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Starting a Career in Screenwriting


A young woman writing in her notebook, on the start of her screenwriting journey

THE PLAN:

Write an amazing script = Get an agent = Sell your script = Get your script made by a top production company = Have it be a huge success = Laugh your way to the bank = Win awards and become a lauded screenwriter.



THE REALITY:

Write a script = Get rejected by agents = Write more scripts, build your portfolio = Become a better writer = Finally get an agent = Pitch to producers and build a network = Return to writing more scripts for free = Try and get work on existing shows = Enter competitions and schemes to help push your scripts along = If you're lucky then sell a script = Get your script made by whatever production company will take you = Realise writers don't actually make that much money and panic about your tax return = Back to the drawing board with your next project and repeat the hustle.



Hold up. Hold up. It's not all doom and gloom. Starting a career in screenwriting can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many talented writers and endless opportunities, it can be easy to lose motivation and feel discouraged. However, the key to success in any field is perseverance, hard work, and a positive mindset. Here are a few tips to help keep you motivated as you start your screenwriting journey.

  • Believe in Yourself: Writing is a personal journey, and it takes a lot of courage to put your work out there. Believe in your voice and your unique perspective. Your story is worth telling and you have something valuable to offer.


  • Embrace the Process: Writing is a craft, and it takes time and practice to get better. Embrace the ups and downs, the rejections, and the moments of self-doubt. They are all part of the process and will help you grow as a writer.


  • Read Screenplays: Reading screenplays and analysing the structure of successful movies is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. Study the works of successful screenwriters and learn from their techniques.


  • Write Regularly: Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. Set aside time each day to write and make it a priority. Even if it’s just a few minutes, make sure you’re writing regularly.


  • Seek Feedback: Getting feedback on your work is an essential part of the writing process. Join a writing group, attend workshops, or hire a script consultant. The more feedback you receive, the better you will become.


  • Stay Inspired: Surround yourself with things that inspire you and keep you motivated. Whether it’s other writers, movies, books, or music, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive and creative energy.


  • Take Risks: Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. Experiment with different genres and styles. Take on challenging projects and push yourself out of your comfort zone.


Unfortunately, there is no 'get rich and famous quick' scheme in screenwriting. Starting a career in screenwriting is a long and challenging journey. However, with hard work, perseverance, and a positive mindset, you can achieve your dreams and move towards becoming a successful screenwriter. So, believe in yourself, embrace the process, and never give up on your passion for storytelling. Good luck!

Tell us in the comments what step of the process are you currently in? Let us know if there's anything you're struggling with and we'll do our best to answer it in a future article.

 

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