Even though screenwriting (and writing in general) is a solitary activity, a lot of us experience the same ups, downs, and everything in between. While one of the great benefits of networking is how it can help you on a professional level, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of the personal aspect.
Being part of the writing community offers up what is more or less a built-in support team. Other writers have been through just about all the same things you have, so they know how to respond and react to whatever’s going on with you. Count me as one of the many who’s been on both sides of the equation.
The past few weeks have seen a lot of announcements from some of the big contests, and lots of writers have posted their good or not-so-good news. Whenever I see that sort of thing, I try to be as encouraging or sympathetic as I can. This brought up thoughts of a post from way back in 2013 about this sort of thing.
Thought you might enjoy it.
When another writer follows me on Twitter, I’ll send a thank-you DM when applicable and ask how their latest project is coming along. The responses are usually pretty enthusiastic, and it’s great to see such a wide spectrum of material and how each person’s path is developing.
(What writer doesn’t like to talk about their work? I’m no exception either.)
Or maybe they’ve hit a bump in the road. “I’m stuck in Act Two,” “This rewrite’s killing me!” or “I’ve been dragging my feet on getting this draft done.” Happens to all of us.
Based on how they’re doing, I’ll usually write something like “That’s awesome!” or “Hang in there!”, followed by the ubiquitous “Best of/Good luck!”
And I actually mean it.
So it was a little surprising when I got this response during a recent DM chat – “You have a special gift of encouragement. WHO does that these days?”
Really? Nice, supportive people are now considered a rarity?
I’m not an idiot. This is a savage business a lot of us are trying to break into. It’s extremely competitive, and the odds are definitely not in our favor. It’s extremely easy to get disenhearted and want to throw in the towel after receiving that 97th rejection letter.
A few words of support are never the wrong thing to say, even if it’s something as simple as “Good luck.” That may be just the extra push you need to get yourself to keep going, start again, or what have you. If you’re lucky, you have loved ones, friends and trusted colleagues who support your efforts, regardless of how long it takes.
And consider me part of that group as well.
-Movie of the Moment – STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013). Nice to look at, but is it really asking too much for an original story and characters – again? I didn’t like the Leonard Nimoy/Spock part of the 2009 movie, and was disappointed at the way this one played out.
For a funnier, NSFW spoiler-filled review, click here.
It bothers me that Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof have become the go-to guys for pop culture sci-fi flicks. Yes, they’ve got talent (to a certain extent), but their work just feels like something’s missing. Maybe too much relying on flashy spectacle and not enough smart storytelling? The effects should enhance the story, not the other way around.
As much as I enjoy a good fanboy film, I’ll take a solid story over gee-whiz special effects every time. I suspect a lot of people also feel this way, or at least hope they do.
Trust your audience to be able to follow along; they’ll appreciate it.