Do you ever feel as though being a screenwriter is hopeless, and that you’re doomed to work a real job? What do you do about it, or what have you done in the past?
I am working a real job! Part time, as well as being a mom, which is also a real job. I recently commented to a friend that writing is like an addiction. No matter how frustrating it is, we can’t give it up. It drives us to keep at it in spite of the prospects, in spite of the frustrations we encounter while doing it. So that’s what I do. I keep writing. Because I feel the need – even when I avoid it.
Screenwriting isn’t a job to me, it’s part of the work of a storyteller it’s actually on e of my favorite parts of the work … note “work” because a job is a horrible thing that keeps you from doing your real work!
I hear you, Sarah. But if you care more about the result of seeing your work on the screen than the writing itself, you’ll forever be caring more about an element of the business that is not in your control.
I’m all in for taking charge and shooting your own films, especially since the kind of scripts I write aren’t going to be big blockbusters that the studios love to shoot. I’ve shot one feature and one short and worked on a dozen more and I wrote a filmmaking book called Just Shoot It!…actually just released the 2nd edition. So if you need someone to light a fire under you for writing and/or filmmaking drop me a line. I’ll be glad to push you off the filmmaking cliff with a bungee chord attached. Marty is helping us out and I’ll be glad to return the favor to anyone by reading your material or discussing filmmaking.
I’ve worked with several thousands of writers. None of them in LA or inside the industry when they started. Yet, I have had students who went on to sell to Warner Brothers, HBO, Showtime, ABC, and others. Other students have sold scripts to or been on staff at several TV shows including Roseanne, Home Improvement, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and The Mentalist, to name a few.
All of them started away from Hollywood and had discourging moments and were no way going to crack Hollywood. But they did.
I firmly believe if you have a great product and keep at it, the odds are with you to ultimately sell screen and tele plays. If I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t teach, I wouldn’t write, I wouldn’t get myself and others ready to hone their scripts, be pitch ready, and know how to market their work.
It can be done, I’ve seen it happen numerous times. And that keeps me and my students going.