Sometimes getting to YES on a project means you have to do other stuff first that opens the door. In my case, it was a long process of mixing “one for them” and “one for me” –I wrote a lot of scripts that paid for alimony and private school and the team of people it takes to raise me and my kids and give me time to actually be with said kids when I’m not furiously trying to make stuff now that I get more YES than NO. Then I would wait until an idea for something more personal would burn inside me until I couldn’t stand it and finally, I’d have to write it. That’s how To The Bone happened, also a spec called Box City that nobody would make but got people thinking of me as a writer who could do more than doctors and vampires.
This is a great article about just that. Don’t abandon the projects you love that nobody else gets. Keep them simmering in your heart and mind. If they do, they may just find YES after all.