When it all comes down to it, you know who’s going to do the most to help you and your career?
That’s right. You. Nobody else.
Sure, there will be others who might be able to give you a helping hand now and then, but the responsibility of getting stuff done falls squarely on your shoulders.
This goes beyond just writing and honing your craft. You need to build up your network. Establish connections. Get to know people. Chances are a majority of these will be online and via social media.
Seeking representation or someone who might be receptive to your script? Do your research. Find out who’s looking for what. (And for crying out loud, DO NOT take the “Does somebody have a list I could use?” route.)
“But I’ve got no time to do all that!” you might protest.
Of course you do.
The key element here is time management. You already set aside time to write, don’t you? Well, you have to do the same for everything else. If you can devote part of your day to work on your script, then there’s no reason you can’t dedicate a few minutes to focus on your career.
A surefire way to give yourself more time – stay away from casual websurfing, or at least ration it. So much online material is nothing but a big time-sucking rabbit hole. “Just five more minutes” can easily turn into “Where’d that hour go?” Funny videos are all well and good, but probably won’t do much to help you get your career going.
On Twitter? Connect with 5 people a day. Interact with them. Ask about their projects. Make it about them, not you. If they ask about you and yours, keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm them with details.
Part of some online community forums? Take part. Ask questions. Start discussions. Get to know the other members. A lot of these folks will probably have more experience than you, so learn as much as you can. Very important – don’t be a troll.
Is there a professional writer out there whose work you admire? Send them a note saying just that. DO NOT ask for any favors right out of the gate. Establish a relationship. You’ll eventually know if they’re open to helping you. Sometimes they might even offer it without you asking. It happens.
All of these are going to take time to not only accomplish, but also to develop. Be patient. It will take time. You wouldn’t rush through getting your script done, so apply that same logic to developing and advancing your career.
It’s all on you, so make the most of it.
2 thoughts on “A support staff of one”
Your advice is necessary to those of us that get involved with Facebook. I appreciate the advice.
If you can’t count on you, who can you count on? Words to live by, Paul. Those of us unrepresented writers always seem to start out thinking all of our prayers will be answered if we can just get an agent or manager. Not so. Just ask the represented and they’ll be the first to tell you that agents earn 10% of their paychecks and only do 10% of the work–the writers are responsible for doing the other 90% required to generate the screenwriting work.
I’d write more but I’m too busy networking!
Keep up the great posts. It’s all good stuff.