Had another great lunchtime chat with a fellow writer yesterday. Among the many topics of conversation: the necessity of how a writer trying to break in must work towards achieving success from as many angles as they can.
Got a good script? How many others have you got that are ready to go? How many are you currently developing so as to increase that number? Are you sticking with one genre or trying several?
Are you actively seeking writing projects? There are a lot of smaller, not-as-prestigious projects out there in need of writers. You may not get a big paycheck, but you’ll gain experience (and maybe an onscreen credit). It could also help educate you about what goes on during production.
Think your script is good enough for one of the high-profile contests? What’s more important to you – the prize money, the prestige of winning (or at least placing), or how this could help get your career going?
Are you connecting with other writers? As introverted as a lot of writers are, social contact is a necessary factor of doing it professionally. It’s one thing to communicate electronically, so make a point of going to a social event in your area (you could even go so far as to arrange one!), or attend a conference where you actually talk to people. This will also come in handy when you reach that next level and start taking meetings.
You’ve done everything you can with this current script and are ready to start looking for representation. How much research have you done into who would be the most receptive to it? Does your script seem like a good match for them? Have you worked on that query letter to the point that it would be impossible for them to not want to read your script?
Naturally, these questions and situations are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Everybody’s path is going to be different from yours, but there will be similarities. Fortunately, you have time and a wide array of resources at your disposal to start preparing in your own way for all of them.
Good luck, and get to it.