When I was in university, I took a course on screenwriting. I loved it, and wrote two short films. Now, here's where the story gets a little bit discouraging. My York University professor encouraged me to submit my work to see if I would be accepted into the next level course. I was thrilled to get the opportunity, and I did so. Now, my scripts were both dealing with Jewish characters, and they were at different points in their lives, either finding themselves, or dealing with an outside conflict such as anti-semitism. My prof thought I had talent, and she thought that I could do something with my work. As a class, she taught us that we should write what we know, and that is what I knew. Now, I got my rejection letter for the course with the comments that my work was too "ethnic". (It seems that this comment tends to follow me around. I had a publisher reject the Hadariah Chronicles for this very reason as well.) The thing was that I let this stop me. I hadn't written a single script since then. However, my ideas for shows, and my longing to do this persisted.
I am of the mindset now that it is never too late to follow your dreams. I am working with the lovely and talented Jen Frankel to turn Sitnalta into a stage musical, and we will soon be able to announce the awesome composer we're working with on this! I am also working on developing a children's television show, and soon I will have more news on that as well. Writing treatments, show bibles, and scripts is nothing like writing a novel. I always want to add more description than is necessary, and I have to accept that the characters on stage and screen may look nothing like the way they do in my head. And this is both nerve wracking and liberating. I have to relinquish some control over my ideas, and it's been hard. Especially when working with songwriters. I'd do the lyrics myself, but I can't write poetry to save my life, and that's how I view lyrics.
So, this is what I'm up to. It's been crazy, but in a very good way. I look back on my rejection, and what I'm doing now, and it's like I'm telling those profs a very loud F--- you. And it feels good. Don't let others tell you what you can and can't do. Just go out there and live your dreams.