.  If you believe in yourself and your art, if you’re passionate about what you’re writing, then someone will take notice.  I remember this great piece of advice I got once — Don’t chase trends.  Why?  Because by the time you get your work in front of someone that might be able to do something with it (like get it published or sold to a production studio) that trend will be over.  Write what you’re passionate about.  If it happens to be a story in a genre popular right now, that’s fine, because in a few years that trend will come back around and you’ll already have something ready.  Obviously, if your story is different than all that other stuff out there, all the rules go right out the window.  But, remember this, when you’re starting out, write about those things you love.  It’s your time, your energy, your lack of sleep, going blind staring at the computer, praying that someone will notice your work, starving because you don’t want to work at that crap job anymore — so why would  you want to waste all that on something you don’t even care about?  You should love your characters.  You should love your story.  I hope it makes you laugh out loud, or well up with tears, because it is that kind of passion that will help you sell it.

Best of luck to you all!