Waiting for Your Script to be Read and Pinging

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The agony.

I’ve sent my pilot out for notes, and most people got back to me within a week. I was pleasantly surprised! One guy got back to me when I had previously taken 3 months to give him feedback on his script. I will NEVER do that again after experiencing the agony of waiting.  All the feedback I received was super helpful, even if I didn’t agree with it,  and it was all much appreciated. However, there are a couple of key people who haven’t read it yet, and it’s driving me crazy! I try not to think about it. But I cannot go forward with rewrites until I have feedback from these key people. How do I go about reminding them? How long do I wait to remind them? I can’t tell if they forgot because they’re super busy, or they just haven’t had time to read it because they’re super busy.  I mean, key person has a couple of projects in development… so it’s totally rational for them to have forgotten about it.

After a week and a half I used, “Hey! No rush, sent you my script last week, just wondering if you got it!”  They replied with a, “Yes!”

“Great!” I thought, “They’ll probably read it this weekend!”

…. It’s been a few weeks since then.

I think my next course of action will be, “Hey!  In reading my pilot, would you prefer a hard copy instead of digital? Again, no rush. I put a lot of value in your notes, and I refuse to go into rewrites without knowing what you think!”

I think a lot of writers go into freak out mode when they haven’t heard back from someone in a long time… but in my experience working with high level professionals… THEY FORGET. I ran into this looking for PA work all the time.  People are super busy and you’re not high on their priority list.  A friendly reminder can go a long way in keeping yourself in the forefront of someone’s mind. Just don’t be too pushy. I like to call it “pinging”. Whether its reading a script, asking for a job, or just keeping in touch. Shoot someone a little ping every once and while to let them know you still exist.

However, if they don’t respond to your ping two times in a row… stop pinging. They’re not responding for a reason.

In writing this, I just now reminded myself of two people who wanted to go get coffee with me over the past 6 months to talk about getting jobs in LA. I’ve totally forgotten about them because they haven’t pinged me. All it would take is a little reminder they exist to set up a meeting. But now I figure they don’t need my help in life anymore. Even if they do, how would I know if THEY DONT PING ME.

Basically, what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to annoy people. A little email every once in a while isn’t going to put them off. And if it does, you probably don’t want to work with that person anyway.

3 thoughts on “Waiting for Your Script to be Read and Pinging”

  1. I think my next course of action will be, “Hey! In reading my pilot, would you prefer a hard copy instead of digital? Again, no rush. I put a lot of value in your notes, and I refuse to go into rewrites without knowing what you think!”

    If I may leave my two cents here – they aren’t reading your pilot because you told them twice in a row that they didn’t have to and that it didn’t matter to you if they did. And now you are about to tell them for a third time.

    Both communications make it clear, literally, that “there’s no rush.” Clearly, you don’t consider yourself worth reading, as far as the communication is concerned. When you say you refuse to move forward with rewrites but also say “AGAIN, no rush” – this says that “this is a project that I’ll tinker on if I hear your feedback, but if I don’t, or until I do, I’m working on other things.” If I have no sense of urgency to get back to you, I won’t. If you tell me over and over that your work isn’t good enough to drop everything for, then I won’t. That’s how humans are wired.

    Then, you follow up by saying “I want to make sure you got my submission.” No, you don’t. You want to know if they read it. So ask them. If they truly didn’t get it, and are interested in receiving it, they will tell you so.

    Long story short, you are so far from trying to make sure you aren’t annoying them that you throw yourself in the wastebasket preemptively. Rejecting yourself before they can.

    Try this: “Hi X. I’m working on a new pilot and would love your feedback in particular before I begin rewrites. I’ll be starting rewrites in thirty days, so if you are too busy to take a look, I understand and will move forward. (If you are unwilling, I understand that as well, of course.) I know you probably have a full schedule already, so I appreciate any feedback. Best, Y”

    Followup (forward the original send and add your followup to the top: “Hi X. I sent you a copy of my draft pilot a couple weeks ago (see below for details). I have just a couple weeks left before I begin rewrites and turn in the final script. I just want to follow up to see if you are willing or able to provide any feedback, but also know that I respect your workload and schedule. Warmly, Y”

    If they don’t get back to you…start the rewrites. Move forward.

    I’m not telling you how to be a writer here; my intent is on the words you use that shortchange yourself in those emails.

    State clearly what you want from them.
    Make it clear that you respect their workload and schedule.
    Set a reasonable deadline for response (a couple weeks or more).
    Be respectful in tone but don’t put yourself on the bottom.
    If you don’t hear back within your deadline, move on.

    Hope this helps…

  2. @Trying to be Helpful

    That was helpful! Thanks 🙂 X still hasn’t read it. I’m fairly close to moving forward with rewrites soon anyway, so I’ll take your approach next time I bring it up.

    Always appreciate advice,

    Best,

    12.

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