When I got out of school, and began to pursue my career, I learned lots of things about screenwriting. Maybe, if someone had told me about them before I began, the road would have been easier.
Maybe I wouldn’t have even listened.
Still, it’s interesting to look back and think about what I’ve gleaned from all those meetings, and all those sleepless nights worrying about a pitch, or a scene that was giving me trouble, or whether I was any good.
So here they are. The top ten things I wish someone had told me about screenwriting (and writing in general)…
2) You will have good writing days and bad writing days. Accept them both.
3) Remember that your main character always drives your story.
4) Write what you are compelled to write. Don’t chase trends.
5) If something feels like the best thing you’ve ever written, it’s probably crap. It’s when you’re on the edge and feel like you’re about to fall off a cliff that you’re doing something interesting.
6) Always wear great shoes and a good pair of sunglasses to meetings.
7) Do not base your self-worth as a writer on what other people think of you.
8) Write every day.
9) Prepare for meetings, but go in open to whatever happens.
10) Watch movies. They’ll remind you why you got into this business in the first place. And sometimes, why you want to get out.
Eeek– I just thought of one more. And it’s probably the most important.
11) Follow your heart and not your fear. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Here’s a hint—your fear has a much louder voice. You have to get really, really quiet and still to hear your heart.