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Getting rejected

I got this question recently:

“Our first script just got a terrible review on triggerstreet. Do you know much about the site? And also, got any motivational advice on how to get past the initial ‘rejection’ feeling? May sound dumb, but was wondering if you experienced this.”

Every successful writer has been rejected more times than they’ve been accepted. The great thing about writing is it doesn’t matter how many times you get rejected as long as you eventually find success. Submitting your script and having it get rejected just means you’re playing the game. So congratulations on that.

You can check out my IMDB credits for yourself. I have four produced screenplays. I’ve written around 30 scripts and probably received some where in the neighborhood of 5,000 rejection letters. Keep in mind too, when you make submissions, in most cases you won’t even get a rejection letter, you’ll get no response what-so-ever, so I’ve probably made 50,000 cold query submissions over the years to achieve those four produced credits. So yeah, I know a thing or two about rejection.

I have one sibling, an older brother who’s 16 months older than I am. Growing up we were roughly the same in size and we looked roughly the same in age. People used to even ask if we were twins. As most brothers do, we played all sorts of games and competed in all sorts of sports. While the age difference didn’t look drastic, when you’re younger the extra 16 months is a huge advantage. He used to beat me at nearly everything we did, and we did a lot. As kid I don’t think I ever won at anything. The first time I ever remember beating him at something was when I was about 14 and we were having a competition to toss a log across the yard. For what ever reason the age gap had shrunk and I was able to toss it a little further than him.

The point is, getting beat really doesn’t phase me. And I think that spills over to these sorts of rejections, too. Getting rejection letters was never really something that got me down. I was always too busy sending out more letters and writing more scripts to really spend a lot of time worrying about it. And that’s the attitude I think all writers should take. You’re going to get rejected, a lot, and if you can’t handle that this is not the right profession for you.

As for Trigger Street, I have never used it but I have heard good things about it. I would try and read the scripts that get good reviews on the site and learn from them. Compare them to your own screenplay. Is it better? Can you learn something. But Trigger Street isn’t your only option. You should be submitting to agents, managers, and producers, too. Check out this post to learn how: How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell).