Script Coverage Chronicles – January 2017: Ten Reasons Not To Let Anyone Discourage Your Screenwriting Dreams

It’s a new year!  Hope time!

But this is the screenwriting biz, so it might be the case that things have happened in the past year to temporarily dash your hopes.

Don’t be dashed. 

Here are ten reasons to persist:


Most other jobs suck.  That’s why screenwriting is so competitive.  I remember back when I was a lawyer, one of my depressed colleagues sighed and said to me, well nobody pays you to go to an amusement park.  It turns out that’s not true.  If you love to write, screenwriting is a Disney World kind of life.  And sometimes some people do pay some people to do it.


Dashers are dicks.  You know the type -- the ones who love to criticize, to tell new writers how stupid their ideas are, preferably via anonymous Internet posts.  Most dashers are bitter and unsuccessful, not worth your energy.


Life is short.  You’re not going to lie on your death bed wishing you spent less time screenwriting and more time doing mundane crap.


Every new draft is a time to correct your mistakes.  Not all script notes come from dashers.  Some make sense.  It’s okay for a draft to be less than perfect.  That’s why they call them drafts.  Every next draft is another chance to be great.


It’s your life.  Nobody else can tell you how to spend your time.  Even if it’s a long road to success, if screenwriting is something you love, anyone who loves you will understand. 


There are more and more opportunities.  Some people say the business is getting harder.  That’s not true.  It’s always been hard to break in.  But nowadays, with endless cable channels and limitless streaming, there are more and more places to realize the dream of getting your work on screen.


If screenwriting is what makes you happy, you need to keep doing it.  If you’re not happy, you’ll never be a positive influence on the world.


Lots of other people secretly envy you.  If you’ve managed to complete a script, to do something truly creative, that’s an amazing accomplishment in and of itself.  It may not always feel like it, but you’re already a rock star.


It’s all about flow.  If you’re like me, then when you write, you get lost in what you’re doing.  Time passes, and you don’t even know it.  That’s called flow, and it’s a huge source of human happiness. (This is a good time to go back and read reason seven.)


It does happen. 

Writers do get agents.  And they do sell their screenplays.  And they do get produced.  It happens. 

And it’ll happen again in 2017.