The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Friday, 23 January 2009

No Reply

One of the frustrations with being a writer, other than writing, is in dealing with producers, script editors, agents. (Who, let it be said, I’ve always found to be wonderful, talented, hardworking people.)

But the problem is that some of them aren’t particularly good at replying to emails. You’ll send them something – anything from an out-of-the-blue spec to a script they’ve been pestering you for – and you won’t hear anything back.

That’s the freelancer’s curse. Because what do you do? It’s a Catch 22. Do you send them a second email? But then you’ll be the one pestering them. You risk appearing unprofessional, making them view you, and your work in a negative, begrudging light. But you’ve heard nothing back, you’re going out of your mind, and maybe the internet has eaten your email... so you wait a week, and send them a second email politely asking if they got the first email okay.

And still you hear nothing back. Or, even worse, you get a phone call from the person in question, who is now furious and yelling ‘Get off my back, alright!’

But what if you don’t send that second email, for fear of offending someone who is so tightly-wound that it might drive them over the brink of sanity? You can end up spending weeks, months, years, wondering why they didn’t reply.

As a rule, the best producers, script editors and agents are the ones who either reply straight away, or who are completely cool about receiving reminder emails. And as for the others... well, I’ll send them a second email, and try to move on. Life is too short, I don’t need the stress, mind-games and sleepless nights thinking, ‘Maybe I inadvertently did something to piss them off?’

I say ‘try’. I don’t succeed.

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