What Did You Accomplish Last Year?
It’s a new year. Have you reached your goals? Are you where you’d thought you’d be from this time last year? Are you writing every day? Have you finished your script? Have you done rewrites? Have you submitted it to contests / agents / producers? Well what the hell are you waiting for? Get off your ass! There are tons of writing contests coming up. If you’re not prepared, you’d better get prepared. You’ve only got a few months left!
What are your goals this year? If you’re just starting out, if you’ve only got one or two scripts written without any rewrites, then your first goal should be to get started on the rewrites! I hear you, “What do you mean, rewrite? I’ve checked it for formatting issues and grammatical errors. It’s all good. I don’t need to rewrite anymore.” Wrong! Rewrites are about fixing your story, not just typos and formatting issues. You need to make sure that every scene moves your story forward. If it doesn’t, eliminate it. “How do I do that, Tony?” Haven’t you been reading my blog all year?! Check each scene by doing a reverse outline.
Okay, so you’re not a beginner. You’ve got a few scripts under your belt, but no one besides your friends and family have read them. How the hell do you expect to make a living at writing if you never let anyone see your work?! “But it’s not good enough yet.” Then why haven’t you fixed it? Why is it just setting in your “stories” folder collecting dust? (I know, dust doesn’t collect on computer folders. Suspension of disbelief here! Work with me!) Dust it off and submit it to some contests. And be sure that you spend a couple extra bucks to get some feedback! If it’s not ready for a contest, then send it to a script consultant and get some feedback! I just happen to know where you can find a good one for a reasonable price (shameless self-promotion).
What’s that? You’ve submitted to contests. You’ve gotten feedback. You just need some coaching? That’s an excellent idea. There are a few places I recommend. I think it’s more beneficial to take classes in person or at least online where you have a physical instructor of whom you can ask direct questions. The International Screenwriters Association has both classroom and online classes. Screenwriters University has some great online courses, too. I also know of an affordable Beginner’s Television Screenwriting Workshop (another shameless plug!).
So there you have it! No excuses! Get motivated and get on top your writing career. Stop waiting for things to happen and make them happen! No one is gonna come beat down your door if no one has read any of your work! Write! Rewrite! Submit! Learn! Repeat! Repeat until you’ve sold that script or landed that job! It’s your move, my friend! This is the year to reach your dreams! Until next week, keep writing!