I share the e-mail below (with Cemal's permission) because this isn't about me as it is really about the online screenwriting community. So many people contribute not only articles but ideas and comments that no one person can actually take credit. I love this e-mail.
Hi Mystery Man,
I should have written this several months ago when you mentioned me in one of your entries. This is the guy from that distant piece of troubled land called Turkey that religiously visits your blog almost every day.
I'm a struggling screenwriter that tries to support a family in the soul destroying world of directing TV commercials (my ex-wife calls me a drama queen, I guess you can tell why).
I''m 38, and I guess I'm a bit late in starting, but that's always been the case with me. I completed one screenplay before being lost in several, back in those times I was unaware of the wonderful blogs and books that were around to guide me. My screenplay naturally sucks, although it has garnered some interest among producers, though not enough to go ahead with it. I'm trying to make it better whenever I find some time between directing horrible commercials for horrible products ,though I'm grateful for finding the little work I can get, and being on a set with film people and a camera. Whenever I'm in the same room with a camera, I'm happy.
Anyway, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there and doing what you are doing. Your blog and some others like yours have been much reliable friends in tough times. It's funny whenever I'm stuck with something and I generally am, it seems like you are always providing, if not a solution, at least a discussion about that problem. Above all, you have thought me what it is to live like a screenwriter, and what it is to really love this craft. I'm humbled and frankly can't help feeling depressed when I see the amount of time, work and passion you put into what you are doing. I fell I have lost years doing, well, nothing.
I live in a country where the only way to make a living as a screenwriter is to churn out 90min of poor dialogue into terribly shallow plots for TV series (I can't do it) and the standard of movie writing is extremely low. Pushing 40 I'm running the risk of turning into one of those bitter guys who know a lot about something but can't produce anything worthwhile. Enough of this self-pity.
I'm trying and will go on trying now that I know through you guys how difficult it is for everyone, everywhere else, and how much work and passion and patience you have put in it to be able to hang in there. You can't imagine how much it helps...
God bless the internet and you and guys like Terry Rossio, John August, Unk and all the rest.
At least I don't feel as lonely as I use to.
Thanks for being there,
Friday, February 15, 2008