The aspiring screenwriter understands how we should behave when we meet people in a business environment. Treating producers, managers, lawyers, cast, and crew with respect and grace goes a long way to advancing your career.
But what is the successful character of professional screenwriting? Writers often focus on the technical aspects of writing a pilot or screenplay, but what about you? Do you employ professional attitudes towards your process?
Professional Screenwriting Requires Patience
The lack of patience towards your script is probably the biggest reason amateurs never see their stories get produced. Writing isn’t fun when you can’t make your story better that day. It often gets boring and you hate the whole script. Now what? Be patient with your script. If you’re in a big hurry, you’ll either abandon your script out of frustration and turn in something that’s not going to impress everyone. Or worse, you’ll produce it yourself and set yourself even further back.
Have patience with your script. Don’t leave the waiting line. Wait for the best story to arrive. Being patient asks writers to feel uncomfortable and dispirited but to write anyway.
The Humility of Making Story
You might be a brilliant “writer.” A real wordsmith. In a script, lose the pride. Don’t show off. The camera will rarely pick how amazing your writing is. It will shoot your story. Tell the story and keep your writer ego out of it.
Another aspect of humility is understanding that the story is for others, not for you. When your movie comes out, it’s not your success — it is giving back to the world. If you think this sounds corny, then go ahead and keep writing for yourself. For me, professional screenwriting is embracing that audience is customer and boss.
Persistence is not a Cliche
Persistence as a key to success in show business is something you hear all the time. It simply does not sound complex enough of a reason to work. But as much as people are told to be persistent, it’s actually something that all of us could do better. How persistent are you in your rewriting process? Do you develop your good ideas into amazing stories? Professional screenwriting is achieved by grinders. Grinding is persistence. Do not relent. Persist until your story is truly king.
Honesty Makes Writing Labor
The reason writing is awful at times is the act of great writing requires the writer to tell the truth. When you’re honest in your expression of character, you’re telling the truth about what you’ve experienced in life. Your knowledge. Knowledge in life is gathered through challenges. Telling us about what you know about life can remind us of the discomfort you experienced or still feel. If you don’t want to feel discomfort, then professional screenwriting might not be possible for you. Can you phone it in and have a career and make money? Yes. Are you in show business to make money and be famous? Good question.
Fearlessness is Key to Best Story
Don’t be scared to try something new. Avoid filtering your weird and different ideas. Follow your intuition. Don’t fear hard work or embarrassing yourself. By being fearless and trusting your imagination, we write more original stories and our audiences will be larger. This has been proven time and time again over the history of the motion picture business. Writers who follow trends and write mainstream do not have near the success of writers who write what they love and what is different.
Do you trust your own imagination?
Overall, think about how you write as much as the actual problems of the story. Changing your attitude goes further towards a gratifying and profitable career than understanding the latest trends in technique.
By: Gordy Hoffman