“So what are you doing for your writing?” Life Coach asks during our third session. “I have an agent,” I reply. “Great, when did you get into contract with him or her?” Life Coach asks. “Uhm, five years ago,” I reply. “What else? Are you taking classes, meeting folks in publishing. What are you doing for networking?” she asks. “Uhmmm…I took classes when I was in Minneapolis,” I reply. Ooo, this conversation is getting uncomfortable. “What have you done since coming to New York?" she asks. Not much, I think. It is hard to break into anything in New York.
“I need you to be bold,” Life Coach says. I pause, because, I think, I am bold. She must think that I am thinking the same thing in the pause. “Bolder. You need to be pushed to a point that you feel discomfort. You’ve gotten this far on doing what you know, you are comfortable. You have to get uncomfortable. That is the only way to grow, to advance, and to succeed. That is boldness.” “Okay, fine, what do you think I should do?” I ask a little defiantly. Writing my movie for her was easy and fun, me thinks that what she will suggest next, will not be so easy.
“Every week, for the next four weeks, I need you to contact five people in publishing – they can be writers, agents, publishers. You need to contact them and ask them for 30 minutes to impart wisdom. Get ready for rejection; four out of five will be too busy for you…” Shoot, has Life Coach met me? Rejection? Bring it; rejection is one thing I am really good at. “But eventually you will connect with a few folks who want to hear about your project. You must toot your own horn; tell them why you are the best, why they need to meet with you, and no resting on your laurels. Your laurels got you the appointment, but your talent, gumption and story are what will get you the attention you seek.”
Crud buckets. I am from Minnesota. We don’t toot our own horn; we let our laurels do our talking. But this New York, the concrete jungle where dreams are made and destroyed. Ugh, I don’t think I can do this. Maybe I was insane to move here.