Making it and not making it

A while back I had lunch with a prolific script writer who  is currently one of the most employed writers on Casualty and EastEnders.  He’s so good, in fact, that his first draft scripts are also the production draft: no slogging through six versions for him.   And over the tagliatelle I asked him at what point he felt he’d “made it” as a writer.   Because there’s no job offer or promotion or certificate to mark the occasion.

And he said to me – after twenty plus years of writing – that he still hadn’t made it, in his opinion.  There was still something missing.  He’s branched off into novel writing now so I hope he’s found that something in the pages of a book.

It got me thinking – am I going to have the same issue?  Because getting an agent, winning awards, having scripts optioned and on-screen credits haven’t been enough to convince me I’ve made it yet.    There’s always the lurking doubt:  the false starts, the disappointments and what ifs.  Will I always be striving to feel something that I’ll never feel because I keep pinning my ambition on the next project?

But last week … I crossed the line and realised I’d made it as a writer.   The moment came – quite out of the blue – while I was Skyping the producers of my feature film, making last minute tweaks to the script before it was ready for circulation.  And I was doing this in an apartment in the heart of the Marais, Paris.  And I suddenly realised that it was pretty cool.  And I was living the dream.  So here I am, in the apartment, on Skype, at the moment that I realised I’d made it as a writer.  Boom!