About the Attitude
If you have any other talent in life, any other interests, particularly ones with real world application, please…do that. If you’re pursuing screenwriting as a career, if it’s a dream, you had better be so passionate about doing it that there’s not a word I or anyone else could say that would stir even a second of doubt in your mind. Quick tip: if you’ve used a ghost writer help while studying, it’s probably not for you. If your goal of writing a feature film or creating a television series is not an uphill climb you’re willing to finish with your last breath, you’re not going to make it — and you probably don’t deserve to. Why the hell is this something so many people are trying to do, if indeed it’s true, ‘Everyone’s writing a script.’
Strategy Against the Emotions
It had better not be because you think it’s easy; that you saw something on the screen and thought, ‘Hey, I could write a better movie than that.’ Better than what? If you’re under the impression the motion picture you just watched is exactly what the screenwriter(s) wrote, you are almost certainly sadly mistaken. In some cases the writers work remains intact, and some men and women are actually lucky or crazy enough to direct their own material. But even that can be a bitter sweet opportunity. Not every good writer necessarily has the complimentary aptitude to helm a project, and can easily destroy his own words while trying to realize his vision. Scripts get mutated, at best, and what we see tells us very little about the first draft.
It’s Tempting to Focus on Losers
Sure, there are plenty of bad screenplays out there, ask any script reader or just hop onto Trigger Street and that’s easy enough to confirm. And yes, some of them… Well, who am I kidding, a lot of them get sold. A great concept can really go far and a lot of producers will overlook sh*tty writing to get hold of a good idea. Some scripts get improved, some stay bad or get worse through rewrites and into production; and all of mutate in some way shape or form. Is this really what you want for your script? Are you willing to fight to the bitter end just to convince somebody to consider manipulating your work into… well, you never know. Assuming you can write at all, you had better be like a parent willing to love and support your creation no matter what it grows into. That’s the chance you take when you type FADE IN: with your mind made up not to go back, or fade away.
Professionals Write Hard to Get Paid
Writing is addictive. Creating characters and a story out of thin air and dreaming of seeing it some mutation on the big screen is a habit you may never break, even if it becomes bad for you. Screenwriting isn’t a hobby. Writing may be a hobby, but you’re not a screenwriter until you’ve written something that actually appears on the screen. Screenwriting isn’t a job unless you’re getting paid. Until then, and if it’s ultimately to become a career, it’s nothing short of an obsession. So you better be obsessed. You can call it passion if you want, it does sound better than obsession, so long as you’re sure it’s nothing less. If you’re right, keep writing, and you will find a way to make it work.
My point can’t be complete without Richard Walter’s opinion:
Nobody’s every really bothered to ask why I write, which in some ways is nice, partly because it shows a certain unconditional support from friends and family; and largely because I don’t know how to answer. I’ll be thinking about that…