I’ve been doing some pitching and trying to sell my soul to any bidder. Because of that I’ve been on the phone, seemingly, all the time. I hate calls like this. I hate meetings like this but at least during phone calls I get to roll my eyes, put them on mute and scream,
“Go fuck yourself you marrow sucking low life!”
Most of the time the people I’m talking to are strangers so there is some pretense of civility. A little getting to know each other. Asking questions that, to me, are idiotic. I’m not using this opportunity to gather new friends and I doubt the other person is either. So why do you have to know a fucking thing about me? You’re not buying me you’re buying what I write. Read it and, if you like it, call me to say you’re sending a check. That’s a much more pleasant relationship to me.
There’s no need to know about my personal life, how the weather is in Boston, what I think about anything. All you need to know is that I wrote something, am trying to sell it, and, somehow, it made it’s way to you.
I know that makes me sound more of a curmudgeon than, truthfully, I am but it’s a business. I know talking about what I’ve written (even though there’s no fucking way I can describe further or better promote the piece than through the words I’ve written) is a part of the process. I’m more than willing to give you the 25-word synopsis but, after that, I’m at a loss. The thing that bugs me most is, if they’re getting in touch with me, they’ve read it. They know what’s there and, because they’re talking to me, have some modicum of interest. Why do I have to discuss it further?
Yes, I will do rewrites. After I get some money.
Yes, I will change the sex/race/number of limbs of a character. After I get some money.
Yes, I am willing to consider any outside input. After I get some money.
I’m not married to my work. I’ve worked as a writer long enough to know it’s never going to come out as I first saw it in my head. At first that was a tough little pill to swallow. Then I looked at the check. So bought some beer to wash it down.
Every once in a while I’ll have a phone meeting with someone I have some type of relationship with. I’ve been hired for other projects; had personal interaction; have a mutual friend, whatever. But we know each other and have formed something more substantial. By that I mean I remember their name. And probably don’t have to jot it down to use during the call.
The guy I was talking to today is someone I’ve been out socially with on a number of occasions. That’s not to say I know him well or I’d consider him a friend but, for whatever reason, he paid me to write his wedding vows.
He’s chatting away about the things he’s been doing, it’s a nice, light conversation you’d have with any acquaintance. He’s being funny, I’m being funny, just a pleasant conversation before we get down to business.
I can tell he’s been in motion for the entire conversation. In his car, out of his car, into the street, people talking, minor distractions but I can tell he’s moving. Finally, there’s less background noise so I figure we’re going to be getting down to business.
Boy, was I right about that.
He’s talking about how he’s trying to do this and that for me but I’m totally distracted. I hear familiar sounds between his words. Sounds I hear every day but sounds I don’t think I should be hearing at this time. Hell, no matter how tight he thinks we are, I don’t think I should be hearing these sounds from anyone.
“Are you in the fucking bathroom?”
“Listen, Chatty Crappy, zip up when you’re done and call me back.”